Onto performance and the Theater 100 is clearly punching above its price class. Working in unison, the six speakers conjure up a deep and dynamic sound, hitting crisp high-frequencies and eking out a mesmerising tapestry of detail from any movie you throw at them. Once again we returned to old favourite The Dark Knight on Blu-ray, a vigorous work-out for any speaker system, and the Teufel reproduces its Dolby TrueHD track with relish (amplification and processing comes courtesy of the Onkyo TX-SR807).
Starting with the big action sequences, the Teufel is hugely powerful but in a way that seems effortless. Watching the opening scene is a pulse-racing experience thanks to the way the gunshots crack around the room with visceral ferocity, and the force with which it conveys effects like the bus crashing though the bank wall. The inherent sensitivity of the speakers easily draws out detail and background ambience too, which injects an extra sense of drama and tension into the scene that lesser speakers systems can miss out.
The later vehicle chase through the Gotham streets is another terrific showcase for the Teufel’s talents. It displays power, finesse, expansiveness and cohesion between the speakers. We love the way the rear channels deliver a clean, full range sound with deep bass extension that makes the entire soundstage feel solid and absorbing, plus the dipole arrangement really does improve the sense of all-round immersion.
Other pluses include the centre speaker’s rich and authoritative dialogue handling – again fusing seamlessly with the front speakers – and the incredibly deep and agile bass tones mustered by the powerhouse subwoofer. And when the slam-bang action takes a back seat, the system laps up the subtle stuff, digging out delicate detail all over the soundstage. We’re not saying the Theater 100 is up to the same standards as some of the company’s more expensive efforts, but it’s far better than you have any right to expect for just over five hundred quid.
The Theater 100 can also add superb musicality to its performance portfolio. We listened to CDs like Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue and Paul Simon’s Graceland and these classic albums both sounded better than ever thanks to the warmth and wide dynamic range provided by this superb system. It even sounds great in stereo mode with the subwoofer off.
If we’d have listened to the Theater 100 without knowing how much it cost, we’d have put its price tag at well over a grand based on its powerful, detailed and immersive sound. Thankfully you don’t have to spend anywhere near that much to experience this wonderful performance, which surely makes it one of Teufel’s best-value offerings to date.