Concept C 200 USB review
Teufel’s C 200 speaker set is a one-stop, if bulky, solution for playing sound from a computer or MP3 player. There’s a pair of two-way speakers finished in gloss lacquer, with detachable stands to raise them from the desk. These are more functional than attractive. An enormous subwoofer is provided to reproduce the low notes.
All electronics are housed in the sub – namely three channels of amplification and a USB digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). With this USB DAC, you need only plug the bass unit into a Mac’s USB port to enable digital audio to be piped directly into the system, avoiding the computer’s analogue outputs.
Alternatively, a single pair of RCA plugs will accept the regular output of a computer or MP3 player.
A weighted and backlit wired remote control is included on a short cable, which allows you to put the system into standby, set volume and adjust the relative level of the bass speaker.
Build quality is mostly satisfactory, even if the styling is uninspiring. We were unimpressed by the satellite stands, which are made of weak plastic and painted to look like aluminium.
Some may gasp at the size of the subwoofer unit, although the use of a ported speaker in a large box usually allows a system to ‘breathe’ more easily. We found the sound quite flowing, with less of the normal gap in the upper bass and lower mid-range frequencies that many such systems suffer.
The sound via the USB input was solid in the bass, with fair clarity to vocals. There was a spacious, three-dimensional sound to the satellite speakers, although they could sound congested and a little messy when presented with complex, harmonically rich music. Overriding the sound was a certain graininess.
From the analogue input, the same music was smoother and more enveloping. While either input could still sound overblown, the overall effect here was tidier and more natural to listen to.
Teufel’s Concept C 200 is competent but rather generic of Far East-made speaker systems (there aren’t even any cables included in the box). We would encourage an audition first and you can test it with Teufel’s two-week sale-or-return policy.