We have found our way back to on-the-go devices, with our friends from Arctic Cooling sending us the ARCTIC Sound P311 Bluetooth headset. It is compatible with any Bluetooth supported device such as a laptop, phone, or music player. With a one-button connection, it makes this headset extremely easy to use and connect to your personal devices. The headset features Bluetooth v2.1+EDR, in which it supports secure and simple Bluetooth pairing. It has a high fidelity driver that ensures excellent sound details and dynamics, including powerful bass and crisp highs. With a good sized list of notable features, we will be sure to test them all as we put the P311 through the paces.
We chose to show here the quick installation of the headphones on a computer. We do not have a Bluetooth music device, besides a computer and phones are all different in their setups. We felt this would be the most universal and easy way for everyone to understand.
Installing the headset to your computer is easy. Once you go to “add new device,” it will start scanning and all you need to do is hold down the “phone” button for seven seconds until you see blue and red LED’s flashing alternately. When you see this, it will only be a matter of seconds until it fully connects to your computer.
Now that you are connected, per the “pop up” you will receive, right click on the speaker icon. When you right click on the speaker, choose “playback devices.”
After clicking on “playback devices,” you should see the box on the right. Scroll down and select headphones Bluetooth audio device. You can choose either to set as default if you plan on using the headset a lot. If not, then just click “OK” and you are ready to listen.
Charging takes between two and three hours, and with the pictures above, you can see exactly how to do it. Find the USB tab on the ear pad and peel it back, once you do that, you can plug in the wire that came with the headphones. The red LED will now appear as in the picture (right). When charging is complete, the red LED will turn off and you are ready to go.
Making the actual call was very simple. Once you have paired the headset with your phone, dial the number like you normally would and hit the “call” button. It will now use the headset for the rest of the call. When we tested this, it worked great, but the other person we called said we were a little low. Ok, well this is an easy fix. All you need to do is talk a little louder than you normally would. Not a big deal to us, because everyone and every phone is different. What someone thinks is low, to another person could be perfect. We run into the same problem using our phone, this is nothing new.
We first started the testing with music. We ran through several genre’s of music during our test in order to help test the sound quality with everything. The bass in the headphones was actually surprisingly good. We have had $100+ headphones with bass that was on par with these headphones. For as small as the speakers are, they do a better job than you would expect. The clarity in the songs was another surprise. It was extremely crisp even when we tested the headphones at 100% volume. There was no distortion or any “crackles and pops” like you would expect from cheaper headphones. It was great to listen to at 100% volume, and the only thing we noticed, was that the headache that was starting to creep in.
The second test we ran was to watch a movie. This, once again, was a pleasant experience. The explosions sounded nice and crisp without any unpleasing distortion. Talking was clear and not muffled, even when it was quiet conversation. Being stereo headphones, you will not get the great surround sound like most people are used to with today’s technology. However, if you are having to watch a movie with these headphones, you are probably on a laptop anyway, so you are not expecting movie theater quality.
The last test we ran was playing a few games. Just as with the movies, you will not have surround sound. So, if you are playing an FPS game, you better be good at guessing, because you will not know exactly where someone is from their sounds. The headphones still sound great playing the games though, and it was a nice experience for a wireless headset.
During our music test, we decided to have a little fun and see just how loud we could make the headset. We reached a very impressive max of 80.3 dB during one of our songs we were testing. It is comforting to know that these little headphones can put out the decibels for the people who like to listen to their music, movies, or games that loud. If you are curious as to where this stacks up to other sounds you hear daily, just check the chart below.
The wrap-around headphones were very comfortable. They fit snugly around the ears and did not interfere with our glasses. They will definitely stay on while you are running or moving around with them on. This is a great thing, because who wants to keep messing with their headphones while doing other things. That should be the last thing on your mind, and with these, it is. The cushioned ear pads also help a lot. We wore them for about fours hours straight in order to get these sound tests done, and they did not hurt our ears at all.
We could not be happier with the ARCTIC Sound P311 Bluetooth headphones. For the price range that they are in, they would have to be one of the top performing headphones. We certainly have not heard anything better for the price. Thanks to the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) technology, the ARCTIC Sound P311 can ensure clear and undistorted sound quality, as it transmits the sound digitally. The quick connecting Bluetooth v2.1+EDR, which supports secure and simple Bluetooth pairing, is a great feature that means there are no wires to worry about getting tangled up or breaking.
The soft cushioned ear pads make extended periods of use enjoyable. They don’t pin your ears to your head and make them hurt after an hour of use. The clarity of music, movies, and games makes these headphones a great on-the-go choice. Add all those in, plus the fact that you can connect to your phone and make calls, and you can essentially throw away your old pair of headphones for good. Overall, if we were to buy a wireless headset, this would definitely be one to make the short list. The only thing holding the P311 back is that Bluetooth is still coming along, so not everything is using that technology yet. Just be sure that your device supports Bluetooth before purchasing.
The ARCTIC Sound P311 bluetooth headset receives the TechREACTION.net Gold Silicon Award!