Arctic Sound P531 Headphones

Posted by on Saturday, March 5, 2011 - 4:18pm

AC P531I got a chance to review the Arctic Sound P321’s a while back, letting you know they were a good and affordable set.  As such, I made sure to let Arctic know that I'd love to get my hands on their upgraded Professional 5.1 Gamer headset. Well my wish was granted, and I found a set waiting at home for me after work.  Now I know I’ve talked about how I always skimped out on the audio side of things, but I had been trying to change that. I had hoped to improve my first person skills a little and to enjoy my music a bit more, so I had been looking at upgrading my audio.  While keeping my eyes open for a great deal for this audio upgrade I became big fan of Newegg’s shell shocker deals, and over the last year I’ve gotten pretty lucky and picked up a set of Creative Fatality Gaming Headset and the Creative Fatality sound card.  Those two really are meant to be together and truly provide a boost to your listening pleasure by improving the overall sound quality.  So I must admit I’m a bit spoiled, which sadly to say despite my pleasant experience with the P321, was not that confident that the P531’s would be able to compete with the paired, high priced (before shell shocker) Creative set.

Introduction to the Arctic Sound P531 Headphones

I got a chance to review the Arctic Sound P321’s a while back, letting you know they were a good and affordable set.  As such, I made sure to let Arctic know that I'd love to get my hands on their upgraded Professional 5.1 Gamer headset. Well my wish was granted, and I found a set waiting at home for me after work.  Now I know I’ve talked about how I always skimped out on the audio side of things, but I had been trying to change that. I had hoped to improve my first person skills a little and to enjoy my music a bit more, so I had been looking at upgrading my audio.  While keeping my eyes open for a great deal for this audio upgrade I became big fan of Newegg’s shell shocker deals, and over the last year I’ve gotten pretty lucky and picked up a set of Creative Fatality Gaming Headset and the Creative Fatality sound card.  Those two really are meant to be together and truly provide a boost to your listening pleasure by improving the overall sound quality.  So I must admit I’m a bit spoiled, which sadly to say despite my pleasant experience with the P321, was not that confident that the P531’s would be able to compete with the paired, high priced (before shell shocker) Creative set. 

Arctic Cooling’s take on the P531 Headphones

ARCTIC SOUND P531 is the most professional computer headset and literally elevates gamers to a new dimension of sounds. It is like having a home theatre crammed into a headset. This 5.1 channel surround sound gaming headset that can be connected via USB. This headset is designed for ultimate gamers as it features four individual drivers in each earcup to provide true surround sound.


Packaging and contents

The packaging for the Arctic Sound P531’s was twice as thick compared to the P321, maintaining the brushed aluminum look sans fancy graphics, something that I have come to expect.  Like the P321, the P531's package displays the quantity of features you can expect from them.

Inside you will find the P531s snugly resting in a plastic form fit container with the cords all neatly tied in place.  No hard to open zip ties, just compression fit formed plastic and regular twist ties.  There was twice as much used on the P531, which may have been needed as they weigh a hefty 462 grams, versus the P321’s 225 grams. 

Unlike the P321s, you will find an instruction book, along with a cd that is taped neatly to the back panel.  The instruction book provides information on hookup and installation of the drivers and software.  You also have instructions for using said software in order to gain the best sound quality possible from the P531.


Specifications

 

Center

Front speaker

Surrounding

Subwoofer

Microphone

Frequency response

20 Hz -20k Hz

18 Hz -20k Hz

20 Hz -20k Hz

10-400k Hz

 

Sensitivity

108 dB/mW

100 dB/mW

108 dB/mW

-

39dB±3dB

Impedance

32 Ohm

32 Ohm

32 Ohm

8 Ohm

2.2K Ohm

Drive unit

Ø30mm

Ø40mm

Ø30mm

Ø27mm

Ø9.7 x 5mm

Output power

200 mW

400 mW

200 mW

600 mW

-

Plug

 USB

 

Cable

 3m

 

Weight

 462 g

 

