An update of the older Nivå model, the Sudio Tolv comes with twice the power storage, a smaller charging case, and a superb soundstage.
Are wireless earphones all the rage nowadays? They seriously look to be, going by how major smartphone manufacturers have all removed audio jacks from their latest products.
Lightweight and user-friendly, such products forever remove the chore of managing wires, whether they are trailing from your ears or bundled up in your bag. Long gone too are the days of faltering connections. Not only do wireless gear stay clear, they often sound as impressive as wired products too.
Oh, they can be great fashion accessories as well, when they look as cool as the white Sudio Tolv True Wireless Earphones. (Available in five other colours as well, including pink and green)
And … you wouldn’t need to fuss over recharging too. In the case of the Tolv, you’d probably return from a short holiday, and find that they are still half-full of juice.
This review was written using a sponsored set. If you’re just looking for the 15% discount code, scroll right to the end.
Sudio Tolv Specifications
The Tolv is the Swedish manufacturer’s second true wireless earbuds. One look and you would know it’s an upgrade over the older Sudio Nivå, and thus I’ll have a short comparison section later. For the moment, here are the official specs.
- Weight: 4.5 grams per earbud
- Compatibility: Android, iOS
- Bluetooth Version: Version 5.0, Class II
- Bluetooth Range: 15m
- Music Time: 7 hours
- Talking Time: 7 hours
- Charging Time: 1.5 hours
- Charging Case: 500mAh (case) rechargeable
- Impedance: 32 Ω @ 1kHz
- Sensitivity: 93±3dB @ 1kHz
- Graphene driver for enhanced sound
- Automatic pairing between earbuds and device
- Microphone on both earbuds
- Multi-purpose button on each earbud for music/phone control
- Siri and Google Assistant enabled
- Free shipping and one-year warranty
Unboxing and Contents
Like other Sudio products, the box packaging reflects the company’s Swedish minimalist design direction.
Bluetooth Capabilities and Pairing
The Sudio Tolv is Bluetooth 5.0 capable, and very simply, this means earbuds individually connect. You could therefore only use one; for example, the right earbud as a Bluetooth talk device. This is, incidentally, a huge improvement over the earlier Nivå.
Special mention has to be given to the pairing process too. Previously, I wrote that you need to read the manual to know how to pair the Nivå. This time, all you need is to have a glance at the manual to know what you do not need to do.
Specifically, it’s a simple matter of removing the earbuds and selecting the right device on your Bluetooth-enabled device. That’s all. No button presses necessary. No syncing or listening for prompts too. To say the whole process is a breeze is not an overstatement.
In contrast to pairing, you do need to have more than a glance at the manual if wish to control audio/talk with the earbuds. Allow me to summarise the controls here:
- Play or Pause: Press button once.
- Next Song: Press R button TWICE.
- Previous Song: Press L button TWICE.
- Answer Phone Call: Press R button ONCE.
- Reject Phone Call: Press and hold R button.
- Volume Adjust: Three times on L to reduce, three times on R to increase.
It’s a bit of a drag to remember, at least initially. Increasing or decreasing volume quickly could also be quite awkward. But … I don’t know. I seldom control audio using earbuds/earphones, I near always do it on the phone. I don’t do that many voice calls nowadays too.
If you’re unlike me, though, you’d probably want to take note of these controls. Truth is, once I got the gist of everything, I didn’t find them that complicated.
Note: For some reason, the instructions for volume adjustment are not in the manual. To get the most out of your set, you have to pump up the volume from default.
Comfort of Wear
Like the Nivå, the trick to properly wearing the Tolv is to tilt the earbud then rest the body on the concha of the ear i.e. the curvy groove. As long as you do these steps right, the earbuds fit snuggly, on top of being incredibly comfortable.
Yep, these are easily among the most comfortable earbuds I’ve ever used. I binged on two hours of Anime with them and didn’t remotely feel any strain or ache. In the area of comfort of wear, I will definitely rank these hard workers a winner.
