Eagle Arion ET-AR504LR-BK 2.1 Soundstage ReviewCompxpert -
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It's not easy to test a speaker system. The best way to go about it is to test it in at least three categories up against another system. I tested it with my home theater/gaming system, which consists of the two receivers mentioned below as the comparison system. One receiver drives my 5 speakers at 100w RMS each and the other drives my passive subwoofer, which is also at 100w RMS. I ran both setups through three very basic benchmarks that even you could easily do at your own home. The first category is music. For music, I used Winamp version 5.56. I listened to my usual playlist while working on other portions of this review for at least an hour on both setups. All comparisons in any of the categories are based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst possible sound quality or experience and 10 being the best. The second category I ran each system through was video; I watched a movie with each setup. The third and final category is gaming. My game of choice happened to be Team Fortress 2, which I played for at least one hour on both systems.
- Processor: Intel i7 920
- Motherboard: DFI Lanparty UT X58-T3eH8
- Memory: Mushkin HP3 12800 7-7-7-20
- Video Card: Sapphire HD4870 1GB Toxic
- Power Supply: OCZ 700w ModXStream Pro
- Hard Drive: Seagate 320GB HDD
- Optical Drive: LG DVD-RW
- Case: Lian-Li PC60FWB
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
- Ambient Temperature: 24° Celsius
- Technics SA-DX930 5.1ch 100w RMS + Technics SA-GX350 100W RMS in 2ch (drives passive subwoofer)
Since I was using Winamp, I figured I would use some shoutcast radio to test on each setup. Specifically, I tuned into some Drum and Bass and Techno for the bass effect. I also listened to Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D., which has some very bass-heavy tracks, most notably "Boom Boom Pow."
For a movie, I figured I'd try something with its fair share of explosions and action, and for whatever reason, I decided to re-watch Live Free or Die Hard; perhaps one of my favorite action movies within the past couple years. With my home theater system, it always feels like I'm in the movie. So it felt great to be immersed in the action with Bruce Willis. The Eagle speakers got close to this, but I felt somewhat disconnected from the movie as compared to my home theater system.
What can I say, Team Fortress 2 is one of my most favorite games. With my home theater system, I could feel the explosions from the rockets of the soldier and easily pick up on the explosions from the demoman. I was able to feel fairly well-connected with the game using the Eagle speakers, but it still did not feel quite as good.
Yeah, of course my 5.1 home theater system would dominate a 2.1 speaker set. I also have way more adjustment options for sound output on my home theater system, such as delay, as well as Dolby Digital, Pro Logic, and DTS. I can't say the Arion speakers sounded bad though. They sound pretty decent, but pale in comparison to a good 5.1 system. Overall I would say the Arion makes a more cost-effective system for on-the-go, as it wouldn't be hard to move them from place to place, unlike my 5.1 system. As such, they would be great outdoors with a portable CD player or MP3 player, or even decent for watching movies on something portable like a laptop. Perhaps with more wattage the 2.1 system could have held out a bit better, but for the price I feel they can't be beat.