|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Arctic Sound P321 - Professional USB Headset|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Thursday, 18 November 2010 22:09|
We've looked at many gaming headsets over the past few months, including ones from Arctic Cooling, Sharkoon and Steelseries. Most of them were designed specifically for gaming, with features that would satisfy even the most demanding of gamers. Take for example the Steelseries 7H and the Sharkoon XTACTIC SP. They feature large audio drivers (speaker units inside the earcups), which provide good sound with deep bass. What's more, the included microphone is both flexible and retractable, allowing easy storage and positioning. All have control units built-in along the cable. As for the Arctic Cooling P531 gaming headset, they've included a total of 4 speaker drivers on each earcup, giving you unbelieveanle 5.1 surround sound. Yes, headsets are not just ordinary peripherals anymore, they've now become very professional and very hi-tech.
And talking of which ... Arctic Cooling have sent us their P321 Professional USB Headset for quick test. It's a high-fidelity headset which is designed for users who love both gaming and movies/music. The Arctic Sound P321 features a large 50mm driver that offers crisp and clear digital sound, deep bass and comes with a bulit-in control unit for your media player.
It also has a built-in microphone that is both retractable and flexible for easy storage and positioning. The large headband is cushioned for comfort, while the earcups consists of 2 layers of material to ensure that there's no discomfort after prolonged use.
Arctic Cooling are already pretty well known for their CPU coolers, but now it seems that they're expanding their product catalogue to include headsets, mice, keyboards and other accessories. For those who are not familiar with Arctic Cooling or their products, here's a quick blurb taken from their website ...
The Arctic Sound P321 is a different kind of headset from the P531, which we reviewed last week. It's the kind of headset one would use to watch movies or listening to your favourite music track. The high-fidelity 50mm audio driver is the key, along with its large cushions for extra comfort.
We gave the P321 headset to Loy, our Media Producer to give it a test on his Macbook. We also tested the headset during our recent Podcasts, which you can listen here ... http://www.funkykit.com/podcast-and-video/9-podcasts-a-videos/61-podcast.html
Features and Specifications
ARCTIC SOUND P321 is designed for enjoyment and pleasure. It features a high-fidelity driver to ensure minimal amount of noise and distortion while maintaining an accurate frequency response at the same time.
The 50mm diameter driver in the headset can accurately reproduce ultra-low frequency sounds and deliver superb audio quality. Since the ARCTIC SOUND P321 is able to play powerful bass and crisp highs, it is a premium audio headset for movies, multiplayer gaming, and audio listening. The retractable and adjustable microphone on the headset is also convenient for users to start voice communication at ease
The ARCTIC SOUND P321 uses digital USB connection to provide superior clarity and distortion-free audio from any computer or laptop. It also contains an advanced in-line remote for track selection, volume, mute, and bass boost control. The bass boost control allows users to intensify the bass and enhance their gaming and listening experience relatively. The plug-and-play USB connector along with the one-touch remote control panel in the ARCTIC SOUND P321 delivers convenience and simplicity.
For more information please visit Arctic Cooling's website ...
A Closer Look
The Arctic Sound P321 comes with a built-in control unit, which is located approximately 1m from the headset. It features several controls including ... the microphone on/off switch, mute, bass boost and play/pause. There's also a joystick toggle which controls track selection forwards and rewind, as well as volume up/down.
Verdict and Conclusion
I have to say, the sound quality from the Arctic Sound P321 headset is very good indeed. The large 50mm driver produced good quality digital sound that's both crisp and loud, with nice deep bass. For AV use, I can honestly say I actually got an enhanced experience while watching movies. Explosions were much beefier, while the speech and sound effects from the movie were clear and loud. Listening to my collection of MP3s is also a joy. Nice bass, with good mid-range and crisp highs.
During several hours of continuous use, I experienced no discomfort whatsoever. This is all thanks to the large cushions found on both the head band and earcups. Another factor which I also consider a bonus is the weight of the headset, it's extremly light weight for its size. Weighing in at only 225g, it's actually lighter than most CPU coolers out there!
For recording, I was worried about the quality of the microphone at first, but as it turns out ... I was just a little bit over anxious. Using the included microphone, voice recording was loud and clear for both my podcasts and Skype conversations.
The built-in control is also a great bonus, as it allows you to forward and rewind audio tracks, as well as adjusting the volume up/down using the joystick toggle. There are also several buttons, which includes bass boost, mute, play/pause, and a microphone on/off switch.
I was very surprised to find that the Arctic Sound P321 actually works on my friend's Macbook ... with no drivers needed. Remember, this is a USB headset and normally for gaming, USB headsets such as the Steelseries and Arctic Cooling's P531 ... software/driver installation was required. So this is big plus!