Earlier this year, we looked at the compact Teufel One S and the slightly larger Teufel One M both part of the Teufel multiroom system. In this review we look at the largest model in the line-up; the stereo pair of the Teufel Stereo L. These two floorstanding loudspeakers have to bring hi-fi quality to multiroom.
Raumfeld becomes Teufel
Anyone who knows Teufel knows that the company already has multiroom systems for a while. However, these were released under the name Raumfeld. The loudspeaker technology from Teufel, combined with the streaming technology from Raumfeld. This year the German company takes it differently and the multiroom solutions are again released under the name of Teufel, but then ‘powered by Raumfeld’.
The Teufel multiroom speakers are active speakers that can communicate with each other via WiFi , controlled by a Teufel controller app (free download) and basically only need to be connected to the wall by means of a power cable. From the app you have access to Spotify (Connect), Tune-in Radio, your own stored music, Tidal, Napster, WiMP, Last.FM, SoundCloud and equipment connected to the line-in connection. There is also a USB 2.0 port and an Ethernet port for wired connection. Unfortunately, the support of Google Cast has disappeared from the speakers this year and we still can not see Apple Music back.
Teufel Stereo L
The Teufel Stereo L is the biggest model from the multiroom line-up of Teufel and is actually an all-in-one hi-fi system for the music lover who wants to enjoy music in other rooms in the house. The system consists of two floorstanding loudspeakers; an active variant that is connected to the power outlet and a passive variant that is connected to the active variant.
The Stereo L has a class D amplifier with a power of 280 watts and comes with three woofers, a midrange driver and a tweeter. Furthermore, the active version has a USB 2.0 port, an ethernet connection, a cinch stereo connection, bluetooth 4.2 and of course WiFi. In addition, hi-res audio formats as Apple Losless and Flac are supported. What is no longer present compared to the Raumfeld models from the previous generation is the normal speaker connections for when you want to use the set as a passive set, coupled with an amplifier / receiver. That option is no longer present.
Teufel has provided the loudspeaker with a new design with front keys for volume, play / pause and presets. The dimensions are 31 (depth) at 22.5 (width) at 119 (height) centimeters. The speaker has a suggested retail price of 1,799.99 euros (currently 1,399.99 euros) and comes in a white and black finish.
Design and installation
The Teufel Stereo L has changed the most when we look at the design. Teufel has given the entire speaker a make-over which creates a more upscale and more premium-looking look. For example, at the front we now see tightly finished knobs, housing on the front with an aluminum finish and the foot is not square anymore but consists of four separate feet. The latter, however, ensures that the speakers have a larger footprint than the predecessors. The drivers themselves are now placed deeper into the housing, which also creates a more chic look. All in all it is a tightly finished and premium-looking speakers.
The installation of the Stereo L is, just like with the other models, very easy. The only thing that requires more attention here is placement. It is a stereo pair so a good spread of the sound is important. The speakers are connected to each other by means of a cable supplied. On the back of the active version we see a cinch stereo connection for physical connection of, for example, a TV. The latter is a shame because we would have liked some more physical connections, for example digitally. After all, such a set is often added to the TV installation.
Connecting the Stereo L to your Teufel multiroom system (and the Teufel Raumfeld app) is a matter of the steps in follow the Teufel app to have your speaker (s) connected to the network in minutes. A child can do the laundry.
The use of all Teufel multiroom speakers is, apart from perhaps some buttons on the speaker itself, the same. For all models, and therefore a multiroom network, you need the free downloadable Teufel Raumfeld app on your Android smartphone or iOS device. The application is basically everything that you need to get sound from your speakers. During the installation the app is already used to connect and set up your speakers, but after that you also use the app to select the speaker / zone, choose the input and determine the volume.
