Q Acoustics 3020: Review

Q Acoustics is one of those speaker companies who punch way above their price point.  They don't attempt to rewrite the rulebook with crazy designs or gimmicks.  Instead, they seem to have focussed on a sound quality to value ratio that other companies struggle to match.  The Q Acoustics 3020 bookshelf speakers are a prime example of that and I was blown away by the sound quality time and time again throughout this review. 

As mentioned Q Acoustics haven't tried to do anything too fancy with the 3020, they have focused on getting the basics right.  They come in a pretty standard setup for what you would expect for a speaker of this size but the attention to detail really sets them apart from the competition.

Specifications for the 3020 speakers are as follows:

  • Enclosure type: 2-way reflex, Bass Unit: 125m, Treble Unit: 25mm
  • Frequency Response (+/- 3 dB): 64Hz - 22kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 6ohm, Minimum Impedance: 4ohm
  • Sensitivity: 88dB
  • Power: 25 - 75w
  • Detachable magnetic speaker grill

Build Quality & Styling

Build quality is on a par with what I would expect for a set of small speakers around the $200 mark.  Everything is put together well, materials are all of good quality and the finish is excellent.  With the speaker grills the 3020 look spectacularly normal.  Fairly generic and similar to many other similarly specced speaker units.

However, pop off the grill and they take on a much more stylish look.  It's quite stylish with the tweeter and 5-inch diaphragm combining in a contrasting shiny finish in the shape of a snowman set against the matte black finish of our review units.

I had them set up on speaker stands in our new listening room and they didn't look at all out of place in this fairly modern setup. However, if you want to keep the driver safe and not draw attention to them on perhaps a media unit or bookshelf you can keep the grills on.

The back of the unit has some inward pointing screw down connectors which keep the wires from flaring out and makes them easier to run out of sight.  Above this, you will also see the rear facing bass port which when placed correctly near a wall actually enhances the sonic performance.

Sound Quality

Hooked up to our new Cambridge Audio CXA60 in place of my usual Dali Lektor 8 I wasn't expecting to be hit with such a big room filling blast of sound.  The Q Acoustics really manage to present their sound on a far larger scale than I would expect from such a small pair of bookshelf speakers.

Bass response is what stands out for such a small speaker.  Others in this size and price point tend to suffer from one of two common problems.  First, they may be bloated and overly stretched in an attempt to convey quantity thus becoming flabby and uncontrolled. the second scenario is an overly thin sound with the bass held back to convey a sense of quality.  Needless to say both are not ideal for pleasurable listening sessions. 

The Q-Acoustics, stay tight and true whilst at the same time pumping out a lot of quantity.  I have heard speakers over twice the price from KEF and other large name brands that don't come close to this combination of detail and impact on the low end.

The second thing that makes the 3020 really shine is the sense of space and soundstage that they manage to portray. Width and depth are both big making it feel like you are listening to your music in a very open environment.

Instrument separation and imaging are also large and a real sense of 3D sound come across. 

Mids are prominent and vocals shine through as being lifelike and complete with energy.  It was noted that in the upper midrange there was a slight peak but if this is too much for you the speakers responded very well to taming this through EQ adjustments.

The highs are energetic and spacious with agreeable detail and no prevalence towards sibilance.

Final Verdict: Q Acoustics 3020 Speaker Review

At around $300 in the US market (£200 in the UK) the Q Acoustics represent great value for money and perform way better than an entry level speaker should sound.  

Pair the 3020 with any half decent amp unit and you can have yourself a very competent HiFi system, capable of filling even a large room with detailed and punchy sound for far less than if you went for one of the pricier mainstream brands.

To find out more about Q Acoustics speaker line please feel free to visit their company website: www.qacoustics.co.uk