We sound like a broken record sometimes when we pound on the “affordability” thing but it’s encouraging to see that some manufacturers really get it or are trying to bring their prices down while raising the bar on performance. Q Acoustics’ 3000 Series loudspeakers are near the top of our list when it comes to performance/value and at least 3 of us own multiple pairs of their loudspeakers.
They keep prices down by manufacturing everything in China but the build quality is excellent and we’re not in any hurry to replace our 3030i bookshelf speakers or the 3050i floor standing loudspeakers ($949/pr).
Where things get slightly more interesting with Q Acoustics is with their Concept Series that has now been expanded to include the Concept 30, Concept 50, and Concept 90 models.
Taking cutting-edge acoustic technology and design cues pioneered in the flagship Concept 300 ($3,499/pr) and Concept 500 ($6,499/pr), while also introducing new state-of-the art audio innovations, these new models are designed to deliver better sound quality than the 3000 Series but for far less than the two Concept models at the very top of the range.
Concept range audio innovations include:
- Gelcore™ cabinet construction reduces higher frequency cabinet noise.
- Point-2-Point™ (P2P) internal bracing stiffens the cabinet to minimise lower frequency vibrations (not Concept 90)
- Helmholtz Pressure Equalisers (HPE™) reduces internal pressure and standing waves (Concept 50 and 500 only).
- Isolation suspension base eradicates unwanted external and internal vibrations.
New audio innovations on the Concept 30, 50 and 90 include:
- The driver assembly is mounted to the front aluminium baffle by pretensioned studs to give the correct acoustic seal, while dampen vibrations and minimise structural coupling of the assembly in main cabinet.
- Ground-up mid/bass and tweeter driver design for increased power handling.
- High-frequency driver is fully hermetically sealed and mechanically isolated (floating) from the front baffle to protect from internal resonances from the mid/bass driver.
- Crossover design is mounted on the isolation base, to minimise any microphonic pick up and away from electro-magnetic fields radiated by the drive units.
No Artificial Color
Introduced in the original Concept speaker, the Gelcore™ cabinet construction is designed to minimise high-frequency noise. A unique design comprised of a non-setting gel sandwiched between two individual layers, this specially developed adhesive dissipates high-frequency vibrations, generated by the moving drivers, into heat to maintain a focused audio performance.
To keep the cabinet as rigid as possible, Point-2-Point™ (P2P) internal bracing is employed. First introduced in the Concept 500, reinforcement is fitted to interior areas of the cabinet susceptible to low-end frequency reverberations.
A variation on the hugely effective ‘isolation base’ principle first seen on Concept 300 means all three of the new Concept models have a suspension system in the form of a sprung baseplate. Two plates are separated by suspension ‘spheres’ that effectively isolates the cabinet from interference from external vibrations, providing tighter stereo imaging, while also bringing greater depth.
Tall floorstanding speakers are prone to internal build-up of pressure that cause unwanted standing waves and reverberations. To prevent this occurring, specially designed Helmholtz Pressure Equalisers (HPE™) tubes are fitted inside the Concept 50’s cabinet to improve frequency response.
All these anti-resonance innovations allow the state-of-the-art complement of drivers free to get on with the job of delivering the most realistic, most involving sound ever heard at this price-point.
Designed as an integral part of the mechanical structure of the cabinet, both the 5-inch mid/bass and 0.9-inch tweeter drivers are new, ground-up designs specifically for the Concept 30, 50 and 90 loudspeakers. The drive units are fixed to a remarkably stiff 3mm aluminium baffle plate before it is fitted to the cabinet – this gives the correct acoustic seal, dampening vibrations and minimising structural coupling.
Elsewhere, the tweeter is hermetically sealed and mechanically isolated (floating) from the baffle, which means lower distortion and a lower crossover point for seamless integration through the crossover region. At 30.5mm, the larger mid/bass driver voice coil increases motor strength resulting in a 50% increase in power handling over a comparable driver with 25.4 mm voice coil.
Lastly, the crossover itself is mounted to the isolation base, keeping it free of sound-effecting vibrations and away from the electro-magnetic influence of the drivers themselves.
Boasting the same sophisticated design lines and stunning, premium high gloss finish of the top-of-the-range 300 and 500 models, the new range retains the signature aluminium front baffle plate that made the original Concept speakers so iconic. All models arrive in three striking lacquers: black, silver and white.
Home Theater Packages
The Concept 50 5.1 speaker package delivers exquisite and absorbing home cinema sound. This set-up is comprised of a pair of Concept 50 floorstanders at the front, a pair of Concept 30 standmounts positioned at the rear, with a Concept 90 centre channel focused on dialogue.
Finally, Q Acoustics’ most powerful subwoofer, the Q B12, provides the low-end sonics. The Concept series is designed to work in any 2.1 or 5.1 configuration should you decide to add the Concept 90 centre channel and Q B12 subwoofer to any of the range’s floorstanding or standmount models (choose from the 30, 50, 300 or 500)
Price & Availability
Q Acoustics Concept 30 (bookshelf speaker) is priced £899/€1,199/$1,299 and is available from qacoustics.co.uk (UK), qacoustics.com (UK) and local independent dealers from the end of October.
Q Acoustics Concept 50 (floorstanding speaker) is priced £1,999/€2,599/$2,999 and is available from qacoustics.co.uk (UK), qacoustics.com (UK) and local independent dealers from the end of October.
Q Acoustics Concept 90 (center speaker) is priced £649/€849/$999 and is available from qacoustics.co.uk (UK), qacoustics.com (UK) and local independent dealers from the end of October.
For more information: qacoustics.com/collections/concept-range
|Concept 30||Concept 50||Concept 90|
|Bass unit||1 x 125 mm (5.0 in)||2 x 125 mm (5.0 in)||2 x 125 mm (5.0 in)|
|Treble unit||1 x 25 mm (0.9 in)||1 x 25 mm (0.9 in)||1 x 25 mm (0.9 in)|
|Frequency response (-6dB)||54 Hz – 30 kHz||42 Hz – 30 kHz||67 Hz – 30 kHz|
|Nominal impedance||6 Ω||6 Ω||6 Ω|
|Minimum impedance||3.9 Ω||3.6 Ω||3.7 Ω|
|Sensitivity (2.83V @ 1kHz)||87 dB/w/m||90.5 dB/w/m||90 dB/w/m|
|Recommended amplifier power||25-100 W||25-150 W||25-150 W|
|Crossover frequency||2.4 kHz||2.1 kHz||2.1 kHz|
|Distortion (120Hz – 20kHz, @2.83Vrms)||<0.2%||<0.2%||<0.2%|
|Effective volume||7.0 L||28.8 L||11 L|
|Dimensions (per loudspeaker) HxWxD||284 x 180 x 319 mm|
(11.2 x 7.1 x 12.6 in)
|Inc spikes and stabiliser: |
1025 x 418 x 319 mm
(40.4 x 16.5 x 12.6 in)
Cabinet width: 180 mm (7.1 in)
|184 x 550 x 259 mm|
(7.2 x 21.7 x 10.2 in)
|Weight (per loudspeaker)||7.9 kg|