Arctic Sound S361 2.1 Speaker Set Review
This certainly isn't the kind of package you could slip into the house under your jacket. It's a beast. Once the seal is broken we can see everything is packed very well indeed.
Sturdy corrugated cardboard encloses three layers of polystyrene keeping everything tightly packed and well protected.
Once out of the box your initial impression is how hefty the bass box is. It must take up three-quarters of the total weight of the package. Of course some of that will be the power circuitry but still there are obviously some quality sub-woofers in here.
The satellites are gorgeous to look at being finished in high gloss black with very silver speakers. Although the layout might be similar to other tall PC speaker setups, clearly as these are a foot tall and 6 inches wide you know the quality of the speakers will surpass that you might be used to.
Connectivity is thankfully simple. As these are a 2.1 set you have either twin-phono to 3.5mm jack or phono to phono options. This greatly enhances the usability as you're not limited to just plugging them into your sound-card but could use them in the television or your MP3 player if desired. We'll take a look at the line controller in a moment.
Even the satellites have a port on them, should you desire even more bass than you get from the sub-woofer alone. There is plenty of cable supplied too giving you lots of positional options for both the speakers and the sub-woofer.
The line controller is the main control for the speakers. All of the buttons do exactly what you'd expect them to do. It's nice to have a very obvious mute button. Anyone who has spent a frantic few seconds groping for a tiny button will appreciate something so easy to find.
Volume control is dealt with by an endlessly turning dial. The quality of this is exceptional. It's up there with some of the most expensive hi-fi systems I have ever handled. It's got great weight, a soft notchy feel to it and all around is just an extremely high-end bit of kit. Below the volume is a LED which glows blue when the system is on and, irritatingly, pulses blue when it's in standby.
One small thing we have to mention is you may have noticed in the photo of the sub-woofer above a small gap in the top of the case. Sure enough whoever packed this must have clonked it on the side of the table and just stuck it in anyway as their is no way it could have been damaged in the packaging, which showed no sign of damage. It did mean that the whole bass unit rattled quite a bit and taking the front off we discovered that the glue hadn't taken too kindly and broken off into small bits.
In no way does this affect the performance of the unit. It's entirely cosmetic, albeit slightly disappointing. And yes the smiley face on that bit of glue is exactly how it is and un-edited.
Seems like the perfect moment to plug them in and see what we have.