The Teufel Concept B 200 USB is a powerful stereo speaker system for the desktop with built-in USB digital audio converter.

With 2.1 or 5.1 speaker systems, it's all well and good having dinky little speakers on the desk, but to get a realistic musical span, you'll need the accompanying subwoofer too.

The separate subwoofer reinforces the low end and can vanish sonically if setup correctly, but sometimes there's simply no space to stow the required but unsightly large cube.

Full-range speakers like this Concept B 200 USB system from Teufel, meanwhile, are simpler to setup, and can sound a lot more cohesive too.

Teufel has overcome one of the limitations of small stereo speakers - limited bass and volume levels - through some clever engineering to create this, its first 2.0 system. The Teufel Concept B 200 USB is a desktop speaker package that comprises a pair of little two-way column speakers and a separate amplifier module - cunningly sporting four channels of amplification.

The Teufel Concept B 200 USB is taking the pro-audio trick of driving the speakers actively - that is, by dedicating one amplifier channel to the twin bass/mid speakers, and another for the tweeter.

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This bypasses the inefficient passive crossover that usually lives inside the speaker box; the result is typically a tighter, more controlled sound, with higher volume levels and lower distortion available than from the amp and speaker combination wired with a traditional corssover.

Each speaker of the Teufel Concept B 200 USB system is 320mm tall and includes two 60mm paper-coned widerange drivers, and a 25mm fabric dome tweeter. The box is vented through a downward-firing tuned port that aids bass extension and efficiency.

Construction of these cabinets, taking a moulded plastic shell, is sturdy enough - there's nothing in the way of rattle or buzz, and a knuckle rap is not answered by an empty echo.

The Control Station CD 200 CS is the centrepiece, featuring RCA and 3.5mm minijack analogue inputs, plus a USB digital audio input. This feeds an onboard digital-to-analogue converter, based on a 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz converter chip

Additionally there's a total of three USB A ports (one on the front, two on the back) which allow the Control Station to serve as a USB data hub when wired to a PC.

On the front panel of the Teufel Concept B 200 USB we find volume, centre-dented treble and bass control knobs, and a pair of 3.5mm jacks for headphones and microphone. That's right, you can plug in a mic for karaoke action if so desired.

NEXT PAGE: Inside the Control Station and overall sound quality evaluation >>

Inside the amp unit of the Teufel Concept B 200 USB are the four 30W channels of Class D amplification, prefaced by an active crossover that first splits the music signal into low and high frequency ranges, for feeding to the respective speaker drivers.

Teufel Concept B 200 USB

The Teufel Concept B 200 USB amplifer uses a toroid transformer in a linear power supply, rather than a cheaper switch-mode solution

Build quality is sturdy enough, but the styling and finish is more workmanlike than elegant.

Sound quality from the Teufel Concept B 200 USB system is very impressive. Despite their size, the speakers can rock out at high volumes with little audible signs of strain.

We first tested the Teufel Concept B 200 USB system using the analogue inputs, where we heard tight, focused bass, and excellent drive to dance and pop music.

And there was certainly no need for an added bass box, suggested Imelda May and her swing revival band when playing ‘Johnny's Got a Boom Boom', with melodic double bass notes sounding out clearly and with a great sense of slam and thwack.

Off-axis response was a noted asset, where some speakers show strong tonal shifts as you move away from their firing line. Midband was relatively neutral, such that vocals remained at a natural relative level in the mix.

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And when sat between the speakers, you're easily rewarded with a strong stereo depth perspective that conjures up a realistic wide soundstage.

Through the USB digital input, the sound lightened up a little, still showing assured bass coverage but with a crisper and more brightly lit treble. Here we was also noted a better sense of silence between notes.

But it was also leaning toward mechanical sounding in comparison to the altogether smoother and more subtle sound heard from good sources through either analogue input.

Concert piano through the USB digital input, for example, had the acoustic power behind it but was less ‘grand' in its presentation, when we compared both inputs using a testing arrangement of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemp for two pianos.

NEXT PAGE: Our expert verdict >>

Teufel Concept B 200 USB: Specs

  • Stereo speaker system
  • 2 x two-way bass reflex column speakers (2 x 60mm bass/mid drivers, 1 x 25mm fabric dome tweeter)
  • 4-channel 30W Class D amplifier
  • USB input
  • 3 x USB hub
  • 1 x stereo RCA phono input
  • 3.5mm jack input
  • headphone out, mic in
  • speaker cables iwth 1/4in stereo jacks
  • speakers: 320 x 100 x 180mm
  • Stereo speaker system
  • 2 x two-way bass reflex column speakers (2 x 60mm bass/mid drivers, 1 x 25mm fabric dome tweeter)
  • 4-channel 30W Class D amplifier
  • USB input
  • 3 x USB hub
  • 1 x stereo RCA phono input
  • 3.5mm jack input
  • headphone out, mic in
  • speaker cables iwth 1/4in stereo jacks
  • speakers: 320 x 100 x 180mm

OUR VERDICT

While far from being a cheap solution for stereo sound on the PC desktop, this Teufel Concept B 200 USB three-piece 2.0 stereo system is several notches above the budget stereo speakers available at two-figure price points. Despite the German home of the company, though, we found the style and build a little too far Eastern, and considering these speakers are only sold direct online, the price could be lower. Nevertheless, this is a high-performance compact speaker system that can confidently take on dynamic music without strain.

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