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Teufel Concept E review

Tom Morgan
3 Mar 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
350
inc VAT

Comprehensive 5.1 surround sound for TVs and PCs, if a little difficult to tweak tone settings

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The latest all-in-one speaker package from Teufel is a 5.1 surround sound system with built-in Bluetooth and a wide selection of inputs, which gives you a great deal of flexibility in use. You can use it with your computer, for instance, or eliminate a bulky AV amplifier from your home cinema setup. The Bluetooth means you can stream audio wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet.

Teufel Concept E

Unlike many 5.1 speaker packages, which connect to your display through an amplifier, the Concept E is self-contained. Each of its five satellite speakers are wired directly into the subwoofer with the supplied spool of speaker cable. The subwoofer then connects to your TV with analogue phono, digital coaxial or digital optical audio outputs. The Concept E has no HDMI inputs, though, so you’ll have to connect your games consoles and set-top boxes to your TV. This also limits your audio options to Dolby Digital and DTS rather than Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio. If you're upgrading from the basic speakers built into your TV this isn't much of an issue.

You can connect the Concept E to a PC via three 3.5mm jacks or a direct USB connection. The integrated USB sound card can add true surround sound to any PC or Mac, even if they only have a single 3.5mm output that would otherwise only be capable of stereo sound. This could be ideal for Netflix addicts or anyone with a home theatre PC (HTPC) under their TV instead of a Blu-ray player. If your smartphone or tablet supports it, you can make use of the higher quality aptX Bluetooth streaming codec, which provides higher quality audio than regular A2DP Bluetooth.

Teufel Concept E

Each of the five satellite speakers is beautifully made, with a tough black enclosure and wire mesh grilles to protect the 80mm midrange driver and 19mm tweeter speaker drivers inside. Each one has a mounting bracket should you want to fix them to speaker stands or mount them on the wall. The centre speaker is slightly larger than the other satellites and sits horizontally. Teufel includes a rubber base to hold it in place, along with a set of rubber feet for the other speakers.

The down-firing subwoofer produces 500W of bass power, which is more than enough to shake the furniture. The unit is relatively compact, but without an extra-long optical cable you'll need to keep it relatively close to your TV. The touch-sensitive front panel illuminates to indicate the active input and current volume, so you may want to keep it within view. The bundled hockey puck-shaped remote is novel. A small button on the side changes inputs and a second button can mute or switch on the system. The entire puck rotates to control volume, and a red LED indicator lets you know when you're changing a setting. As there’s no display, you'll have to tap through all the available inputs, as it doesn't skip the ones that have no active input.

We had no trouble setting up the Concept E as Teufel now supplies a UK plug adaptor and a 30m spool of speaker cable with all its systems. A USB cable is also included for connecting a PC or Mac, so you'll just need an optical cable to get your TV up and running. You have to cut the speaker cable to size, but there's enough of it that you should be able to place each satellite anywhere in a room, even if you plan on hiding cables under the carpet or within the walls.