Not only is the Sudio Fem visually striking and comfortable to wear, it also comes equipped a load of improvements over its predecessors.
Fem means “five” in the Swedish language, and when a true wireless audio product is named that way, it invites a lot of questions, yes?
Why five? Is it because the Sudio Fem has five key features? Is it empowered by some sort of generation 5 technology? Or is it because the Fem is the fifth incarnation of a classic Sudio product?
Well, five here actually refers to the Fem being Sudio Sweden’s fifth true wireless earbuds. As for features, these aesthetically striking wireless earbuds certainly come packed with lots of new features. For example, a four-microphone system equipped with ambient noise reduction, and dual-mode connection abilities.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at how well these stylish earbuds perform in terms of design, comfort, connection capabilities, and sound. If you’re just looking for a Sudio discount code, well, that’s right at the end. Just scroll to the bottom of this post and you will find the code within my post footer.
(This Sudio Fem review was written using a sponsored set.)
Sudio Fem True Wireless Earphones Specifications
- Weight: 5.5 grams per earbud
- Compatibility: Android, iOS
- Bluetooth Version: Version 5.0 with 10 m range
- Play Time: Up to 20 hours total, 6 hours in a single charge
- Charging Case: USB Type C Quick Charge
- Driver Type: Graphene
- Driver Size: 5.6 mm
- Impedance: 16 Ω @ 1kHz
- Sensitivity: 93±3dB @ 1kHz
- Real Clear Voice: 4 environmental noise-cancelling microphones
- IPX 5 (splash/rain/sweat proof)
- Touch control
- Individual automatic pairing
- Siri and Google Assistant enabled
- Free shipping and one-year warranty
Unboxing and Contents
In conjunction with Chinese New Year 2020, my Sudio Fem Classic Blue review set came with a festive CNY gift packaging and crossbody pouch. Everything was neatly packed within a black box.
Bluetooth Capabilities and Pairing
Like the older Sudio Tolv, the Fem is Bluetooth 5.0 capable, which means these wireless earbuds are ready to pair the moment you lift them from the charging case. All you need to do is to select “Sudio Fem” on the scanning device.
What’s more, the Fem switches back to pairing mode once the connection is terminated. You can switch to another connection without the need for complicated button presses and the likes of.
Lastly, either earbud is capable of sustaining the paired connection. Even if you return one earbud to the charging case, the other one will continue to play music from a paired connection. This is as impressive as Bluetooth pairing goes if you ask me.
Sudio Fem Touch Controls
The Fem features touch controls on both earbuds – this being the flattened section pointing upwards when the earbuds are in the charging case. Before I review this feature, here is a summary of the controls:
- Play or Pause: Tap once on any earbud.
- Previous Song: Tap left earbud TWICE.
- Next Song: Tap right earbud TWICE.
- Answer Phone Call: Tap once on any earbud.
- Reject Phone Call: Tap and hold for 2 seconds on any earbud.
- Activate Voice Assistant (Siri and Google Assistant): Tap and hold for 1 second on any earbud.
- Volume Adjust: Three times on left earbud to reduce, three times on right earbud to increase.
- Switch On and Off: Tap and hold for 6 seconds on any earbud.
It’s quite a list to remember and to get used to, especially if you’re new to such controls. However, I’d say it is intuitive once you get the hang of it.
On the other hand, knowing how to properly tap could be quite another matter. While testing my set, it took me a while before I could properly do the “three taps” necessary to adjust volume – I kept switching tracks instead.
In the end, I found it much less frustrating to adjust music volume using my phone. Until I “master” the art of the correct three taps, I’d probably stick to adjusting volume this way, which I have to say is a bit of a pity.
Recommended Fit and Comfort of Wear
As you can see from one of my pictures above, the Sudio Fem package includes a card that explains the recommended fit. The gist of that information is that you should tilt the chrome part of the earbuds forward i.e. in the direction of your mouth. This ensures the best of the voice functionalities.
With regards to comfort, let me just say that despite the unusual shape, these wireless earbuds fit naturally and comfortably. For the first time ever with audio earbuds, I also didn’t need to change the ear tips for a better fit, or should I say better comfort. They just slipped in and rested easily on my ears. (Doesn’t mean other users wouldn’t need to change tips, though)
In addition, I was able to wear the earbuds for over an hour during my initial test without feeling any strain. Apart from the aesthetics, I’d say these true wireless earphones are clear winners in terms of comfort.
You could easily wear these nifty earbuds for hours on a flight or a bus ride, without getting a headache.
