Teufel Consono 25 - Performance and Verdict

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

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.

Verdict

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.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 7
  • Value 8
  • Features 7
  • Design 8

MrGodfrey

January 24, 2011, 6:04 pm

Thanks for the review, I was considering these but have decided against it as I don't really want to get a surround system until I can afford a "proper" one. Does nobody make active stereo speakers any more? I am looking to upgrade the sound on my TV, but my options all seem to start with buying an amp/receiver. I'm on a budget and would really much rather just buy active speakers. I can't see any reviewed here (perhaps I'm not looking hard enough). Would appreciate any thoughts on this and sorry for going OT, cheers.

mistrip

January 24, 2011, 8:42 pm

I think active stereo ones are usually aimed at the PC market, e.g. Creative Gigaworks T20 and T40 and no doubt logitech have similar offerings.





Alternatively I think Teuful and Onkyo do speakers systems with the amp built into the sub if that's any good to you.

Martin Daler

January 24, 2011, 9:53 pm

Might this be what you are looking for?


http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

MrGodfrey

January 25, 2011, 4:43 pm

mistrip; Martin Daler: Many thanks for the suggestions! I will hijack this thread no more :)

Danny P

January 25, 2011, 10:03 pm

@MrGodfrey: Or try these - http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

clemenzina

January 29, 2011, 7:46 am

I wonder if reviewers live on the same planet as the rest of us - the E400 is listed at nearly £450!





I tried to solve MrGodfrey's problem with an Orbitsound T12 soundbar, "version one" bought at half-price from eBay when Orbitsound brought out a new version of it. "Spatial sound" rather than stereo, and the subwoofer is too thick and heavy (sonically). Other brands do soundbars, which do improve the sound from flat panel TVs. I've seen great reviews of the Onkyo HDX 2.1 (upgradable to 5.1) but it's double what I got the Orbitsound for, and the latter solved my space problem too.

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