Sudio Regent headphones review. In the crowded world of wireless Bluetooth headphones, how does this retro-inspired Swedish product fare?
First of all, disclosures! (So important nowadays, sigh) I was given a white review set by Sudio. Needless to say, the following opinions are strictly mine despite this. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know I always aim to be objective with reviews. After all, I’m a Libra. It’s programmed into me.
Secondly, I’m going to approach this review differently, a move not too unlike what I did for my other gadget reviews.
Rather than rain jargon and numbers upon you, I’m going to provide as many real-life examples as possible. Given its mid-range pricing, the Sudio Regent is intended more for casual audio entertainment rather than high-end audio appreciation. I thus believe consumers looking for audio gear in this mid-price range would be more interested in usability and practicality, rather than things like full spectrogram analyses.
Sudio Regent Specifications
Finish: Matte and polished
Model: On-ear, Bluetooth version 4.1
Weight: 177 gram
Range: 10 meters
Battery Time: 24+ hours (active), 20 days (standby)
Charging Time: 10 minutes (quick), 120 minutes (full)
- Type: 50 mm Dynamic Speaker
- Sensitivity: 105 dB SPL @ 1 kHz
- Impedance: 47 Ohm @ 1kHz
- Frequency Response: 18 Hz – 22 kHz
Delivery and Unboxing
For the moment, Sudio Sweden primarily markets online, with deliveries typically fulfilled within a week by DHL. (They currently offer free worldwide shipping too) I received my set within this time frame with no hassle. The actual product was also snuggly wrapped and packed within a protection carton.
The exterior packaging reflects the minimalist design direction of the Regent, though to be honest, many headphone packaging nowadays utilises this feel too.
As for the contents, I have to say there’s a certain kick, or should I say euphoria, seeing the white Regent so cosily packed against the black interior. Style is definitely the emphasis here. So is classiness, Scandinavian style.
Some online reviews have highlighted the distinctive retro feel of the Sudio Regent; this, because of the wire-frame cup holders. Quite honestly, I feel so too and to that, I’d add that for the white version, the golden wire-frame is also what’s most eye-catching. Nothing like bold contrast to catch the eye, yes? Or to instil a sense of elegance?
Elsewhere, this swanky wireless headphone is also generous with padding, foam cushioning that is thick and relatively firm, making the design comfy for prolonged usage.
How well the padding would last in the long run, on the other hand, isn’t something I can evaluate at the moment. Needless to say, the white version would surely require regular cleaning to preserve its attractiveness too.
Some comments on the grip of the Sudio Regent, too much or too little of directly affects the listening experience.
I find the Regent zesty in this area, though not to the extent my ears hurt after a few minutes of use. Because of this, the design is probably suitable for milder exercises; I don’t see most gym routines being an issue.
Outside of exercise, I was also able to wear the Regent for over an hour outdoors before I noticed any strain on my ears. This is despite the cups not swivel-enabled and designed to be on-ear.
Though not equipped with noise cancellation abilities, the close-back design of the Sudio Regent does a pretty admirable job in keeping external din out. To give you a clearer idea of what I mean, here are my three “test scenarios.” In all three, I was listening to music on my LG G6 at 52 percent volume.
- While on the Singaporean subway (MRT), and in a ¾ full carriage, I could still hear the recorded announcements for stations. I couldn’t make out most of the words though. I also couldn’t hear the conversation of the couple talking next to me.
- While in a departmental store, a salesperson came forth to introduce the shirts I was eyeing. I heard nothing but indiscernible whispers.
- While at home, I could hear my phone beep. (I typically set the ringtones at thereabout 50 percent volume). I could more or less hear environmental noises too. But everything was reduced to vague background sounds.
Like I mentioned above, interchangeable caps are a key design feature of the Sudio Regent. How much this appeals, though, depend on whether you like the designs available; they primarily go the abstract mien.
I should highlight too that the caps aren’t exactly cheap, and for the moment, there aren’t bulk purchase discounts on Sudio’s website. One solution for this might be to print customised stickers and paste those on. But of course, that means having to “sacrifice” a set.
As for changing the caps, this requires some patience and practice to get the hang of. The caps lock with a gentle push and turn, with the challenge therefore mostly in “digging” out an unlocked piece.
Given the caps are ultimately made of plastic, this means one needs to be quite careful when removing a cap too, failure of which there is a risk of cracking or scratching the surfaces.
The clumsy fingers I have, I probably wouldn’t be changing the caps that often. For the moment, I’m quite satisfied with the ones that came with the package.
