PRIME AUDIO 2017

Archeer AH07 Bluetooth headphone

There’s no doubt that the age of Bluetooth is here and for the moment at least it’s here to stay. With improvements to Bluetooth itself, APTX and battery life the platform has matured to a point where it’s a viable alternative for all but the most demanding music fans. At the present time even a lot of the ultra-budget DAPs are equipped with Bluetooth and pretty much all mid and top tier DAPs now have built-in support as well. So today I’ll be taking a look at a headphone with Bluetooth and APTX from a company called Archeer. According to their website, Archeer’s goal is:

developing, manufacturing and vending innovative, attractive and novel electronic gadgets & peripherals for every customer in the world to enrich and ease their leisure lifestyle with comfort, consideration, entertaining and convenience

The Archeer AH07 is currently priced at $49.99 and can be purchased from Amazon or AliExpress. You can follow the links from their website HERE.

Disclaimer

This sample was sent to me for the purpose of an honest review. I am not affiliated with the company in any way and all observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product. Thanks to Phoebe for reaching out.

Packaging and accessories

The AH07 comes in a simple, black box with “ARCHEER” printed in white at the top and a nice, clear image of the headhpones. Inside are the headphones folded up and sitting in a plastic tray. Under the tray you’ll find the accessories which include a USB to micro USB charging cable, a 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm audio cable and a user manual – basically everything you need to get up and running although a carry pouch would have been nice.

 

Build, comfort and isolation

When I took the headphones out of the box I was quite surprised with how sturdy they felt. They arrive in a folded configuration that is nice and compact, making them good for portability. As you open things up and pull the cups down there’s a satisfying click as they snap into place.

The headband is constructed from metal and is generously covered in padded pleather that serves well to be comfortable on the top of your head. Running down the sides are strips that look like metal but are in reality plastic. That’s probably a good thing as it helps reduce the overall weight and it feels sturdy enough.

The ear cups are plastic and rectangular in shape and have a good length but are very narrow meaning those with larger ears may experience some discomfort. My ears barely squeeze inside but the padding is sufficient enough to make them bearable. Clamping force is a little intense, at least for me and I found the pressure on my ears combined with the narrow pads forced me to take them off every thirty minutes or so to get the blood circulating in my ears again. One thing I do really like about the ear cups is that they can swivel a bit from front to back and top to bottom so you can get a really good fit with them. Because of that and the clamping force these have really good noise isolation which means you don’t need to turn your music up as loud and it blocks out a lot of external noise.

On the right ear cup is where you’ll find the control buttons, of which there are three in total. The top one is for powering on or off and also used to answer and hang up phone calls. Under the top button is an LED indicator that flashes when in pairing mode. Below that are the volume up/down buttons that also act as track forward and rewind. These buttons are on the back side of the cup and for me this is perfect as they’re easy to reach and press using my thumb.

On the bottom edge of the right cup are the 3.5 mm cable jack for wired listening, the microphone for making phone calls and micro USB jack for charging.

Overall these do not feel inexpensive at all. There are no rattles or loose joints and the materials feel light yet strong.

 

Sound

Sources used for testing
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (Bluetooth)
  • Acoustic Research M20 (Bluetooth + wired)
  • PC/Foobar2000 > Sabaj D3 (wired)
  • Benjie X1 (wired)

Archeer’s offering has a “fun” tuned, bass heavy sound with a good dose of warmth. The AH07 won’t likely blow away a seasoned listener with its technical ability but for the average consumer they should be a hit. This type of sound signature is perfect for games or action movies with things like explosions giving you a really good rumble and visceral impact.

It’s also suitable for casual listening and depending on what headphone you’re coming from you should find your brain adjusting to the excessive bass in a fairly short time and be able to enjoy what it has to offer. I did personally find these to react really well to some equalization and when you pull down the bass a bit they actually sound pretty nice.

Its a super easy to drive headphone so there’s no need for additional amplification and it doesn’t seem to benefit any from using a different source though I would suggest pairing it with something neutral or bright if possible.

