The Sudio Elva is an emphatic, bassy experience great for traveling with.
For two years now, Swedish manufacturer Sudio has been energetically releasing competitively priced new earphones, each with a distinct personality. In 2020 alone, we had the Fem and the powerhouse that was the Ett.
With the Elva, the name incidentally meaning “Eleven” in the Swedish language, Sudio packs in even more features targeted at the traveller’s market; in the form of Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and an included Bluetooth travel adapter.
Keen to check out inflight entertainment music playlists but restricted to using dreary coach class headsets that barely keep out the din? Well, those restrictions go away with the Elva, thanks to the included adapter and ANC.
Needless to say, that adapter helps in other situations too. (More on this later!) ANC itself is, naturally, also a fabulous audio enhancement great whether you’re on the move or at home.
Finally, and as like its sister products, these neckband earphones hold substantial juice i.e. power. The playtime doesn’t compare to the Fem or Ett, to be honest, but with the in-built USB-C charging function, I’d say this wouldn’t be an issue for most travellers.
This Sudio Elva review was written using a sponsored set.
Sudio Elva In-Ear Earphones Specifications
First and foremost, a look at the basic specifications.
- Weight: 28g
- Compatibility: Android, iOS.
- Bluetooth Version and Range: Version 5.0. / 10 metres
- Bluetooth Profile: HSP V1.2/A2DP V1.3/AVRCP V1.6
- Playtime: 10 hours (with ANC activated); 11 hours (without ANC)
- Charging Time: 2 hours
- Charging Type: USB-C
- Input: DC 5V
- Active Noise Cancelling (Controllable)
- IPX 5 (splash/rain/sweat proof)
- 15 minutes quick charge for one hour of listening
- Adjustable volume
- In-built microphone
- Nintendo Switch compatible (More on this later!!)
- Voice assistant compatible
- 12 months international warranty (+6 months for a total of 18months warranty after subscription with Sudio sphere)
- 30 days return policy
Unboxing and Contents
Of note, there are two charging cables. One’s for the earphones, the other is for the travel adapter.
These do look alike at first glance. But I’m sure anyone would be able to tell which is for which after a quick examination.
The Sudio Flyg
Nope, this is not another earphone, it’s the name of the included Bluetooth travel adapter. (According to the manual)
It requires charging and it comes with one large button, with controls listed on the manual. What’s important, and INTERESTING to note, IMO, are:
- It pairs really quickly with the Elva. With decent range too.
- There are two pins; for use with airline seats. However, these pins are individually foldable and so you can just use one in the case of normal 3.5mm headphone jacks.
- It PAIRS and WORKS with other Sudio products. I tested both the Fem and the Ett with it.
- With or without other adapters attached, you can use the Flyg with practically all types of audio outputting equipment. In my case, it works with all my music keyboards.
Yup. The summary of it is: the Flyg expands the usability of your existing Sudio products if you have any. This is an additional feature that is especially attractive to me.
Sudio Elva Controls
In line with the company’s minimalist design, the three physical buttons are not marked.
For your convenience, here are the controls:
- Switch On and Off: Hold middle button.
- Activate Bluetooth Pairing: Hold middle button
- Play or Pause: Press middle button once.
- Next Song: Hold right button for 2 seconds.
- Previous Song: Hold left button for 2 seconds.
- Answer/End Phone Call: Press middle button once.
- Reject Phone Call: Hold middle button for 2 seconds.
- Activate/Deactivate Active Noise Cancelling: Press middle button TWICE.
- Volume Controls: Press left button once to decrease volume. Press right button one to increase volume.
Regarding powering on and off, the manual doesn’t inform how to switch off, and instead, just highlights pairing is activated by holding the middle button for 7 seconds. (In other words, I discovered the function myself)
It seems confusing but frankly, I didn’t need to fuss with pairing. Upon switching the earphones on, they automatically enter pairing mode; all I needed to do was to enable scanning on the device to be connected. Actually, I got everything done with seconds. Including with my old tablets.
One other thing. The default volume upon connection is pretty soft. (At least to me) You have to manually up the volume using the above-mentioned controls. Not much needs to be done, though. Just two to three clicks should do.
Active Noise Cancelling
Like the Ett, Active Noise Cancelling, or ANC, is a key feature. I’m mentioning the Ett because my experience with the feature this time round feels pretty different.
In short, the cancelling effect is less noticeable, at least when compared to the Ett. Or for that matter, when compared to the noise cancelling headsets I used during some Singapore Airlines flights.
There is still a reduction in environmental din. The audio also markedly broadens and loudens, with whatever noise that’s not cancelled undergoing a reduction in intensity.
But overall, the effect is not as obvious as I thought it would be. Instead, I’d say it’s more akin to turning on the Terabass function of the Creative iRoar Go. As in, it’s the audio itself that undergoes more transformation. In the form of music springing to life, and becoming much more vibrant, energetic, and discernible.
Now, I can’t say for sure whether this is a plus or minus, or whether it’s right or wrong. For me, I personally prefer less aggressive noise cancelling especially when outdoors. For reasons of safety.
But if you’re hoping for the function to heavily isolate you from the world, you would need further fiddling with volume. Obviously, having the right size of ear tips affixed matters too. In short, just expect the right magic and the function should work fine for you.
