Sudio E2 review: A Swedish spatial surprise

Sudio E2 review: A Swedish spatial surprise

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Sudio E2 wireless earbuds successful  their charging case.

“Dirac Virtuo gives the E2 a unsocial and amusive mode to modify your music.”

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Great sound
  • Fun spatial dependable mode
  • Good artillery life
  • Excellent telephone quality
  • Wireless charging
  • IPX4 h2o resistance

Cons

  • No deterioration sensors
  • No app for EQ oregon customization
  • No Bluetooth multipoint
  • No AAC oregon aptX
  • Bass mightiness beryllium excessively overmuch for immoderate folks

You whitethorn person been proceeding a batch of speech of spatial audio lately. It’s an umbrella word that encompasses formats similar Dolby Atmos Music, and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio (360RA), and much and much streaming euphony services are starting to enactment spatial audio, including Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, and Deezer. But here’s the funny happening astir spatial audio: Even though it tin dependable a batch much immersive than stereo, your existing stereo headphones are much than susceptible of letting you perceive spatial audio.

That’s because, erstwhile delivered implicit a acceptable of headphones oregon earbuds, spatial audio is the merchandise of 3D audio effects — the creation and subject of tricking your encephalon into proceeding thing successful 3 dimensions utilizing lone 2 tiny speakers. And here’s different funny thing: If you person the close software, astir immoderate audio tin beryllium fixed the spatial audio attraction adjacent if it isn’t 1 of the formats mentioned above.

That’s the large selling diagnostic of Swedish audio brand, Sudio’s caller $129 E2 wireless earbuds. Sudio has integrated spatial audio bundle from different Swedish institution — Dirac — whose Virtuo integer awesome processing can, successful theory, “upscale” immoderate audio root into a spatial audio experience. Does it work? And if it does, is it the lone crushed to bargain the Sudio E2? Or tin they vie successful areas similar sound cancellation and artillery beingness too? Let’s cheque them out.

Design

Sudio E2 wireless earbuds and the included other  receptor  tips.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Sudio E2 look conscionable similar somewhat beefier AirPods Pro. They diagnostic the aforesaid abbreviated stem that sits extracurricular the ear, the aforesaid ergonomically shaped body, and the aforesaid silicone receptor tips that are the cardinal to getting a bully seal. Unlike the AirPods Pro, which lone vessel with 3 sizes of receptor tips, Sudio includes a full of five, which volition marque getting that seal easier — particularly for folks who person hard-to-fit ears. Another quality is that portion Apple’s earbuds lone travel successful white, you tin bargain the E2 successful your prime of black, sand, jade, oregon grey.

I recovered the Sudio E2 precise comfy and enjoyed wearing them for respective hours astatine a time.

The charging lawsuit is besides a spot larger than Apple’s, falling determination betwixt the AirPods Pro and the 1 that Jabra uses for its Elite 75t. You tin complaint the lawsuit wirelessly with immoderate Qi-compatible charging mat, oregon usage the included USB-A to USB-C charging cable. A tiny LED indicator airy connected the beforehand of the lawsuit lets you cognize the charging/battery presumption for the case, portion a 2nd acceptable of LEDs connected the earbuds archer you however their capableness is doing.

The lawsuit is casual to unfastened and close, with a magnet that’s beardown capable to support it from opening accidentally. The E2 are besides casual to region and replace, and ne'er failed to link correctly with their charging contacts.

Each earbud has a polished integrative interaction sensor, and they’re protected from h2o and sweat acknowledgment to an IPX4-rating.

Comfort, controls, and connections

Right Sudio E2 sitting successful  beforehand   of the charging case.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

I recovered the Sudio E2 precise comfy and enjoyed wearing them for respective hours astatine a clip without noticing immoderate unit points. Given the fig of receptor tips Sudio provides, I fishy you’ll find them beauteous comfy too, truthful agelong arsenic you’re OK with receptor canal-sealing earbuds successful general.

Even if you similar the consciousness of the preinstalled mean tips, I urge you effort the different sizes too. The mediums felt conscionable good to me, but erstwhile I utilized the ample tips, they improved however securely the E2 fit, and they besides brought retired a spot much low-end bass.

The interaction controls tin beryllium a spot of a mixed container successful presumption of performance. On the 1 hand, they’re casual to find and use. Taps were usually recognized accurately and there’s a tiny chirp dependable to corroborate erstwhile you tapped correctly. But connected the different hand, determination was sometimes a astonishing magnitude of lag betwixt tapping and getting that feedback chirp positive the desired action. When resuming playback of a opus aft pausing, it tin instrumentality a afloat 2nd oregon much for playback to statesman again. Pausing, curiously, is astir instantaneous.

Purists volition find the tuning excessively boosted, but bass fanatics volition emotion the deep, earthy, and punchy low-end.

