Eagle Arion ET-AR302-BK 2.0 Soundstage Speakers Review

Introduction

After reviewing Eagle Tech’s affordable 2.1 speaker setup, they sent us over another speaker set for review – the ET-AR302-BK. In keeping with the theme of the other Eagle Tech speakers they promise decent sound quality at a very reasonable price. At just the $20 mark, this 2.0 set is hardly going to break the bank but how do they shape up in terms of performance and sound quality? Let’s take a better look…

Overview

“This is what high-end sounds like! By using high quality cone materials, these speakers’ exhibit exceptional tonal fidelity, linearity and response well within the midrange and extending into the high frequency audio ranges. Solid wood enclosure with carefully positioned aperture increases power handling at very low frequencies. As result, these speakers image very well with high frequency transients that are clear and natural, and the lows that are nice and tight. It’s a sound that’s unmatched in other speakers anywhere near their price range.”

Features

  • Exceptional tonal fidelity
  • Stiff and light cone materials for precise vibrations
  • Smooth response over broad frequency so you hear the music exactly the same way it was recorded
  • Solid wood enclosures accurately amplifies overall sound level
  • Great for MP3 player, CD, PC, video gaming system, home audio system or just about any other audio sources
  • Volume control
  • Headphone input

Specifications

  • Total RMS Power: 6 Watts
  • Satellites: 3 Watts RMS x 2 (into 4 ohms, @<=1% THD)
  • Total Peak Power: 12 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz to 20kHz
  • Drivers: Satellites: 3-in high output drivers with solid wood enclosure
  • Speaker Dimension: 3.43”x5.72”x3.43”

Contents & Packaging

As with the 2.1 set, the retail packaging really does look the part with the glossy black and green colours giving rise to an image of the two satellites in the centre.

The peak output, at just 12W, is highlighted along with the so-called “Distinctive Sound”.

The back gives a quick overview of the main features each relating to a certain part of the speakers by a series of numbers.

The full list of features, a short blurb and specifications are found on sides and that completes a very attractive box – not overcomplicated but very stylish.

The only accessory bundled with the 2.0 set is a small manual.

Eagle Arion ET-AR302-BK 2.0

Continuing the impressive showing on the outside, the speakers themselves look very attractive with the shiny black finish on the front and wood finish on the sides. With dimensions of 3.43”x5.72”x3.43”, the two satellites are very neat and compact.

Perhaps the only drawback is the attraction of dust to the shiny plastic front which if not cleaned regularly can detract from the overall image.

The right-hand side unit which appears to be the main one due to having both the power button and volume control. Upon powering the speakers, a blue LED lights up.

The addition of a headphone jack port is a great inclusion though as it makes plugging in a headset nice and easy. It’s not really required but it’s a nice touch.

The rears of speakers are very plain featuring just the wooden finish with not really anything important to mention.

Both speakers utilise a three inch driver, with a frequency response of between 20 and 40 kHz, powered by a single 3.5mm jack input and mains power supply. Note that the input in 115V only and so for use in the UK, a transformer is required.

Finally, looking at cable lengths, they are about average when you look at other speaker sets of similar price range. They are not particularly long but should be long enough for most users.

Testing

The Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel Core i7 C0 920 @ 2.67GHz
MotherboardAsus P6T
Graphics CardXFX 1GB Radeon 4870
MemoryOCZ Gold Triple Channel Platinum-10666 6GB (3 x 2GB)
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 3.0GB/s 7200.10 500GB,
Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB
Power SupplyNOX Apex 700W
EnclosureCooler Master ATCS-840
OSWindows Vista 64-bit

Methodology

When testing speakers and headsets alike, without expensive equipment, it is difficult to test the frequency response and other such technical details. Instead, as reviewers, we aim to convey a good representation of the sound quality taking into account the bass and treble.

However, this does mean that the review will be quite subjective as the results will be swayed by the reviewer’s personal preferences.

Testing these speakers will involve using them for sustained periods of time whilst gaming, watching movies and listening to music in order to see what they can do as well as rating them (1 to 10 with 10 being the best) in each category.

Results

Music: 6/10
Gaming: 5/10
Films: 6/10

It’s not really unexpected that these speakers don’t score too highly in our testing but if they had, at just $20, clearly all the companies selling more expensive 5.1 and 7.1 systems are doing something wrong.

The speakers are able to push out a pretty high volume of sound but the quality of it, at these higher volumes, does tend to deteriorate somewhat. Heavy bass is another area where the ET-AR302-BK’s don’t exactly excel. However, without a subwoofer and only three inch drivers, you can’t really expect too much.

For gamers, sound is a very important part to round off the “immersive” experience and in all truth; these speakers probably weren’t really up to the job. The heavy artillery and gunshots found in First Person Shooters just as Call of Duty: World at War just didn’t convey particularly well.

However, these speakers are not suited for heavy gaming or pumping out drum and bass. Instead they offer some reasonable sound for lightweight use and due to their compact nature, they would be very easy to transport.

Effectively you get what you pay for and if you are after some real sound quality a 5.1 or high end system is certainly required.

Cost
At just $10, these speakers really are cheap as chips and in terms of out-and-out quality, it shows. But, nonetheless they pump out sound and look very attractive indeed.

Conclusion

So, as we’ve just explained, the ET-AR302-BK 2.0 speaker set is not a top performer in terms of really high quality sound but, at its the extremely low price tag, it is able to offer some reasonable sound that would be ideal for lightweight use at say an office.

In terms of aesthetics, the speakers look great though with the shiny black fronts and wooden finish around the sides.
So, to sum it up if you’re after some very affordable speakers, that look great and would be very easy to transport, with the ET-AR302-BKs’s you’re onto a winner.

However, for anything more than this, there are bigger and better sets out there.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Stylish
  • Compact

Cons

  • Struggles with bass
  • Not very high quality sound

 

Thanks go to Eagle Tech for providing the speakers for review.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.