Sudio may be a company unfamiliar to many, but the Swedish design firm has, for over a decade, been producing attractive, capable audio devices that look aesthetically pleasing while providing excellent value for the money. One of their latest products is the F2 Bluetooth speaker, a small, rounded-off square box that, despite its small size, promises to pack quite the punch. Does the F2 live up to the promise of bit sound from a small package? Read on to find out!
Sudio F2 Bluetooth speaker specs
- Battery life: 15 hours per charge
- Bluetooth version: 5.3, SBC codec
- Waterproof rating: IPX7
- 3.5mm input, USB-C charging port
- Size and weight: 106mm x 106mm x 55mm, 410g
- Available colours: Dark grey, white
Unboxing the Sudio F2 Bluetooth speaker
Sudio promotes that its packaging uses no plastic bits, and the sturdy yet simple cardboard design does a good job of protecting the contents within which, of course, are made up of a number of plastic bits. Still, every bit helps! At any rate, inside the container is a USB-A to USB-C cable (for those who still have access to older chargers), a paper quick start guide, and the speaker itself. One thing I quite enjoyed about the battery—right out of the box I was able to get several days of usage before ever charging, meaning when you’re in a pinch you can grab one and immediately start pumping out the tunes. Sweet!
Sudio F2 speaker features
The smooth plastic surface of the speaker has a bit of grip, meaning even when wet it’s still easy to handle and carry around and a rubber loop on on the side allows you to attach it to a bag or hook your finger through.
The side of the speaker has a small flap that covers the ports from splashes and the like, making this a perfectly great pool-side or even shower speaker if you’d like to go in that direction. The ports include both a USB-C charge port (it takes about four hours for it to fully recharge), and a very welcome 3.5mm input, allowing you to plug in just about any device from the last few decades that use either RCA or a headphone jack output. This is a feature too often left off, and for when you just want to plug something in with a cable and avoid the need for another wireless device, this does the trick.
Bluetooth itself uses the 5.3 version of the protocol along with the SBC codec, and while this isn’t the highest sound that Bluetooth can deliver, it’s more than adequate for usage in this case, and in fact, likely helps support the speaker’s robust 15 hour playtime.
The control buttons are a bit inconspicuous but do the job well enough, allowing you to toggle power, play/pause, volume up/down along with track up/down, and even to call up the virtual assistant on your mobile device via the built-in microphone.
Multi-pairing party mode
One of the more impressive/ridiculous features of the Sudio F2 it its ability to pair with other F2s. Most Bluetooth speakers these days allow you to make a party group, with a few other devices added or even stereo pairs set. Here, the F2 has the ability (for the truly ambitious) to pair up to one hundred of these. Unfortunately I was missing 99 other speakers to test this with, but for those at Sudio I’d be more than happy to be the one to test this out if they’d like to bring a palate of them to my home. I’m sure my neighbours would love it!
Sudio F2 speaker sound quality
One of the key elements that sets the Sudio F2 apart from its competition is the incorporation of the rear-facing driver. Borrowing from its big-sibling speaker, the Femtio, the F2 uses the driver as a bass transducer, making the sound that comes out of its diminutive form far grander than appearance would normally convey. As a fun test I put on a particularly bass heavy track from the Beastie Boy’s “Paul’s Boutique”, and as the sample from Rose Royce’s “6 O’Clock DJ (Let’s Rock)” from the Car Wash soundtrack kicked in, the speaker’s rump did, in fact, shake.
The sound in general leans towards the treble-y, of course—it’s basically a single driver with a bit of bass rumble added, so you’re going to miss out on robust mid-range fun and even deep bass that larger models would produce. That said, the F2 does a perfectly fine job with even challenging recordings, and everything from Bach cello suites to complex electronic music came through fairly well, with decent sound that belies the small size of the unit. Obviously the first song I played on it was by Phil Collins, and the horns, percussion and synth bass from the 80’s production “Susudio” were perfectly pleasing. When used outdoors the higher frequencies that are more directional also worked well, meaning that even when it’s windy or there’s plenty of splashing going on, the music cuts through.
One thing to note is that at quiet volume the sound of the unit really suffers—this might seem counter intuitive, but even with larger speakers there’s a certain sweet spot where the sonic signature of the design is tuned, and at its most quiet things get pretty muddy. Turn it up about three-quarters volume and you’re going to hear everything open up, as a bit more air is being pumped by the bass radiator, and that much more of a soundstage is being presented by the main speaker.
The Sudio F2 speaker is a great little unit, delivering decent sound that far outshines its diminutive shape. Thanks to exceptional water resistance it’s the perfect pool-side addition, and my extensive testing while floating around on a lake proved that even when briefly dunked the tunes kept on playing and the water quickly drained. You can easily get a couple afternoons of fun out of it before needing to charge, and whether you sling it from your backpack, place it on your deck chair and watch it thump along, or simply have it on a side table to provide some portable tunes, this is definitely a beauty of a Bluetooth speaker worth seeking out.
Shop Sudio’s range of portable audio at Best Buy.