Solid looking earphones that are slender in form, Paul Rigby reviews the Teufel MOVE PRO
Earphones come in all shapes and sizes but many are being created for use outside and as part of an active lifestyle. As part of the MOVE series, the German-made Teufel MOVE PRO earphones are targeted at this very market.
Features includes an in-line remote to pause and stop play, skip forward or back and accept calls while a selection of soft ear pieces are made from medical-grade silicone. Suitable for smartphones with Android, iOS and Windows operating systems, the chassis has been created from solid aluminium. Users are treated to a stylish travel case and a selection of spare ear pieces. The cable construction features a flexible weave to prevent tangling.
I wanted to fully explore the sound quality of these earphones so began my tests indoors and attached to various devices. I began the sound tests by plugging the earphones into my iPhone 6S and played two tracks, Kylie Minogue’s All The Lovers, from her Abbey Road Sessions and Paul McCartney’s I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself a Letter, with a little help from the Cozoy Astrapi DAC. The earphones hit you right between the eyes (ears?) with a distinct personality. And that personality is bass. There was lots of it and it was all over the place to provide a chocolatey, warming presentation that dulled and veiled the upper mids. There was sufficient detail within the soundstage to hear the introductory guitar strums and delicate string bending effect while the vocals were clear and quite precise in terms of delivery. It just felt that the songs were being sung in a room full of velvet-covered furniture, heavy drapes on the windows and thick Persian runs hanging ornately from the walls.
This is not a bad thing for those who like a sweeter sound. In fact, the Paul McCartney track sounded far better than the pop of Minogue in terms of sonic balance. McCartney’s intimate, balladic, less bass heavy, presentation was far more rounded. The close mic performance from the ex-Fab Four man along with the lone piano and restricted upright bass provided a cuddly, snug atmosphere that was cosy, up, close and personal.
Nevertheless, the personality of the earphones did affect the bass in terms of precision and focus which was rather bloomy in nature. But look, I’m listening to a mere MP3 here, so maybe I was doing the earphones a disservice. Let’s go higher, up the resolution ladder.
Let’s go to Dire Straights and Money For Nothing, a rather bright and overly compressed mix running at 88.2kHz on my Astell & Kern AK120. Well, straight away the Teufel cried out, “Hey, what’s all the fuss about?” The warming nature of the presentation totally swamped any notion of a harsh, bright mix which suggested that these earphones will be ideal hardware for typical, too loud, contemporary pop fare. They successfully erased the edges and the spikes and provided a smooth running playback. Of course, the veiling in the upper mids also restricted a measure of detail but that was the trade-off.
Bone Machine from the Pixies via DSD was another track that was rather cool in its mastering but, again, the Teufel’s handled the playback with some aplomb, providing a friendly and easy going delivery. Again, the dynamic extension was a little restricted but the negative effects of the master were removed.
I wanted to give these earphones every chance and so, was very aware that I had thus reviewed these designs inside my house in audiophile conditions. I had to remind myself that the top of the box says MOVE PRO…and in capital letters too. Hence, I really should be playing them outside. So I did.
Outside, in the big, bad and very noisy world, the earphones were transformed. In amongst the passing traffic, the ambulances wailing, the babies crying and the people shouting thoughtful exclamations such as “Stop thief!”, the subtle and nuanced frequencies previously demanded from the Teufel were removed and never really missed. Yet, all of the important, critical musical information that I needed to hear from the tracks selected all hit my ears without any problems. Music, which sounded rather warm and unbalanced in the house and the quiet of my listening room, all of a sudden sounded much improved outside in the noisy city. OK, the bass could still have backed off a bit and yes the mids could still have done with some extra extension but, really, with the Pixies and Bob Marley at 96kHz and Dire Straits ad 88.2kHz and even Mozart at 44.1kHz, there was much to like from the Teufels. They were musical and engaging and they delivered.
Chalk and cheese earphones that have been voiced by Teufel to be used outside (the name is the clue, eh?). So I say to you now, if you are looking for a pair of earphones to play in the quiet at home while gently snoozing next to your valve amp, don’t even think about these earphones. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for some musicality while you mooch around the city on a typical busy day, then demo the Teufels.
TEUFEL MOVE PRO
Tel: 00800 200 300 40
GOOD: Voiced for outside use, fit, build, carry case
BAD: midrange extension, bass bloom