Bluetooth is really starting to see resurgence now thanks in no small part to support from heavy hitters like Apple and Creative Labs with their latest products. But there also needs to be (and is) a good amount of third party support from companies like Arctic Sound to make this comeback totally successful.
Lending from a considerable amount of experience in designing well thought out practical products, Arctic Sound aims to market this system for use with all current AD2P Bluetooth devices. But for today's test we used an iPhone 3G.
Inside the package can be found the headset itself along with a small manual and a USB cable for charging of the device. We found all the necessary items to be within grasp here with a well laid out and designed box also.
- The System Specifications
Wearing Style: Supra-aural, neckband
Ear Cup Style: Closed acoustic
Bluetooth Version: V.2.1+EDR Class 2
Profiles Support: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP 1.5
Range: Up to 20m
Talk Time: Up to 20 hours
Standby Time: Up to 400 hours
- Invisible microphone included
- Travel case included
- Compatible with mobile phones
- Supra-aural headphone features soft pads and ear cup style
- High fidelity stereo sound, including powerful bass and crisp highs
- Ideal for sports and on the go
Firstly, this is another USB only unit that will require charging from a spare USB connection. Range for Bluetooth support is given at 20 meters. However, it's not. More like 10-12, but results will vary (tests are based on iPhone 3G version 4.01).
Talk time is given at 20 hrs which will also depend on conditions of operation, but this is a great figure none the less and must be one of the P311's best selling points.
Setup was really quite easy once we figured out what the iPhone wanted us to do. Purely from the perspective of the P311's, though, setup was faultless.
Performance with music was really of a very respectable level, with good low end and a decent feeling of overall depth to the mix. Compared to a wired system, results were still quite good, although there will always be some limitations involved when using a wireless protocol like Bluetooth. Plenty of good results here none the less and a solid base if Arctic Sound wanted to expand with a more expensive model later on down the track.
- High End
Not mind blowing, but there enough that we were not crying fowl. Overall, though, crisp and audible enough to make the grade in this department.
- Mid Range
Quite good for the small lightweight headset. Not comparable to the quality delivered by APT-X compatible Bluetooth products, but quite good none the less.
- Low End
Really, quite good again for the compact nature of the headset. In fact, we could say that the sound was even a little bit plump down low and favored these particular frequencies somewhat. Although, this could be a characteristic of the Bluetooth codec being used. Maybe even a combination of both codec and headset.
When used with the iPhone, the P311's are able to be used as a wireless headset for taking and making calls, because there is a small hidden microphone inside the unit. Being able to walk around freely with merely a lightweight headset on to take calls and listen to music via Bluetooth really works for us and was the surprise element to this headset.
With strong results playing back music and a good overall engineering approach, the P311 from Arctic Sound is a very well designed and thought out product. It also comes at just the right time with a revival of Bluetooth now taking place.
The system is well built from solid strong materials like everything else from this company. But the best part is the price. This system can be had for $37 U.S. which makes it just about the best value headset we have tested to date.
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