3030i Bookshelf Speaker Introduction:
Q Acoustics is an incredibly young brand, born in 2006 and having already accumulated over a decade’s worth of awards and accolades for their products. Q Acoustics was founded in the UK; not by a wealthy 'music lover’ or retired 'rock musician’. Q Acoustics was conceived by professional businessmen, experts in the audio industry; with the sole aim of developing an extraordinarily successful loudspeaker brand.
Although having little history or tradition, they do have vast expertise. To produce the quote on quote "world’s best loudspeakers", they obviously had to engage the world’s best loudspeaker designers and provide unlimited access to the most advanced design and engineering facilities. So that is what they did.
So, of course, my interest had been peaked since last years Rocky Mountain Audio Fest which was the first time I was exposed to the brand. Their sleek clean look was what enticed me and now after listening to them, the sound is what convinced me.
I noticed that the 3030i’s were making their rounds within the review community and every review I read was gleaming. So, using my environment and my own gear, I took these speakers for quite the ride. Powering the pair was an Acurus A2002 which is currently on the testing bench as well. The A2002 will provide the Q’s with 200 watts of clean A/B power. The source was the Bluesound Node 2i music streamer connected to the FX Audio Tube 03 Preamplifier.
The 3030i’s are incredibly attractive. The smooth finish and alloy accents around the drivers add a sleek, classy design aesthetic.
The bass driver is a precision-formed cone made from impregnated and coated paper and is teamed with an optimized motor. Because it is capable of such incomprehensibly low-frequency presence, the one-inch soft dome tweeter above is decoupled - so it’s isolated from the vibrations of the mid/bass driver. Which means a more clear and pure sound.
Going a step further to eliminate unnecessary vibrations and rigidity is Q’s trademarked point to point bracing technology which creates just the right cabinet support for their drivers.
In the rear you will find an incredibly unique low-profile binding post for easier room positioning. The bass port is approximately two inches wide and has a cool design to it.
What really caught my eye at first glance though was the depth of the enclosure at thirteen inches. The enclosure is on the larger size but its not inconveniently big so it worked out well.
As I mentioned before the BASS is incredible. Even though it does have a really nice low-end response, it doesn’t affect the clarity of the mids and highs. The imaging is quite superior as well as the overall soundstage. The off-axis was great. The speakers filled the room with incredible sound. Dynamic would be putting it lightly. Like I said before, $399 is an absolute steal and everyone should grab a pair of these before they realize what they have made here.
Since I noticed they were bassy speakers I wanted to see how they performed with a wide array of music.
The first track that was auditioned was Centuries by Fallout Boy’s American Beauty/American Psycho album. I chose this song because I not only feel that these speakers and this company will go down in history, but it also has a wide range of low-end bass and high-pitched vocals. This song is an excellent choice when gauging the overall range, a speaker can produce.
The second track I introduced to these beauties is The Ending by Papa Roach’s from their Who Do You Trust album. I chose this particular song and band because they were one of the forefathers of the integrationist era between Rock and Rap. This song has heavy guitar riffs, aggressive vocals which the 3030i’s demonstrated with power and authority.
The final track I decided to demo was the single Carol of the Bells by MXMS. It is Christmas time after all. I chose this track because of its bass beats and wide sound stage. I wanted to test the speakers' off axis ability, and they did not disappoint. The entire room was filled with Christmas cheer!
Completely impressed with how it performed on the first few songs I tested, I went further into my catalogue of music. From The Weeknd, to Evanescence, to Hans Zimmer and even some Sublime. They far exceeded any predetermined expectations I may have had for these speakers.
The REW measurement speaks for itself. I ran a few sweeps just in case the first few were lies, but they all came back incredibly linear. Like, abnormally linear. The high end just keeps going. There is no distinguishable fall off prior to 20kHz. Now the low end on this measurement is deceiving however the dip at 42hz is a room null so without that it would have been a gradual fall off to 35 where it seems to peak a bit again and then finally descend. I’d say by just listening to them I would have predicted a fall off at around high 30’s which is extremely reputable for a stand mount speaker of its size. They are conservatively rated at 46hz which is where they would have probably naturally fell off had the room null not influenced the measurement.
Rating and Final Thoughts
What makes these speakers so special is the fact that they are so well balanced and then when not expecting it they punch you right in the face with some incredible bass. I think they are grossly underpriced and can compete with speakers well beyond their price range. However, thinking about it from a business standpoint, do you want to be a fish in an ocean or a megalodon. At the price they are positioned, the 3030i’s truly command the value proposition by offering an incredible product at a price most home audio consumers can afford.