Sound by Sweden – Supra Nero-TX

Sound by Sweden - Supra Nero-TX

Impressive sound for under €130

REVIEW: New in-ear headphones from Swedish Supra are not perfect, but great for the price

The Swedish brand Supra made its breakthrough in 2014, when the Nitro model was hailed by an almost unified reviewer corps. Since then, they have expanded with a number of models – most recently a fully wireless model called Supra Nero-TX, which is the one we have for testing today.

The name of the company is strictly ‘Sound by Sweden‘, while the products are called ‘Powered by Supra’. However, all stores market the products like Supra, so for convenience, we choose to call it the test model.

Very discreet

Supra Nero-TX is first and foremost a set of very compact in-ear headphones. They barely stick out and are said to be among the most discreet models we have tested. They also weigh as little as 3.8 grams each, so after finding an earmuff that fits in your ear, it’s very easy to pull them out again.

The included case is also small and pocket-friendly, but it weighs more than many of its competitors’ cases. This is because Supra has chosen to put a relatively large battery in the case, which according to the company gives 80 hours of battery life to the headphones, just as you can use the case as a small emergency charger for, for example, your phone.

The headset itself has a stated battery life of five hours, which means that you are in theory able to recharge them 15 times before you need to plug the case into a power outlet.

A completely incomprehensible decision made about Supra is that the cover for the case does not stick. This means you risk losing it. Fortunately, a magnet helps keep the lid in place, so it should be relatively trouble-free to have the case lying in a bag without falling off.

As usual, we must also point out that it would have been nice with USB-C instead of microUSB for charging. There is both a USB-A and a microUSB input in the case. But USB-A can supply power alone, while microUSB alone can receive power.

Moreover, the battery capacity is 1600 mAh, so if you plan to charge the phone with the case, you will barely reach 50 percent before the ’emergency charger’ is empty.

Many features and few buttons

The headphones usually turn on immediately when you remove them from the case, but we experienced this feature as a bit unreliable. Inside the studio, there seems to be very little room for movement before the plugs turn on and they connect to the phone in time and out, which can be very annoying.

Each of the two devices has a small button on the outside, and Supra has chosen to include almost all control functions in the two buttons. And the learning curve is somewhat high and is also slightly the other way around compared to most other manufacturers, where the right of Supra is the previous number / volume down and the left is the next number / volume up.

Very good sound

The sound, on the other hand, is impressive, especially considering the model’s price and size.

First and foremost, Supra presents a rather rich sound image with a solid bass foundation. They are not as solid and dry in the bass as the best in the category, but are still engaging and lovely to listen to.

Furthermore, the treble is both sharp and detailed, although not as well-resolved and multifaceted as, for example, models from Sennheiser and Bang & Olufsen, but these also cost considerably more than Nero-TX. The treble balances perfectly on the border to be too sharp, but for the most part, the Supra hits the treble fine so that the sound doesn’t get tiring or cut in the ears.

If we had access to an equalizer, we probably would have turned down a bit on the upper levels, but unfortunately, Supra has no app, so you must instead use the equalizer on your music player if it has one.

The sound balance is otherwise somewhat cool, as is often the case with these Swedish sound brands. A little more air in the middle tone had made the overall impression a few notches, for Supra sometimes struggles to keep the different elements apart in songs where a lot happens at the same time.

Compared to our previous cheap favorite, namely Creative Outlier Air, we also think Supra is ahead. They have a bit more dynamism and a slightly larger and more airy soundscape, which overall makes for a better experience – even if they don’t differ much. Supra is also significantly more compact and discreet in the ear.

As mentioned earlier, the company states that the battery life is five hours in the units themselves and in addition a number of charges in the case. That’s only half of what Creative Outlier Air can deliver, but at the same time, you rarely need more than five hours of listening. A short ride in the case also quickly prepares them.

For good measure: Supra doesn’t have wireless charging, but we don’t expect this feature in the price range either.

Sound by Sweden - Supra Nero-TX

The quality of a call

In this price range, we also do not expect much in terms of microphone quality, and Supra lives up to expectations in this area. In quiet environments, they work fine during phone calls, but as soon as it gets noisy or windy around you, they get much bigger problems.

The algorithms try their best to reduce noise around you, but unfortunately it also makes your voice disappear and the other party hears very little of what you are saying.

In other words: They are not directly uncomfortable to listen to during conversations, but at the same time it is difficult to communicate without problems. You also have trouble hearing your own voice particularly well when talking on the phone.

All in all, Supra falls short here, but they work perfectly for conversations, as long as it is not very noisy around you. That is, mainly indoors.

Finally, it should be mentioned that they have some problems with audio synchronization when playing video on, for example, a mobile phone.

Here is the verdict

The Supra Nero-TX gives us the three things we value most about true wireless in-ear headphones: good sound, high comfort and good battery life. And when they are as cheap as they are, we can largely forgive the small mistakes.

For example, the fact that the lid is not stuck in the case, which is a strange decision, and the quality of the call which is below average.

The control options are also a double-edged sword – it’s nice to have the option, but perhaps for the sake of simplicity it would have been better to reduce the number of commands.

That Supra ends up with a very good grade is therefore due to the fact that they deliver in the main areas. So if you want some completely wireless in-ear headphones that deliver solid sound, are discreet in the ear and do not cost a fortune, the Nero-TX is a very good choice.