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Arctic Cooling E351-WM and E352 Earphones Review

I recently did a review of the Arctic Cooling E361-WM earphones with microphone.  The E361 earphones worked flawlessly as a playback device for both my computer and my iPod touch.  The microphone worked great with my touch, but I had some problems recording with it on my laptop.  I felt that the problem was probably caused by my computer, because the microphone did work with the touch.  The people at Arctic Cooling expressed concern that I had a problem.  Because I did use the included splitter cable with my laptop (which had separate jacks for the microphone input and earphone output), the people at Arctic Cooling wanted to provide me with a replacement splitter cable so I could give recording another try on my computer.  Instead of just a splitter cable, they sent a pair of E351-WM earphones with a splitter cable.  They also sent along a pair of E352 earphones;  these are made of wood for a warmer, richer sound.

I used the new splitter cable with the Arctic Cooling E361-WM earphones.  Recording on the laptop worked beautifully using the new splitter cable, and I updated the E361-WM review with new sample files to illustrate this.  Now I’m going to give a closer look at the E351-WM and E352 earphones.

Arctic Sound E351-WM Earphones

Let’s start with the E351-WM earphones with microphone.  At first glance, the E351 earphones look very much like the E361 earphones I previously reviewed.  They are available in black or white, and I received the white.  The body of the ear buds is milled aluminum and the cables are white.  These earbuds are not marked to indicate left/right.  Having the earbuds in the “wrong” ears won’t destroy your enjoyment of the music, but I prefer to know I am hearing the music the way it was intended.  I compared the sound coming out of the E351 to the sound coming out of the E361 earbuds and determined that the lozenge-shaped microphone is in the cable going to the left earbud. 

What’s in the package:
E351-WM Earphones
3 sets of silicone caps – small, medium, large
Cable splitter
Protective case
Cable clip
User’s manual

Technical specifications:
Frequency response – 18 Hz – 22,000 Hz
Impedance – 32 Ohm
Sensitivity – 104 dB/mW
Output power – 15 mW
Cable 1.3 m with 3.5 mm stereo plug
Weight – 5 g

The E351 earbuds have a large driver that Arctic Cooling says “leads to ultimate bass performance” and a gold-plated 3.5 mm stereo plug for best signal transmission.  Three pairs of silicone caps are provided so you can select the best fit for your ears.  The medium caps are pre-installed, and they fit my ears best.  Music sounded clear and bright.  Bass response was good, but it didn’t rattle the fillings in my teeth, of course.  I tried them with a variety of music – vocal, orchestral, and hard rock – and they sounded good with all types.  Naturally, I heard great stereo separation when I tried them with Art Garfunkel’s “I Only Have Eyes for You”.  The panning effect in that song was so strong I could almost feel it.  Documentation on the Arctic Cooling web site says the “seal in the ears blocks ambient noise efficiently so that you hear only the sound from the earphones and nothing more. Even when you are on a plane, with the ARCTIC SOUND earphones, you will hear your favorite music instead of the ambient noise.”  I found that I could hear ambient noises with the earbuds in my ears.  The E351 earbuds are comfortable, but I do think the E361-WM earbuds I reviewed earlier fit my ears better.  I suppose the bent shape of the E361-WM earbuds allowed them to fit in my ears more comfortably, but the E351-WM earbuds are almost as comfortable in my hard-to-fit ears.

Microphone

I tried recording using the E351’s built-in microphone.  I had to use the included splitter cable when recording on my computer, which has separate jacks for the microphone input and earphone output.  Recording was clear with the E351 earphones on my computer.  arctic-cooling-351-352-earphone-review-on-computer   I did not need the splitter cable with my iPod.  I found that recording using the voice recorder app on my iPod touch worked equally well.  arctic-cooling-351-352-earphone-review-on-ipod

The E351-WM earphones come with the wonderful Arctic Cooling protective case.  The case is made of a heavy-duty black fabric, like the kind used for luggage.  The case is round, about 2 5/8″ in diameter, 1.25″ thick, and closes with a zipper.  Inside is a trumpet-shaped cup to hold your earbuds, and you wind the cable around the body of the trumpet.  There’s room inside for the extra ear caps and the splitter cable.  This little case is hard, and it should protect your earbuds from most anything.

I like the Arctic Sound E351-WM earphones.  They are comfortable, they sound good, and they include a microphone.  Arctic Cooling shows a MSRP of $42.20 for these earphones.

Arctic Sound E352 Wooden Earphones

What’s in the package:
E352 Earphones
3 sets of silicone caps – small, medium, large
Protective case
Cable clip
User’s manual

Technical specifications:
Frequency response – 18 Hz – 22,000 Hz
Impedance – 32 Ohm
Sensitivity – 104 dB/mW
Output power – 15 mW
Cable 1.3 m with 3.5 mm stereo plug
Weight – 5 g

The Arctic Sound E352 earphones come with three sets of silicone caps, with the medium pre-installed.  Apparently the same silicone caps are used for all the Arctic Cooling earphones I’ve tested, because the medium once again fit me best.  The E352 earbuds are made of a beautiful medium brown wood; they have a black cable, and a gold-plated 3.5 mm stereo plug.  The earbuds were comfortable in my ears.  I could hear ambient sounds with these earbuds.  The E352 earbuds are not marked left/right.  I used another pair of earbuds to determine left/right channels, and I found that the Arctic Cooling logo at the juncture of the two earbud cables should face away from your body to have the proper placement – at least for the particular pair I was sent.

Arctic Cooling documentation says the wooden chassis produces a “warm and natural sound.”  It’s hard to describe sound, but I was blown away by these earbuds.  I tried them with a variety of music, and they sounded good with everything.  Bass response was good, but not head-rattling.  Stereo separation was great.  These earbuds sounded fabulous with vocal music.  Peter Gabriel recordings have never sounded better to me, and a Rush song with Geddy Lee singing accompanied by Alex Lifeson’s acoustic guitar gave me chills.  The music did sound warm and round – if you’ll pardon my clumsy attempt at describing the quality of sound. 

The E352 earphones also come with the sturdy Arctic Cooling protective case.  The MSRP for the Arctic Sound E352 earphones is $69.95.

I can recommend either of these earphones.  If you prefer “heavier”, harder music, you might be happier with the Arctic Sound E351-WM earphones.  If you like acoustic or vocal music, you can’t go wrong with the Arctic Sound E352 earphones.

 

Product Information

Price:$42.20 for the E351-WM; $69.95 for the E352
Manufacturer:Arctic Cooling
Pros:
  • Good sound, good bass response
  • Sturdy storage case
  • Three sets of silicone caps so you can select the best fit
  • Built-in microphone with the E351-WM
  • Warm, rich sound with the E352
Cons:
  • Silicone caps run a little smaller, so they may not fit everyone
  • Neither set of earbuds is marked to identify R/L channels

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • John April 2, 2010, 12:57 pm

    Try Harry Connick(I Only Have Eyes) with your earbuds. John

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