Sudio Fem Sound Quality
On to the sound quality! For this Sudio Fem earbuds review, I mainly played music and movies on my LG V40 and HP X2 detachable. Music played were my own Electone recordings and an assortment of different tracks on YouTube. For the former, I used them because I know exactly what to look out for in those.
I start by saying, the Fem sounds nothing like the Tolv, or other Sudio products I’ve reviewed, for that matter.
All Sudio products that I’ve reviewed in the past have a noticeably round and warm sound. In contrast, the Fem features a superbly clear and natural signature. One that’s remarkably accurate too, might I add.
Mids are wonderfully “pronounced” and differentiated, with highs and lows that are neither too subdued nor accentuated. Soundstage is equally impressive as well, deep and very distinct. Stereo panning within this stage was natural and embracing.
Going into specifics, when testing using my own Electone arrangements recordings, I could hear the instruments as the Electone plays them, a reproduction that’s rare outside of me using expensive studio monitors. While listening to the 1978 live recording of George Benson’s Weekend in L.A., I could also hear the energy and character of each instrument. All were sounded without any noticeable distortion at the high or low spectrum.
On tracks such as Hata Motohiro’s Kimi, Meguru, Boku, vocals were likewise distinct, though I have to say they weren’t as brilliant/bright as I thought they would be. The same goes for English tracks such as Doobie Brothers’ ever-popular What A Fool Believes.
In summary, audiophiles who consider accuracy the most important parameter would likely find the Sudio Fem a delight, especially given its price range. On the other hand, listeners who prefer a bit of enhancement magic here and there would have to settle for some EQ adjustments on the player.
Sudio Fem Vs Tolv
A quick list of the differences between the Fem and its predecessor, the Sudio Tolv. In case you are curious about improvements and changes.
- The Fem can provide up to 20 hours of listening, depending on your overall volume settings. The Tolv, previously, offers 5 x 7 = 35 hours playtime at full charge. Quite a bit of a difference here. Do note, though, that the Fem uses USB type C quick charging. This means though the Fem holds lesser juice, it needs lesser time to power up.
- The Fem has a larger charging case, one that’s closer in shape to that of the Sudio Nivå. Both charging cases of the Fem and the Tolv use a soft touch finishing, though.
- The Fem earbuds are larger and heavier than those of the Tolv, although only marginally. Despite this, I personally feel they fit better.
- In terms of voice functionality, the Fem wins hands-down. HANDS-DOWN. Thanks to its Real Clear Voice technology, four microphones, and ambient noise reduction capabilities.
- The Fem emphasises clarity and accuracy, while the Tolv has a warmer, more bass-heavy sound signature. Which is superior, is a matter of preference.
- Soundstage is equally decent for both. So is stereo.
- Both are incredibly comfortable to wear over prolonged periods.
- Being the improved model, the Fem naturally costs more. (Fret not, you can enjoy a better price if you purchase online using my Sudio discount code below)
Sudio Fem Review Conclusion – 5 Usage Scenarios
What would I use these Swedish true wireless earbuds for? What do I think it’s great or not-so-great for?
While battery charge is noticeably lesser than, say, the Tolv, these attractive earbuds still provide 20 hours of use after a full charge. Pretty sufficient for short to medium trips, if you ask me. The strong magnets on the charging case also prevent the earbuds from dropping out. A useful feature in the event that you are, you know, that sort of messy packer.
The ear tips do a more than admirable job at blocking out most environmental noise. In fact, the only thing that “disrupted” my music during my testing was a Lion Dance troupe driving past me. Within a car, I could also barely hear other passengers talking. Both situations were with music set at 60 percent.
Phone and Talk
To be quite honest, I barely talk on the phone nowadays, so these functions do not matter to me. However, given the myriad of enhancements added in this area, I dare say the Fem would function very well, even magnificently, as a Bluetooth ear and mouth piece.
Update: I’ve been using the Sudio Fem exclusively for Zoom meetings, and they never once gave me any reason to complain. All communications were crystal clear.
Do you like your movie or game audios to feature lots of warmth and bass? Or do you prefer crispness and clarity? If it’s the latter, the Fem will delight you. That they are so comfortable to wear, even over prolonged periods, is the bonus.
The Sudio Fem is IPX 5 rated, meaning they are resistant to rain, water, and sweat. In other words, they are well geared towards light to medium exercises. Outside of physical activity, the rating also implies the Fem will last longer in humid, sweaty tropical weather. Weather such as that of Singapore.
Keen to own the Fem? 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, SCRIBBLINGGEEK15
Check out my other gadget reviews.