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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]Every once in a while, a company starts to play some other games inside its regular sandbox. That’s what happened to Arctic Cooling, whose name already states that is a cooler maker: they released a line of earphones with the Arctic Sound E361 model. It comes with a small microphone to be used with the iPhone and other smartphone models. It can even double as a headset for a PC or laptop. The end result is very good on several levels, as we will see in the following review.
The Arctic Sound E361-WM comes in black or white. We received the white model for testing. The aluminum chassis has silicone ear buds that go right into the user’s ear canal. It comes with three pair of different silicone caps in small, medium and large sizes so the user can select the perfect match for his ear. The 51 3/16" (1.3 m) cable ends in a gold-plated L-shaped 3.5 mm stereo plug. The microphone is located on the right ear cord. It also includes a shirt clip, a laptop adapter (to split the audio and voice signals) and a zippered case which holds the earplugs and let the cable be wrapped around a circular outcropping in the middle. This round case is amazing if you are the kind of person who hates stuffing an earphone in the bottom of a backpack or wrapping it around your iPod. This is an organization-freak dream come true.
[nextpage title=” Testing Arctic Sound E361-WM”]Since Arctic Sound E361-WM can perform both as a regular earphone and a smartphone headset, we conducted different tests. First, we used it with our own iPod Touch (tested here) and enjoyed a variety of musical selections, even podcasts. The earphone worked great with bass, giving a powerful response without any distortions when we selected drum-heavy electronic music and hip-hop. When we listened to the Forcecast (a Star Wars podcast), the presenters seemed to be right by our side so crisp were their voices. Being an earphone with three different silicone caps choices, the E361-WM provided great sound immersion, leaving the exterior noise well behind. Be aware of the volume because you can get a little stunned after some hours of listening. Although being useless on a regular iPod, the microphone can control some rudimentary pause/play function, which is good when you have to pause the music to hear something else (like a cellphone or another person calling out).To test the E361-WM as a headset, we asked a friend for his iPhone. In this case, the microphone control can toggle between calls. To use with Skype on a laptop, you have to use the audio/microphone splitter. In both cases the calls sounded great according to the people we called, and we never had to hold the microphone closer to our mouth to be heard.In a final analysis, we rather liked the strong bass response and the crisp sound that comes from an earphone that doesn’t have any pretentions of being a high-end audiophile product. The microphone makes it a very useful headset for smartphones and laptop. The neat casing and overall design just add to the final value. The E361-WM is already a faithful companion to our iPod.[nextpage title=”Specifications”]Arctic Cooling’s Arctic Sound E361-WM earphone main specifications are:
- 3.5 mm gold-plated plug
- Frequency range: 8 – 26,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Sensitivity: 105 dB/mW
- Max. power output: 15 mW
- Cord length: 51 3/16" (1.3 m)
- Weight: 0.18 oz. (5 g)
- Includes zippered case and three silicone earbuds.
- More information: https://www.arctic.ac
- Suggested retail price: USD 34.95
Here is a summary of what we found out about Arctic Cooling’s Arctic Sound E361-WM earphones.
- Strong bass without any distortions
- Nice case
- Three different options of silicone caps
- Good sound immersion
- Doubles as a headset
- Microphone has pause/play functions
- The microphone control could be a little easier to press.