You get each of the accustomed options: Play/pause, telephone answer/end/reject, way skip forward/back, measurement up/down, and dependable adjunct access, positive toggles for ANC and Dirac Virtuo modes (more connected these later). The 1 bid that’s missing is microphone mute for erstwhile you’re connected calls, and the 1 power diagnostic that’s missing is auto-pause erstwhile you region an earbud.

Sudio doesn’t supply a companion app for the E2, truthful you can’t customize these controls oregon usage precocious features similar EQ adjustment, oregon find my earbuds. Pairing the E2 to your telephone oregon machine is casual enough, but determination are nary speedy options similar Google Fast Pair oregon Microsoft Swift Pair. A bigger drawback is the deficiency of Bluetooth multipoint for connecting the E2 to 2 devices simultaneously. On the agleam side, you tin usage each earbud independently for telephone calls oregon euphony — a bully mode to agelong retired artillery beingness if you request it.

Bluetooth scope is connected the abbreviated broadside — indoors, I was lone capable to get astir 25 feet distant from my iPhone 11 earlier I mislaid the connection. Outside was better, astatine astir 40 feet. But portion I was wrong range, the transportation itself was precise reliable. It seldom dropped and adjacent then, lone for a divided second.

Sound quality

Man wearing Sudio E2 wireless earbuds.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Even erstwhile playing successful modular stereo mode (without Dirac Virtuo engaged), the E2 dependable great.

Purists volition find the tuning excessively boosted for their liking, but bass fanatics volition emotion the deep, earthy, and punchy low-end. It’s impressively powerful, and thankfully, it manages to debar stomping each implicit the midranges, truthful you inactive get plentifulness of clarity and item wherever it matters. The highs are besides agleam and clear, though I did enactment a interaction of sibilance — precise insignificant and not apt to beryllium a occupation for astir listening.

A astonishing drawback, particularly astatine this price, is the lack of immoderate Bluetooth codec enactment beyond the modular SBC.

There’s nary mode to set the E2’s EQ, but it’s remarkably adept astatine a assortment of genres. From Billie Eilish to Dave Brubeck, there’s a richness to the dependable that is truly enjoyable.

One flimsy drawback is the mode the E2 grip volume. At 50% oregon below, prime takes a existent deed and you commencement to suffer a batch of the item and depth. They execute their champion astatine astir 75%.

Another astonishing drawback, particularly astatine this price, is the lack of immoderate Bluetooth codec enactment beyond the modular (and required) SBC codec. No AAC, nary aptX variants, and nary LDAC. Given however bully they dependable connected conscionable SBC, it’s not a deal-breaker, but I’m near idly wondering however overmuch amended they mightiness dependable if they did see higher-quality codecs.

Spatial surprise

Details showing the talker  information   of the close    earbud.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Dirac is simply a Swedish audio institution that specializes successful integer awesome processing — successful different words, peculiar bundle and algorithms that tin importantly alteration however audio sounds, without changing the speakers, amplifiers, oregon immoderate different hardware ingredients.

Virtuo leverages psychoacoustics to make a wider and deeper soundstage.

It’s an attack that doesn’t ever output large results. Klipsch embedded Dirac’s HD Sound exertion successful its T5 II ANC wireless earbuds and I wasn’t impressed astatine each — I thought the T5 sounded acold amended with its modular dependable signature.

But Dirac Virtuo is simply a antithetic beast, and it’s amazingly good. Unlike HD Sound, which Dirac designed to compensate for the ways that earbud components “color” the dependable you perceive (thus perchance introducing changes from the archetypal recordings), Virtuo leverages Dirac’s knowing of psychoacoustics to make a wider and deeper soundstage, efficaciously opening up the sonic abstraction of songs and different audio.

Diagram showing the quality  betwixt  turning Dirac Virtuo connected  and off.Sudio/Dirac

Sudio’s diagram explains the effect perfectly — Virtuo creates a acceptable of virtual stereo speakers and past moves them to a caller presumption that is wider and farther guardant than what you perceive erstwhile Virtuo isn’t turned on.

At archetypal listen, you whitethorn not admit what’s happening here, but aft switching Virtuo connected and disconnected (via a agelong property connected the near E2 earbud) it becomes overmuch much apparent. Traditional stereo mixes person the effect of placing the listener connected the aforesaid level arsenic the audio — instruments and vocals tin beryllium placed connected either broadside of you, oregon successful the center, but they seldom stray from that invisible enactment that stretches retired from your caput successful either direction.

Virtuo pulls those audio elements guardant (or pushes you back, I suppose), which helps to simulate what it’s similar to perceive to that aforesaid premix connected a acceptable of stereo speakers successful a room. Not each tracks payment from the Virtuo effect to the aforesaid degree. I really recovered that older mixes improved much than newer ones. The Who’s Pinball Wizard, is simply a large example. Switching Virtuo connected gives Pete Townshend’s iconic acoustic/electric riffs a caller expansiveness, portion besides letting Roger Daltrey’s dependable inhabit a abstraction successful beforehand of you alternatively of wrong your head.

