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Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5 review




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Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5
  • Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5


Our Score:


Teufel may be a relatively new name in the UK, but the German speaker specialist is already building a strong reputation for itself. In the Home cinema arena, Teufel has proved that it can compete with the best whether in the value sector or the high end, with its Motiv 3 and System 9 THX Ultra systems respectively. But those sets require a separate amplifier or receiver to drive them, and not everyone wants to go to that extra expense.

If you're looking for great surround sound for your games and movies, but haven't got a huge wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket, Teufel has you covered. The Concept E 400s are the latest addition to Teufel's Multimedia range, sitting at the top of that particular tree. And even though the price of £283 might not seem that cheap to some, the Concept E 400s produce sound that's far more impressive than that price suggests.

These speakers produce big sound, far bigger in fact than I would have expected from an all in one system. The key to that big sound is the truly massive subwoofer that's the cornerstone of the whole setup. I've seen bigger subwoofers, but not as part of a multimedia system like this, and certainly not at this price point. Of course it's not just a subwoofer, since that big black box also houses the amplification for all the satellites, as well as for the sub itself.

If you want numbers, the CE 400 SW subwoofer has a 500W amplifier hiding inside it, but 250W of that power is dedicated to driving the sub, leaving 50W per channel for each of the satellite speakers. That's a pretty generous spread of power, and the decision to funnel half of it to the low frequency channel pays real benefits when you're watching an explosive action scene, or playing a through a particularly hairy fire-fight in say, Halo 3 or Gears of War 2.

As is usually the case with Teufel speakers, they look good as well as sounding good. The subwoofer is finished in glossy black, which will no doubt complement the majority of high definition TVs that it's likely to share a room with. There are, what looks like, three dials on the front of the sub, although the centre one is actually just a button that toggles between standby and on. The right dial is the master volume for the whole set, while the left dial controls the amount of bass, which can be set from a mild atmospheric rumble, to window shaking earthquake levels!


July 2, 2009, 2:22 pm

I'm confused about the price... the article mentions £283 but the price at the top shows £437.00 (Inc VAT). Have I missed something?

The latter price seems a little on the steep side when it doesn't do HD audio decoding on-board.


July 2, 2009, 4:16 pm

I'm assuming the price TR are quoting is for the speaker package along with the Decoderstation 5. So £283 + £154 = £437

From page 2 of the review:

"Teufel sent the new Decoderstation 5 along with the Concept E 400s, which will set you back an additional £154, although if you didn't need quite so many inputs, you could go for the older Decoderstation 3 for £111 instead."


July 2, 2009, 4:28 pm

@Jordan Russell

It's £283 for speakers AND £154 for decoder station.

I'm in a market now for new pair of high quality speakers for my computer, i thought about amp and bookshelf monitors, maybe then this is a better option? I've looked at Teufel website and they rock! TR Crew puhhleease give me advice. Local DENON dealer adviced me to grab a £1000 set of B&W CM1's and PM700ae amp, but isn't that an overkill to plug this magnificent speakers to a computer?

Thanks in advance.

Luan Bach

July 2, 2009, 4:45 pm

@Jordan, from the article I gathered that the lower price is for the speakers+sub only, then you have to add in the cost for the decoder station, hence the higher price.


July 2, 2009, 7:05 pm

@Randy - I would definitely say that would be overkill if your PC will be the main source. To add to that, I’ve got another fully active 5.1-channel set coming in next week, which could give you another option. The satellites in this one are far larger than the Teufels though, so it depends on whether space is an issue for you.

chris watts

July 2, 2009, 7:12 pm

how does this compare to the Sony HTI-S100, i see that is only £379.99 at play and has wireless speakers...


July 3, 2009, 2:00 am

Does anyone know how this one performs particularly with music?


July 3, 2009, 2:41 am

Will the Motiv 5 Digital 5.1 loudspeaker set be better then this model?


July 3, 2009, 2:42 am

OMG the stupid Panasonic Ad is getting in the way of reading the review!


July 3, 2009, 4:51 pm

So, the question is though, which Blu-ray deck would be the best paired with it? Philips BDP7300 Blu-ray Player (http://www.trustedreviews.com/..., Samsung BD-P3600 (http://www.trustedreviews.com/..., or the Panasonic DMP-BD60 (http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

As mentioned in the article these speakers won't decode the new HD audio sound tracks and I think all these players will internally. But is it possible to get any of these players to output the HD audio to the speakers in a format/and connection it will recognise.


July 4, 2009, 8:17 am

@Randy - I'm confused as to why you're comparing an expensive stereo set-up to a relatively much cheaper surround set-up? Surely a more reasonable stereo equivalent would be something like a pair of Audioengine A5s? Is music your main priority or is it games/movies? If it's the former then I'd just get the A5s. I've auditioned a pair and they sound excellent with music. If it's the latter then these would seem to fit the bill.

@KevinB - Blu-ray players with 5.1 analogue outputs simply decode the HD audio soundtracks and send the decoded signal out through 6 phono cables (3 pairs). You just connect these to the 5.1 inputs on the decoder and voilà: HD audio.


July 30, 2009, 9:33 pm

I have what is probably a pretty simple question to answer (but it's been a long day). If I wanted to get True HD out of this system via a PS3 exactly what cabling would I choose. I understand a little bit about choosing linear PCM but would I simply use an optical lead from the PS3 to the decoder box?

If it does what I think it can then I'll glady give Tefel my hard earned shekels.

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