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Reviewed: Arctic P533 headset

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Philipp Moosdorf
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Arctic P533 RacingArctic’s P533 is a circumaural gaming header which can be ordered in either a racing or military look. Priced at $74.99, the set should be ideal for games and listening to movies. Whether it can really convince, we’ll find out today.

Priced at $74.99, the P533 headset from Arctic is the companies most expensive model at the moment. Available in two variants, the P533 headphones is offered in both a Military and Racing style with the latter version on hand today.

For this price the buyer receives a massive, circumaural headset with neodymium drives and a mobile joint microphone on the side. Unlike the Arctic P614 there is no wireless version offered. Instead, the headset is connected with the standard 3.5mm jack.

Package

Arctic P533 Racing

Straight away from the upbeat design we can see the P533 is aimed at gamers with the clear Racing theme.

Arctic P533 Racing

Included in the package apart from the headset itself is the standard array of paperwork, a cover that helps transport the headset safely and a two meter extension cable.

Before we take a closer look at the actual headset, let’s cover some of the core technical information:

Headphones Type circumaural
driver 40 mm, neodymium
Freqeunzbereich Headphones 20 Hz to 20 kHz
sensitivity of Headphone > 95 dB / mW
impedance 16 or 32 Ohm
sensitivity microphone > -42 DB / Pa
connection four pole 3.5mm plug (extension 2 x three-pole 3.5mm jack)
cable 1.2 m + 2 m extension
Extent of Delivery Headset, adapter / extension cable, carrying case, info sheet
weight 375 g
product page http://www.arctic.ac

Optics and Hardware

Arctic P533 Racing

With massive earpieces, the P533 instantly reminds you of a pilots’ headset or something straight out of the pit lane during an F1 race. The circumaural design encapsulates the user more helping remove any external disturbances. In the case of the P533, ambient noise still penetrates the setup, albeit the blocking of external noise is still quite good overall. Ultimately, the closed design serves more as an optical feature then sound insulation. Weighting 375 g, the P533 is one of the heavier headsets. The lush padding helps make sure the headset remains comfortable after extended use. Under higher temperatures, however, the thick padding does mean you start to sweat quite easily. In terms of ergonomic features, adjustments are rather limited with just 1.5 cm offered on both sides.

The specifications are as you’d expect for a headset in this segment. Although the two 40 mm neodymium drives are 10 mm less in diameter then the Arctic P614, the frequency range is 20 to 20,000 Hz. The sensitivity is specified with> 95 dB / mW. The living hinge Microphone has noise Arctic sensitivity of -42 dB / Pa.

Arctic P533 Racing

The joint microphone can be folded up and down making sure that it’s down only when needed. Unlike competing products the pivoting doesn’t activate / deactivate the microphone. Therefore, even when up, the microphone continues to hear noise. Multiple cables are shown externally throughout the headset making for a very stylish industrial look. However, for longevity it’s not the most optimal design. With the cables securely attached, it’s not possible to easily replace any damaged cable. Of course, it needs to be noted that most headsets at this price level don’t offer exchangeable cables.

Arctic P533 Racing

While the microphone is offered on the left on the headset, moving around to the other earpiece we see a knob that helps adjust the volume.

Arctic P533 Racing

As mentioned earlier, the P533 is connected via a four-pole 3.5 mm jack. The plug is used for both the headphones and microphone signal and is supported primarily by mobile devices, including many notebooks. If you’re using the headset with a device that sits quite close to you the standard 1.2 m cable should be plenty. Those needing more length, though, can use the included 2 m extension cable.

Sound impressions

Coming in at around $75, the P533 is classified as a mid-range headset and certainly has a large amount of competition. One such set that comes to mind is the PC 320 from Sennheiser, albeit slightly more expensive at just over $90. As an open, supra-aural headset, they’re not fully comparable because the P533 offers quite a different circumaural design. When tested with a frequency generator, noise levels above 40 Hz could be heard meaning the promised 20 Hz wasn’t achieved.

Arctic P533 Racing

From a subjective listening impression, the bass could be more present. Gaming headsets usually tend to over-emphasize the bass range which is also not ideal, the Arctic P533 for our taste is a little thin. Overall, the sound quality for Gaming / Movies is ok. Moves and small details are easily perceptible giving an advantage in tactical shooters. Of course, as is customary in audio products, listening impressions are subjective and ideally you’ll want to test the device yourself.

The microphone with its natural voice reproduction is well suited for voice chat applications. Also helpful is the relative flexibility of the microphone.

Conclusion

Offered in a Racing and Military look, the P533 offers two very unique designs. The massive pilot look is ultimately a matter of taste. The included case works well for those looking to take the headset with them while the added extension cable makes it usable on devices near and far comfortably.

Arctic P533 Racing

The rather complicated presentation, unique design and comfort speaks for the Arctic P533 Racing (and the identical P533 Military). However, at this price point, the competition is tough as there are quite a number of headsets with better sound quality.

Positive Aspects of the Arctic P533:

  • Solid processed headset with a unique design
  • Delivery includes transport bag and extension / adapter cable
  • Outstanding comfort
  • Microphone flexibly solid, volume control on the headset

Negative Aspects of the Arctic P533:

  • Feeble bass, but overall unobtrusive Play
  • Volume control scratchy