Q Acoustics Q Active Speakers Unveiled
Q Acoustics has revealed its first active loudspeakers - so no separate amplifiers required. The Q Active 200 and Q Active 400 cover bookshelf and floorstanding options, respectively.
The Q Acoustics Q Active range is so much more than slinging some amps into the Concept 300. The Q Active 200 and 400, we're told, have been designed from the ground up and promise to deliver “an uncompromised, versatile high-resolution system”. We don't have any pictures of the 400 just yet so we've all to use our imaginations for now.
Both the Q Active 200 and Q Active 400 speakers feature Class D amps and twin offset Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) drive units. Q Acoustics says that this delivers wide sound dispersal along with a massive sweet spot - handy if you're sharing the room with someone else.
Further adding to their ease of placement, a switch at the back of the Q Active speakers lets you designate left or right channels, while another tells the speakers where they are positioned in a room – close to a wall, in a corner or out in free space. Flicking the switch to the required position lets the Q Actives fine-tune their low-frequency response.
Power and Drive
The Q Active 200 standmount speakers are powered by six discrete amps adding up to a total of 280W output. These power the two 2.25-inch BMR drive units and a rear-firing 4.5-inch long-throw subwoofer assisted by a waveguide.
The Q Active 400 floorstanding speakers have the same BMR drive unit arrangement as the Active 200 but feature eight discrete amplifiers with 440W of total power output.
The key difference with the Q Active 400, besides its taller cabinet size, is that it features two rear-firing 4.5-inch subwoofers: one subwoofer at the top of the cabinet, one at the bottom. This arrangement neutralises the cabinet's internal standing waves.
Wireless Control Hub
Sending the music to the Q Actives is a bundled compact central Control Hub configured either for Google “Chromecast built-in” or Amazon “Works with Alexa”. The Hub can be connected to your home network using Ethernet or wi-fi.
Sources can be added wirelessly using Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Roon and Spotify Connect. For wired sources, the Control Hub offers an HDMI ARC input, an optical digital input, an analogue line-level input and a subwoofer output. You can also plug your turntable into the Hub thanks to its built-in moving magnet phono stage.
Naturally, the Q Actives support all popular music streaming services such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify and Tidal.
The speakers can also operate as a UPnP media player capable of streaming your digital audio library from a computer or NAS drive.
The Control Hub links to the Q Active speakers via a wireless connection where all incoming audio (max source resolution 32bit/192kHZ) is converted to 24-bit/96kHz hi-res audio. Additionally, this means that you can hide the Hub out of sight as there are no connecting cables between Hub and speakers.
Hands Free and Multi-Room
Q Active supports voice control via Apple Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and can form part of a multi-room speaker group using AirPlay 2, Roon, Google “Chromecast built-in” or Amazon “Works with Alexa” - the latter coming early 2021.
Both speakers will be available in two finishes: matte white and matte black.
The Q Active 200 with Google Cast is the first to launch and is available in December 2020, priced £1,499 / €1,999 / USD 1,999 / ~ SGD $2,999.
The Q Active 200 Amazon Works with Alexa and Q Active 400 models will be available in January 2021.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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