Most sources, including Tune-in and your own music can be operated from the Teufel Raumfeld app. However, there are services that work from your own application, including Spotify. When you open the Spotify app you immediately see the speakers at the playback devices and you can check the view from the Spotify app. However, in the Teufel Raumfeld app you can, after the speaker has been activated via Spotify, choose a previous or next number and adjust the volume. In addition to the volume, you can use the equalizer for all speakers to adjust bass and treble.
The use of the Teufel multiroom speakers speaks for itself. The button with the Teufel logo at the bottom is an important part; this is because you select the speaker / zone on which you want to start listening to music, while you do not influence the other speakers. When you first choose the input, for example Tune-in, that input is displayed directly on the active or last active speaker, something you have to take into account. Under the speaker / zone there is also ‘adjust zone’ so you can add an extra speaker to the zone, temporarily in any case. For example, if you want to play music in both the living room and outside, select the living room, click on ‘customize zone’ and also tick the outdoor speaker. Next you select the input to be played on that speaker (s), for example Tune-In. You can also select all speakers so that you hear the same music throughout the house. For Spotify, in the Teufel app you select the speakers to be played on, after which you can select this group and control the display in the Spotify app. You can not select multiple speakers in the Spotify app.
The application also offers various functions and options. For example, you can set certain radio stations as favorites, the app keeps track of what you are often running and is made into a list, you can put channels or songs in the queue and you have the possibility to view your history of played sources. With the settings you can add extra speakers to a room / room, change the names of speakers, switch the status LEDs on or off and set the number of decibels with which the line input has to be increased.
As far as the use is concerned, the Raumfeld speakers from Teufel almost match. With the ease of use it is certainly good. The app is easy to use (although it will take some getting used to for the novice user) and from the app everything is easy to operate and look up. But, also with the Stereo L, we can make the same comments as with the smaller models, especially in terms of functionality. For example, integration of other smart home products and applications is a must during this time. A simple example is the integration of IFTTT so that you can connect the speakers to, for example, the lighting, the TV or Nest products. Integrating voice control with the Google Assistant, for example, is also something you can not ignore today as a manufacturer of a multiroom system. Incidentally, there is another important point missing from the previous generation; Teufel has chosen not to integrate Google Cast anymore so direct streaming through Google’s standard has disappeared. Opposite is streaming through bluetooth.
Just to fall home with the door; in terms of audio reproduction, it is clearly different systems. We also noticed this at the Teufel One S and One M. The German manufacturer seems to have placed the focus in the audio reproduction on other aspects in the new generation. Where the Raumfeld Stereo L sounds more open, spacious and clearer, the Teufel Stereo L is darker, more compelling, more closed. The focus in the new generation is on pushing the vocals forward and conveying a tight and present bass. Now that is not necessarily bad; these are aspects that some people can appreciate and others less.
The new Stereo L gets a bit warmer and especially in modern music, the bass sound more alive, even though they are sometimes something too dominant. However, the high tones and subtle details have been pushed a bit more to the background, so that the speakers deliver something in terms of dynamics and spatial sound. With the equalizer and smart placement, that is partly compensable. Yet the audio reproduction is still above average good level. The difference is not so great that we place one over the other, but we prefer the spatial, subtle and open representation of the previous generation. Are you a bit more of modern music, do you like a warm reproduction and you can appreciate a tight and deep bass, then the Teufel Stereo L is a very good system. TV programs are also shown with sufficient color and clarity, dialogues are clear and clear, and you get a wide audio image presented.
All in all, we can hardly criticize the Teufel Stereo L. The design is particularly elegant and sleek (more beautiful than the previous generation), the finish and build quality are very good, the app is convenient and beautiful and the use speaks for itself. Teufel uses its new multiroom speakers to maintain a ‘closed’ multiroom solution, which makes integration with other smart home solutions impossible. At that point we would have liked to see some innovations. Although the audio quality will not appeal to everyone, the speakers offer a warm and broad sound, combined with a deep and tight bass. 1,499.99 (normal 1,799.99 euro) euro is not cheap but you get a good and nice speaker system for which no additional amplifier is required and to which you can connect many more wireless speakers.