Sudio Regent review — leather bound good sound
+ Good looking packaging
+ Leather is used generously throughout the design
+ Customizable looks
+ Plush padding on the headband and earpads
+ Easy to use controls
+ Great sound quality
+ Wired AND wireless functionality
+ Stellar battery life
- No pouch/case included
- Folding design isn't as compact as swivel-flat designs
- Included 3.5mm cable doesn't allow use of the microphone
- Exposed wires raises doubts of durability in the long run
- Intimidating asking price
Wireless audio is becoming more of a need than a want now, with more and more smartphones losing the previously ubiquitous 3.5mm audio jack. We have looked at Sudio’s first Bluetooth headset, the Vasa Bla, and today we will be looking at yet another product from the Swedish company, the Sudio Regent, an on-ear headphone that works over Bluetooth as well as with the standard 3.5mm jack. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look.
As expected, Sudio does not disappoint. A clean, white box with the product image front and center, Sudio knows their stuff when it comes to good looking packaging. While this time we did not receive the Sudio Regent in gift packaging, they are available for the Regent too. Sudio also bundled a pair of custom caps for to customize our Regent’s look. We will take a closer look at those later.
The Sudio Regent slides out of the outer packaging, with it folded and wire-tied to the tray.
Lifting up the tray with the Sudio Regent, we find a small box with cables and also the documentation that comes with the Sudio Regent.
So with the Sudio Regent, we get a standard owner’s manual, the microUSB cable for charging and the 3.5mm cable for wired audio, guides to connect the Sudio Regent and also how to replace the caps, and the guarantee certificate which is an actual plastic card. Sadly this time around Sudio didn’t include any kind of case or pouch with the Sudio Regent, which is quite disappointing since we got a nice leather pouch with the Sudio Vasa Bla.
A decidedly classy combination of white and gold is the theme here. If you go for the black variant, you get a sleek low-profile black headphone, but well, that isn’t what we are after here. Most of this headphone is wrapped in leather, with a little metal and plastic here and there.
The outer part of the headband is plain leather, which gives you the opportunity to decorate it with your signature if you are feeling rather artsy.
Over on the inner side, the padding is plush and also covers the headband from end to end. Comfort should be superb with so much soft padding, which we will talk more about it later. Wires snake out from the headband to connect the two sides. Not my favorite look as the wire actually looks a lot less durable than say hidden within the swivel hinges of certain headphones. Also, the wire isn’t sleeved, which adds to my worries of their durability, especially if you are going to frequently fold or extend the headphone arms.
The extending arms are metal, and also allow the earcups to swivel to offer a better fit. The extending arms are not marked, nor are they notched, which makes adjusting the earcups’ position need a bit of guesswork since you have to actually look at the headphone to see if they are equally extended on both sides. The white variant has gold ones, while the black variant has black extending arms. Either way, they look awesome, but I just preferred the white-gold combination.
The two ports on the Sudio Regent are on opposite cups, with the right shell seeing a lot more action with all the controls, status LED and also the microphone hole all here. As you can see, the earpads are also very plush and wrapped in leather. While they can indeed be removed, I would not advise it as they seems quite difficult to replace.
Just like the Vasa Bla, using the Sudio Regent is really simple. Long press the middle button until the LED blinks red, pair it with your phone, and you are set. The buttons are not labeled, but the middle button is dimpled. So moving upwards you will find the volume button, and further down is the volume down button. Long-pressing the volume buttons will also take you to the next or previous song, which is quite cool when you are listening to a rather disorganized playlist, like I am using all the time. The buttons are quite clicky, which makes them quite audible when you have the Sudio Regent on your head. Personally I find that they sound quite plasticky.
Being designed to stay on your ears instead of around your ears, the Sudio Regent puts some pressure on your ears. However due to the abundance of soft padding, it does offer a lot greater comfort than headphones with thinner earpads. Still, my ears get sore from really long periods of listening to music with the Sudio Regent. Also thanks to the softness of the earpads, the Sudio Regent also offers good sound isolation, as the earpads squeeze down and block external noise from reaching your ears.
