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During the movie's noisy bits, like Hellboy's barney with the Elemental, the Columa is utterly commanding. As the big beanstalk smashes its way through the parked cars, the bangs and crashes are delivered with enough force and intensity to have you using the nearest table as an Anderson shelter. It's the sort of immersive, pulse-quickening performance that plunges you right into the action and doesn't let go until the credits roll.
The superb high-frequency handling of those dome tweeters gives effects an irresistible crispness, augmenting the abundant detail in the movie's high-res sound design and eking out delicate background minutiae that can go amiss on lesser speakers. The top-end detail is forthright and composed, and refuses to buckle even with the volume dial turned up to neighbour-bothering levels. And during the calmer moments it helps make dialogue sound clear and velvety.
The subwoofer also proves to be a formidable presence - the deep rumbles during Hellboy's battle with the Golden Army effortlessly convey the brutality and urgency of the scene. But credit should also go to the low-frequency drivers in the columns, which not only lend extra heft to low-end effects but also blend beautifully with the sub to create a slick, cohesive whole.
Teufel also describes the columns as fully-fledged hi-fi speakers, and after enjoying a range of music material we can see where they're coming from. Our trusty Kind of Blue CD sounds sublime, lending the jazz classic plenty of warmth and emotion.
If you're looking for a stylish 5.1 speaker system that offers sensational sound quality at a very reasonable price then look no further than the Columa 900. It may lack the power and grandeur of Teufel's System 9, but the fact that it even comes close at this price is reason enough to give it a whirl.
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