Q-Acoustics goes super silent with 3000i

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Q-Acoustics goes super silent with 3000i
Thursday, April 19, 2018

It’s been four years since Q-Acoustics launched the 3000 series, something had to change, and not just the suffix. Q3000i is a complete revision of Q-Acoustics core loudspeaker range that takes onboard tech trickled down from the mighty Concept 500 that we enjoyed so much last year. As with that model Q-Acoustics used FIR measurements to establish the best places to put braces inside the cabinets in order to minimise vibration. The 3050i floorstander incorporates a Helmholtz pressure equaliser that’s designed to even out energy within the cabinet and further reduce vibration that can muddy the sound. The tweeter is decoupled from the box with compliant mounting so that any remaining box vibration does not smear output and the bass drivers have low hysteresis surrounds for long term consistency of performance. 

The 3000i cabinets have been beefed up with front and rear baffles inserted into the main wrap rather than stuck on top, and the thickness of these has been doubled on the front. Another interesting tweak is the removal of terminal panels, those plastic inserts that house the terminals and are found in the back of many budget speakers (and some less affordable ones too), the terminals here bolt straight onto the woodwork thus removing a weak-point in the structure that can emit noise. Pretty well all of these updates are designed to improve the signal to noise ratio, which in the case of loudspeakers amounts to reducing sound produced by anything other than the drive units.

The range starts with the Q3010i (£199) which is 25% deeper than its predecessor and has a 100mm mid/bass driver in a reflex cabinet that has a rear port and is supplied with a foam bung to allow near wall siting. The same is true of the Q3020i (£249) with its 125mm main driver and a 6.1 litre box that’s also 25% deeper, the Q3050i floorstander has two 165mm mid/bass units in a two-way configuration and the highest sensitivity at 91dB. All three have 22mm soft dome tweeters and are available in a choice of four finishes at no extra cost. A dedicated stand for the Q3010i and Q3020i is available which bolts onto the speaker for the benefit of tilt testing, it’s available in two finishes called dark and light, which translates as black or white. 

There are matching surround models available in the Q3090Ci centre channel with two 100mm mid/bass drivers and the Q3060S compact subwoofer, an infinite baffle (unported) design with a 200mm driver and 150W class D amplifier.

Initial listening suggests that this Q-Acoustics range will up the ante for budget speakers as a whole, it’s hard to think of anyone else that’s doing so much to improve sound quality by targeting the weakness of the cabinet at this end of the market. Yet as this is the weakpoint in all loudspeakers it pays to do what you can to improve matters. We intend to get the Q3050i in soon and establish whether the tech translates into results.