Arctic P311 Bluetooth Stereo Headset Rocks My World [Review]




Review by Jordan Trimas

The Arctic P311 Bluetooth headset ($40) is an excellent option for those desiring a pair of über-comfortable Bluetooth stereo headphones without having to hock a family heirloom to afford them. My first impression, naturally, was that I probably wouldn’t get a top-performer for $40, so expectations weren’t high. But it was love at first listen when the P311s emerged from their packaging.

The P311s stream both calls and music, but are somewhat unusual in the stereo Bluetooth headset arena in that they’re compact on-the-ear ‘phones (instead of the more usual earbud, canalphone or over-the-ear cans).


The Good:

From excellent ergonomics — a big plus since comfort has always been a major issue for my long and slightly misshapen head — to the surprisingly clear sound quality, there isn’t too much I can dislike about the Arctic P311’s. I love walking out the door with these guys; their ample loudness and 20-HOUR battery keeps me immersed in Eagles of Death Metal and conversations with my mom all day long. Did I say all day? I meant all week!

That’s right, I said it: A whopping 20 hours of music playback and 400 hours standby between charges gives the Arctic P311s genuine ol’-faithful-like reliability.

Arctic chose wisely against wasting resources on sleek lines and phony chrome accents, instead employing easy-to-use functionality and plush material. The cups even swivel and collapse neatly into their handy little protective case for safe traveling.

Mids and highs are crisp and clear, and there’s plenty of volume. The integrated amplifier has no problem powering the P311’s 28mm drivers.


The Bad:

As much as I like the P311s, there are a few shortcomings that require tweaking.

I experienced minor connectivity issues when on the go — phone tucked in a pants pocket — causing the familiar Bluetooth connectivity interruptions that sound like sound like a scratched CD, making conversation or listening to music more difficult. Of course, because Bluetooth signals weaken when your phone is pressed up against skin, things work fine with the my iPhone  in a shirt pocket or at least a pair of loose-fitting pants.

The microphone’s noise cancellation is mediocre at best, so having a conversation next to jackhammers or groups of teenagers might be difficult for people on the other end of the line. The P311s earcups do a good job of passively canceling noise and keeping incoming sound impressive and uninterrupted though.

My main grumble is about the unfortunate absence of bass. Sound quality is good, but the definite lack of low-range performance drops the rating a little.



I’m forced to give the Arctic P311 two thumbs up, an Academy Award, a Grammy, and whatever trophies I might have lying about, because they’re comfortable, reliable, and well-designed Bluetooth stereo headphones — especially for the money. However, I can’t quite award them the Nobel Prize because they do have some serious room for improvement in the basement.

[xrr rating=80%]

  • reactor1

    So just to clarify, the Artic headset includes a built in microphone?

  • Barry Johnson

    Will they stay on while active? (anything more jostling than walking)

  • lsl833
  • Jordan Trimas

    @ Barry Johnson. They are absolutely the best fitting over-the-ear headphones I’ve ever had. They will definitely stay on while you’re working out or doing chores around the house. Minimal slippage. 
    @ reactor1. It does have a built in mic. Not the best but definitely worth the $.

  • toddgarvin

    I was pulling out my credit card until you lost the bass. That’s been my biggest gripe with reasonably priced headphones… no bass. I’d pay double (or triple) for these if they could produce a full range of sound. Oh well, guess I’ll keep looking.

  • RogerKab

    I just paid $23.87 for an iPod 2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from,

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  • lsl833
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  • Robert Williams

    Same here.  I was getting all excited about these headphones until he mentioned the lack of bass.  

  • hmsheen10

    I bought these about a month ago and they cannot be beat! Perfect for working out and doing anything. I highly suggest everyone buy them.

  • lsl48
  • jdh322

    Their support page claims a 20 hour playback battery life. How long did the batter last for you? How did your iphone battery do?

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  • Jordan Trimas

    I must have gone a week without charging. That’s with about 3 hours use daily so I probably got to 20. With that much battery life it was actually challenging to test it! Haha! I  will definitely support that claim.

  • Jordan Trimas

    I hear you. No pun intended. In this price range for a bluetooth stereo headset, good base performance is certainly hard to come by.

  • Jordan Trimas

    Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, they do have a mic.

  • Nishad Rasheed XCz

    hai i am Nishad from KERALA in INDIA..i  am so impressed about this headset…..and i was searching it for the last two months…anyone could you please help me to get this headset ..please tell me from where i  canbut this headset

  • Jordan Trimas

    You can find it for sale on Amazon US or on the Arctic website. Don’t know if they’ll ship internationally though. Good luck!

  • Des Chew

    I just got a unit. Everything I like except the fact that the headset got loose most of the time. I can hardly keep it up when walking. I am not sure if it has anything to do with my ears.

  • Jordan Trimas

    I don’t think you’re wearing it correctly. These are one of the most secure fitting headsets I’ve ever owned. Are you wearing them over and behind the ear or just over? If you have very unusual ear shape, like I do, it’s possible that you’d have an issue but I think it’s highly unlikely with the P311s if you’re wearing them correctly.

  • Jordan Trimas

    Update: One of the speakers died and the warranty replacement was easy. Very nice people at customer service. To me, this is easily just as important as the product itself!