Arctic cooling is best known for its cooling solutions. I for one have always been their fan for providing the best cooling solutions with as little ambient sound as possible. For years now hailing from Alps Arctic cooling’s aftermarket gpu coolers have been the best at what they do. It is amusing to see that a company that focuses on reducing “noise” should endeavor to make products that deliver high quality “sound”. Never the less I must say they have done a good a job with the headset I was reviewing as they did with the aftermarket gpu coolers.
Meet arctic cooling P311. It is a Bluetooth wireless stereo headset. Designed to work with all Bluetooth enable devices and to deliver high quality sound as if you were listening to a good quality hifi system.
The headset comes in a see through box at the front. This allows you to a sneak peek at the headset without taking it out of the box. The box contains four things:
- 1. The headset
2. A carrying case
3. User manual
4. Charging cable
It is backed by a 2 years manufacturer warranty.
- Wearing style: Supra-aural, Neckband
- Ear cup style: Closed acoustics
- Bluetooth version: V2.1+EDR class 2
- Profiles Support: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP 1.5
- RF frequency range: 2.402-2.480GHZ, 2.4 G ISM band
- Radio performance: Receive sensitivity of -90dBm, TX power max 4dBm
- Frequency response: 18Hz-22KHz
- Signal to noise ratio: 95dB
- Total harmonic distortion: 0.10%
- 5-button design: Multifunction key, Vol+, Vol-, FWD, REV
- LED indicator: status Red, Blue
- Battery: Rechargeable 400mAh, Li-Polymer Battery
- Charging Port: 5 pin mini USB
- Charging adaptor output: DC 5V, 200 mA
- Nominal Charging time: 4hrs
- Talk time: 20hrs
- Standby time: 400 hrs
- Dimensions: 54mm(diameter) X 23mm (H)
- Weight: 71.2g
It is supra-aural/neckband in design. Makes sense as it’s designed to be used during jogs and other athletic endeavors. Made completely out of good quality plastic it seems that it can withstand the rigors of life. The headset can be folded into half its size so that it becomes easier to carry especially when carried in the carrying case.
The earmuffs are not around the ear which means that they would be less irritating to use. They however provide very good noise cancelling. At 70% volume all background noise is cancelled and you can enjoy god quality music. They are made of a leatherette sort of material and are very soft and comfortable to wear.
It has a beautifully concealed microphone that is only reveled on close inspection and even then appears as small hole. This is similar to the built-in microphones found in the laptop computers.
The right ear piece has the fun bit, remote controls. It has 5 keys. They allow you to play/pause, receive and reject calls, increase and decrease volume and to change tracks back and forth. They allow the ease of functionality without fiddling with your actual device. There is also a led that indicates the status of the device.
Made of a black weave nylon like material it is very strong and light at the same time. It bears a Arctic cooling logo in steel on the right side up. The clips on the inside are covered with velvet like material that stops them from scratching the headset. It makes carrying the headset very easy. It can easily be placed in your luggage and you can rest assured that the headset will be safe during your travel.
There were 5 sorts of tests used
- 1. Sound quality
2. Battery life
5. Multifunction key
As sound quality is a qualitative/subjective thing rather than quantitative/objective thing it can be hard to comment on. Hence we decided to rate it according to different categories.
It was very good. Although like all headphone at full volume the sound started cracking and lost quality but was excellent till about 90% volume. The highs were good not very impressive but mid range and low tones were superbly relayed. Hence it is very good when you are listening to pop and rock.
The experience with movies was also very good. I watched avatar and quantum of solace with these on. The explosions and sound effects were very good and can startle.
Calls were easy to make and receive. Arctic cooling has installed a special Advanced Clear Capture technology. This allowing for clearer voice quality when receiving calls. The high quality stereo is a beautiful experience, especially if you are talking to someone special. It would almost give you the feeling of sitting in the same room if not next to each other. With 20 hours of talk time you would be out of things to talk about before the headset runs of the juice. It can be awkward to use if you are driving as you might a tad bit absurd wearing headphones in your car.
This bit took us days as we wanted to test out the battery life claims for ourselves. The idea was to charge it and let it drain all the way till it gave the warning sign for low battery. The device was connected to a Bluetooth laptop and music switched on and left to play. The average recharge time was 3 hours and 55 minutes and the talk time was 20 hours and 15 minutes.
The device was checked with Nokia N95, E71, E90, BlackBerry Bold, HTC touch, HTC HD, HTC Desire, Iphone 3G and 3GS. Also these are strictly casual use. These are trendy hence attempt to wear them in public while you are wearing formal clothes at your own risk.
We tested it over a straight distance of up to 20 meters and there was no loss of signal or quality. It can easily be used within an apartment with the connected device lying in the living room.
They keys work perfectly with all devices, even computers. These provide the ease of raising or decreasing the volume, changing tracks and pause/play remotely. They are very useful. The only fly in the ointment is that forward and back keys are not compatible with the apple devices and that is very disappointing. The middle key can be pressed in a verity of ways to achieve different result all listed in the manual. Once you get used to these it will be difficult going back to simple headsets that lack these keys. By the way, the skip key though mentioned didn’t do anything for us. Nothing about it was mentioned anywhere.
- • Wireless
• Good sound quality
• Neckband, supra-aural
• Multifunctional buttons for remote control
• Carrying case included
• Very comfortable
- • Forward and backward keys don’t work with apple devices
Arctic Sound P311 offers good sound quality, terrific battery life, some nice bonus features and a stylish design that is comfortable enough for extended use. For 31.95 € / US$ 37.95 the Arctic Sound P311 Bluetooth Headset is a must buy for people who love music and love the ease of wireless technology.