- Detailed sound quality
- Build quality
- Lack of controls on sub
- Lacks flat-out potency
- Design a little safe for some
- Review Price: £479.00
- Slim column speakers
- 70mm Klippel-optimised midrange drivers
- 19mm tweeter
- 150W powered subwoofer
- Walnut finish
Putting column speakers in the living room can be a contentious issue given their imposing size, but a tastefully-styled system that blends with its surroundings can really enhance the look of your living space.
That’s what Teufel is aiming for with the Columa 200, a great-looking 5.1 system comprising four slim towers, a centre speaker and a powered subwoofer. It’s not just about style though. As ever Teufel is going for the value jugular with a sub-£500 price tag, which is admirable for a column system with this sort of spec.
Build quality is better than you might expect at this price too. Each of the four CL 200 FR column speakers comes in a robust MDF cabinet measuring a remarkably skinny 111(h) x 24(w) x 24(d)cm, and finished in walnut (there are no other colour options).
Most of the front is taken up by a glossy black panel that juxtaposes nicely with the walnut finish, while the drivers are hidden behind a non-removable grille toward the top. Admittedly their rectangular shape is a tad safe and conservative, with no curves or embellishments to glam them up, but this sort of retro-tinged simplicity will probably appeal to a lot of people.
The CL 200 C centre speaker is like a mini version of the columns, turned horizontally for easy installation under your TV, and naturally it shares the same walnut finish and black grille. It’s weighty and solidly made, although the stuck-on walnut top layer was peeling slightly at one join.
As for the Theater 800 SW subwoofer, it’s bigger and bulkier than you might expect given the slimness of the columns it’s designed to accompany, but the tasteful walnut finish and gloss-black ported front panel make it a very attractive unit.
The system is designed for rooms up to 30m². The CL 300 FRs feature a 19mm tweeter and two 70mm coated cellulose midrange drivers optimised by German acoustic control and measurement specialists Klippel. They boast a frequency range from 100Hz up to 20kHz, with a recommended crossover to the sub of 150Hz. The same driver array is found inside the centre speaker, a step towards ensuring a homogenous sound across the system.
Inside the subwoofer is a 150W Class D power amplifier and a 250mm Klippel optimised bass driver, which delivers bass frequencies down to 38Hz. On its rear panel, the limited range of controls means you’ll need to rely on your AV receiver to integrate the sub with the other speakers. There’s a volume control dial but no crossover control, phase switch or other adjustments normally found on Teufel subs, which hints at the budget approach Teufel is taking with this system.
It also features a mono RCA input that allows you to connect it to your AV receiver and a switch that allows you to select between Auto and On power modes.
Installation is child’s play – all you need to do is screw the square plinths onto the bottom of each column and attach cables to the gold-plated binding posts (which also take banana plugs). Thanks to the pre-attached clips on the back, the CL 200 C is easy to wall mount too. As ever, though, it’s worth noting Teufel doesn’t include speaker cable so you’ll have to spend an extra £30 or so on a few tens of metres of reasonable quality audio cable.
On the other hand, this is countered by the fact that as well as offering free delivery, Teufel operates an eight-week trial policy, which means you can return the speakers if you’re not happy no questions asked, as well as a 12-year guarantee.
At this price Columa 200 doesn’t hit the stratospheric heights of Teufel’s high-end systems, but it still delivers an impressive performance for the money. Its sound is more mature than Teufel’s Consono systems, and equally as good as the Columa 300.
The stand-out aspect of the system’s sound is detail reproduction. There’s a delightful crispness and clarity to the high frequencies that makes Avatar’s background detail and ambience easy to hear. Quiet scenes are textured and atmospheric, with the subtle sounds of wildlife and rustling trees making the soundstage seem layered.
The overall sound is also more powerful than you’d expect given the columns’ lack of cabinet volume, but those who like the walls to shake when watching movies might want to step up to one of Teufel’s more potent systems.
We never struggled to hear any of the movie’s dialogue from the excellent centre speaker, even over the sounds of spaceship engines and shrieking Na’vi, while clean reproduction of rear-channel information guarantees an expansive, absorbing soundstage.
There’s terrific integration between the speakers too, and provided you tweak bass output properly for your room the T 800 SW can deliver a decent amount of punch for those all-important action scenes. And when the action does hot up, the fronts and rears hold their composure admirably, with high frequencies refusing to sound harsh or strained.
We’re also impressed by the smoothness with which it reproduces music material, from the hi-res sounds of SACD and music Blu-rays to CDs and MP3s. There’s detail aplenty and a wonderful sense of depth to the sound that will validate your decision to buy these over a cheaper speaker set.
The Columa 200 is a great value system, perfect for those who want something bigger and more powerful than bookshelf speakers but without paying through the nose. The design might be a bit conservative for some, but the walnut finish is undeniably classy and build quality is decent enough. And in terms of performance, it could do with a little more finesse and potency but on the whole sound quality is excellent for the money.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 8
|Number of Speakers||5.1|
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