|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Arctic Sound E361-BM Earbuds|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Saturday, 26 March 2011 22:09|
When Arctic Cooling asked us to take a look at a set of earbuds which were compatible with the iPhone/iPod, I was more than happy to, as it was something I've been very interested in. The reason why? Well, my original earbuds were on its last legs. The control unit had an intermitent fault, which was really annoying me. I couldn't take calls with it, nor could I select tracks properly.
Now let me tell you a little something about the original iPhone/iPod earbuds. I recently discovered that the control unit on these earbuds are pretty unique, and they're designed specifically for use with the iPhone/iPod only. What this means is that the microphone, volume controls and track selection on the control unit, will not work properly with other mobile devices, MP3 or media players. It's what you would expect right? Anyway, because this control unit is proprietary to Apple, I have yet to find a compatible earphones or earbuds that has the full set of controls.. All the earbuds I've come across so far, can support volume controls, some might have a microphone, but most are not able to give you track selection. To be honest, I don't think there will ever be an earphone or earbuds that will have all of the above. The technology behind Apple's control unit is probably patented and only official Apple replacememt earbuds will work. Nice one Apple!
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 ...
Today, we'll be taking a look at the ARCTIC SOUND E361 stereo earbuds from Arctic Cooling. These earbuds are compatible with the Apple iPhone/iPod and iPad, as well as any mobile device, media and MP3 players, including of course your PC or notebook. Basically anything that has a 3.5mm jack ... you know what I mean ;)
The earbuds uses a unique aluminum chassis and large audio drivers, which delivers deep bass and precise highs without any distortion. For comfort, Arctic Cooling has included a set of three ultra-soft silicone caps which should fit all ear types comfortably. It should also help effectively isolate any external noises.
The earbuds also comes with a delicate microphone, which is ideal for phone calls and online communications such as Skype and MSN. The package also includes an adapter with regular jack connector (separate lines for mic and speaker) to make the earphone compatible with PC and notebook.
We'll be putting the ARCTIC SOUND E361 stereo earbuds to the test using nothing except my iPhone and my notebook. Let's see if these earbuds can really replace my existing original Apple earbuds. I'm really interested in the call quality of the microphone and how the micro switches will actually work.
Features and Specifications
The ARCTIC SOUND E361 delivers superb sound quality in every aspect. With its unique aluminum chassis and large drivers, it delivers deep bass and precise highs right into your ear canals without distortion.
Authentic Sound Quality
The ARCTIC SOUND E361 is equipped with large driver coils which reproduce dynamic and super deep bass. Furthermore, the aluminum chassis is precisely engineered and sealed for top class sound isolation. It guarantees full and accurate sound transmission into your ear canals.
With three sets of ultra-soft silicone caps, the ARCTIC SOUND E361 fits comfortably for your ears. This increases the wearing comfort and isolates external noises effectively. Dive into pure sound and enjoy the world with your music.
Multi-functional and Multi-compatible
The ARCTIC SOUND E361 also features a microphone version. This delicate microphone is ideal for phone calls and online communications such as Skype and MSN. A 3.5mm TRRS plug is equipped for transferring both microphone and earphone signals, which is ideal for mobile phones, such as the iPhone. An adapter with regular jack connector is included to make the earphone compatible with PC and notebook.
Control your Phone
In addition the microphone is equipped with a micro switch to control your player. This way you can control the music playback on iPod / iPhone and answer phone calls with a single klick.
For more information please visit Arctic Cooling's website ...
A Closer Look
The length of the ARCTIC SOUND E361 stereo earbuds is approximately 1.3 meters, which is OK. The Aluminimum chassis of the earbuds does make it look classy and unique. The included silicone caps are ultra-soft and should be extremely comfortable to wear, as well as providing good noise insulation.
Verdict and Conclusion
The Aluminium casing makes the earbuds look classy and the build quality is pretty good. The included ultra-soft silicone caps does a great job of isolating the external noise. I could hardly hear anything else apart from my music. What's more, they fit perfectly within my ears and they're also extremely comfortable to wear ... something I couldn't say for my original earbuds from Apple. You get 3 sizes ... S, M and L.
Call quality on the microphone was acceptable, but not great. There's no echoes or vocal breakup, which is good. I found myself holding the control unit (where the microphone is located) while I answered and made calls. I suppose it's me ... it's something I do natuarally.
The micro switches allows track selection, which was quite a surprising feature as most of the earbuds I've come across don't have this, especially for iPhones/iPods. Press one for play/stop. Twice for forwards and three times for rewind.
With the positives over ... now let's talk about the negatives. I was extremely disappointed that there was no volume control. It's not just for controlling the volume while listening to music, but also for answering and making calls.