An awesome deal that looks too good to be true – and, sure enough, it is
Cheap as chips, relatively speaking
good integration between subwoofer and speakers
Unyieldingly hard and coarse sound
No, we weren’t aware it could be done, either. Teufel is nothing if not intrepid, though – if any mainstream manufacturer is to serve up a £140 5.1 package, Teufel is surely the short-odds favourite.
So, here’s the Consono 15 – five little (9cm cubed) CS15-FCR satellite speakers and a slightly more purposeful-looking active subwoofer, the US5108/1.
The speakers’ plastic cabinets are home to an 8cm driver and a pair of spring-clip speaker connections, while the subwoofer features 100 watts of power, a 20cm driver and a big old reflex port.
Performance is a mixed bagAs much as we avoid pre-judging products, we can’t pretend we’re expecting the Earth.
So our first favourable impressions are more focused on what the package doesn’t do: unlike a lot of budget packages, it doesn’t overstate the low frequencies in an effort to disguise its shortcomings elsewhere, and it doesn’t leave a big gap between the subwoofer and the speakers. So far, so surprisingly inoffensive.
More after the break
In most other respects, though, the Teufel package isn’t that pleasurable an experience, especially when its made to break into a sweat.
Tonality is as hard, dry and abrasive as medium-grade glasspaper, and gets progressively harder, drier and more abrasive as the unwary dial in a bit more volume.
This overarching coarseness becomes more pronounced the harder the satellites have to work to create treble frequencies from a driver that simply isn’t up to the job.
In the end it’s a dichotomy. The fact that the Consono 15 even exists at all at this sort of price is laudable, as is its refusal to bluster its way through soundtracks – but the fact that it really doesn’t encourage you to actually use it means that it could be interpreted as a bit of a waste of £140.