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Arctic Sound P531 5.1 Surround-Sound Gaming Headset

Comfort

The light weight of the P531, combined with the soft fabric earpads, make it really quite comfortable during use.  The weight of the headset seems quite evenly distributed between the headband (when adjusted properly) and the earpieces.  These two features combine to make a headset that is comfortable to use, even for long periods of time. I’ve tested various 5.1 surround-sound headsets in the past and the P531 is by far the lightest and most comfortable!

Gaming

When gaming, a surround-sound headset can really help your gameplay, especially in FPS games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.  We found sound panning to be very good thanks to the four dedicated driver units in each earpiece.  The difference this makes over a stereo headset are very noticeable, allowing us to identify the source of gunfire and other sounds with ease.

We also tested the headset with various other titles and the P531 really exceeded our expectations for such a cheap headset.  In Race Driver GRID the car engine noises were rendered accurate and the feedback from the integrated vibration units added another level of immersion into the game.

Movie

As Arctic describe the P531 as a gaming headset, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the movie experience wasn’t up to much.  To my complete surprise, the movie playback experience exceeded my expectations on every level and I do not hesitate in saying the P531 is the best gaming headset i’ve ever tested for movie playback.  Aside from the excellent surround-sound which will bring any movie to life, Arctic have integrated vibration units which really enhance the entire experience.

Music

Those who enjoy a prominent bass-line will love the P530.  Thanks to the dedicated subwoofer in each earpiece, the lower registers are very impressive.  And the real beauty of the P531 is the in-line control which allows you to alter the front, rear, centre and subwoofer volumes independently of each other, allowing you to set up the headset just how you like it.

We tested a number of tracks on the headset and found it very versatile.  There were a few moments where we noticed a slight lack of clarity, mainly in the middle register, but for the most party the sound produced was accurate. Unlike the 7H, the P531 cannot be used with an MP3 player.  This isn’t a huge drawback as most people will use normal earphones with an MP3 player rather than a full-size headset.  

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