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Arctic Sound P311 Bluetooth Wireless Headset Review

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I'd have to say Arctic's foray into the wide-open world of consumer electronics from their previously cooling-only products has been a great success.  Breaking into the market is the big challenge, and they've done so, and brought great products to market as a result.  Their P311 headset is no exception, and my first endeavor in wireless audio has been a pleasant one because of it!

 

Description

Enjoy your music and answer phone calls with just one click. The ARCTIC SOUND P311 Bluetooth headset is ideal for sports and on-the-go.

 

Features

wireless

Wirelessly free

The ARCTIC SOUND P311 connects via Bluetooth with your music player (mp3 player, mobile phone, notebook, PC). With a range of up to 30 meters, this headset gives you full flexibility without disturbing people around you. The integrated lithium-ion battery lasts up to 20 hours of music playback before it needs to be recharged via USB.

Absolute control

Thanks to the five functional buttons, integrated into the right earcup, you always have the full control to your music. You can start/pause/skip music tracks, answer incoming phone calls and control volume levels.

Full_Control
audio_quality

Outstanding audio quality

The integrated 28mm drivers excel by their high fidelity. Whether it's rock, jazz or classical music – different genres of music can be enjoyed without any compromises. Especially thanks to the outstanding bass, this headset enriches your listening experience in your favorite music and movies. The good signal-to-noise-ratio of 95 dB of the integrated amplifier guarantees best digital sound.

Versatile and Comfortable

The soft earcups and the supra-aural design not only provide a comfy fit, they also isolate from exterior noise. Thanks to its light weight of only 71g, the headset doesn't become uncomfortable, even after long periods of use. This makes the ARCTIC SOUND P311 perfect for sports, as it doesn't get loose while jogging or biking. The device can conveniently be stored inside the included travel case for traveling purposes.

 

Specifications

Dimensions (Packaging) 165 L x 65 W x 230 H
Wearing Style Supra-Aural, Neckband
Bluetooth Version V2.1+EDR Class 2
Frequency Response (Hz-kHz) 18-22
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.1%
Battery Rechargeable 400mAH; Li-Polymer Battery
Talk Time Up to 20 hours
Limited Warranty 2 years
itemnumber ORACO-ERM28-GBA01
UPC 0872767003668
Weight 0.32 kg

 


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The simple gray-colored packaging is typical of Arctic, with the specs and features on a form-fitted box that gives you a great look at what you're getting in the box.

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The P311s come with a USB charging cable as well as a very nice carbon fiber-like finish that has a slight texture to it, with Arctic's logo neatly embossed on the top.  It has a solid zipper, is quite sturdy, and really is a great case for these.

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The P311 headphones have a simple silver/black color scheme and a low-profile and lightweight behind-the-head head band.  The right earphone has a variety of controls for both phone and music playback, as well as volume.  The middle button functions as play/pause as well as call/end call.  There are skip buttons for music playback, and the volume control for the headset.  They have subtle LEDs in a ring shape on the right earphone showing that they are on or in "sync" mode, etc.

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The earcups are comfortable and adequately padded, and the frame of the headphones fits comfortably over the ears.  They also don't apply much horizontal force, so they aren't forced real tightly against your ears, which took a bit of getting used to for me, because they felt as if they may want to slip, but they stay in place quite nicely, and makes their long term wearability quite good.

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Here is a closeup of the earcups, the right one housing the control buttons.  The buttons take a bit of getting used to as far as operating them when they are on your ears.  I would often hit volume up when I meant to lower it, and skip back instead of forward, etc.  But I got used to the button arrangement rather quickly, and before long wasn't even thinking about it.  Hear a song you don't like?... click and a new one comes on, 100 feet from your music device.

 


 

Testing

Setting up the P311 is very easy, even for a bluetooth "newbie" like me.  All you have to do is hold the power button until red and blue LEDs start to flash alternatively, which means it is in "sync" mode, then discover it on your phone/MP3 Player/computer and connect!  The playback controls are plug-n-play, I didn't need to do any additional setup on my Motorola Droid 2, an iPod Touch, or my computer.  The playback controls are responsive and work perfectly, so the next thing I wanted to test was the range.  In my apartment, I haven't found a spot where I'm out of range, and I was able to head about 100 feet away from my phone, through two walls, and then the reception started to get a bit spotty.  I was dead impressed.  The range was even a little better with my computer, but either way it worked great at a very satisfactory range.

I've got roughly 10 hours of usage out of them on the first charge.... they are rated for 20 hours of playback before they need to be recharged, and they are certainly near that, and that sort of battery life is very impressive!

Now, then next important quality... how do they sound?  The answer is quite good!  They have a sufficient amount of bass, although they don't touch low bass too well (which isn't realistically expected with the form factor and price), and they don't produce "knocking" bass, if you are one of those people who absolutely need to have powerful bass.  The bass levels were more than I personally expected, and the other ranges are very good, no complaints there, given the limitations of the form factor, and once again, the budget price range.  They also sound "open" since they don't isolate from the outside that much since they don't sit that tight on the ears, which isn't a gripe, it's a simply a preference thing.  Overall they are quite nice.

 

Final Thoughts

The P311s are, plain and simply, a solid product.  Simple setup, good build quality, flawless operation, great range, and possibly most importantly, they sound good too.  The only thing I'm not the most fond of is that they are somewhat wide, which is a necessary evil to house the wireless circuitry and the batteries, but given that the batteries allow 20 hours of continuous usage on a single charge, the little extra bulk is worth it, in my opinion.  They throw in a very nice travel case that looks as good as it is protective, and will certainly keep your P311s safe, unless you plan on putting them underneath any cars' tires sometime soon, in which case, you are probably out of luck no matter where you look.  The playback controls on the right earcup, when the various button positions have been learned, work great and it's really nice to be able to walk around, and no matter where you are, you can change a song, pause playback, or answer a call with a single push.  They are great when I'm cleaning or working out, and the fact that I cannot outrange them in my apartment means I won't be out of music, or out of control while I'm walking around doing whatever it is that I happen to be doing at the time.  I'm using them as I type this, and I've gotten up several times, and being untethered is something I've really grown to, and it's become one of my favorite gadgets for that very reason!

They work great for phone calls and skype as well.  For Skype I just had to set the microphone settings appropriately to have my voice input correctly, and they worked fabulously.  Phone calls hear clear, and they transmit my voice very well also.

 

Pros:

  • Plug-n-play, easy installation
  • Great range
  • Playback control
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable, even for long periods of time.
  • Work well for phone calls and Skype
  • Price

Cons:

  • Somewhat bulky

 

If you are looking for wireless headphones that will allow you to stray away from your device, have good battery life, are comfortable, and are reasonably priced, be sure to give these a solid look, as we gladly recommend them to those looking to ditch those wires!

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