STEREO GUIDE verdict
± Deep, rich, kicking bass
+ Very large dynamic range and level reserves
+ Wide-ranging, transparent imaging
+ Super operation including app with EQ and hearing adjustment.
- Especially the headband could look more solid
Sound: tonal balance / transparency8.7
Sound: Bass / Dynamics9.5
Ease-of-use / Connectivity9.4
Germany’s brand Lautsprecher (loudspeaker) Teufel might as well be called Kopfhörer (headphone) Teufel by now. The Berliners have quite a bit of success to show here as well. The formula for success is based on two factors: The sound and functionality of the in-ears, on-ears and circumaural earpieces are on a very high level, especially considering the usually low prices. With the new Teufel Real Blue Pro, the product planners from the Spree want to go one better in both traditional disciplines and also manifest the top position of the over-ear in the brand’s headphone range with brushed metal touch surfaces. This raised some expectations in the editorial office, after all, the Real Blue series in particular had done very well in our previous reviews.
Language of numbers
Since it’s not so easy to express sound in numbers, Teufel focuses on a handy value in its advertising for the Real Blue Pro: the 800 mAh lithium-ion battery of the over-ear headphones is supposed to last up to a maximum of 44 hours. With Active Noise Cancellin (ANC) activated, mind you. Without, even up to 56 hours are possible in the ideal case. This is not only an impressive value, but also an argument for getting a 296 gram pair of headphones with ear-cushioning.
The generally popular smaller in-ears only achieve such rates with refueling in the charging case – i.e. with occasional breaks. This is an advantage for the Teufel Real Blue Pro, especially on long trips by train or plane. And this despite the fact that even folded and stowed in its hard case is still quite bulky to transport, while you can comfortably put the ear canal earphones of the model series, the Real Blue TWS 2 in your pocket.
ANC on a new level
Another feature of the top headphones in the Teufel range should also prove its worth when traveling: Its digital, hybrid Active Noise Cancelling can be adjusted in three stages, unlike the noise cancellation of the Real Blue NC reviewed last year. Its effect then alternates accordingly between low, medium and high. For announcements at the train station or airport, the user can activate the transparency mode for the well-dosed playback of the external noises detected by microphones. Teufel also uses these microphones, which are designed for high voice quality, for the Real Blue Pro’s headset function. Its Bluetooth 5.1 wireless connection ensures short latency times so that the sound of video conferences, but also of YouTube videos, is lip-synced without noticeable delays. For the transmission of audio data, aptX Adaptive and AAC are available.
The trick with the stick still works
Teufel also placed great emphasis on the Real Blue Pro’s operation. Thus, there are well-palpable buttons on both ear cups. There is even a joystick on the right – a practical feature, just like on the Real Blue NC, which is still available. Moving up and down controls the volume according to intuitive logic, lateral movements trigger the track skip forward or backward. Consequently, pressing means Start/Stop, while a longer press calls Apple Siri or Google Assistant depending on the smartphone. There is also a dedicated button on the right for ANC, whose function can be defined more precisely in the Teufel Headphones app. The same applies to the two touch fields on each side. They can be used to accept or reject calls, for example. However, you can also activate the Dynamore function by triple-tapping on the right side (default setting).
Dynamore comes on board
Dynamore? There was something, thinks the Teufel connoisseur. That’s right, Bluetooth speakers from the brand, such as the Motiv Go Voice or Boomster recently reviewed by STEREO GUIDE, have been using this proprietary surround sound function for many years. With the Real Blue Pro, this algorithm is now making its way into Teufel headphones. And there are even more ways to brighten up the sound to your liking: The Teufel Headphones app provides an equalizer with numerous presets for techno, pop or classical music. There is also a user-defined setting with a very unique implementation that takes some getting used to (see screenshot below). In addition, a dynamic bass boost can be switched on for an automatically adjusted boost at low listening volumes.
Would you like a listening test?
Low volumes are also the focus of the integrated hearing adjustment, the Mimi hearing test. In the course of the game, you have to pick out a high-pitched beep from a noise carpet. When you perceive the sound, it is necessary to press and hold a circular button. From this, Mini determines the hearing sensitivity of each of the two ears and calculates a correction that can be used to listen to music to a greater or lesser degree in three stages.
Without wanting to anticipate the actual listening test: Mimi really works great and provides a more brilliant, nuanced sound for older or younger users who have already maltreated their hearing with high levels in various clubs. The effect of Dynamore, on the other hand, turned out to be very modest, especially when you consider how great the surround sound effect of Teufel Bluetooth speakers expands the basic width of the listening stage. The good thing is that Dynamore doesn’t break anything in the sound of the Real Blue Pro either. After all, there is no artificial aftertaste.
