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Teufel AC 9050 PH Headphones
Teufel has been on a big marketing push as of late with a veritable Tsunami of its products coming our way in the last few months. However, all of these have been loud speaker based devices, like the iTeufel iPod dock and Motiv 3 surround sound speaker set, whereas today it's the turn of personal audio to feel Teuful's unique Teutonic touch.
Surprisingly, considering the price of said speaker systems, these headphones are very modestly priced, coming in at around £65. This makes them easily affordable even for the very casual listener and thus opens a huge potential market but, and it's a big but, there's some serious competition from more established brands as well. So, can they hold their own in this testing environment?
Well, if a large size is an important factor then Teufel's off to a pretty good start. The AC 9050 PH's design incorporates earcups that are big enough to completely enclose your ears and the headband is about two inches across at its thickest point. There are hinges that enable the phones to be folded away to a certain degree but essentially you'd have to seriously love these headphones to consider taking them out on the road.
However, despite the rather rugged look these aren't actually the most sturdily built headphones we've ever seen. Not to even remotely suggest they're likely to fall apart without warning but those chunky hinges are only made of plastic and the point at which each cup rotates looks like a definite weak point, especially as it doesn't freely rotate 360 degrees like those on Grado headphones, for instance.
Something you can be reassured of, though, is that a broken cable won't mean the end of these headphones. Instead of a hard-wired cable, these use a modular system whereby a standard 3.5mm jack socket on the left earpiece can be used in conjunction with any 3.5mm jack cable you so desire. Not that Teufel expects you to provide your own cables from the off, as two are included in the box and they both lock into the left earpiece using a custom tab on the jack plug - just plug it in, give it a twist and it'll lock into place.
One cable is formed into a helix enabling you to stretch it from 115cm (just about perfect for sitting at a desk with your mp3 player in front of you) to around 250cm, while the other is straight with a length of 310cm. Obviously there are arguments for a modular cable system potentially damaging sound quality but at this sort of level the tiny differences between a permanent and modular cable are going to be next to impossible to notice.