We do not often test headphones, but when we do it we also include the most extensive models. In this review we look at the top model from Teufel; the REAL Blue NC. These over-ear headphones have Bluetooth and active noise reduction.
Teufel REAL blue NC
According to the company, the REAL series of Teufel headphones are all about optimum sound and wearing comfort, convenient functions for daily use and an intuitive service. The REAL blue NC is the first headphones from Teufel with hybrid, active noise cancellation. For this purpose the earcup is equipped with two microphones: one on the outside and one in the hearing chamber. The electronics are able to record the noise in real time inside and outside the hearing room and to provide a back sound. The REAL blue NC can be used in both bluetooth and cable mode. The noise reduction can be switched on or off in both cases. The built-in battery provides sufficient power for a playing time of up to 30 hours with the combination of Bluetooth and noise reduction. Noise suppression up to 60 hours is possible in cable mode. If the battery is empty, the REAL blue NC can be connected via the supplied cable and can be charged for approximately 85% in one hour.
To prevent annoying clicking noises from the mechanical keys, the REAL blue NC is operated via a touch field on the right ear cup (play / pause / skip). This touch control also offers support for taking and ending phone calls and voice control based on Android (Google) and iOS (Siri). The headphones come with a hardcase storage bag, a 1.3-long cable with built-in microphone and a remote control based on one button. The REAL blue NC comes with an adapter for connecting the headphones in the aircraft and a micro USB charging cable. The headset has a price of 229.99 euros and is for sale via the website of Teufel .
Design and comfort
Teufel has known its products for years the well-known 'Teufel design' so do these headphones. Robust, a bit industrial and often with lots of black and red hues. That gives the headphones a cool appearance, but the premium finish also ensures that you also have a premium headset immediately. The right shell is equipped with touch buttons on the outside with which the music can be operated but also conversations can be recorded. There are small physical buttons for noise canceling, Bluetooth and the on-off function. The REAL Blue NC feels high-quality and sturdy, which is of course also possible for a price tag of more than 200 euros. The hard case is also a welcome accessory, with which you can transport the headphones safely and compactly – and together with the cabling and adapter. All in all, it is a sleek and tough looking headphone in appearance.
All models in the REAL series are light thanks to the use of high-quality spring steel in the bracket. The pivoting ear cups make it possible to wear headphones around the neck on the way. Thanks to the extension mechanism of the bracket, all REAL models can be stored in a compact form. The REAL Blue NC is also very comfortable on the head and can be precisely adjusted with two simple movements. Although the ear cups are quite small, the opening of the ear cushions on the inside is quite large and comfortably deep. Even after wearing the headphones for a long time, you will not be bothered by the pressing headband or tight cushions around your ears. The soft ear cushions, together with the soft headband, ensure a comfortable experience in which you are not aware of the fact that you are wearing headphones most of the time. It is a robust but light headphone that is very suitable for intensive use. You can also rotate the ear cups so that you can also wear the headphones comfortably around your neck.
The operation of the Teufel REAL Blue NC over-ear headphones takes place via three physical buttons and a touch panel on the right sharp. The physical buttons speak for themselves; one for bluetooth one for noise canceling and one for switching the headphones on or off. These buttons are easy to find by touch.
The touch story, however, requires a bit of getting used to. The right shell as a whole is actually a touchpad, but without icons. There is a sticker when unpacking, so that will be fine, but the use is less flexible. With a swipe up or down you can control the volume, with a swipe to the left or right you can change the number and with a press on the center you can play or pause music. That sounds logical but there is no physical feedback and not every swipe was perfectly recorded in our case. It comes pretty close, it turns out. Sometimes Siri was automatically started with a tap on the center and sometimes the music paused with a swipe to the right or left. It is really clear how the headphones register the sweeps and even then it is sometimes not completely smooth. The disadvantage of this is that you quickly look for operation on the phone itself and that is a pity. In the end we would have preferred to see some physical buttons because that simply works flawlessly.
Incidentally, voice control via Siri or the Google Assistant with this model is therefore also possible, but for this you have to use the supplied cable with microphone. The same applies to starting or taking phone calls since you still need a microphone for this.
The REAL Blue NC works with Bluetooth and can be easily connected to your smartphone within a few seconds. It should be possible to connect the headphones to multiple smartphones and easily switch between these headphones, but in our case it turned out to be necessary to “forget” the headphones on the first smartphone and to reconnect them again after a switch. A small minus point.
The most important thing about headphones is of course the sound quality. Being able to enjoy your favorite music in a comfortable way, in the highest possible quality. And the Teufel REAL Blue NC certainly does not disappoint in this area. Moreover; we are standing / sitting / watching the impressive audio reproduction.
First of all without noise reduction (NC), because that way you achieve the purest reproduction. The REAL Blue NC offers a very sleek and clear display, remarkably clear for Teufel products even. There is enough bass in it, but it is definitely not dominant. A perfect balance has been found, with a convincingly broad and partly surrounding sound image, a neat placement of instruments and vocals in the room and above all a dynamic reproduction. Music comes forward with convincing detail, warm vocals and enough punch. Overall it is an almost perfectly balanced interplay of sounds, regardless of the music genre. The somewhat louder music styles lack the deep bass here and there, but the majority of the mainstream genres look great. The headphones perform very well on both low and high volumes and have virtually no distortion. The only minor drawback is that the volume cannot be set very high. That is good for your hearing, but if you are used to a bit more volume this can be disappointing.
The REAL Blue NC also has noise canceling. This has no levels or presets, but simply an on or off function. Small microphones on the inside and outside record external noise and send these frequencies back a bit later. Because the sound waves cancel each other out, disturbing sounds are muted. This works especially well with static, long and deep frequencies such as hum, thumps or the roar of cars and planes. The closed ear cushions also reduce short, impulse sounds from talking, footsteps, etc. The noise reduction does what it should do and when we compare it to the more expensive Bowers & Wilkins PX, the difference is not particularly great. However, the PX does have presets for different environments and therefore knows how to filter a little better. However, we have little to complain about the noise reduction of the REAL Blue NC. In extreme situations (crowds, trains, airplanes) it works enough to enjoy music and not be disturbed by the environment. The sound quality naturally falls slightly with the use of this function. It seems that especially the highs and midtones shift somewhat to the background, so that the lows dominate a little more. However, it is never disturbing, so when NC is a must, for example in an airplane, we would definitely recommend switching it on.
One point that we are certainly satisfied with is the battery life of the Teufel REAL Blue NC. The headphones last a long time on a single charge, especially when you are not using noise canceling. We had to charge the headphones without NC after approximately 36 hours. With NC we arrive at around 22 hours. Of course, the battery lasts even longer when you connect the headphones wired.
Taken together, the Teufel REAL Blue NC is an ideal headset for those who like to immerse themselves in their favorite music on the move. The headphones offer very good sound quality and excellent noise reduction in busy environments. The headphones are also very comfortable and are easy to carry thanks to the hard case. There are minor downsides, including the sometimes confusing and not smoothly functioning touch controls and minor problems when changing a smartphone. That said, we can definitely label the REAL Blue NC as this model can easily compete with the competition, which in many cases is even more expensive. You will not find much better in this segment.
The Teufel REAL Blue NC can be purchased via the website of Teufel .