Eagle Tech has been a trusted supplier of OEM based external memory solutions as well as other PC based component solutions for some time now. With many years experience in OEM manufacturing Eagle Tech were able to start thinking outside the box and have expanded their product range through the use of several subsidiary companies such as 'Arion', who's name adorns the box I have just received.
Although I cannot seem to find any company ethos' relating to audio, I'm going to go ahead and assume they know what they are doing; for arguments sake, at least until I discover otherwise.
Right then troops, let's move out and look a little deeper.
Package and Contents
The Package and Contents
At first glance, I must make mention of how nice the box scheme looks on this product. Featuring an eye catching green and black design, I feel that when confronted in stores by this package people will feel the need to take a closer look.
Inside the small box you will find two MDF built satellite speakers, a subwoofer unit, product manual, remote control and finally a stereo mini-jack to dual RCA cable to allow for connection to your PC sound card or iPod.
There's nothing special to mention here, just the basic things that one would expect when buying a 2.1 system.
I feel the package has being competently designed and it looks quite eye catching which is always a good start when selling anything. When a closer inspection is made inside, the package is similarly well assembled and also includes everything expected.
Let's start by looking at some specifications from Eagle Tech :-
- 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
Total RMS Power: 35 Watts
Satellites: 10 Watts RMS x 2 (into 4 ohms, @<=1% THD)
Sub woofer: 15 Watts RMS x 2 (into 4 ohms, @<=1% THD)
Total Peak Power: 70 Watts
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Satellites: Dual 3-inch midrange and 1-inch tweeter with solid wood enclosure
Sub woofer: 5.25"-inch driver with solid wood enclosure
- Satellites: 4.33" x 9.65" x 4.77"
- Sub woofer: 6.7" x 11.03" x 10.25"
Starting with the audio aspect of the unit, we are given a selection of small 3" speakers along with a larger 5 1/4" driver to handle the low end. Also included are two small 1" dome tweeters.
The power rating for the smaller speakers is given at 10watts RMS x2 into 4ohms at 1% THD and 15 watts x1 (RMS) for the subwoofer into 4ohms, also with a 1% total harmonic distortion figure given.
Frequency response is given at 20Hz to 20,000Hz as is usually the case. However, as is also usually the case no figure is given to state how much volume loss occurs at either extreme. This usually means the 'real' figure would be well within the 'twenty through to twenty thousand range'; more like 100Hz up to 12,000. But that just doesn't look quite as pretty on the side of the box.
The whole system has been built out of MDF which is a fantastic material for such an application, providing many benefits over using plastic and showing that Eagle Tech are serious about their products.
The system also includes a small remote control which features bass, treble, mute and reset controls.
On the subwoofer unit there is an LCD readout to assist in reading back the EQ settings.
Lastly, when it comes to connecting this system to your desired device things are very simple indeed. With the use of the included cable I see no difficulties in being able to pair this speaker system with any device that may require sound.
Setup and Installation
When it comes to setting up and installing this system the first job is to position the two satellites next to your monitor or anywhere on top of your desk about equal distance apart.
The second job is to locate the subwoofer unit somewhere under your desk or on top as a last resort, but either way it should be placed around the middle of where the two main speakers lie. Now, use the RCA cables running out of the back of each speaker to connect to the subwoofer.
Once this has been achieved the next job to do is to plug the system into a spare wall socket and turn the power to on using the switch on the back of the sub box.
The last step is to connect the supplied stereo mini-jack to dual RCA cable to your sound source which may be your PC or perhaps iPod. Either way, the connection stays the same. If, however, you're connecting to a device that simply uses straight RCA to RCA, then that cable must be provided by the user.
Luckily this is a very easy setup during which I cannot remark about any difficulties which may be faced when getting this system up and running.
Given that this system has been produced with rather mild specifications, I'm not predicting any window shattering sound pressure or earth shattering bass. However, for many smaller single user environments this could be more than ample, so let's see how they performed.
The High End
This system comes equipped with tweeters built in to handle the high end, which is definitely a good start. Unfortunately the tweeters chosen here are of quite a low quality and as such their performance is also quite limited.
Testing a mixture of different music, the high end sounded rather tinny at best and did not really convey any of the subtleties of the music being played. Technically speaking, I don't think these tweeters would really be able to extend past 12-15 KHz; not with any clarity and definition anyway.
The Arion ET-AR504LR-BK comes with two small lightweight 3" speaker drivers to handle the mid range frequencies. I believe these drivers are constructed from paper which helps with cost and rigidity.
During performance testing I found the midrange to be quite acceptable when listening to frequencies in the 1-5KHz range; vocals particularly. While using a rather high crossover between these drivers, the subwoofer limits mid bass a little. But it has certainly aided in providing quite clean mid frequencies, if perhaps a little lacking in the 300Hz-1KHz area.
The Arion's low end is provided by a 5 1/4" woofer located in what appears to be a side firing band pass enclosure.
What I mean by band pass is that the woofer is located in a separate chamber inside the cabinet with the addition of a side firing bass port. Now, the 'benefit' of this sort of enclosure is that a certain narrow 'band' of bass frequencies are exaggerated while others get totally neglected, meaning that the 80Hz-200Hz range is boosted but anything under 80Hz bass drops off to nothing.
During testing I found this subwoofer to be about on par with most other small cabinets. Generally speaking you will get a small window of bass that is always thumping away (around 150Hz), but really not much aside from that.
On the upside these subwoofers are great for people in apartments or small noise restricted areas.
Games and Movies
Taking into account that this is a 2.1 system, I'll keep it brief here since I cannot test any surround attributes this system may possess.
This system would be best suited toward gaming. Due to boosted midrange and a narrow band of bass being produced, I think gamers will find it the most useful, as they tend to focus on different performance aspects than music listeners or movie buffs.
Unfortunately for movie viewing the bass is really quite a limiting factor and would certainly detract from the experience due to the quite diminutive woofer chosen to be used.
Although at softer volume levels you could still watch a couple of movies, just don't turn the dial too much when the action heats up.
The Arion ET-AR504LR-BK is an entry level system, there's no doubt about that. For your average gamer who has a decent pair of headphones and would like to compliment them with a small speaker system for the times when there is more than one person in the room, this is a great little system, because it's built quite well, easy on the wallet and not too bad to look at either.
However, for a more demanding user who wants this as his/her primary audio system, you should look elsewhere as the performance is not going to cut it for day in day out thumping or critical music listening.
Overall, given the green and black colour scheme, attractive price (under $100) and features, I think this system will succeed at getting the customers attention. It's just a matter of how long it's held for.
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