Sudio Tolv Sound Quality
On to the sound quality! For this review, I used music and movies from my old LG G6, my new LG V40, and an older HP X2 detachable. Tracks played were mainly my own Electone recordings and an assortment of different Anime ending songs.
Quite a few online reviews, at least those that I’ve read, describe Sudio gear as having a warmer or neutral sound. I myself used this description when I reviewed the Regent.
For the Tolv, I’ll say this signature is more noticeable than ever, in great part because of the enhanced bass (see next-next para). Everything sounds rounder, in some cases, heavier too. This is great for ambient and atmospheric music but as you can imagine, it does remove some punch, or should I say edge, from energetic tracks and highs.
The bright side of this, on the other hand, is that there’s generally no muddling of sounds. When looping Home Made Kazoku’s Arigatou and 2PM’s Take Off, I could clearly hear all accompaniments. This includes respective instrumental nuances.
Bass, as mentioned above, is also enhanced, notably stronger and more emphatic than any other Sudio products I’ve tried. More enveloping as well. Odd as it is for me to say, I thought this was a tad overdone; I prefer neutral profiles. But I know I’m in the minority with this preference, so I believe the enhanced bass should go down well with most listeners.
As for soundstage, stereo, etc, the output is exceptional! Broad and distinct, making it lovely for watching a movie with.
Together with the rounder sound, a good deal of that cinema hall Dolby feel is created. In fact, if your source has some sort of DTS capability, the experience gets even lovelier. While test-watching sports Anime, I could feel myself immersed within the make-belief auditorium. The experience was thrilling, to say the least.
Sudio Tolv Versus Nivå
A quick list of the differences between the Tolv and the Nivå, if you’re undecided over which true wireless earphones to try.
- The Tolv has 5 x 7 = 35 hours playtime at full charge, while the Nivå has 5 x 3.5 = 17.5 hours. In other words, the Tolv has twice the juice after a full charge.
- The Tolv’s charging case is smaller, although the earbuds themselves are marginally larger. The charging case also has a soft-touch feel, which I personally prefer over the Nivå’s.
- Music-wise, the Tolv sound quality, is superior in nearly all aspects. It has a far more reverberating bass. Spatially, it also sounds superior. Sounds are overall, richer.
- Both sound equally clear to me. Rounder profile, or not, vocals are not muddled.
- The Tolv has stronger and better Bluetooth capabilities. More range too.
- Being the newer model, the Tolv naturally costs slightly more. (About 12 % before discounts)
Sudio Tolv True Wireless Earphones Review Conclusion – 5 Usage Scenarios
What would I use the Tolv for? What do I think it’s great or not-so-great for?
It’s 35 hours of juice after a full charge. The way we travel nowadays, the lesser toys we need to recharge every night, the better it is, yes? Plus it’s lightweight. And it looks stylish. Perfect travel gear, if you ask me.
The Tolv blocks environmental noise pretty well. To the extent, I couldn’t hear other passengers talking when in a car. (And this is with the music at half volume on my phone) Great and cool-looking audio gear, in other words, when you’re out by yourself.
I’m not sure whether Sudio intended the Tolv to be for movie watching, but for the moment, it’s my go-to earphones for Anime binging. Because these earbuds are so COMFORTABLE to wear. To share, I have a weird left ear and I’ve seldom been able to find earphones that wouldn’t hurt after an hour. For me to be able to wear these for 2 hours without feeling any strain, well, that’s spectacular to me.
Comfort of wear, a great soundscape, and less aggressive highs make the Tolv suitable, or should I say healthy, for gaming. That is, unless you are competitive and mind the very slight lag from the wireless connection.
I’ve mentioned the same when I reviewed the Nivå. These wireless earphones are comfortable. They are secure too but ultimately not clips on your ears. Therefore, while you can use these true wireless earbuds for light and indoor exercises, wet sporty activities such as running are probably a no-go.
Keen to own the Sudio Tolv? 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, scribblinggeektolv.
Update Jan 2020: Review of the new Sudio Fem True Wireless Earphones.
Update Sep 2021: Check out the upgraded version of the Tolv, the Sudio T2!
Check out my other gadget reviews.