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Archeer A320 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Set Up

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The quick start instructions indicated to simply press the power button for 5 seconds, open up the Bluetooth menu on your phone or tablet, and pair the speaker system. The flashing green light on the top of the speaker indicates that the unit is ready to be paired with your phone, the blue light indicates that the unit is in standby mode.  My phone easily paired up with the system and I was ready to go.  With all the new technologies coming out for pairing and sharing your music all over your house, there is still something to be said for the ease and convenience of Bluetooth.

Archeer A320 inputs.jpg

While reviewing portable speaker systems it’s always nice to have them come in fully charged and the A320 worked right out of the box. Archeer says in its quick start guide that the unit needs to be recharged when the volume levels diminish to less than normal. I found that the top light will start flashing red when the battery level is very low and the unit will play when plugged into the wall.  Archeer also lists the battery life at 11 hours.  I used the speaker for at least that at different volume levels and can say that this speaker will play for an extended period of time at mid volume levels before having to be recharged. When the unit is fully charged the red light on the back turns off.

Listening Tests

Bob Marley LegendArcheer makes no bones about their A320 being heavy on the bass so I decided to start my listening session with the bottom heavy sounds of Bob Marley and the Wailers classic best of album “Legend”.  The movement of the synthesizers at the beginning of “Exodus” ramify the sound as much as it could across the 8” spacing between the two fullrange drivers giving the A320 a nice full sound.  As the horns kick in they add another dimension on top of the repetitive motions of the synthesizer. But where the A320 really shines as a compact portable speaker is in the bass. All the songs on the “Legend" album emphasize the bass guitar and the A320 handled it with ease.  The bass in the unit is amplified further if the speaker is placed near a wall. 

As one consumer asks on Amazon, “The bass is very strong on my unit but I would like to tone it down for some kinds of music. Is there a control?

Archeer’s response:  "This speaker is designed with strong bass."  LMAO, so in other words, NO!

Of course the users can always adjust the bass in their phone's EQ settings or by moving the speaker away from nearby surfaces.  For instance, I found the best setting for the A320 on my iPhone 6 to be the “Late Night” setting.  It toned the bass down to levels where the vocals weren’t drowned out or turned to mush, but still kept the full robust lows that many people will find attractive in the A320. 

I played through most of the album with similar results.  Strong bass, decent mids and highs. 

I then moved to Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal from the “Bad” album.  The beginning heartbeat sounded exceptional for such a small speaker system.  Soundstage, mids, and separation are much better in this song than any of the Bob Marley songs.  As Michael goes back and forth with himself asking “Annie are you walking?” I found myself really getting drawn into the song. When standing directly in front of the speaker the mids and highs are definitely more pronounced as is the soundstage and imaging.  I tested the unit in a 450 ft^2 acoustically bright room with hardwood floors.  The A320 surprisingly filled the room nicely for a portable speaker with excellent emphasis on the bass.

Some interesting notes about how the A320 works with other sounds from your phone.

While reviewing the Archeer A320 I noticed that text message alerts played through the speaker which could become quite annoying if you get involved with a multi-person text conversation.  If an Amber alert came through while listening, I might have had a heart attack.  Don't plan on using your phone to check out Facebook while playing music either as the audio on any videos that come up will be sent out to the A320. On the plus side when a phone call came in, the A320 faded out to a very low volume and I was able to take the call. When the call was ended the speaker faded back into its previous volume level.

Conclusion

The A320 is a Bluetooth speaker not a WiFi speaker so no Apple Airplay, Playfi, Chromecast audio or any other WiFi streaming options are available. And in this Archeer A320.jpgversion no AptX, so MP3 and SBC audio support over Bluetooth is what you’ll get.

So how much is the Archeer A320 worth?  In this ever growing market of portable wireless devices the cost can range anywhere from $30 to over $500 for a system of this size or smaller, and most of the time you get what you pay for. I have a $350 portable speaker from a well known manufacturer that jumps off the shelf when it’s playing. It’s hard to get it to synch with my phone even through Bluetooth, and I often have to “forget” the device in my Bluetooth settings menu to re-synch it. None of these apply to the much more affordable A320 from Archeer.

