Arctic Cooling Arctic Sound E352 Earbuds

Author
Logan King
Posted
March 16, 2010
Manufacturer
Arctic Cooling
Product Page
Arctic Sound E352 Series
Views
24675
Arctic Cooling Arctic Sound E352 Earbuds
The Arctic Cooling Arctic Sound E352 Earbuds offer a high quality, innovative design and pretty good audio quality, but the E361 series has better performance for a lower price.

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Introduction

With most earbuds on the market being made primarily of plastic or aluminum, Arctic Cooling has decided to up the ante in the style department with the Arctic Sound E352 series. The E352 series implements an innovative design based around a chassis using real wood construction.

Packaging

The E352 series has the same silver gradient packaging design that is shared throughout the Arctic Sound range. The internal layout of the packaging is also the same as the other Arctic Sound moddels. Unlike the E361, the E352 does not have the secondary window which is replaced by the Arctic Sound logo.

Packaging


As on the E361 series, the E352 packaging displays the same helpful chart showing the performance and features of the earbuds. Interestingly, even though the E352 earbuds are the flagship of the Arctic Sound range in price, the specifications and features list makes them out to be lower performing,

Performance Chart


Specifications

  • Frequency response: 18 Hz -22k Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Sensitivity: 104 dB/mW
  • Output Power: 15 mW
  • Cable length: 1.3 meters (4 feet, 3 inches)


While the frequency range and sensitivity are still pretty good as far as earbuds go, they are still notably not as good as those of either the E361 series or the E351 series. This is according to the Arctic Cooling website itself.

Package Contents

As with the E361, opening up the package reveals a carrying case, two extra sets of silicone caps, a product manual, and the headphones themselves.

Package Contents


There is no adapter or anything for PC use as the plug on the earbuds is a standard 3.5mm TRS adapter.

Design

As the specifications of the Arctic Cooling website make the E352 series out to be lower performance earbuds, and because of the emphasis on the wooden chassis, it is clear that the most important thing about the E352 series is the style that they bring to the table. In that respect, the E352 series is a real winner. The wooden finish looks fantastic and the shape of the chassis makes the wood style integrate well with the wires.

Arctic Sound E352


The included earbuds go well with the carrying case. The case itself is the same ARCTIC In-Ear Case included with the »E361 series and works just as well in this application. As on the E361 model, the Arctic Cooling logo is viewable in multiple places on the earbuds. This adds a nice bit of brand confidence in the design.

There are, however, some problems with the design of the earbuds. Most importantly, neither of the earbuds are labeled, so it can be a hassle determining which side goes in which ear. The Y-splitter on the cables also seems a bit flimsy to the extent that it may be the weakest link of the design as far as durability is concerned.
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Testing Protocol

Remember that testing sound devices is a very subjective thing. Make sure you read reviews from many different sites to really gauge how something that deals with sound actually is. A sample size of one site is not enough to make an intelligent decision on which product to buy since there is no 'standard' way of testing something like a headset.

Ergonomics

As ergonomics are such an important factor when choosing earbuds, having ones that don't quite fit can be a deal breaker regardless of anything else. Therefore, as is the case with the E361 series, the inclusion of 3 different pairs of ear caps for the earbuds help alleviate any fitting problems. The E352 earbuds also don't use a bent casing design like the E361 series does; There shouldn't be as much of a potential problem in ergonomics in the first place.

Sound

The actual performance of the earbuds was something that peaked our curiosity due to the specifications chart on the back of the packaging. The E361 series had quality so good that it was hard to tell that they were even earbuds and it was important to note how well the more-expensive E352 series held up in comparison (even though the E352s weren't performance oriented). With that in mind, the results were rather mixed. While the earbuds didn't have the overwhelming bass that the E361 had, it could largely come down to personal preference as to whether that is a detriment or not. The E352 earbuds handled lows and mediums just as well (the high quality lows being particularly notable, as the lower amount of bass makes them stand out more). However, when it came to highs, the E352 began showing weakness compared to the E361 model. There is a noted tinniness in the highs that presents itself in spots; While the sound is still acceptable as far as earbuds go, they unfortunately still come off as rather disappointing.

Earbuds Closeup


As far as sound isolation, the E352s do a good job at keeping outside sounds out. There is minimal sound leakage, and while they don't have the bent case design of the E361 (or the resulting comprehensive isolation that said design allowed), it speaks of the design quality that Arctic Cooling was able to get such good isolation out of the more traditional earbud shape.

Conclusion

The Arctic Cooling Arctic Sound E352 earbuds present an interesting question. Are you willing to give up some audio quality over other comparative Arctic Sound models in order to have some of the most stylish earbuds on the market? At nearly $70, the E352 series is also nearly $20 more expensive than the base model E361 series, and $30 more expensive than the functionally similar E351 series. Even though the earbuds clearly target the style conscientious (rather than the performance crowd), the price and performance drawbacks are enough for ASE Labs to not recommend the Arctic Sound E352 series. The price is simply too high and the performance isn't really there.

That being said, the styling of the earbuds is quite fantastic. Arctic Cooling's dedication to the design of the Arctic Sound E352 series has to be commended. We applaud them for making such a interesting approach to product style.



ASE Labs would like to thank Arctic Cooling for making this review possible.

Comments

images/siteimages/upload/2010/03/06/3770lk0.jpg Earbuds Closeup images/siteimages/upload/2010/03/06/3771m33.jpg Packaging images/siteimages/upload/2010/03/06/3774mgn.jpg Arctic Sound E352 images/siteimages/upload/2010/03/06/3773mpx.jpg Package Contents images/siteimages/upload/2010/03/13/3783lxu.png Performance Chart

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