So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Good detail, Easy to connect
- Harsh sound, Can be uncomfortable
The Sudio Alto isn't the best pair of headphones on the market, but if it's wireless simplicity for your mobile phone you crave then they are a decent choice. If you want top quality audio and a comfortable design you should probably look elsewhere.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Whenever we get a pair of Bluetooth headphones into the office, they're met with at least a small degree of skepticism. Sure, they offer a convenient and wireless solution for music listening, but rarely do we encounter a unit that offers even passable sound quality. Thankfully Sudio's debut entry into the market, the Alto, is a reasonably pleasing pair of headphones. While its audio quality isn't exceptional it is decent enough, despite some minor comfort issues and the lack of a Bluetooth dongle.
Bluetooth headphones typically offer extremely distorted sound, with little in the way of definition. The Alto suffered none of these problems though, offering good separation between the different musical ranges and reasonably good detail. It won't rival a good quality set of portable headphones, but it will more than please the average listener.
There was a bit of sibilance, particularly evident in cymbal sounds and the mid range was very prominent, giving the Alto a slightly harsh sound. The bass was quite impressive, rumbling nicely, however it, along with the treble, was overshadowed by the bloated mid range. This made listening to certain guitar oriented music quite painful at times and forced us to turn the volume down.
The soundstage was decent; it came across a little flat and two dimensional, but we weren't expecting much more from this unit. Overall, the sound quality won't impress audiophiles and will be a little harsh for some users, but it should suit those looking for a relatively affordable wireless audio solution.
There is one other common concern with headphones, and that is comfort. The Altos were comfortable for the first few minutes after we put them on, but before long they began to itch. It wasn't hugely problematic, but we did have to take them off every so often for a bit of relief. They use simple, over-the-ear clips to hold themselves in place, with a wire dangling between them that you can throw behind or in front of your neck. The cups come in gloss black with a silver centre, but they aren't exactly a fashion statement.
Connectivity is simple - you just turn them on and they automatically enter pairing mode. They were found by our Bluetooth device in a matter of seconds and connected in just a few more. We were a little disappointed by the lack of a Bluetooth dongle, which would also give the Altos the option of being used with a PC or digital music player, but considering they are targeted at the mobile phone market this omission isn't surprising.
There are a handful of controls present on the right hand earphone, including volume, play/pause and track skip. They are charged using a proprietary AC adapter, or specially provided USB cable.
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