Taken as a whole, though, and more importantly from a sound quality perspective, these ‘phones do impress. What immediately hits you is how Teufel has managed to create an incredibly powerful bass response without compromising any clarity at the top range. Bass lines genuinely rumble, timpani thunders, and kick drums really kick. From Metallica to Pantera, Evil Nine to Fat Boy Slim, and Messhugah to Lamb Of God, these headphones simply love pounding out loud and heavy metal and thumping dance music. Indeed, I’d say these are the best headphones for Dance and Metal I’ve heard for under £100.
Even taking into account the aforementioned lack of spaciousness they also cope well with dynamic orchestral work. A great example of this ability is highlighted when listening to Mussorgsky’s ”Pictures At An Exhibition”, where deathly quiet passages of light string work rapidly turn to full and hearty brass and percussion sections. The AC 9050 PH’s don’t miss a beat providing all the subtlety and finesse required of the former and all the gusto of the latter.
Where these phones do have a weakness is in a slightly under developed mid-range. Guitars and vocals in particular don’t leap from the phones with any great verve, instead they sit back in the mix. This is demonstrated both in the solo acoustic guitar and vocal work of Jose Gonzalez just as much as it is with mainstream guitar driven rock of Foo Fighters or Guns and roses. They’re still great to listen to but if you’re trying to work out how to play your favourite riffs, you’ll struggle to pick everything out with these phones.
For the same reason, despite initially loving the sound of these phones, I found myself continually turning to my Grado SR80s when watching video on my laptop at home. The brilliant mid-range of the Grados really brings out vocals, making it much easier to keep track of the all-important dialogue.
In the AC 9050 PHs, Teufel has created one of our favourite set of everyday headphones. There are better choices for at-home listening where open-back headphones come into play but, for closed-back phones, these reproduce most genres of music to a satisfactory level and excel at some. They’re also comfortable, block out a decent amount of noise, and have some neat design touches. Most significantly, though, they’re available for a quite incredible price.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 7