Arctic Sound P311 Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones Review
Arctic Sound, a division of Arctic Cooling, has recently unveiled a new set of headphones, the P311 headphones are over-ear stereo bluetooth headphones with built in microphone and audio controls. These headphones are perfect for any device with bluetooth support: music players, laptops, mobile phones, or even iPad. The P311s deliver big sound for a relatively small set of headphones. You can fold them up, pop them into the included carrying case, and take them on the go with you. They’re also the ideal set of exercise headphones; they’re sure to stick comfortably to your ears, there’s no cords or wires to get in your way, and you can keep your music player out of harms way.
-Arctic Sound P311 Earphones
-USB charging cable
-Protective Travel Case
The set up is not much different than setting up any other bluetooth device. Put the headphones into discover mode by holding the play button for 7 seconds, then find P311 from your bluetooth device, and pair. There’s no passkey to worry about.
The Arctic Sound P311s are compact in size. They use the over-ear style with the frame that runs around your ear and behind your head. Visually, they don’t look like headphones that would fold up, but the headband folds in two areas and swivels at two points. With a bit of pressure, the headphones easily fold up to a much more portable size. Each ear phone has comfortable cushioned ear pads large enough to form a nice seal on your ear. On the outside of the right ear phone are five buttons. The center button is the multipurpose button, the four around it are next track, previous track, volume up, and volume down. The multipurpose button functions as On/Off, Play/Pause, Answer Call/End Call, and can even be used to call your last phone number, or access voice controls (if your device supports it). The other ear phone has the same design, but there are no functional buttons on it. Also on the right ear phone is the Mini-USB charging jack, covered by a small rubber flap, and a status LED with will blink red or blue. P311′s rigid frame is quite flexible, which allows it to function as a one-size-fits-all headset. The frame is all black and the ear phones are black and gun-metal gray.
Arctic Sound P311s are A2DP bluetooth headphones that deliver high fidelity audio. They have a bluetooth v2.1 + EDR profile. They’ll connect to just about any popular bluetooth audio device; cell phones, laptops, computers, and mp3 players. There is an invisible microphone built into the right ear piece for making phone calls or recording audio. It uses clear voice capture (CVC) technology to isolate the users voice from the unwanted background noises. The audio and volume controls can be controlled straight from the headset. If your bluetooth device supports it, you can even make, answer, and ignore phone calls by using the headset’s multipurpose button. With an iPhone, you can double tap the multipurpose button to bring up voice command. You can then request to call somebody or play any music you wish to hear.
The Arctic Sound P311 headphones exceeded our expectations. For an inexpensive set of headphones, especially for stereo bluetooth headphones, Arctic Sound P311s deliver some awesome sound. We were just pretty satisfied with our last set of Arctic Sound headphones, but it seems that Arctic Cooling has come a long way since then. The bass in the P311 is deep and not overwhelming. The highs are clean and crisp. The mid-range audio was even pretty darned good for such a compact set of headphones. The P311 offers a great overall listening experience.
The bluetooth range of these headphones is also above average. The range is sufficient enough to listen to your music from the opposite side of a large room or an adjacent room. Once you get more than one wall away, or 15-20 meters, from the bluetooth device, the music will begin to cut out. The audio won’t degrade, it will just cut out. All bluetooth headphones and speakers have a delay. The delay on the P311s are also better than average; meaning when I press play my music starts playing immediately, not one second later. Videos are watchable, but the mouths can be slightly misaligned with the audio.
The headphones remain very comfortable even after a two hour workout or after a nap on the train. They do a great job of staying firmly in place. The headphone frame runs over the top of your ears and behind your head. This means they don’t have to squeeze the life out of your head just to stay in place. Making or receiving phone calls on your P311s is a treat because you don’t have to shut your music, or take off your headphones, or speak directly into anything. You can just talk regularly, and when the call is over your music will resume. I received feedback from my callers that there were times that the reception sounded grainy. I was still able to have full length conversations despite sounding grainy at times. The caller always sounded perfect on my end.
The only gripe I had with the P311s is the incompatible track control buttons with iPods, iPhones, and iPad. You can play and pause, but you cannot skip tracks or go to previous tracks. You can use voice commands on the iPhone to achieve this function, but it’s not quite the same as just pushing the button.
For just $37.95, Arctic Sound is really offering us a lot of value here: A comfortable set of headphones, that sound great, are bluetooth wireless, have a microphone, built in controls, fold up, and come with a free carrying case. This is also a small price to pay for the ultimate set of gym headphones. There’s no cords getting in your way, they stay securely and comfortably against your ears, you can leave your phone or device out of harms way. Plus, you can totally rock out at the gym to these awesome sounding headphones. Even as just a bluetooth headset for making and receiving phone calls, they’re worth the $38. The Arctic Sound P311, by Arctic Cooling, is not yet available, but we highly recommend them, so jump when they do become available.
Good: Wireless! Great audio quality, Comfortable, Microphone, included carrying case, amazing at the gym
Bad: Previous Track and Next Track buttons are not compatible with Apple devices