Inside the Pro version, which is based on the Real Blue NC in terms of form, quite a bit has changed apart from new, mainly software-based features. Thus, the chic Night Black and Titanium Gray color variants are not the main hardware difference. The particularly lightweight 4.4 cm linear HD speakers also contribute to the upgrade. The standard model of the Real Blue over-ears has to make do with smaller 4 cm diaphragms. After all, the Real Blue Pro costs a downright blasphemous 350 Euros for the Teufel’s followers.
The appearance of the headphone flagship from the German River Spree, which comes with a hard case, charging cable for the USB-C jack, and fabric-covered 3.5 mm jack cable for passive operation on an analog headphone output, does justice to its appearance and equipment. The headband, which already caused some criticism among users in the author’s environment in the less expensive Real Blue NC, clouds the image of a high-end headphone a bit in terms of touch quality.
What has changed in terms of sound in the top Teufell headphones?
However, there was nothing to complain about in terms of sound. The listening test was a joy – even if the pairing with the iPhone and the app via Bluetooth only worked after two resets of the originally packaged Real Blue Pro to the factory settings…. Teufel managed a very balanced tuning with natural voice reproduction. The high homogeneity of the sound tuning and the broadband reproduction were spontaneously convincing and made even long listening a pleasure. The over-ear played tonally balanced on an almost audiophile level.
The Teufel Real Blue Pro’s resolution and fine detailing in the treble range get along very well with strings or woodwinds in classical music. But they also contribute to the casual, never annoying effervescence with tracks from pop, rock or electro. In addition, there is a low-frequency reproduction that convinces with volume, bass and kick. The abysmal, dry punch should inspire fans of hip hop in particular. This is especially true with activated ANC, where the Real Blue Pro, like most active noise-canceling headphones, mobilizes an additional boost in the bass through a modified tuning.
Rich and clean bass
All audiophiles will be pleased to note that the Teufel Real Blue Pro’s powerful, exceptionally rich bass does not come at the expense of midrange audibility. The transparency and the spacious reproduction are also convincing. Due to the large dynamic reserves, the reproduction never seemed strained. The bottom line is a successful overall package, especially since the noise cancelling leaves a great impression. At the highest level, it really does shield the wearer of the Bluetooth earpiece very effectively from any ambient noise over a wide frequency range. At the lowest level, it still protects quite well from low-frequency noise due to the anti-noise, while high and medium frequencies come through quite clearly. Thus, you can perfectly adapt to your respective environment with the Teufel Real Blue Pro like a chameleon – especially since the passive damping of the over-ear is already quite good.
By the way, you can also use the active noise cancelling in the Real Blue Pro in combination with passive playback via cable. Inserting the jack plug into the jack on the left ear cup automatically disconnects the Bluetooth connection. This is convenient, but at the same time cuts the connection to the app. However, you can still control the ANC via the earpiece itself, and for passive playback, Teufel has included a simple wired remote for start/stop and skip. The Teufel cuts a surprisingly good figure at the headphone output thanks to its high efficiency. So, if it runs out of power for active Bluetooth operation, the Real Blue Pro can still play music powerfully.
Conclusion and alternatives to the Teufel Real Blue Pro
In terms of sound, but also especially ANC, Teufel takes the Real Blue Pro up a notch compared to the Real Blue NC reviewed in November last year. The larger drivers make Teufel’s new top headphones seem even less strained and ensure particularly deep and clean bass reproduction. In addition, there is a very effective ANC, which can be perfectly dosed. Apart from some wind noise, this makes the Teufel Over-Ear one of the best of its kind.
However, whether these improvements justify a difference of well over 100 Euros from the overall successful Real Blue NC, based on the recommended retail price, is something everyone should decide for themselves from the purchase in a listening test with their music and their own demands. Finally, the high-end Teufel does not differ from the base model in the only point of criticism: If its headband already made an unconvincing impression for 230 Euros, this is even more true for the top model, which is a good third more expensive and already comes very close to the higher-quality Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 in terms of street price.
Teufel Real Blue: Specifications
- Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: 350 euros
- Type: Over-Ear
- Transducer principle: dynamic
- Weight: 296 g
- Features: Noise-canceling, 56 hours of battery life (without ANC), joystick control, app.
- More at: www.teufel.de
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