Today we will be taking a look at some tech based entirely on sports and exercise, the agile and compact Bluetooth 4.0 P324 BT (Gen 2) headphones by Arctic.
Featuring Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, on earcup controls, easy setup, wide area for connectivity and cool features like removable ear pads, the P324 BT offers everything an exercise maniac could ever need while in the gym or out training. But with the increase of goods like this, solely focused on sports, does Arctic’s latest offering allow for some competition out there or will it take bronze? Let’s take a look at what is on offer and if we have a winner on our hands.
A full specification can be found on Arctics product page under the heading “Technical Specification”, or here for easy access.
Dimensions: 85 (L) x 53 (W) x 135 (H) mm
Now we will go through the unboxing process and take a closer look at what the P324 BT (Gen 2) headphones by Arctic are like in person. We will begin with the packaging, move on to what’s in the box then the standalone feature product.
The front of the box displays the usual information about the product, simple and to the point with a main feature image of the P324 BT headphones.
The back of the box shows more of the key selling features, like the multi-function button and controls to LED indicator.
Inside the box we have the usual manual and warranty card provided by Arctic, as well as a charging cable, carry case and finally, the headphones themselves.
The Arctic P324 BT folds up into an easy-to-carry package.
It also charges via Micro-USB with a port hidden away on the side of the earphones.
Performance and Testing
With the product out of the box and fully charged, we can now put the P324 BT (Gen 2) headphones by Arctic under scrutinization to see overall how they perform. We have now had this headset in our possession for a long time and put it through its paces, including real-world testing in a gaming environment as well as magnitude of audio samples to see how this headset stands in audio quality. A variation of bass, treble, volume increments in both increase and decrease stages were used as well as a variation of all to check for any fluctuation in performance or any black areas that suggest to us that the headset could not withstand what we threw at it. The headset was tested on multiple platforms too in order to see if the multi-platform compatibility was up to scratch. Here is what we found.
Supra-Aural On-ear, Neckband fitting style of the P324 BT is quite unusual although not original in comparison to other similarly styled sports headphones. Once fitted, the headset sits well and is quite an enjoyable, weightless audio capable device. After about an hour or so of exercise, they may work their way a little downwards off the ears but nothing a little jiggle back into place won’t fix. After several hours of use and once the earphone cushions have bedded in, they sit much better which means the newness of the ear cushion must be the reason why they tend to slip. I was very pleased with the overall fit and comfort of the P324 BT.
Headphones are only useful if they sound good and offer a good listening experience but does the P324 BT offer this? We are happy to say that the audio quality and performance of the P324 BT is actually very good even compared to some good quality wired earphones we have previously reviewed on the site. This came as an unusual surprise as with them being wireless, running off of Bluetooth for connectivity, there were obvious aspects to testing that would potentially cause problems when transferring audio between device and headphones. The only lack of quality, which was more of a dropout, was the slight jitter and silence experienced when the range between headphones and device was exceeded so as long as you stay nearby you won’t experience many issues. Now, I have just said that you’ll not have many issues, mainly as I did see a drop in quality ever so slightly when the headphones were used for long durations at a time so either keep the sessions to less than 2 to 3 hours or you may see some issues occur here and there. I would also like to make a point that these headphones are NOT designed for bass and heavily demanding studio quality tracks, they are designed for use while exercising and to be an all-around good bit of gear to have in your bag while at the gym for entertainment purposes. Aside from these expected issues, mainly related to wear and also connectivity, the P324 BT performed very well.
Before I begin, I would like to mention that the headset is designed for sports personnel and active use as headphones rather than a multimedia device for communication yet this feature has snuck its way into the product all the same so we will provide an honest evaluation of the microphone on the P324 BT. Simply put, it isn’t anything to write home about and serves well as a basic sort of platform for telephone calls, nothing else. It does this well and but isn’t special in any way. The quality can sometimes be a little distorted but as it is a little feature added, it is nice to see included for easy use while out and about.
As a sports headset, I was very impressed from beginning to the end of use and liked the quick swap earcups that can be wiped over then reinstalled after cleaning. Although not waterproof, the headset served its purpose and battery life survived a good few hour jog and gym session so no need to carry a power bank out with you. It sits out of the way of your equipment due to the Bluetooth capabilities and the controls are located in an open position so changing tracks is simple to do.
I will now begin to summarise my experience with the P324 BT by arctic to assist you with an evaluation of many aspects we have looked at, from aesthetics to performance. I would like to begin by thanking Arctic for sending the P324 BT (gen 2) to us for review and hope that any criticism is taken as constructive to further develop your products in the future. As sportswear goes, we now see watches and bracelets becoming a very popular assortment of gadgets in the kitbag of exercise enthusiasts but entertainment is also a key feature when out for a jog or toning muscle at the gym. The purpose of the P324 BT by Arctic is to provide audio to the wearer of this headset; to be entertained and allow for easy, cable-free use as they get fit. So our evaluation, aside from looking at performance and aesthetics mentioned earlier, will be looked on the perspective of a gym bug or sports enthusiast rather than a technology bias reviewer as nothing can ever be as perfect as what is on paper.
If I was to design a headset for use while playing a sport, I would focus on the features rather than top end performance and this is something Arctic has also stuck to. These features being easy access controls, good general performance, the addition of a basic microphone for quick telephone calls, good battery life, nice fit and being cable free. The P324 BT offers all of this for a low price of roughly £26/$40, not a bad bit of tech for a treadmill trot.
There are some downsides, as mentioned earlier in the review, like the loss of some audio quality after hours of heavy use and the low-quality quiet microphone but looking on these realistically, the chances of using the headset for hours long durations are slim and phone calls are not exactly a common thing in the gym. Having said that, if you experience either of these things regularly while getting fit or playing sports then heavily avoid the P324 BT.
Now I would like to come to the advice for anyone looking to buy a Bluetooth, easy use and overall good performing set of sports headset/headphones. This headset is not for you and you will not find much else in the range out there that is perfect in ALL fields, mainly as the technology is not there. What the P324 BT DOES offer is a great value sports headset, littered with necessary features which have been thought out by some smartypants in the R&D department at Arctic.
Arctic have brought together a nice little package featuring good performance for a low profile headset, packed full of features. With this said, I would like to award the Arctic P324 BT (Gen 2) headset the value award for their dedication to building the ideal sports headset.
- Great value for money
- Good performance in a small package
- Ideal for anyone into sports or a lot of physical activity
- Microphone isn't great
- Loss of sound quality after long duration of use
- Occasional sound drops out when objects come between Bluetooth device and headset