Arctic Cooling has recently entered the noise isolating earphone market. I reviewed the Arctic Sound E361 earphones which proved to be a great solution that I carry daily in my away game bag. The E352 earphones match the E361 in build and quality and add a touch of style with an attractive wooden chassis. The E352 do not include a microphone, so these will have to be used for audio only, no iPhone for me.
Click through the break to see how the Arctic Sound E352 earphones stack up.
Style: I have to say these things look cool! I am a sucker for wood. Before I had kids and when I get time during the summers now, I turn hand made custom ink pens from wood. Wood brings a natural beauty that I truly love. With that said, wooden earphones are super stylish in my eyes. In my semi-expert opinion, the wood used for the chassis is walnut. It is a dark chocolate colored wood with nice grain. It actually looks like Claro Walnut to be exact. The wood is sealed with a high gloss substance so they are protected nicely.
- Noise Isolating: I am impressed by the noise isolating qualities of the E352s. I was listening to music on my MacBook Pro in the den with the television on and two kids running wild. As I enjoyed the music, I did not realize how well the ambient noises were being sealed out until I noticed my wife standing in front of my and all I could see was moving lips. A husband’s dream?!? LOL
- Rock Music: My choice for review album was Cake: Fashion Nugget. Probably partially due to the noise isolation, but audio quality on this album was fantastic. They highs are clear and crisp, lows are deep but not overwhelming. Cake has a distinct guitar sound which sounded great. Vocals are crisp and detailed. Harder parts of the songs never created distortion or discomfort. Very nice.
- Hip Hop/Rap Music: My choice for review album was Notorious B.I.G.: Greatest Hits. Yes, I love me some Biggie! I have always loved Hypnotize. Just like the rock, lows are deep and nice and the highs are crisp. For most rap songs the highs are almost too crisp. A change of the EQ helps tone them down a bit. The voice is clear and I had no distortion issues. Some might like more bass for their hip hop/rap. I am fine with slightly deep bass, so it sounds good to me.
- Country: My choice for review album is Jack Levitt: Conversations With A Chupacabra. (Shameless Plug!) Jack Levitt (watch the bottom video!!) is fronted by my close friend since elementary school, Bob Curry. Do me a favor and check them out here on iTunes for some great Texas Music! The E325s are amazing with country music. After listening to several of my favorite Texas artists, I could find no faults. The lows and highs are balanced just right. Crisp highs and deep lows complement the vocals. Country music often is composed of many instruments and parts. The music is detailed and clear with these headphones.
- Spoken Word: What better way to test these than to listen to the Gear Diary Podcast which all of you should listen here! Podcasts and spoken word is clear and easy to understand. Voices are crisp and well balanced. These work great for audio books or podcasts.
Arctic cooling includes a very usable case for all headphones. The case is durable and small enough to carry in your pocket. Simply place the earphones into the reservoir and wrap the cord up. Zip them shut and off you go.
For sub $100 earphones, the E325s are both stylish and sound great. All of my testing was positive. If you are in the market for earphones but do not want to pay audiophile prices, these are a viable option. I would like to see the E325s offered with a microphone since most of my music is listened to on my iPhone on the go and I prefer to have the microphone option. You will not be disappointed with the sound quality. Check them out here.
What I like: Great sound and beautiful wooden chassis.
Would could be improved: Microphone option and right and left ear marking. Some hip hop/rap may not have enough bass.