I showed the Archeer A320 speaker around the office, connected it to my phone and played some samples. Everyone really liked the sound, but were leery of the beautiful finish asking “How much?” in a worried way, knowing the potential price of a higher end portable speaker.  Most guessed a price range between $200 - $300. So, when I told them the Archeer A320 was only $90 through Amazon and currently on special promo for only $79.99 they had one reply – “Sold”.  At this price point, you simply can't go wrong!

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
AppearanceStarStarStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStar
Treble SmoothnessStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
ImagingStarStarStarStar
SoundstageStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarStarStar
About the author:
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Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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Recent Forum Posts:

kevinopar posts on May 27, 2017 12:09
Since the speaker is ported… If EQing can't be done at the audio source, one could possibly try stuffing the port with materials/objects of different density or porosity. I don't know if Archeer would recommend it though

I don't own the unit, but am thinking about purchasing one.
smunz posts on November 26, 2016 09:52
I measured the Archeer A320. The drivers are 1.5“ each and the woofer is 4.25”, but I'm checking with Archeer for comformation.

Tony
gene posts on November 23, 2016 00:10
KEW, post: 1159227, member: 41838
Where is the line drawn between a “preview” and a “review”?

I wouldn't mind an attractive portable speaker with good sound.

I appreciate that Tony did actually have the speaker and listen to it, but the absence of technical information is shocking!
I just finished reading this review and it doesn't even state the diameter of the drivers!!!

Back in the day, it was a sure thing that AH would disassemble a speaker (or give good reason why they didn't) giving pictures and info on the drivers and crossovers.
Even simply using a tape measure and stating the diameter of the driver with surround would be useful!

I had enough interest in this to do some leg work and attempt to flesh out the info provided here. Since I did the work, might as well share it.

Knowing the housing is 9.8“ long and using the photo below, I would guesstimate we are looking at a 3” “subwoofer” and 1.5“ ”full-range drivers“


It is rated at 5 stars for both bass extension and bass accuracy.

The Energy Take system uses 3” woofers in a ported cabinet and rolls off around 100Hz, so that is probably what we are looking at here.

That is not terrible, many competitors like the JBL flip use 40mm or 1.575" drivers!

At three stars for treble smoothness and midrange accuracy, I would guess the Flip which I own has better sound. I would like to get more bass, but not at the expense of the mid and high frequencies.

It's a $79 product! I thought he did mention the size of the drivers but I will ask him to add it in since he still has the product.
HTLuver posts on November 22, 2016 13:35
I went and bought this because of this review. I am very pleased with the product. I like my sound to be a little bass heavy and this does just that. One con is you can't play it while it charges.
KEW posts on November 19, 2016 15:07
Where is the line drawn between a “preview” and a “review”?

I wouldn't mind an attractive portable speaker with good sound.

I appreciate that Tony did actually have the speaker and listen to it, but the absence of technical information is shocking!
I just finished reading this review and it doesn't even state the diameter of the drivers!!!

Back in the day, it was a sure thing that AH would disassemble a speaker (or give good reason why they didn't) giving pictures and info on the drivers and crossovers.
Even simply using a tape measure and stating the diameter of the driver with surround would be useful!

I had enough interest in this to do some leg work and attempt to flesh out the info provided here. Since I did the work, might as well share it.

Knowing the housing is 9.8“ long and using the photo below, I would guesstimate we are looking at a 3” “subwoofer” and 1.5“ ”full-range drivers“


It is rated at 5 stars for both bass extension and bass accuracy.

The Energy Take system uses 3” woofers in a ported cabinet and rolls off around 100Hz, so that is probably what we are looking at here.

That is not terrible, many competitors like the JBL flip use 40mm or 1.575" drivers!

At three stars for treble smoothness and midrange accuracy, I would guess the Flip which I own has better sound. I would like to get more bass, but not at the expense of the mid and high frequencies.
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