Arctic Cooling Sound P311 Bluetooth Headset Review

Patrick Nosker January 21, 2011 0

The first time I heard of Arctic Cooling was a long time ago.  I was building my first 64-bit PC with an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ processor that was supposed to be an overclocking king.  With its powerful core and my trusty Kingwin water cooling setup, I knew I would get some good speed out of it.  Unfortunately, the Kingwin Water Cooling setup I had was pretty terrible and the plastic reservoir cracked, so I sold it off and bought my first heatpipe cooler, the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro.

When I heard Arctic started making headphones, I was surprised.  They were well known for their cooling systems being reasonably priced and well performing, but their main identity stemmed from their ability to have lower noise levels than competing coolers.  Now they're making something that intentionally creates noise!  Either way, in this review, I will tell you more about their more recent diversification into sound with their P311 behind-the-ear Bluetooth headphones.

I would imagine that the P311 headphones were designed for runners.  Their behind-the-ear setup allows for good mobility while moving.  It also includes a lithium ion battery that is good for 20 hours so your music will not die while in the middle of your exercise.  It charges via USB too so all that's needed is a computer.  

Syncing with bluetooth was very simple.  The P311 supports Bluetooth V2.1 with EDR class 2 allowing for decent sound.  It's not as good as a plug-in connector, but it's not bad.  Frankly, if you are using them during exercise anyway, it won't really matter as the movement of the headphones on your ear could worsen the sound quality more than the lower bitrate.

Something that came as a shock to me was the fact that the P311 actually has an onboard microphone.  The mic output level was a little bit low, but not too low to be heard.  In fact, with the Windows mic-level controls, it got loud enough to have no issues at all during Skype calls. 

The only drawback I found was the slight discomfort I found with the neck band.  I do have a larger-than-average head though, so it's possible you won't find any issues with it.  Sound quality was better than my old Logitech Wireless Headphones for MP3.  It was also more comfortable.

Overall, I would say Arctic did a good job with its diversification into audio.  We have also been testing out their P531 headset, so keep a lookout for that review shortly.

[Arctic Cooling P311 Bluetooth Headset] – $29.99

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