Q Acoustics 3020i Review
Q Acoustics 3000i series is the latest product from Q-Acoustics. Compared with 3020i and 3030i, the difference between the two is only in the size of the mid-woofer. The smaller Q-Acoustics 3020i is a 5-inch mid-woofer, and the 3030i is a 6.5-inch mid-woofer. The cabinet has a larger volume and weight, and the design concept and the colors provided are the same.
Q Acoustics was established in 2006 and is a fairly young British company. Although it does not have a rich historical background, it does not have traditional baggage. That is the most significant advantage. They believe in science and data, and their goal is to design the best products at affordable prices to defeat competitors at the same price. This time I will review the latest 3020i. After the test, I think it is a company worth recommending to my friends.
Q Acoustics 3020i is the latest product. Compared with 3030i, the difference between the two is only in the size of the mid-bass unit. The smaller 3020i is a 5-inch mid-bass unit, while the 3030i is a 6.5-inch mid-bass unit. The cabinet has a smaller size and weight, and the design concept and the colors provided are the same. The two are very similar, and only the size is different.
Brief Introduction of Q-Acoustics
From the marketing methods, we can see that Q-Acoustics are very different from other speaker brands. Q Acoustics is not composed of romantic music enthusiasts or musicians but was founded by pure engineers and businessmen, who are the most realistic representatives. There is no wordy, no story, no magic. This feature can be seen clearly in the company’s self-introduction.
The Q-Acoustics team is very clear that by focusing on acoustic engineering and excellent design, it will have a chance to succeed by producing products that surpass competitors at the same price. This clear goal has enabled Q Acoustics to establish good results in the past decades.
Q Acoustics covers most of the speaker products used in home entertainment product lines. The engineering and acoustic technology of designing speakers are their strengths. Q-Acoustics also has home theater systems, soundbar, and other audio products and provides fever-level sound performance and affordable prices while achieving product and commercial success.
From the product lines of the past ten years or so, it can be found that every product of Q Acoustics at the time tended to be young and novel, fashionable and concise.
Q Acoustics 3020i Design
The product reviewed this time is the 3020i bookshelf speaker, the latest product in the 3000i series. The 3000 series was launched in 2015 and is positioned in Hi-Fi and home theaters. The 3000i is an updated model of this series. The 3020i is the modest model in the bookshelf speakers series and uses the same 5-inch size mid-woofer. The 3000i series has three bookshelf speakers, one floor-standing speaker, one center speaker, and one subwoofer. The whole is a complete home theater system.
3020i uses two monomers. One is a micro-fiber spherical diaphragm tweeter. The size is 22mm, which is the same as other models in the series. The feature is the use of Q Acoustics decoupled tweeter. It can effectively separate the vibration from the mid-bass unit and avoid the interference of sensitive high-frequency music so that the mid-bass can be played to the full capability. At the same time, the treble still maintains a clean and clear sound.
The mid-bass unit uses impregnated coated paper diaphragm and rubber suspension. The coating comes with damping and provides more rigidity, reducing undesirable resonance and achieving accurate and fast sound reproduction.
The cabinet is the most significant improvement of the 3000i series. It adopts point-to-point (P2P) technology to find out the most suitable position for the internal support through computer simulation of the cabinet structure and reduce the unnecessary resonance of the cabinet.
Similarly, you can keep the sound clean when playing music, and this feature can be maintained even when playing at a high volume. Therefore, it is enough to allow the speaker to withstand greater power and exert tremendous sound pressure while maintaining clarity and low distortion during design.
There is a bass port behind the speaker, and there is a sound-absorbing foam that can be inserted into the hole. Users can adjust the distance between the speaker and the back wall according to their needs and test whether to use sound-absorbing foam to adjust the volume.
The binding posts can be used with Y plugs and banana plugs Q-acoustics recommends using QED wire as a reference standard when testing and designing products.
There are clear data marks written around the bass port. The recommended amplifier power is 25~75 watts, and the average impedance is 6 ohms.
You can see the weave pattern and the spherical shape around a ring similar to the suspension design for the treble diaphragm, but the material is the same as the diaphragm itself. Further out, there is a shallow horn design, which can help the high pitch spread. The outermost ring is a metal frame and printed with the words “high frequency de-coupler.”
The QED Cables
During the Q-Acoustics 3020i bookshelf speaker performance test, I used a pair of QED speaker cables. Q-Acoustics recommends using QED cables as the speaker cable connection, writing on tags handing directly on the speaker terminals. You can guess that these two brands must have a very close cooperative relationship. In fact, these two brands are now under the same cooperation group- Armour Home Electronics.
QED was established in 1973, specializing in the production of audio cables. In 1994, it did in-depth research on Hi-Fi speaker cables. It proved the importance of speaker cables to sound. QED currently has four series of products, namely Profile, Performance, Reference, and Signature ranges. This time I used Reference XT40i speaker cable, a new version of XT40, using 5N oxygen-free copper.
The X-Tube hollow technology is added. The current in the cable can be more uniform distributed, reducing the inductance and providing a uniform current load for the amplifier. The sound retains more details and natural.
Another key technology is Air Gap dielectric, leaving some gaps between the wires to increase the amount of air between the conductors, reducing the transmission loss and the capacitance in the wire by half. It is helpful for the accuracy of music in terms of time and rhythm.
Although the conductor gap is increased, a specific cross-sectional area of the conductor is still maintained, so XT40i is still suitable for long-distance use. The original factory provides a choice of 2 meters, 3 meters, and 5 meters.
