Q Acoustics 3050i
Floorstanding Speakers of the Year under $2000
The UK-based Q Acoustics rarely offers anything other than excellent value. In this latest ‘i’ update of its 3000 Series, these 3050i floorstanders seem a particular bargain, at $1399 for the pair, yet exuding a sense of quality even just from their styling. They stand a little over a metre tall, the enclosures having curved edges where the sides meet the top and bottom panels. The wrap finish is available in white, black, grey or English Walnut, and our review speakers used the last of these, a superior wrap seeming indistinguishable from a real-wood veneer. It also fully covered the front baffle behind the small magnetically-secured grilles. Should you wish to use them with the grilles removed, you’ll see the drivers are fitted with stylish metal rings. It’s a high quality look.
Of course, we’re more about the sound than the look. And it doesn’t lag behind. The twin 165mm bass/midrange drivers with a 22mm tweeter between them deliver a detail and tone that allows a close intimacy when required, but is also able to deliver a full and driving delivery with weight and grounding on larger more lively material. In our listening the 3050i speakers remained balanced even when played at rip-roaring levels (and we made a point of partnering them not only with high-quality electronics but with realistic levels of power, from a mid-price AV receiver, for example, likely the kind of partner which many users will give them). They could tame the top-end a little, usefully so when a recording was a touch too bright. They were delightfully comfortable with gloriously recorded jazz, and with fireworks solo piano. Want some speakers to produce music suitable for head-banging activities? Again, the Q3050i floorstanders delivered, and only in the more complex sections of sustained loudness did a slight confusion surface in the low and mid treble, showing the ultimate limits of a speaker at this level.
But that was only in the thrashiest of moments turned up perhaps too far. It was clear from our time with these speakers that they don’t play favourites with with style or genre. The Q Acoustics 3050i loudspeakers provide remarkable performance at a remarkable price. More info: www.indimports.com
JUDGES’ COMMENT “Their high quality look is matched by their performance — close intimacy when required, but also able to deliver a full and driving delivery with weight and grounding.”