The Consono 25 is a bit of a mixed bag performance-wise, delivering a generally fun and engaging sound with certain limitations that might leave you wishing you forked out a little bit more.
Let’s start with the good stuff. We fed the system Inception on Blu-ray and it managed to pull a great deal of detail from the disc and present it in a clear, crisp manner at ‘normal’ listening volumes. Whether it’s relaying the click of a silenced gunshot or ice cubes rattling in a glass, the sound is clear and crisp.
That in turn makes for a dynamic soundstage as the action hots up – when ‘earthquakes’ destroy the building in the opening dream within a dream, the crashing walls and smashing glass sound forceful from all five satellites.
Another of the system’s strengths is the potent bass output, thanks to the superb efforts of the US 5108/1 SW, which makes low frequencies feel tight and punchy. The crossover with the satellites could possibly be a little smoother but there aren’t many systems at this price that include a subwoofer this good.
On the downside, the system doesn’t like being pushed hard. We cranked our Onkyo TX-NR807 receiver up to -2.0dB and it really struggled. When the shops start to explode as Cobb and Ariadne are sitting outside the café, the effects are bright and raspy. Likewise, when Ariadne shatters the mirrors under the bridge, the smash has an overly hard edge that better speakers handle more smoothly.
The evidence continues – as Edith Piaf’s Je Ne Regrette Rien gets louder as the kick approaches, her warbling voice and the strings sound shrill. Dialogue also deteriorates when pushed loud. Cobb’s frenzied cry of “tell us what you know now!” rattles the ear drums.
All of this means that these speakers aren’t a great choice if you’re planning on cranking up the volume on regular occasions, but they are fine for low-level TV or movie viewing.
Although the budget price tag inevitably takes its toll on sound and build quality, the Consono 25 is still worth investigating. Its compact satellites look great, the classy subwoofer punches above its weight and if you keep the volume at a sensible level you can get some good sound quality out of it.
For under £200 that’s a fairly good deal, and if their loud-volume limitations prove a problem then Teufel’s eight-week test listening period means you can send them back, no questions asked. Everyone’s a winner.