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

By Riyad Emeran

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5

Summary

Our Score:

9

Teufel doesn't supply any cables or interconnects with the Concept E 400 set, which is no bad thing in my mind. The vast majority of sub-powered multimedia speakers ship with poor speaker wire, already cut to lengths, which may or may not be suitable for your particular use. If you're worried about the extra cost, don't be, since the AC 2015 cable set, which includes a full set of 5.1-channel interconnects and 20 metres of speaker cable, will cost you around £10.

When it comes to sound quality, these speakers don't disappoint. Considering that all the amplification is sitting in the subwoofer, the handling of subtle effects is surprisingly good. With multimedia sets I expect there to be a leaning towards big action set pieces, whether in movies or games, but the Concept E 400s deal with quiet scenes with equal aplomb. The centre dialogue channel is particularly impressive, locking your focus to the screen, with little, if any perceptible dialogue bleed into the left and right channels.

But when the gloves come off, and those big action scenes come around, the Concept E 400s really show what they're made of. The Dolby Digital soundtrack on Transformers was a joy to hear on these speakers. The soundstage was beautifully rendered with all the positional effects, especially on the rear surrounds, enveloping the viewer. But it's when the action hots up, and that huge subwoofer fires up that this set really comes into its own - the sheer power will make any blockbuster that bit more immersive.

The Concept E 400s are no less impressive when they turn their hand to gaming either. Hooking up an Xbox 360 and firing up Halo 3 proved that point. The real time Dolby Digital soundtracks on modern console games cry out for a high quality surround sound setup, and the Concept E 400s are definitely up to the job. It's arguably even more important to have an immersive and accurate soundstage when playing a game than it is when watching a movie. Being able to hear where your enemies are, or what direction shots are coming from just adds another dimension to proceedings.

So, when you add it all up, the Concept E 400s, Decoderstation 5 and all your cables and interconnects are probably going to set you back around the £450 mark, which isn't exactly small change. But when you consider what you're getting for that money, and how much a comparable receiver and 5.1-channel speaker set would cost, this setup offers decent value for money.

Verdict

If you've already got a high definition TV, a games console, a PC and a Blu-ray player, you're probably already thinking about a surround sound system to get the most out of your kit. And if you are in that position, the Concept E 400s and Decoderstation 5 will make the perfect addition.

I'm not going to pretend that these speakers are cheap, but considering that Teufel is a serious loudspeaker manufacturer, I wouldn't call them expensive either. Ultimately, if you're looking for an active surround sound speaker set, the Concept E 400s should be high on your list.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 9
  • Value 8
  • Features 9
  • Design 8

PoisonJam

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.

Pbryanw

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."

Randy

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.

Riyad

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...

Fred

July 3, 2009, 2:00 am

Does anyone know how this one performs particularly with music?

Kamran

July 3, 2009, 2:41 am

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

Kamran

July 3, 2009, 2:42 am

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

KevinB

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.

PoisonJam

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.

virgopunk

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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