Teufel Impaq 500 review

This well-built system offers style and substance, delivering fine pictures and detailed, solid sounds in a smart package Tested at £800.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Substance and style from this system, which delivers good performance in a smart package


  • +

    Looks and feels decent

  • +

    sonically chunky, solid and detailed

  • +

    picture is both colourful and stable


  • -

    There's a touch of hardness to sound and picture is a little bit soft – but these are small criticisms

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It's only just started distributing directly to the UK, but according to its website, German manufacturer Teufel began business in 1979 as a shop, selling kit under the bizarre slogan: "Better build better speakers yourself."

Thirty years on, it now churns out everything from stereo speakers to iPod docks.

This 2.1 home cinema-in-a-box system consists of a DVD receiver unit, hefty subwoofer and two tall and slender standmount speakers.

Capable of 450W of output power, the unit has an HDMI output that can handle 720p/1080i upscaling (but not 1080p), plus USB and 3.5mm mini-jack inputs.

Dolby Digital and DTS decoding are also onboard, and you can upconvert low quality video signals to component. Connections are easy with bare wire speaker cable provided and proper banana plug terminals.

Once we've switched the 'sprache' to English, we're away using the simple, if rather staid, menus.

Detailed sound, stable images

Watching the hilarious Tropic Thunder, the system delivers a balanced sound, with much detail, good dynamics and decent steering across the front channels.

The audio is chunky and solid, thanks in part to a weighty subwoofer – although said sub could do with being a little tighter and more precise at times.

While it's certainly a shame that the Impaq 500 can't deliver 1080p, the picture is bright and stable when watching 720p or 1080i DVD content, although it could perhaps be a touch sharper around the edges.

But overall we're largely satisfied – making Teufel a welcome addition to our shores.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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