Eagle Arion ET-AR504LR-BK 2.1 Soundstage Speakers Review

Introduction

Eagle Tech are best known from their OEM based external hard drive enclosures and they had a fair few on the market with clear expertise in this particular product range. Recently, they have diversified into the audio market teaming up with Arion to produce a number of affordable 2.0 and 2.1 soundstage speakers.

So will the company’s inexperience in this department lead to their downfall or will they be able to continue the standard set with their impressive storage solutions? Today we are looking at the Eagle Arion 2.1 Soundstage Speakers so let’s take a better look…

Overview

“Quality matters! These speakers have been tweaked to maintain overall efficiency and fidelity at significantly higher sound pressures than conventional speakers. Stiff and light cone materials, precision shaped wooden enclosure and raised crossover points of the midrange and tweeter assemblies, make these speakers very efficient at vibrating air – without added distortions. The result? You get seamless overall imaging and soundstage of the music that is nothing short of clear and natural – even at high decibels.”

Features

  • Exceptional tonal fidelity and low harmonic distortion
  • Dedicated subwoofer, midrange and tweeter drivers for high decibel output
  • LCD with digital equalizers
  • Raised crossover points of midrange and tweeters
  • Stiff and light cone materials for precise vibrations
  • Smooth response over broad frequency so you hear the music at 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
  • Full function remote control
  • Multiple audio inputs

Specifications

  • Total RMS Power: 35 Watts
    Satellites: 10 Watts RMS x 2 (into 4 ohms, @<=1% THD)
    Subwoofer: 15 Watts RMS x 2 (into 4 ohms, @<=1% THD)
  • Total Peak Power: 70 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20 kHz
  • Drivers:
    Satellites: Dual 3-inch midrange and 1-inch tweeter with solid wood enclosure
    Subwoofer: 5.25”-inch driver with solid wood enclosure
  • Speaker Dimension:
    Satellites: 4.33” x 9.65” x 4.77”
    Subwoofer: 6.7” x 11.03” x 10.25”

Contents & Packaging

The green and black colour scheme, perhaps not an obvious choice, actually works very well making for an eye-catching yet not overly “loud” box. The 70W peak power output is highlighted atop an image of the 2.1 system which shows off the LCD display.

The sides contain the more technical info in the form of the features and specifications along with a large close up of one of the satellites.

Last but not least, the back depicts a series of close-up images all relating back to the main image of the setup using a numbering system.

Asides from the two satellites and subwoofer unit, a small remote control, product manual and a mini-jack to dual RCA connectors adapter for connection not only with a desktop PC sound card.

First impressions are certainly positive with the attractive, clean-cut packaging and the 2.1 speakers themselves look the part so far. Let’s take a closer look at what’s inside the box though.

Eagle Arion ET-AR504LR-BK 2.1

Inside the box, the speakers are held tightly in place with some moulded cardboard ends and also wrapped in bubble wrap. The LCD screen has been paid special attention with a plastic film preventing it from scratching.

Starting with the satellites, the appearance is very stylish despite the black-painted MDF housing. A small Eagle Arion logo sits at the top and a silver band half way down but the sides are simply matte black. Similarly the back too is very plain with just a single RCA cable to connect the satellite to the subwoofer unit.

Of course with the setup being 2.1, there are two of satellites to sit either side of your PC monitor; it would have been nice to see a little extra cable length though as it was quite tight reaching to the subwoofer with it on the floor.

The subwoofer as expected is much larger than the two speakers with the LCD screen immediately attracting your attention on the front. A total of five buttons sit below this for adjusting the volume, bass and treble as well as resting the levels to default and muting the speakers.

The LCD screen is a nice touch with digital equalizes which just add a little style to the system.

The vent for the subwoofer is at the top right-hand corner of one of the sides leaving the rear panel all the RCA connections are found for plugging the satellites into. The 3.5mm input jack is for connecting up either the PC or other audio device such as an mp3 player.

A power switch sits next to the power cord which has an 110V input for use in America – for those of you in the UK a transformer will be required to use the setup in conjunction with the 230V mains electricity.

The remote control included in the package is able to perform all of the actions available on the subwoofer and is quite handy if not a particularly stylish remote.

Overall, the setup looks pretty impressive, there’s nothing overly special but everything you would expect to find in a 2.1 speaker system is present and accounted for.

Testing

The Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel Core i7 C0 920 @ 2.67GHz
MotherboardAsus P6T
Graphics CardXFX 1GB Radeon 4870
MemoryOCZ Gold Triple Channel Platinum PC3-10666 6GB (3 x 2GB)
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 3.0GB/s 7200.10 500GB
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 – 10 with 10 being the best) in each category.

Results

Music: 7/10
For this area of testing, I loaded up an iTunes playlist included a wide variety of music genres and tracks from drum and bass to electro. The drum and bass tracks with their high bass content are very good for testing out the subwoofer and the low frequencies.

The woofer seems to be as good as many other small cabinets but unable to provide particularly high quality bass at higher volumes working best in the 80Hz to 200Hz range.

In regards to the other areas of the sound, mainly the middle to high frequencies, the 2.1 setup does a much better job and is good to listen to indeed.

Gaming: 8/10
Call of Duty: World At War, a war-based first person shooter is ideal for testing speakers as it features a cocktail of booms, bangs and explosions. In general, the Eagle speakers did a good job save for say a large barrage of artillery.

Keeping the volumes at a reasonable level and not going too loud is a good suggestion too as the noise quality does tend to somewhat deteriorate with the bass being the “limiting factor” I suppose you could call it.

Films: 7/10
I chose to re-watch I Am Legend – with its numerous zombie scenes full of crashes, violence and a whole lot of noise. Now, in my opinion, for a speaker system to excel, it must immerse you in the movie and make you feel part of it.

Unfortunately, the 2.1 setup didn’t quite achieve this with the sound being very much front on unlike a 5.1 system which is much more surround sound.

Of course the 2.1 setup can’t really compete with a 5.1 speaker system and nor is it really supposed to; the sound quality is good but not amazing. The system is more of an affordable alternative to the pricey 5.1 and 7.1 kits which now dominate home theatre entertainment and in this respect the Eagle speakers do a decent job.

Cost
Coming in at just $50.00 (around £30), the Eagle Arion 2.1 speaker system is very well priced indeed and the sound quality is probably about as good as it gets at this price range.

Conclusion

At £30, you’re not going to buy this system for the best sound quality or an array of features such as Dolby Digital or DTS because it simply doesn’t have them.

However, they are an affordable speaker set that is capable of some very impressive mid to high end frequencies for this particular price range. The bass is not quite so good but provided you’re not pumping the volume up too high, it’s acceptable.

If you’re looking for full immersion in a game or movie, then a 5.1 system is naturally your best bet, but the Eagle Arion 2.1 setup is certainly worth a look if you’re after an affordable sets of 2.1’s that are stylish and provide a very acceptable level of sound quality. For £30, you could do a lot worse.

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Reasonable sound for 2.1 systems
  • LCD screen
  • Remote Control
  • Low price point

Cons

  • Poor low end frequencies
  • Limited sound quality at higher volumes

80

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

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