Bluetooth Wireless Capabilities
I have something to confess. I’m not a Bluetooth fan, despite the conveniences it provides. Mentally stuck in the early 2000s, my impression of Bluetooth is endless waiting on the phone, because the dude on the other end insists on using his swanky new BT earpiece, which keeps disconnecting every half minute.
If you’re like me, well, I think you’d be pleased with the Sudio Regent’s Bluetooth 4.1 capabilities. As I was. Setup i.e. pairing requires some reading of the instructions manual, but once I knew what to do, I had everything done within a minute.
Thereafter, it’s was also a breeze to reconnect, just a matter of activating Bluetooth on my phone. As for the strength and stability of the connection, here are the two tests I did:
- Outdoors, and with my phone locked in my metallic mailbox, I was around 9.5 metres away before the connection starts stuttering. Around 7.2 metres when there’s a low wall between the mailbox and me.
- Within my home, I was able to move to another room without the connection breaking. It only started to falter when I’m at the furthest possible distance. (Approx. 8.5 metres)
In short, outside of someone being some sort of X-Men with passive frequency jamming abilities, I really don’t see any complaints at all about the Bluetooth capability of the Sudio Regent.
On another note, some reviews have highlighted a discount in audio quality between wired and wireless connection. (The Regent comes with a 3.5mm jack cable for wired connection) I noticed that too and in simple terms, it’s the brightness and the volume.
It’s not that major a difference though, thank goodness. I take it as an exchange for convenience.
Sudio Regent Sound Quality
On to the sound quality.
In a nutshell, I’d describe the Sudio Regent as having a warm cast. By this, I mean sounds come out noticeably rounder and more subdued. (For us Electone keyboard players, this is akin to having the “Brilliance” meter at half mark)
How good or bad this is, in my opinion, depends on what one is listening to, one’s musical preferences, where the listener is, and how long the listener has been using the headphones.
In my case, the Regent’s sound doesn’t “wake me up” at start-up, if you know what I mean. However, after prolonged usage, I started appreciating the gentler approach. The warm signature actually made listening sweeter and more comfortable.
To go into slightly more technical details:
- Some online reviews highlighted the weakness of the bass. Personally, I think a fairer description is “meek.” The bass is there and it’s definitely defined. I could also hear all the nuances in my own Electone recordings. What’s missing, on the other hand, is that certain “ompf.” Or that certain punch. Some users might equate this punch with reverberation, or spread, etc.
- The mids and highs are more than decent, though because of the warmer signature, they might again feel to lack punch. Note that I do not at all mean the sound is muddled. Everything is crisp and clear. Just not “bright.”
- I would describe the soundstage as moderate. With the Regent better at depth than at width.
- There’s no major distortion throughout all ranges. While it might not have punch, the Sudio Regent definitely excels when it comes to precision.
- Volume is adequate, though it being a tad louder would have provided for a greater listening experience.
Sudio Regent Headphones Review Conclusion – 5 Usage Scenarios
What would I use the Sudio Regent for? What do I think it’s great or not-so-great for?
I think the Regent is splendid for this purpose. It’s stylish. It fits snuggly and is Bluetooth-enabled. In my case, I found the warm sound profile conducive for prolonged listening too. That it is foldable and compact further makes it attractive to carry around.
Typically, I prefer speakers when indoors. But apart from that, I don’t see why the Regent wouldn’t be suitable for indoor listening. That is, if I’m not analysing a song for arrangement needs.
The Sudio Regent isn’t a gaming headset but after testing it with my PS4, I find it more than adequate for the purpose. A slightly wider soundstage would have been great, but I’m usually not picky when getting bashed by virtual monstrosities.
As mentioned, the enthusiastic grip of the Regent makes it reasonably suitable for milder exercises. Jogging would probably be fine too, provided you don’t sprint.
Home Music Production/Practicing
Because of the subtler sound profile, I wouldn’t be using the Regent when programming or recording music on my keyboards. In these situations, I need sound to be as unembellished as possible. Apart from that, though, I foresee it being great for drilling. You know, when I’m just repeating and repeating something to get the hang of it. The reasons for this are largely the same as what I’ve mentioned under Street Listening.
Keen to own the Sudio Regent? Head over to the official Sudio website today to place an order. You’ll enjoy a 15 per cent discount if you quote my discount code, scribblinggeek
In addition, Sudio is currently having a pre-summer promotion. Al purchases from now till July 15, 2018 will come with a special edition canvas tote bag. Picture below.
Interested in other Sudio products? Read my review of the Sudio Nivå too!
Check out my other gadget reviews.