The 3 mics bash a truly bully occupation of picking up your dependable intelligibly and with virtually nary distortion.

But the aforesaid can’t beryllium said for a overmuch newer way similar Imagine Dragon’s Thunder, which proved astir unchanged by the Virtuo processing.

Movie and TV soundtracks tin beryllium enhanced excessively — particularly two-channel audio — with Virtuo offering a mediocre man’s mentation of Apple’s head-tracking spatial audio. Action sequences payment the most, but with 1 caveat: Dialog tin beryllium a small harder to marque retired arsenic the Virtuo effect pulls voices further away, reducing their clarity.

Noise cancellation and transparency

Detail showing earbud charging contacts.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

As bully arsenic the Sudio E2 sound, these are not top-flight wireless earbuds for either ANC oregon transparency. The ANC mode decidedly reduces outer noises and does truthful without introducing immoderate unwanted hiss, but it’s a mild simplification — not the benignant of cone-of-silence you’ll get from Apple’s AirPods Pro oregon the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. It’ll instrumentality the borderline disconnected the conversational din successful java shops, oregon the roar of a pitchy motor wrong the cabin, but you’ll inactive beryllium alert of them, conscionable a small little so.

Transparency mode is likewise tuned. It decidedly lets much of the satellite in, which tin assistance with situational awareness, but your dependable volition inactive dependable a spot muffled.

Call quality

The E2’s 3 mics bash a truly bully occupation of picking up your dependable intelligibly and with virtually nary distortion, adjacent erstwhile your surroundings get reasonably noisy. Unfortunately, there’s nary mode to power betwixt ANC and transparency during a call, but if you commencement disconnected successful either of these modes earlier you spot oregon person a call, it volition proceed to enactment portion you’re connected the call.

Interestingly, Dirac’s Virtuo mounting has a profound effect connected the voices of callers. I’ve been utilizing the E2 for Teams calls and erstwhile Virtuo is engaged, it’s similar everyone connected the telephone is speaking into a high-end studio-quality mic — which was unexpected fixed what I noted supra for movie dialog. It’s a tad overwhelming, but if you ever conflict to perceive your callers, it volition assistance a ton.

Battery life

Sudio claims the E2 get up to 6.5 hours per complaint erstwhile not utilizing ANC, transparency oregon Dirac Virtuo. When Dirac Virtuo is engaged, that drops to 5.5 hours. Using ANC connected its ain is simply a large drain, taking that fig down to 4.4 hours, and if you should furniture Dirac Virtuo connected apical of ANC, get acceptable to commencement recharging aft conscionable 4 hours. Total clip erstwhile you see the charging case’s capableness is 30, 25, 20, and 18 hours, respectively.

Those numbers look to beryllium beauteous accurate, and perchance connected the blimpish side. After moving the E2 astatine 50% measurement for 2 hours (with ANC and Virtuo on) the earbuds reported 55% artillery beingness remaining.

If you find yourself moving low, there’s a bully quick-charge option: 10 minutes of lawsuit clip volition bargain you an other 2 hours (non-ANC, non-Virtuo) of play time.

Our take

The Sudio E2 won’t wow you with their ANC, but their robust dependable quality, amusive and functional Dirac Virtuo spatial audio, and decent artillery beingness marque them an absorbing summation to the wireless earbud landscape, and decidedly worthy your consideration.

Are determination amended alternatives?

While we aren’t alert of immoderate wireless buds that person thing akin to the Sudio E2’s Dirac Virtuo spatial system, determination are 2 fantabulous alternatives astatine (or near) the aforesaid price.

Jabra’s Elite 4 Active are $10 little astatine $119. They person precise bully dependable quality, and they’re afloat waterproof, making them a amended prime for avid workout fans. They besides person amended ANC and transparency than the E2. You tin tweak them endlessly via the Jabra Sound+ app, and they enactment auto-pause. If you request a acceptable of go-anywhere earbuds, they’re awesome.

Soundcore’s Liberty 2 Air Pro are the aforesaid price($129) arsenic the E2, and similar the Elite 4 Active, they’re packed with astonishing features. They connection a dependable that is arsenic large and bold arsenic the E2, positive plentifulness of app-based adjustments and auto-pause.

How agelong volition they last?

The Sudio E2 look to beryllium precise good built, and with an IPX4 rating, they should beryllium capable to clasp up good adjacent with mean h2o exposure. But possibly the biggest denotation that they volition basal the trial of clip is that Sudio is offering to backmost them with a three-year warranty if you registry your acquisition wrong 3 months astatine Sudio Sphere, the company’s idiosyncratic registration site. That’s triple the magnitude of the mean wireless earbuds warranty period, and I don’t spot however Sudio tin connection it for escaped unless it has a batch of religion successful its product’s durability.

Should you bargain them?

Yes. They dependable large and Dirac Virtuo is an fantabulous and easy-to-use audio tweak that tin amended your enjoyment of euphony and movies — particularly if you person a fondness for older recordings.

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