Teufel doesn’t supply any cables or interconnects with the Concept E 400 set, which is no bad thing in my mind. The vast majority of sub-powered multimedia speakers ship with poor speaker wire, already cut to lengths, which may or may not be suitable for your particular use. If you’re worried about the extra cost, don’t be, since the AC 2015 cable set, which includes a full set of 5.1-channel interconnects and 20 metres of speaker cable, will cost you around £10.
When it comes to sound quality, these speakers don’t disappoint. Considering that all the amplification is sitting in the subwoofer, the handling of subtle effects is surprisingly good. With multimedia sets I expect there to be a leaning towards big action set pieces, whether in movies or games, but the Concept E 400s deal with quiet scenes with equal aplomb. The centre dialogue channel is particularly impressive, locking your focus to the screen, with little, if any perceptible dialogue bleed into the left and right channels.
But when the gloves come off, and those big action scenes come around, the Concept E 400s really show what they’re made of. The Dolby Digital soundtrack on Transformers was a joy to hear on these speakers. The soundstage was beautifully rendered with all the positional effects, especially on the rear surrounds, enveloping the viewer. But it’s when the action hots up, and that huge subwoofer fires up that this set really comes into its own – the sheer power will make any blockbuster that bit more immersive.
The Concept E 400s are no less impressive when they turn their hand to gaming either. Hooking up an Xbox 360 and firing up Halo 3 proved that point. The real time Dolby Digital soundtracks on modern console games cry out for a high quality surround sound setup, and the Concept E 400s are definitely up to the job. It’s arguably even more important to have an immersive and accurate soundstage when playing a game than it is when watching a movie. Being able to hear where your enemies are, or what direction shots are coming from just adds another dimension to proceedings.
So, when you add it all up, the Concept E 400s, Decoderstation 5 and all your cables and interconnects are probably going to set you back around the £450 mark, which isn’t exactly small change. But when you consider what you’re getting for that money, and how much a comparable receiver and 5.1-channel speaker set would cost, this setup offers decent value for money.
If you’ve already got a high definition TV, a games console, a PC and a Blu-ray player, you’re probably already thinking about a surround sound system to get the most out of your kit. And if you are in that position, the Concept E 400s and Decoderstation 5 will make the perfect addition.
I’m not going to pretend that these speakers are cheap, but considering that Teufel is a serious loudspeaker manufacturer, I wouldn’t call them expensive either. Ultimately, if you’re looking for an active surround sound speaker set, the Concept E 400s should be high on your list.
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