We have just taken a closer look at the Prodigy Air 2 In-Ears, and the next hifi piece from Aiwa is already falling on our table for testing. The Arc-1 wireless headphones are supposed to impress with their impressively good sound, high wearing comfort and a long battery life. We are especially curious about the ANC function, which is the biggest change to the first generation of the Arc-1.
In order to find out whether the revived Brand Aiwa with the Arc-1 ANC can fulfill the premature praise, we put the headphones to the test. Our review will show if they are worth their money and if we can make the next buy recommendation for the cult manufacturer.
|Driver||40 mm, dynamic|
|Frequency range||20 Hz – 20.000 Hz|
|Microphone||2 microphones for active noise reduction (ANC), 1 for telephone calls|
|Battery life||20 hours of music, 800 hours in standby|
|Liquid protection||IPX5 certified|
|Price||€ 79.95 *|
Looks & material
Externally, the Aiwa Arc-1 ANC comes out of the production hall much more modern than its predecessor. Even if this is always a question of taste, we agreed that the ANC version has got much more elegant looking over-ears. What has remained is the high-quality workmanship with precious materials.
A memory foam was used for the ear cushions, which in combination with the genuine leather cover offers excellent wearing comfort. Together with the typical slightly oval shape of the pads, they seal perfectly, so that outside noise is already clearly in the background – and at this point not even the ANC is activated.
In order to carry the brand to the outside world, the company has again decided to immortalize the Aiwa logo in several places. This means that the logo is placed twice on the headband and twice on the outer shell of the headphones. The logos on the hanger also look very noble, as they are made of red metal. We know that brand doesn’t mean quality, but in the case of Aiwa you show exactly that and also the high quality of the Arc-1 ANC.
Otherwise, the body – including brackets and over-ears shells – is made of robust plastic. For a lasting comfortable feeling the temple has been given a luxurious head padding wrapped in imitation leather. A white-red fabric with the letters L and R on the inside of the headphones shows how far the headphones have to be put on.
In general Aiwa is in our opinion very successful in its appearance: simple, elegant and high-quality looking.
Features and connections
This time a paragraph about the outward appearance is not quite enough, because the Arc-1 ANC still has functions that are directly visible. Aiwa has thought about the predecessor and immediately exploited the potential of the new over-ears shell shape to install a total of five function keys on the left-hand receiver.
These are arranged like the numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9 on a watch. At the top you can pause or start the music, at the bottom you can answer phone calls, left and right are for volume control. In addition, as mentioned, the Aiwa logo is emblazoned in the middle and also fulfils a function; that of activating the ANC. By the way, ANC can also be switched on without activating the actual headphone functions.
The left headphone is equipped with the USB type C connector for charging and a 3.5 mm jack plug. In addition, a small LED has been added to indicate if the Arc-1 ANC is switched on.
In addition, the headphones have been designed for practicality, making them ideal for travel.
A heavenly sound – even with heavy metal
Let’s get to the most important part: What is the sound good for? In a nutshell: quite a bit! Aiwa delivers a masterpiece in terms of sound and range of tones in the price range. The 40-millimeter drivers provide an ideal balance between the high, medium and bass tones. Especially the latter is especially noticeable. The Arc-1 ANC offers a comprehensive and hellishly good sound experience.
If you add Active Noise Cancellation, or ANC for short, you can barely hear any ambient noise at all. Two microphones pick up the current ambient noise and filter it out through artificially generated sound. You would have to stand at the runway of an airport to hear the music drowned out.
And no matter which music genre you prefer, the tonal balance ensures that everyone sounds good, because the Aiwa Arc-1 ANC does not focus any frequency.
Clear communication with the integrated microphone
For telephone communication a microphone is built into the Arc-1 ANC. It is neither bad nor outstanding good. But it is not the center of the headphones, but it is a nice nice-to-have. The voice is clearly transmitted and thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 the connection is also error-free. Besides, we didn’t notice any ambient noise.
Thus, the Aiwa Arc-1 ANC can be used for longer phone calls without being disturbed by the microphone or a bad wireless connection.
Besides making phone calls, the microphone also fulfills the function of communicating with voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant.
Scope of delivery and further extras
Aiwa has also been very successful with the range of accessories. The audio brand has not only made the headphones foldable, but also provides the matching hard-shell case. In addition, there is a 1.5 meter audio cable with a 3.5 millimeter jack plug and an equally long USB charging and data cable with USB type C or USB type A plugs.
To enjoy the sound experience of the Arc-1 ANC for a long time, Aiwa has doubled the battery life. This means that the over-ear headphones can now play a full 40 hours or 25 hours of ANC music. In standby mode the battery even lasts for 800 hours.
Conclusion & price
Appearance, workmanship, material and haptic functions have convinced us absolutely. But what particularly stands out about the Arc-1 ANC is the sound and the optimal functionality of the ANC. Finally, the headphone with integrated microphone for telephone calls is a well-rounded package. For the price of 129.99 Euros, you can hardly find a better one on the market.
Together with a long battery life, a light weight of 243 grams and high-quality padding that guarantees lasting wearing comfort, we can certify to Aiwa that really every detail of the Arc-1 ANC has been thought out and optimally implemented. At this point we would like to give you a clear recommendation to buy!
Aiwa Arc-1 ANC Bluetooth Kopfhörer price comparison
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