Q Acoustics 3020i bookshelf speaker test
The Q Acoustics brand was founded in the UK in 2006 by professional business people, experts in the audio industry; their only goal was to develop a highly successful speaker brand. They aimed to make high quality yet affordable speakers.
The two-way bass reflex speaker has been given a rounded, minimalist shape, and the baffle plate has been reinforced to increase speaker performance. The speaker cabinet has a relatively large depth, which is otherwise typical of speakers designed by the manufacturer. The speaker is equipped with flat connectors, which is advantageous because it allows us to bring it closer to the wall. The tweeter is located in a funnel and is separated from the front panel by a silicone frame. The subwoofer is made of impregnated paper with a steel plate basket suspension. Available in Black, Gray, Walnut and White colours. The housing is made of stable MDF boards, which results in minimal resonance. You may want to place these speakers on tripods, although their great depth can make this a bit difficult. The manufacturer also offers a custom-made stand for the speakers.
The basic exterior design of the 3000i product line has not changed much. It combines the same straight and rounded edges as its predecessors. They have a clean design and simple sophistication.
The 3020i’s cabinets are 25% larger than previous models in the series, providing extended and powerful bass sounds. The manufacturer has increased the internal stiffness of the speaker. As a result, structural vibration is reduced, which causes sound distortion. Rubber soles and sponge seals were also included with the speakers for clarity of sound.
The frequency transmission is between 60 Hz and 30kHz, the sensitivity is 88 dB, the recommended amplifier power is 25-75 Watts, and it weighs 5.5 kg.
Q Acoustics 3020i sound quality
We tested the speaker pair in a room of about 22 square feet, paired with a Pioneer amplifier. The room has recently been refurbished and acoustics have been treated during the renovation work. Since the room was given minimalist style furnishings, due to the lack of furniture, the room would be quite echoed, so sound-absorbing panels were placed on the walls and ceiling. The printed sound-absorbing panels feature posters of the apartment owner’s favourite movies. Diffuser front panels perform two functions simultaneously during acoustic handling, on the one hand absorbing too much bass, and on the other hand scattering sounds across the entire bandwidth. Bass traps in two corners take care of curbing deep ranges.
We first listened to Imagine Dragons ’song Sucker for Pain, then switched to classical style and played excerpts from Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony.
The design and technical modifications really work on the 3020i. It is characterized by a rich warm character, surprisingly high strength and dynamics. Compared to its predecessors, the 3020 i speaker produces more accurate and detailed sound.
Basses are wider and deeper thanks to the larger cabinet size. The speakers show good tone balance, they are really versatile. Along with the dynamics, momentum and detail, they exude wonderful musicality. The spatial sound is well perceptible, it almost engages the listener in the real, present space. When placed close to the wall, they tend to lose their sense of open space. They are capable of decent power and clarity even at higher volumes, although serious bass performance is not expected from these speakers.
The treble didn’t sound as natural as we used to the larger and more expensive category of speakers.
Properties and connectivity
The back of the 3020i has a speaker input but no power button. This means that they are passive speakers, so they need to be connected to some kind of receiver. You may want to choose a good quality amplifier, as using the wrong receiver can distort the sound quality. Recessed flat profile clips help reduce the resonance of the unit and allow the speakers to be placed next to a wall, although we do not recommend this if you want good sound quality. The banana plugs on the audio cable are not included with the speakers and must be purchased separately. This allows you to connect the speaker to an amplifier. Some people use these speakers as part of their home theater system and do their job pretty well.
These bookshelf speakers cater to the needs of audiophiles, with really impressive sound quality and power compared to the goods and their size. Treble sounds could be more natural and vivid, spatiality doesn’t always prevail, but otherwise provides a neutral, beautiful, clear and detailed sound. The bass was strong, but if one wants pounding, wall-knocking depths, it’s a good idea to opt for larger and better quality speakers, or pair the Q Acoustics subwoofer with the 3020i speakers. Due to its depth, placement can be a bit cumbersome.
All in all, this price range is an excellent entry-level speaker with fair sound and stylish design.
Written by Róbert Polgár