As you might have figured out from the image of the Sudio Regent in the box, stowing it away is a matter of folding it up. It actually doesn’t really save nearly as much space as headphones that fold flat, but I guess this is a a sacrifice for looks? As mentioned above, there is no included pouch or case, which means that it will be subjected to the harsh environments inside your bag. As I have the white variant here, this is a truly legit worry as everything and anything will dirty a white object, especially one that is made mostly of soft leather.
My audio source is my daily driver, the Honor 8. The Sudio Regent still has a rather warm sound signature which should be preferred by most people. There seems to be improved clarity of the higher frequencies over the Vasa Bla though. Listening to Hurt by Johnny Cash (thank you Marvel for the amazing Logan trailer!), the twang of the guitar strings and the grittiness of his voice is very clear. The Sudio Regent can deliver loads of bass too, without affecting vocals and higher frequencies, perfect for fans of K-pop and EDM genres. Even orchestral music like Lux Aeterna sounds stunning with the violins piercing the ominous background tones of the piece. There is still an emphasis on bass, so I would not recommend these headphones to those who prefer a clean, flat response. Depending on your source, connecting to your source via the 3.5mm cable may also result in better sound quality, so you have an option there.
Using it as a wired headphone also disables the microphone, as Sudio decided to put a flat cable with a TRS connector on one end and a TRRS connector on the other. I guess Sudio didn’t intend you to use the Sudio Regent’s microphone with devices that don’t have Bluetooth, which is pretty much no device in the current market anyway. Still, if you run out of battery and decide to use the Sudio Regent for a call, you are out of luck unless you want to use the microphone on your smartphone while listening to the other person over the Sudio Regent. Quite an arrangement, but workable. I also didn’t have a TRRS-TRRS cable lying around my house, so I could not test if you can actually use the microphone if Sudio actually bundled the correct cable. Looking into the 3.5mm port on the Sudio Regent seems to suggest so as there are three pins in the hole. Anyway, the microphone does a pretty good job picking up my voice in a quiet environment, but it definitely has issues in noisy surroundings as you literally have no way of moving the microphone closer to your mouth except for removing the Sudio Regent from your head entirely.
Battery life is touted to be more than 24 hours. Based on my testing, the numbers are really close to the claimed numbers, as I managed to use it almost daily for 3 weeks on and off before I decided to charge it before a long trip. And even then, the Sudio Regent has not indicated that it is low on battery. The battery life is also shown on my Android smartphone, so I got quite a good idea of the battery remaining before I leave home with low battery. Even if it is running low on battery while you are out and about, it can easily be charged by most smartphone chargers or powerbanks thanks to the microUSB port used for charging. Or, if you are just too lazy to remember to charge it, you can also use it as a standard wired headphone, but for the money Sudio is asking for the Sudio Regent, you have a very wide selection of headphones to choose from.
Remember the custom caps Sudio bundled with our Sudio Regent? The caps are easily twisted off the earcups’ shells, allowing you to customize your look with 4 different replacement caps, available on Sudio’s website. Coupled with the original caps, you get a total of 5 different looks, and if you consider that there is a black variant, you double the total number of possible combinations to 10.
For me, I requested for the white Sudio Regent and Black Marble replacement caps, so I get a nice white-gold-black theme going on here.
For RM649, I was honestly quite disappointed when I didn’t get a case or pouch to go with the Sudio Regent. However I believe it is almost justified with the super long battery life, good sound quality and also customizable good looks. I say almost, because it does have its shortcomings like the bundled cable which doesn’t allow you to use the microphone, exposed wires that make me worry about the durability, and also the folding mechanism that doesn’t actually do much to reduce the room it takes up in your luggage. Everything considered, the Sudio Regent is worthy of a solid Bronze Pokdeward.
As a token of appreciation for our readers, you can get 15% off your purchase with our exclusive POKDE discount code. Thank you Sudio! Also, Sudio is currently running a holiday special where you will get your Sudio Regent in gift packaging (worth RM15) and also a pair of custom caps (worth RM89!) for FREE!