- Massive bass presence
- Easy wireless setup
- Detailed high-end
- Lacks mid-range presence
- Limited uses for wireless
- Sub woofer is enormous
- Review Price: £259.00
- 2.1 speaker system
- Wireless USB audio transmitter
- Massive 10in sub woofer
- Wireless remote control
We’ve looked at a few Teufel PC speaker systems over the years and one thing we’ve learned is that the German audio company knows how to make audio devices that pack a punch, and the Teufel C 300 is no exception. With an enormous sub accompanied by two diddy satellite speakers, there’s plenty of wallop on offer here and with a wireless USB sound card and remote control included, it’s a versatile set as well.
The first thing you notice about the Teufel C 300 Wireless is it arrives in a blooming great box that weighs a tonne. And the reason for all that bulk is the enormous sub woofer that makes up the 0.1 of this speaker set. With dimensions of 500 x 390 x 240mm and weight of 19Kg, you’ll need a sizeable desk to sit this beast under.
At least there’s an excuse for all that bulk. Inside the sub there’s not only a 250mm (10in) driver and 120mm bass port but a trio of amps and a digital sound processor for turning the digitally transmitted audio from the USB receiver into glorious analogue tones. One of the amps pumps out 120Watts for the sub alone while two further ones provide 30W each for the satellite speakers.
Thankfully the satellites are rather less demanding of desk space than their lower frequency-biased cousin. With dimensions of 125 x 90 x 98mm – and weighing in at a mere 0.53Kg – they’re no larger than many novelty coffee mugs.
Designer isn’t what we’d called this speaker set. The swathes of glossy black are suitably inoffensive as are the silver highlights and black cloth grilles. However, we aren’t talking about the subtle high quality painted or wooden finishes you get on high-end speaker sets. Aside from the wood used to construct the bulk of the sub’s internals, these are a largely plastic set and they simply don’t leap out with any grand design statement. They’re just there, efficiently functioning.
In fact, the silver painted plastic stands of the satellites are a little disappointing as they lack rigidity, which is a must for a high-end piece of audio equipment. This is a silly little slip up for a set of speakers that, while not of the stratospherically high-end, cost £259.
We’re also not particularly keen on the large power button that sits on the front towards the top of the sub. This protrudes by about 15mm and is surrounded by a ring of blue (on) or red (off) light. It’s not as silly a design feature as the unprotected drivers on the sub of the Concept D 500 THX Multimedia but it’s hardly classic design either.
What makes up for some of the extra cost then is of course the wireless technology. This consists of a USB dongle that you plug into your computer (no extras drivers are needed and it should install automatically in a few moments) and the receiver built into the sub. The dongle is rather large so is decidedly prone to snagging and we’d be pretty worried about it coming a cropper if wonder off round the house with it plugged into your laptop.
Once installed the speakers will work just as though there were an oldy worldy wire running between them. There’s no discernible lag and quality seems excellent. It can sometimes take just a moment for the connection to get going but from then on there are no timing issues. One annoyance, however, is that the speakers have a tendency to turn themselves off rather frequently so if you’re used to just having your speakers on all day and intermittently using them you’ll often find these have turned themselves off every time you go to use them.
Range of the wireless signal will vary but we found the signal broke up after about ten metres or so, which we suspect is enough to serve most people’s requirements.
Something that’s also missing from the satellites is any kind of volume control, a headphone jack, or extra line input. Instead all (one) extra inputs are on the sub and a remote is used to control volume, bass level and input selection. This is a radio frequency remote so works through walls and at long distance, easily out-reaching the range of the speakers themselves. It’s not the prettiest remote we’ve seen but gets the job done.
Adjusting the bass level of the Teufel C 300 Wireless is another area were this set slips up, though. Tap the bass button on the remote and the circle of light around the power button glows purple, tap the volume buttons and the bass level is adjusted. Easy! Well, not quite, as there’s no indication of what level you’ve set the bass to. You can judge by ear alone but it would be nice to know for sure, particularly if you’re aiming for dead centre.
The one extra input is a simple line level one, consisting of a pair of phono sockets on the back of the sub. Also here you’ll find the mains cable socket, aerial for the wireless and connections for the speakers. At the sub-end, cables can be attached bare or with banana clips though the satellites only employ sprung connections for bare cable.
Another quirk of this set that’s shared by all Teufel sets is that you don’t get any speaker cable in the box, the manufacturer believing that many people will want to buy their own cable so there’s not point in wasting money and resources bundling some in the box. As bold and commendable a stance to take this may be, but it is rather inconvenient if you failed to read the fine print.
So it’s been something of a mixed reception for this speaker set so far but where it makes up for many of its shortcomings is in sound quality.
It’s no surprise that there’s plenty of bass on offer but what is welcome is how smooth and balanced it sounds. From the lowest volume levels all the way up to room shaking levels, it just fills out the bottom end in a thoroughly satisfying manner. It’s no surprise that this makes these speakers perfect for gaming and movie soundtracks where explosions and other atmospheric deep tones wash round you in a wonderfully consuming manner.
What’s more the satellites do their job just as adeptly, creating a convincing and enveloping sound stage filled with masses of detail. From classical right the way through to the biggest, loudest music you can muster, they sprinkle a satisfying amount of sparkle across all and sundry.
Unfortunately the C 300 Wireless does have an Achilles hell, and it’s just where you’d expect; it lacks mid-range. Because of that massive gulf between the huge sub and tiny satellites, there’s a slightly hollow sound to the set as a whole, making indie and rock music in particular lack a certain presence. Most people simply looking for a powerful bombastic set will no doubt enjoy what the C 300 Wireless has to offer but flawless, it isn’t.
What’s more, we can’t help but wonder about the use for the whole wireless technology. With products compatible with Apple’s AirPlay service, such as the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air, you don’t need a dongle – just a WiFi signal, and it works with iPod, iPads, iPhones and Macs. Sonos also offers a Wi-Fi based wireless solution compatible with many devices. There are also universal wireless systems, such as the Maplin Wireless Audio Transmitter, available for under £50.
Then of course there’s the price. For less you can get a full mini Hi-Fi system such as the Onkyo CS-545UK, which will give you a more rounded overall sound, though admittedly less of a bass kick and no wireless abilities.
The Teufel C 300 Wireless is a bombastic 2.1 speaker system that will add oodles of oomph to your PC or home cinema setup, while the wireless system will let you roam free while you’re listening. The enormous sub takes some accommodating and the lack of mid-range presence means this isn’t the ultimate allrounder, and the wireless system isn’t always the most convenient. Overall, though, it’s a solid set that under the right circumstances will suit many people’s needs perfectly.
Score in detail
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.