The Headphones aren't loud enough.
Before we go into troubleshooting volume - The Arc-1 is capable of producing SPL levels that are well in excess of safe listening levels. Ideally, you should limit your listening level to 85dB SPL or below - this is comparable to the volume level of city traffic when you're standing on the sidewalk. If you typically listen at louder volumes, please consider trying a lower setting to preserve your hearing.
If you find that your Arc-1s are not producing loud enough audio, try the following:
- Make sure your source device is turned up all the way. Many devices will synchronize volume setting with the Arc-1, but not all.
- Make sure the Arc-1 is turned up all the way using the volume controls on the ear cup. Likewise, not all devices will synchronize volume level over Bluetooth, so even if your source is at maximum volume, make sure that your headphones are, too.
- Check the volume setting inside your app on the source device. Some apps have volume controls that are independent of the device or OS. Make sure that this has been increased to maximum as well.
If you've tried all of the above, with all controls set to maximum, music played over an Arc-1 should be clearly audible when the headphones are held at arm's length. If the audio is still very faint and you find that the audio seems to be at a low SPL (say, quieter than a vacuum cleaner), your headphones may be defective. In that case, please contact customer service and we'll help you get a replacement.
The sound quality is not good.
Although sound quality is subjective, especially on headphones, the Arc-1 delivers clear, clean audio from low bass rumbles to high treble sparkle. If you aren't hearing that, there may be something wrong. Try the following first:
- Make sure that the Arc-1 is connected via "Headphone profile" and not "Hands-free profile" or "Headset". On some devices (computers especially,) it can be connected in headset mode, which uses a dramatically lower audio quality that is designed only for calls. Music will sound hollow, muffled, and all-around very bad. Disconnect and reconnect the Arc-1 as Headphones, or switch to the Headphone profile on your source device.
- Make sure your source device is using the Apt-X codec, if available. If your device allows you to select the Bluetooth codec, check the advanced settings and make sure the Arc-1 is connected via Apt-X if supported.
- Try disconnecting and reconnecting. In some cases, the source device will establish a connection with the Arc-1 at a lower bit-rate than normal, possibly because of interference at the time of connection. This results in audio that is muffled, isn't clear-sounding, and lacks a sense of "3D", "depth", or "space". This is unusual but can happen without warning. If your music is playing as normal, but sounds disappointing and flat, this may be the cause. Try forgetting and reconnecting the Arc-1 to remedy this issue.
- Make sure that any settings for streaming quality, bit-rate, or audio quality on your source device and app are set to "high" or "highest". Because the Arc-1s produce such clear audio, sources that are delivering less than their best-quality sound will be more noticeable. The Arc-1 can reveal flaws in your source audio and you may be thrown off by hearing these flaws for the first time. Be sure to always use the highest quality audio available with the Arc-1.
If you've tried all of these solutions and the audio still sounds off - possibly missing bass, or one ear is quieter than the other - you may have a physical defect in the driver units. Please contact customer service and we'll help you get a replacement right away.
The noise level / hiss is too loud.
Because the Arc-1 has a clear and well-extended treble response, background hiss / noise can sometimes be more noticeable than it is on other devices. Noise is more noticeable in the treble region, which is what causes this. Much of this background noise comes from the source device, and unfortunately the headphones cannot prevent this. If you find background hiss bothersome, try the following:
- Use another source device with lower self-noise.
- Lower the volume on the headphones and raise the volume on the source device.
- Lower the volume on the Arc-1 when not actively listening to audio.
My headphones are making a buzzing sound during low notes
A rare manufacturing defect can cause a buzzing sound in the Arc-1 during low notes. If you aren't sure if this sound is really there, try listening to a "bass test" track (many are available on Youtube, for example) and see if you can pick out a buzzing or rattling sound. If so, your headphones may need to be replaced. Please contact customer service and we'll take care of it.
The light on the power button keeps flashing!
No need to worry. This is normal and there is nothing wrong with your headphones. Currently there is no option to disable this feature, but we are working on a firmware update that will stop the light from flashing. This firmware update is not yet available, but we'll send an announcement once it's released. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for news.
Can I use other USB cables or chargers to charge the Arc-1?
Yes, the Arc-1 accepts any micro-USB power connection. You may have read in the manual that the Arc-1 is only rated for 500mA power input. This means that the charging circuit has not been lab-certified to accept more than that current. However, in practice most chargers are compatible with the Arc-1. Still, if a charger delivers a higher current than the Arc-1 can safely accept, it may damage the headphones. There are many chargers on the market and it is not possible to test all of them. Please be careful and if possible, avoid using extra-high current chargers with the Arc-1.
The microphone doesn't work when the Arc-1 is plugged in with the Aux cord!
The Arc-1's Auxiliary connector does not have the ability to send a microphone signal to another device. The microphone is Bluetooth-only. The Bluetooth connection is also disabled when the auxiliary cord is connected.
However, there is a work-around. 3.5mm audio cables with built-in microphones are available that independently send a microphone signal to the source device. Searching "Aux cable with microphone" should return useful results. The correct type of cable has two stripes on one plug, and three stripes on the other end of the cable - indicating 3 conductors on one end and 4 on the other - the 4th being for the microphone.
We recommend using the Arc-1 in Bluetooth mode whenever possible - it was designed and optimized for wireless use. But if you require a wired microphone, the Arc-1 will work with these wired microphone adapters.
The Arc-1 is too big / small!
The Arc-1 is designed to fit most adults, but everyone's head and ears are different, and it was not possible to accommodate every possible adjustment without completely changing the design of the headphone. If the Arc-1 doesn't fit you after trying the full range of adjustments, we sincerely apologize. As always, you can return them for a full refund within the 3-year warranty window. We take care of our customers - period.
Where can I find the serial number?
If you are looking for the serial number of your Arc-1, it's located on a label behind the left ear cup. To find the label, take the left ear cup and gently but firmly twist in a counterclockwise direction. It should come off easily after a slight twist. If there is no label behind the ear cup, it means the headphones are from the first batch. This shipment was not serialized, but not to worry, this will not be an issue if you need to contact customer service.