Arctic Cooling P531

Peripherals

Arctic P531

Bitching about boxes aside, there’s an actual headset to review as well.

The P531 is quite sturdy, but it’s overly heavy for a headset and can be quite uncomfortable over long periods of time. The weight is down to the speakers themselves, each headphone housing two full speakers (Front and back) as well as half a sub-woofer each (Not to mention the huge amount of padding on each headphone).

The speakers themselves are somewhat small, just encompassing my ears and the rather thick padding that surrounds them was very tight and somewhat uncomfortable.

The structural design is also somewhat outlandish. Both headphones have a “fin” on either side for decorative purposes, but in practice these jut into the peripheral vision of anyone wearing them which can be distracting, especially for gamers. The speakers are mounted on axles that can turn 90 degrees inward, and 180 degrees around so that they can flip to face away from the ear. This combination of axels allows the speakers to also fold inwards, and because of this they can be folded up for easier storage.

Speaking of microphones; the P531 does feature a microphone, an almost standard feature on any gaming headset. It’s barely anything special though, average in every respect. The sound quality it produces isn’t something to rave about, the only real feature being the articulacy of the neck.

Despite the stiffness of the padding, and the overall weight; it’s surprisingly comfortable to wear. Both speakers and the bridge between them have wool-esque fabric so that they don’t irritate the skin (Though it sticks a bit on long hair).

You might remember from the last headset I reviewed, that it featured an annoying light in the microphone. The P531 has found a new way of annoying me with un-necessary lights that can’t be turned off. The volume controller features a single LED light in a strip across it’s body. This light also cannot be turned off, but it’s major annoyance lies in the fact that it blinks continuously. To stop it from distracting myself I had to hide it in my pocket, which made changing volume on the fly almost impossible.

Speaking of volume control, it need not be this complicated. The P531s volume controller has no less than 5 switches for controlling the output. This is because the headphones feature multiple speakers, and each switch is for controlling a particular set of speakers: Front, Back, Central, Sub-woofer and Overall Volume. Once I’d achieved a decent sound quality from each speaker I found I didn’t need to use any other switch other than the overall volume, but it’s absurd sensitivity meant that I frequently overshot the volume I desired.

At higher volumes, each speaker vibrates a lot due to the presence of the sub-woofers which is not only uncomfortable, but slightly painful as well.

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Last modified: February 15, 2011

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