Comfort of Wear
The Elva is worn over the neck, with the middle part of it made of a tougher material for that purpose. But if you like it that other way, you can of course also wear it like a necklace. As in, with the whole set dangling against your chest.
I’m jesting. But, I did test it for a while in the latter fashion just to see how comfortable and well it fits. The outcome: the earbuds remain in space and I barely felt any strain after two hours. (The whole set is light, after all).
The verdict: I’d just say these in-ear, neckband earphones are lovely and comfortable to wear inside and outside of your home. They stay where they should be at all times too, making them great for exercising with.
Sudio Elva Sound Quality
In a nutshell, this is Sudio’s bass-enhanced product for 2020.
It’s rich when ANC is on! Powerful and enveloping and reverberating. I looped an old recording of Whitney’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody and goodness, I nearly got up to jive. Oh wait, I ultimately did get up to dance a little.
At times, this enhanced bass does slightly interfere with mids and vocals, but only very slightly. Naturally, all those empowered lows resulted in a rounder i.e. warmer sound signature too. Overall, while I typically prefer neutral profiles, I ended up much enjoying this bassy presence. Only with Trance tracks featuring very aggressive thumping lows did the effect get a little overpowering.
Here’s a trick that I discovered too. When the enhanced bass gets a shade too much, all I needed to do was to switch off ANC and up the volume. Everything jumps back to a crystal-clear, “neutral” profile.
Outside of music, I had an interesting discovery while watching movies. With ANC, everything is as it is. Dialogue and soundtrack are in their correct places, and a little on the soft side.
With ANC on, it was as I was dropped into the scene. Ambient sounds, as in those from the show, immediately became much more distinct. There was also a noticeable broadening effect; all the while with dialogue still crystal-clear.
I can’t say anything beyond, I love this effect! Which then brings me to:
In the features list above, I highlighted Nintendo Switch compatibility. But truth is, with the Flyg, you can use the Elva with any audio-outputting device that has an audio output jack. I tested it with my Electone and LG TV, and both worked fine.
As for Switch gaming experience itself, it’s awesome when ANC is activated. I could hear every chirp and every chime when going about Hyrule in Breath of the Wild. Racers’ grunts and exclamations were clear and distinct in Mario Kart 8 too. Stereo panning equally admirable.
If any, my only complaint is that the soundstage is on the intimate side; a little wider would make open-world gaming glorious. But don’t get me wrong, what’s there is more than good enough. Hyrule, during my test runs, never felt more alive.
Sudio Elva Versus the Fem and the Ett
A quick list of the differences between the Elva and the other new Sudio products for this year i.e. the Fem and the Ett.
- In terms of power, the Elva holds significantly lesser power than the other two. The Ett can give up to 30 hours of playtime, while the Fem offers 20. In comparison, the Elva provides up to 10 hours, with ANC activated.
- I highlight again that the Flyg i.e. the included Bluetooth adapter, needs to be separately charged. If you need to use this often during a trip, this means an additional gadget to power up.
- The Elva is worn over the neck, with cables, while the other two are wireless earbuds.
- Personally, I prefer the controls and buttons this time round. Unfortunately, I’ve never gotten used to activating controls on wireless earbuds.
- All three fit equally well and comfortably. All come with different ear tips too.
- Sound-wise, I’d say the Elva resembles the output of the Fem i.e. a natural, closer experience. (Versus the airier, broader signature of the Ett).
- All three work well with phone calls and talk. However, I did notice the Elva occasionally having a slight echo when I’m talking.
- The Fem is the only one of the three without ANC.
- ANC, the game changer! The Elva doesn’t dull environmental din as I expected it to. Rather, it feels to focus more on broadening output and enhancing weaker sounds. And oh, the bass! I’ve already raved enough about this above.
Sudio Elva Review Conclusion – 5 Usage Scenarios
The inclusion of a Bluetooth travel adapter means that these neckband earphones can be used throughout most trips. (Although the adapter is an additional thing to charge) Vice versa, because of the design, it’s not as easy to pack when compared to a self-charging case; but hey, you could always use the tray within the package. I intend to try them out when I can finally travel again.
I’ve been going out with my review set ever since receiving them. Listening to that bassy and enveloping output, while beside a road and sipping coffee, it is great therapy.
Phone and Talk
I didn’t uncover anything particularly disagreeable in this area, and anyway, I hardly do voice talks nowadays. But if I have to do a Zoom conference, or likewise, I’d probably stick to wireless earbuds. In other words, for such conferences, I prefer completely wireless gear.
Home Entertainment and Gaming
As mentioned, the Elva does a spectacular job with games and movies and the likes of; that is, when ANC is activated. (Repeat: It drops you into the scene!) The included adapter also means I can now use my other wireless gear with all my entertainment gadgets.
Exercising The IPX 5 rating, and the snug design, enable suitability for many forms of exercises. Personally, I feel the controls are also easier to manage during jogging or cycling, as compared to earbuds. I will certainly be giving this a go!
The Elva will be available on the official Sudio website on September 14, 2020. You’ll also enjoy a 15 percent discount when you quote my Sudio discount code, wireless15
(The same code works for all products on the official website too!)
Lastly, all purchases from the website come with a cardholder wallet. (While stocks last)
Check out my other gadget reviews.