Three other factors tell me that Teufel hasn’t been paying all that much attention to the competition. Firstly, there’s no video output – I can live without it, but if you use your dock in the living room it can be a selling point. Secondly, the iTeufel seems even more vulnerable than most docks to interference, amplifying the noise from my 1G iPod touch to really irritating levels.
Finally, and most seriously, the iTeufel hasn’t been changed since its German launch to support the most recent generation of iPods. Anyone with a 2G Touch, a 4G Nano or a 120GB Classic should steer well clear, not least because the iTeufel’s dock could actually damage your player. Don’t even think about plugging an iPhone in!
Should those affected feel gutted that they’ll have to do without? Well, yes and no. As I said right at the start, the combination of dock and sub is capable of producing a surprisingly big noise. There’s more open space and detail than you’d expect from an all-in-one dock of a similar size, and the bass response is bordering on excellent. Nor is this sledgehammer stuff. Even with the volume on the subwoofer turned right up, the bass sits in well with the rest of the sound, adding power to the articulate low notes without bashing you around the ears with a raucous thumping.
The sound is rated at 60W and the output is certainly powerful. Too powerful, in fact, for the average living room unless you’re having a party. Unlike many compact systems, the iTeufel is happier when run at mid to high-level volumes. Inside the dock unit itself you’ll find two 80mm low to mid-range speakers and a 25mm silk dome for treble, and towards the top of the audible range you’ll hear a sometimes breathtaking clarity and a really rich, bright tone. These are the kind of speakers that make high vocals or loud brass instruments sing.