Teufel Concept B 200 USB review
Big sound and an impressive specification, but audio quality doesn't match the high price
Despite the prevalence of 5.1 and 7.1 PC speaker systems, there's still a lot to be said for sticking with straightforward stereo. If you do, you'll invariably get better quality, and you won't have a mess of cables festooning your computer either. Teufel's Concept B speakers push that theory to the max.
In the box you get not only a pair of twin-driver speakers, but also a compact D-class amplifier, which pumps out a respectable 60W per channel. Interestingly, connection is made via USB, meaning all the digital to analogue conversion takes place away from the electronically-noisy confined of your PC. And another point worthy of note is that each channel is split in two, with 30W of juice being supplied to each driver.
Look around the rear and you'll discover the amp is no one-trick pony, with a hatful of other connections available. You get a further two USB inputs, one 3.5mm socket, a pair of stereo phono inputs for connecting traditional hi-fi separates, plus 3.5mm microphone and headphone sockets on the front panel.
If the amp sounds impressive, the speakers look even more so - if you can find room for them on your desk, that is. Each speaker squeezes in three drivers - a mid, a bass and a tweeter - and measures a not-inconsequential 100 x 218 x 314mm (WDH), so you'll have to clear some space to fit them in. And aurally, they make a big first impression too.
You can keep turning up the volume until your ears hurt, with nary a hint of distortion or rattle. Bass is kept in check but is still punchy, and the top end is detailed without sounding too harsh. We listened to everything from Radiohead through Aphex Twin to Stravinksy's The Rite of Spring and it all sounded balanced and clean.
It isn't all good though: one issue we did have with the sound quality was that some music caused the plastic cases of the speakers to resonate a touch too much for our liking, giving the music a slightly nasal, booming quality.
But a bigger problem is the high price. This little lot will set you back a cool £184 inc VAT, which given the problems is a little too much.
Had the set cost £60 less, we'd have been tempted to recommend these speakers; as it is, if you really want quality stereo and big volume from your PC, an amp and speakers from Richer Sounds will be a better bet - and will cost you less too.
|Price ex VAT||£160|
|Price inc VAT||£184|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||3|
|Speaker power ouput||120W|
|RCA (phono) inputs||1|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||2|
|Optical S/PDIF inputs||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF inputs||0|
|USB audio inputs||3|
|Wired remote power/volume control||no|