Things are tough at the "bottom" -- that is, the budget end of hi-fi -- with many, many parties vying for supremacy including Elac, Pioneer and Q Acoustics. But could the new Q Acoustics 3000i range be the one to clinch the crown?
Q Acoustics' "i" update to its 3000 range comes with three new budget-level speakers, which the the company says include a host of improvements though little change in price.
The three models are the Q 3010i and Q 3020i ($299/ £249/AU$599) stand-mount speakers and the Q 3050i ($799/£649/AU$1,399) floorstander. Improvements include better bracing borrowed from the Concept 500 and a sleeker look with chrome driver surrounds and "seamless" finishes at no extra charge.
The Q 3010i features a 4-inch driver while the 3021i offers a 5-inch version. The Q 3050i includes two 6.5-inch drivers in D'Appolito configuration. All speakers are rear-ported and include a 22mm soft-dome tweeter and redesigned binding terminals. The colors available include white, black, graphite and "3D" walnut.
At a launch event at a New York City recording studio, we heard all three speakers and were quite impressed with the overall range's combination of bass power and pinpoint stereo imaging. At this early stage, the Q 3020i sticks out as the best value for money, but we were also happy to hear that the frankly massive floorstanders were also capable of quiet acoustic music.
We reviewed the Q Acoustics 3020s back in December 2017 and found them to be a excellent slice of hi-fi at an affordable price. The Q 3020i appears to benefit from its bigger cabinet in our brief demo, with deeper bass than before.
The Q Acoustics Q 3010i, Q 3020i and the Q 3050i will be available in the northern hemisphere in May, though Australian availability is yet to be confirmed.
Completing the range later in the year will be the matching Q 3060Si subwoofer ($399/£329/AU$699) and the Q 3090Ci center ($199/£169 /$499).
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