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Teufel Concept D 500 THX

Teufel Concept D 500 THX

Manufacturer: Teufel
UK Price (as reviewed): £449.00 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): Unknown

Most PC speakers aim for maximum bang per buck: ear-splitting top volume, booming bass and a rock-bottom price seem to be the features that sell. Into this crowd of boy racers, Teufel’s latest 2.1 set glides into view like an Aston Martin, albeit with German plates.

Teufel speakers are only available direct from Berlin, which helps to keep down costs. However, at £449, this is the most expensive 2.1 PC speaker system we’ve seen to date. It looks every bit as good as the price suggests, though – elegant and understated, with a premium finish.

There’s a solitary analogue stereo input, and it deserves a signal from a high-fidelity sound card to do the speakers justice. An S/PDIF input would have offered a workaround, but those who already own a decent sound card will be thankful not to have to shell out for another premium DAC chip. Unfortunately, however, there are no speaker cables included in the box.

Teufel Concept D 500 THX Teufel Concept D 500 THX
Click to enlarge

The wired remote has volume and subwoofer level controls, although the latter is calibrated too high by default. Useful settings for these were at around 10 per cent of their maximum levels, although the ratcheted design made fine adjustments imprecise. The remote also houses a headphone output and microphone input – a socket on the subwoofer passes the microphone signal to the sound card.

The integrated headphone amp sounded clear with plenty of headroom, but emitted a violent clunk while switching on and off. The amplifier is a Class D design; a relatively unusual approach that’s more energy-efficient than traditional amplifiers. It does its job in this instance, as this system exhibited an openness and clarity that cheaper PC speakers can’t match.

The crossover circuitry and speakers can take some credit, of course. The tweeters’ recessed surrounds help to reduce reflections and maintain phase with the mid-frequency drivers, and their focused sound created an immaculate stereo image with a sense of space and depth.

Teufel Concept D 500 THX Teufel Concept D 500 THX
Click to enlarge

There’s a gentle presence lift at around 3-4KHz, which flattered most sources but risked making intense music, games and films a little fatiguing at high volumes. These frequencies were extremely precise and focused, though, so the tone was generally more vibrant and exciting than fatiguing.

The subwoofer was spine-tinglingly impressive: it took drum and bass swoops in its stride, but was controlled enough to flatter gentler music. The 150Hz crossover between the subwoofer and satellites is a little higher than is ideal, though, so bass frequencies could be traced to the subwoofer rather than blending seamlessly with the satellites. Keeping the sub tucked well under the desk minimised the issue.

Feeding the set with test tones revealed a solid, even response from 40Hz, passing seamlessly over to the satellites. The crossover between the satellites’ mid-range and high-frequency drivers (quoted at 2KHz) was smooth, although we noticed a little harmonic distortion between 300Hz and 800Hz.

Conclusion

This set is a far better option than hi-fi separates – it’s compact and dispenses with unnecessary extras such as DSP processing and surround amplification. It isn’t cheap, but it should last through multiple PC upgrades and easily rivals and even surpasses the Corsair SP2500 as the best set of 2.1 PC speakers we've ever tested.

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Score Guide

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Corsair SP2500 Review
Soundscience Rockus 3D Review
Creative T12 Wireless Review
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