The overall design of the Q-Acoustics 3020i speaker is very reasonable. When you try to reduce the cabinet resonance, you can make it louder. When the tweeter is not affected by the vibration of the lower mid-bass monomer, it can also make louder sounds. Therefore, I can turn it on loudly and maintain clarity. I do not feel that the clarity of the sound will be significantly reduced due to the increasing volume.
The 3020i’s crossover point is set to 2,400Hz, which means that most of the sounds heard are mainly processed by the mid-woofer, but the sound is still clear, indicating that the mid-woofer performs quite well.
From Norah Jones’ album “come away with me”, Q-Acoustics 3020i reproduces a neutral and charming sound. This charming sound is exuded by the clarity and thickness of the sound. This pair of bookshelf speakers are small, but I didn’t feel the lack of power at all. Although the sensitivity is not exceptionally high, if the amplifier has enough thrust, the 3020i is quite a loudspeaker that can flex its muscles. The sound density and thickness are really not like a bookshelf.
Compared with the floor-standing speakers, the volume of the lower part of the sound is probably only reduced, but the ability to fill the space is still quite good. Whether it is such a jazz album or a more prominent vocal music track, the 3020i does not feel weak or powerless. On the contrary, you can hear detailed vocals, clean and heavy piano sounds, well-paced drums, and low-pitched bass.
Then I listen to a familiar “2015 The Perfect Sound” with 3020i. There are many types of music and the selected movie clips. Listen to the third track, Eva Cassidy’s “Firlds Of Gold”, the realism of the speakers in the mid-range is shown naturally. The location of the recording is the Blues Alley, a jazz nightclub in Washington. Although there is no noise from the audience, you can hear the slightly echoed atmosphere in the room, as if the singer is performing in the same space as you.
The Pink Martini’s “Amado Mio” has a high-pitched and clear voice and a passionate and fast style. The 3020i still gives a good sound thickness, and when the female singer sings upwards, it will not give people pressure or the slightest sense of sharpness. On the contrary, it is comfortable and natural. The overall speed is orderly and flexible. This pair of speakers work well with our Class A amplifier, and I recommend it to everyone as a matching choice.
Playing the first track, “Rhapsody in Blue” from the album “Bernstein Previn Gershwin”. Rhapsody in Blue has always been my favorite classical jazz. It retains the form of classical music and adds the lazy feeling of jazz, combining the two elements. The incredible feeling of being together is very fresh.
The Q Acoustics 3020i bookshelf speaker reviewed this time is a bookshelf speaker with a small appearance and a cute little style. The balance of the middle and high-frequency bands is relatively stable. It is pretty smooth, which will make people listen to it repeatedly.
Afterward, the touch of the timpani drum head and the sticks can hear the notes that are hit by the two at the moment are round and full, and you can also feel the elasticity of the notes. The piano part of the main event has always been a bridge that I like very much. The melody is as smooth as the flow of water. The playback effect of Q-Acoustics 3020i is transparent.
The middle part of this song is full of color, and the level is also tremendous and unique. What’s more, such a small speaker can show the momentum, the details can be heard clearly, and the focus of the music can be played out clearly. Not only does it have a sense of hierarchy, but the dynamics are also more precise, making the sound field a sense of different feeling.
Q-Acoustics prides itself on being different from other speaker companies. This young brand was founded in 2006 in the UK by professional businessmen and audio industry experts. The team has many alumni from top home audio brands, including KEF, Meridian, Mission, and Tannoy. Q Acoustics hopes to produce the most affordable speakers in the world.
They have created award-winning products, including soundbars, bookshelf speakers, floor-standing speakers, home theater speakers, and architectural speakers. The Q-Acoustics 3020i is the second model in Q Acoustics’ 3000i series. The product line includes a smaller 3010i speaker at one end and a 3050i floor-standing speaker at the other end. You can mix and match 3000i series speakers for multiple rooms or multi-channel home theater systems.
The 3020i can be installed seamlessly in any room, whether sitting on a shelf, in an entertainment center, or on a stand or wall. This makes it easy to place the speakers anywhere in the room, even very close to the back wall.
The 3020i adopts a clean arc-shaped one-piece design that will not deviate from its predecessor. A new, notable difference is the seamless cabinet with vinyl packaging. The 3020i is available in four colors: Graphite Grey, English Walnut, Carbon Black, and Arctic White. All are equipped with a metal ring around each woofer and with a magnetic speaker grille.
Many bookshelf speakers are very small, so the drivers used are not enough to produce audible and perceptible bass. One of the Q-Acoustics 3020i’s game changers is the larger cabinet size. Compared with the previous model, with larger-scale sound and deeper bass, the speaker size has increased by 25%. The increased internal volume gives these speakers an extended low-frequency response to large-scale sounds.
Q Acoustics 3020i speaker has P2P (point-to-point) support, improving the focus of stereo images, keeping the cabinet quiet, and providing sound field accuracy. It is definitely a good choice for entry-level compact bookshelf speakers.
Q-Acoustics 3020i Specs
- Enclosure type: 2-way reflex
- Bass Unit: 125 mm (5 in)
- Treble Unit: 22 mm (0.9 in)
- Frequency Response (+3 dB, -6 dB): 64 Hz – 30 kHz
- Nominal Impedance: 6 Ω
- Minimum Impedance: 4 Ω
- Sensitivity (2.83 [email protected] m): 88 dB
- Stereo Amplifier Power: 25 – 75w
- AV Receiver (2 ch. driven): 50 – 75w
- Crossover Frequency: 2.4kHz
- Effective Volume: 6.1 L (372 cu in)
- Dimensions H/W/D: 278 x 170 x 282 mm (11.0 x 6.7 x 11.1 in)
- Weight (per speaker): 10.59 lbs / (4.8 kg) per speaker