Arctic Sound P311 Bluetooth Wireless Headset Review - Testing and Final Thoughts

 

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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