The Sudio Nivå is the Swedish company’s first foray into truly wire-free earbuds. I have been quite impressed with other Sudio products I had reviewed in the past, so I was keen to try out the Nivå when the company offered one for this review.
With more people looking to upgrade their music listening experiences, and helped along with more smartphones dropping the 3.5 mm headphone jack, there is much interest in Bluetooth headphones. Truly wire-free headphones are the newest sub-category of these headphones. Like the Apple AirPods, these are earbud style listening devices you stick into your ears, no wires anywhere.
Like Sudio’s other products, the Nivå is well designed. The retail packaging is quite standard fare. Upon opening the box, you’ll find a round charging case with the Nivå earphones within. The rest of the accessories are underneath the case.
The Sudio Nivå’s round case does seem rather large compared with those of other truly wire-free headphones. It’s light, and it’s made entirely out of plastic. While the smooth matt plastic feels good and well-made, I would have preferred more premium materials. A raw leather carrying string attached to the case gives it a nice Scandinavian touch.
I have the black colour Sudio Nivå earphones. It comes with the black case you see in these photos. The other colour option is white, which is paired with a white case. The white does look more exquisite, but the “like new” look may be harder to maintain in the long term.
Both the left and right earpieces look identical, having just one single large button on the outside face and two pogo pin contacts on the inside. You can tell which is left and right by the inward-facing letter markings. Since the earpieces can also go into either slot in the charging case, you would be well-served to always return them to the case in the right order, so that you don’t have to figure out which is left and right when you take them out.
The one single button does limit the functions available on the Sudio Nivå. You can play/pause music with a single press, skip to next track with double-click, and activate your smartphone’s voice assistant with press-and-hold. The last action is a bit tough, because hold too long and you’ll turn the Nivå off. The buttons on either earpieces behave identically, so you can use either one of them.
However, each Nivå is powered on individually, so you have to do that by pressing both buttons. Taking the Nivå out of the case doesn’t turn them on automatically, though returning them to the case will turn them off.
The Sudio Nivå can take calls. The call audio and microphone is only on the right earpiece. It may sound a little strange when you’re listening to music in stereo, then take a call that you can only hear in your right ear. My bigger concern is that call quality isn’t very good.
Did you notice I didn’t talk about volume controls? That’s because the Sudio Nivå doesn’t have any. You’ll have to do that from your smartphone. You also can’t skip tracks backward. You get the sense here that the controls are quite limited.
I often worry about truly wire-free headphones falling out of my ears. The Sudio Nivå is light enough and fits sufficiently securely that it shouldn’t fall out with any ordinary head movements. You need to find the right sized silicon tips to make sure the earpieces fit properly. A proper fit also ensures you get the best possible music quality.
Sound quality on the Sudio Nivå is good. The full-range dynamic driver delivers particularly impressive bass, with clear well-controlled extension all the way down to the sub-bass level. It’s not particularly strong or punchy, though, so it’s more suited for people who prefer a more neutral presentation of their music.
The mid-range is well-rounded with good vocal reproduction, butI would prefer a bit more forward presence. The treble is pleasant, though not particularly bright. Sound stage is surprisingly expansive, delivering good stereo immersive listening experience.
For casual listeners, the Sudio Nivå delivers very enjoyable, mostly neutral-oriented, music. It’s quite passable even for fussy listeners. For a headphone at this price point, the Nivå performs very well.
In terms of battery life, the Sudio Nivå runs for a little over 3 hours. The charging case packs a built-in 500 mAh battery, which gives you about four full charges of the Nivå.
The Sudio Nivå supports Bluetooth 4.2 with up to 10 metres range, but doesn’t offer Qualcomm aptX, so unfortunately there is no low-latency or HD audio capabilities.
Apart from the charging case, the Sudio Nivå comes with a manual, Micro-USB charging case, and extra silicon sleeves. Altogether, you get three different sizes of silicon sleeves.
There is a one year international warranty offered with the Sudio Nivå.
The Sudio Nivå retails for S$165 directly from Sudio’s Singapore online store. Orders are shipped free worldwide via DHL, usually taking less than 5 days to Singapore. My Sudio Nivå set was shipped out of Hong Kong and arrived in two days.
If you are interested to to get the Sudio Nivå, order from the Singapore store with the discount code
zitseng15 to get a 15% discount, for a final total cost of S$140.25 that’s inclusive of DHL shipping to your doorstep. (Note: I do not earn any commission on your orders.)
The Sudio Nivå is a truly wire-free earphones that is light on features, but delivers very enjoyable music at a very reasonable price.
- Very good, enjoyable, sound quality
- Particularly impressive bass
- No Qualcomm aptX