Warranty

 2 year

 

Manufacturer Code

 ORACO-ERM22-GBA01

 

EAN-Code

 0872767003552

 

 

Features

  • 5.1 channel gaming USB headset
  • Installed with special subwoofer to produce deep bass
  • Distortion free digital audio
  • Microphone included
  • Lightweight and highest noise absorption
  • Designed for ultimate gamers
  • Features 4 individual drivers in each earcup for uncompromised 5.1 surround sound details and dynamics
  • Integrated vibration units to provide extra sensation to gaming experience
  • Closed circumaural design to isolate outside noise
  • USB connection with its own 5.1 sound card

Closer look at the P531’s

The P531’s feature a unique design, with the four individual drivers in each earcup for a total 5.1 sound, it required Arctic to rethink its shape somewhat. 

Unlike the P321’s, the microphone is not retractable; however, it remains highly flexible allowing the user to customize the placement to their liking.  It will also swing out of the way when you no longer need it. 

You can see a clear difference with the microphone on the P531s as it has built in noise cancellation technology, allowing your voice to be the only thing heard when transmitting.  You have multiple sound pickups in the front of the microphone for crystal clear voice transmission and additional pickups on the back for ambient noise sound cancellation. 

Here is a closer look at the in-line controls, giving you an amazing amount of customization over your sound.  You have the ability to adjust the front, rear, sub and center channel's sound volume, along with an overall volume.  This level of customization is not something I have seen outside of my home theater system.  The in-line remote has an additional switch that allows you to turn off the microphone should you need to.  Some might find the multitude of adjustments a tad complicated, and I found that in the beginning it did take me awhile to adjust the sound to my liking.  Yet, once I was able to do so, all I needed to do was adjust the main volume, leaving the rest alone.  If I switched games or music and found the bass to be too much, a quick adjustment to the sub setting fixed it right up.

Like the P321, the Arctic Sound brand is subtly inlaid on the headband with the leather-like covering material. 

I have done extensive wear testing with the P531’s and even though they weigh in at a hefty 462 grams, I found them very comfortable.  Don’t get me wrong, there was a break in period of adjusting to them, but it wasn’t as much of an issue as others I have tried.  When I say it needs a break in period, I don’t mean time for it to break down and become more flexible, the P531’s are amazingly flexible, allowing them to adjust to multiple wear styles or head shapes.  I feel that is part of the reason the break in period was so short. 

To give you this kind of flexibility and size adjustment requires some heavy duty hardware.  Take a look at the screws being used, not just one or two, but several.  They are not relying on snapped together plastic, they went heavy duty to give you a product that looks and feels solid.

The earpieces aren’t large enough to fit around my ears, but they do completely cover them in order to keep out the unwanted ambient sound.  They are also well padded and provide an extremely comfortable experience. 

Like the P321s, the P531s are a breeze to hook up since they are connected by USB, meaning no more hunting around behind your PC in order to try and find the proper plug ins for the headphone and mic. 


Conclusion

It’s not often that I regret purchases I’ve made, since I enjoy doing research before plunking down what little cash I have.  After using the P531’s, I am regretting all the money I sunk into the Creative Fatality sound card and gaming headphones.  I’ve got to tell you, these P531’s rock, and they rock hard.  It is just an amazing sound experience for both gaming and listening to music.  With the vibration units in each of the earcups providing that extra physical sensation to go along with the audio quality , the explosions and bullets ripping through the air have that little extra touch which make the P531 really stand out.  On top of that, the 5.1 surround really puts you right in the middle of your gaming or movie experience.  I’m not sure if I should thank Arctic Sound for sending these to me or not, I just have to hope my wife doesn’t read this review and make an issue of how much I spent on the Creative gear that I am now ditching!  If you visit http://www.arctic.ac you will find they are selling these for $66.34, which is less than I spent on just the Creative headphones!  I just have to say it one more time, I am incredibly impressed by the P531s, and they are truly a Kick Ass product!!!  Must buy!!!

must have

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