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iPod docks are one of those products that you can find everywhere, many, many companies are trying to cash in on the popularity of the iPod, but as with any product, not all are created equal.

Eagle, or Eagle Tech Computers, never heard of them? I have, I’ve been working with them for a while now, primarily with PC storage related products, but they’ve recently moved into other areas, and just released the Arion series of speakers for PCs, Laptops and iPods. Like all products from Eagle, the Arion series are well made, quality products that perform very well.

Today for review I’ve got the Eagle Arion ET-AR402IR-BK 2.1 iDock Speakers with Subwoofer, it’s an iPod dock, but most any audio source can be hooked up to it. When you first get the Eagle Arion iDock, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s heavy and very well made with a nice subtle design to it. The design should fit in with most any decor, it looks very professional with clean lines, and a sleek look. Looks though aren’t everything, with an iPod dock, the sound quality is what we really care about, and with the Arion iDock, you’ll find the sound is very good with nice crisp highs and deep bass, thanks to the dual three inch full spectrum drivers and four inch subwoofer. It even includes a remote to adjust bass and treble along with controls for your attached iPod, in addition to the controls on the unit itself. One last thing is that the Arion iDock can get loud, and I mean very loud, I was very surprised at the volume this little dock can reach.

The packaging for the Arion iDock is nice, and professionally done, Eagle puts a lot of thought into the design of their packaging. The box has specs and features listed along with pictures and a diagram on the back that points out the main features of the iDock.

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The iDock is packaged well. Included with the iDock is a remote control, user manual, and an audio cable to you can use other devices besides an iPod with the iDock.

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The remote is small, about the size of a credit card and about as thick as two of three. The top half of the remote has buttons to change the levels of bass, treble and volume, along with power or stand-by and mute. The bottom half has buttons specifically for iPod navigation, so you can change songs and navigate your iPod from a distance.

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The Arion iDock is primarily black with silver accents on it, the main housing is wood. the front features a protective grill over the speakers, along with the Eagle and Arion logos. On the bottom there are four rubber, non-slip feet.

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This back is where you find the main power switch, USB connection and the alternate audio input.

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The top is the main control area of the Arion, and the iPod dock itself. There is a wheel to control volume and around it are LED indicators and controls for your iPod. The dock area is fairly wide open, so even if your iPod is in a case it should still fit in the dock, though thicker cases won’t fit as I found out with my Otterbox Defender.

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The Arion iDock is nicely designed and solidly constructed. It will fit well in an office setting or in your home.

Specifications:
Eagle Arion ET-AR402IR-BK 2.1 iDock Speakers with Subwoofer

Rediscover your music! Twin, full-spectrum speakers coupled with a powerful subwoofer give you a faithful sound reproduction and tonal fidelity across wide range of frequencies that is nothing short of immersive and impressive. By using high quality cone materials that are lighter and stronger, you get seamless overall imaging and soundstage of the music. Wooden enclosure with carefully positioned apertures increases power handling at very low frequencies. Its clean lines, small footprint and sizeable performance fit nicely just about anywhere at home or on the go.

FEATURES:
• Stiff and light cone materials for precise vibrations
• Exceptional tonal fidelity and low harmonic distortion
• Solid wood enclosures accurately amplifies overall sound level
• Dedicated subwoofer and midrange for high decibel output
• Compatible with wide range of iPod/iPhone
• Great for MP3 player, CD, PC, video gaming system, home audio system or just about any other audio sources
• USB 2.0 port connects to iTunes (PC/Mac)
• RCA audio input
• Adjustable volume, treble, bass
• Control, play and charge your iPod/iPhone from the top loading dock
• Remote control and browse your iPod/iPhone from anywhere in the room

SPECIFICATION:
• Total RMS Power: 20 Watts
-Satellites: 5 Watts RMS x 2 (into 4 ohms, @<=1% THD)
-Subwoofer: 10 Watts RMS x 2 (into 4 ohms, @<=1% THD)
• Total Peak Power: 40 Watts
• Frequency Response: 30Hz to 20kHz
• Drivers:
-Satellites: Dual 3-inch full spectrum drivers with solid wood enclosure
-Subwoofer: 4-inch driver with solid wood enclosure

• Speaker Dimension: 4.72” x 11.02” x 7.67”

PACKAGE CONTENT:
-ET-AR402IR-BK speaker system
-Remote control with battery
-User manual
-3.5mm to RCA audio cable

Price: $80.00 (approximately)


For testing I used my iPod nano 4th Generation, even though the nano 4th isn’t listed as being compatible, it worked perfectly fine with the Arion iDock. When powered on, there’s a blue ring that lights up that encircles the volume knob. The status LED indicators will light up depending what your’ doing, i.e. if you are adjusting bass or treble those lights will blink as you make the adjustments.

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I had no problems navigating my iPod with the remote control, and the range on the remote is very good, it’s rated for about ten feet, but I stood about fifteen feet away and it still worked.

In addition to playing music from your iPod, the Arion iDock can also charge it. You can also hook a USB cable to the back USB connection and sync your iPod as well.

I also hooked up my Zune to the Arion iDock as well and it worked perfectly, of course I couldn’t control it with the remote, but I still could adjust volume, bass and treble.

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So it works, and it looks good, but how does it sound? Well, it sounds good! Even cranking the volume to maximum, and it gets very loud, there wasn’t much distortion at all. The bass is deep, a bit too deep at times as expected, but it can be easily adjusted with the remote of course.  The highs are clear and crisp as well. No matter what type of music I listened to, it sounded great through the Arion iDock. The sound isn’t perfect, but it is very good, as good as can be expected from a small iPod dock unit like this, much better than I expected honestly. I like my music to sound good and through the Arion iDock music sounds good, I think most anyone would be happy with this product, especially at this price point.

The price, of around $80 plus shipping is well worth it, I’ve seen docks with prices that go up into the hundreds of dollars, and for $80 the Arion iDock is a steal. I’m truly impressed with Eagle’s first foray into the audio market, not only does it sound good, but it’s very, very well made.

I should mention that the iDock is heavy, it’s made of wood not plastic like most other docks out there, this weight doesn’t make it very portable, but then again I don’t think it’s meant to be portable.


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Conclusion:

The Arion iDock Speakers are easily one best choices for an iPod dock out there today, not only are they designed well, but they sound good.

The iDock allows you to charge and sync your iPod while it’s docked, these are two very nice features, especially since it works with the ipPod nano 4th gen, and many dock don’t.

Many companies out there who try and diversify with numerous product offerings usually don’t do it too well, but Eagle has shown that it knows what it’s doing with the Arion series of speakers. I’ve also got the Arion 2.1 Soundstage Speakers as well for review from Eagle, and they’re just as nice, you’ll see that review in the coming week or so.

If you’re looking for a well made, and great sounding iPod dock then I can easily recommend you take a good look at the Arion iDock, you’ll be happy you did.

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Pros:
+Very well made
+Charges and syncs iPod
+Excellent sound
+Easy to use
+Very loud

Cons:
-Heavy, not very portable, but then again it’s not supposed to be portable

Grades:  
Overall score 9 10 thumb1 Eagle Arion ET AR402IR BK 2.1 iDock Speakers with Subwoofer
Design score 10 10 thumb1 Eagle Arion ET AR402IR BK 2.1 iDock Speakers with Subwoofer
Performance score 9 10 thumb1 Eagle Arion ET AR402IR BK 2.1 iDock Speakers with Subwoofer