Bass

Bass is the star of the show here or, at least it’s where the AH07 tries to get your attention. It’s thick and boomy with a pretty large mid-bass hump that tends to dominate whatever is being played. Sub-bass is fairly meaty too but it doesn’t have the best extension.

The bass has decent control and by that I mean it doesn’t distort at higher volume but it doesn’t display the same control when it comes to separating itself from the lower mids or interfering with the overall presentation as there is some significant bleed into the lower midrange.

Mids

The mids have the task of competing with a bloated bass, however in bass but still in the end they sound pretty sweet. Vocals, both male and female sound clear and natural as do most other instruments but during busy sections things can get a bit congested.

Detail retrieval is surprisingly good (even more so with EQ applied) and I was surprised by some of the small sounds I was able to pick out as the bass thumped along. The upper mids sound just a little bit off in tonality with things like transient on snare drums making them seem a little colored or veiled.

Treble

I don’t pay much attention to the treble with these headphones to be honest. That’s not because it’s bad but because it gets overpowered again by the bass. There aren’t any noticeable peaks or excessive early roll-off and again just like with the mids, taking a bit of the bass out with EQ allows the treble to stretch its legs. C

rash cymbals are not a problem here, coming off fairly smoothly which is great for busy drum sections like in Pineapple Thief’s “No Man’s Land” where there’s an abundance of cymbals smashing towards the end of the song.

Soundstage

Soundstage is fairly intimate and narrow giving a very stereo type presentation without much depth or space. Even on “Midwest”, the title track of the Midwest album by Mathias Eick which normally sounds wide on almost anything things still sound inside the head-space. Imaging is also very average with everything coming together in a mashup in the middle so this area is definitely not a strong point for the AH07.

Bluetooth and pairing

Pairing is very easy and also fast with the AH07. You simply hold the power button down for a few seconds until you hear a beep and see the LED indicator flashing and it’s in pairing mode. Once you choose the AH07 from your devices Bluetooth settings the pairing is very fast and painless.

I’ve had no dropouts or signal loss while connected and the sound quality to my ears is just as good as when using in wired mode. I can go into another room and the signal remains strong but if there’s a thick wall in between you’ll get some dropouts as you move farther away from the source. As an example I can leave my smartphone on the computer desk in the living room and go into my kitchen, which is behind a wall and the signal holds up perfectly until I get near to my back door. That’s a good 10+ meters with a wall in between. Not bad at all!

Battery life

One of the things that steered me away from Bluetooth headphones for a long time was the short battery life that many suffered from in the early days but there have been significant improvements with power efficiency and battery technology in recent years. That has made the experience much less bothersome than it used to be and the AH07 fares really well in this department. You can expect an average of 14-15 hours of solid playback time with this headphone before needing a recharge or switching to wired mode.

Comparisons

Yenona/Oneodio Studio Pro ($38.50 USD)

The first difference I noticed is that the Yenona requires several extra bumps on the volume to match the same listening level. Compared to the AH07 the Studio Pro sounds a lot more balanced in terms of bass (although it is a  bassy headphone). Upper mids sound a bit more natural as well and when it comes to comfort it’s the Studio Pro all the way with its large, wide and thick pads along with much less clamping force.

Soundstage seems quite restricted on the AH07 in comparison. Where the AH07 wins is obviously its wireless capability and it’s better suited for portability, with a smaller size and more secure fit.

Conclusion

It never ceases to amaze me how many bargains are available to music fans right now and the Archeer AH07 is a perfect example of this. With its solid build, portability, decent sound, wireless connectivity and good battery life it’s really good value for money. While the sound isn’t the most refined it’s those other aspects that make it a good thing to have in your collection.

The additional option of going wired also makes it really versatile and if you find yourself low on battery power it’s not really a problem, just plug in the 3.5 mm auxiliary cable and you’re good to go again. Overall for the sound I’d give it 3/5 stars but considering it’s other strong points as well as a very reasonable price I think it’s worthy of a 4/5 rating.

Founder of Prime Audio

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