In my humble opinion, the best part of High-End Audio is that its technologies eventually trickle down to the budget sphere. Such is the case with Q Acoustics 3050i, the largest pair of speakers from their newly revised entry-level lineup. At $799 USD MSRP (for the pair) the 3050i’s are a steal.
Q Acoustics 3050i Floorstanding Speaker
- 2-way Reflex
- Four Finishes
- Bass Driver: 2×6.5”
- Tweeter: 0.9”
- Frequency Response: 44Hz – 30kHz
This is my first encounter with the Q Acoustics brand.
The 3050i is the largest speaker in the new improved 3000i family. The previous 3000 range received glowing reviews across the board so I was curious to see what the hype was all about. Adding to this I was curious to how if the trickle-down technology ‘principles’ that Q Acoustics used from their $6000 flagship Concept 500 speaker affected the performance of a sub $1000 speaker.
2 x 165mm (6.5in.)
22mm (0.9”) decoupled high-frequency driver with a wide surround
(2.83V @ 1m): 91dB
(W x H x D) 310x1020x310 mm (12.2 x 40.2 x 12.2”)
$799 USD/ Pair
Q Acoustics, Tower Speaker, Floorstanders, Speaker, Review, Bass, Reflex, 3050i, Floorstanding Speaker Reviews – 2018
The Q Acoustics 3050i’s are also quite the lookers. The cabinets are virtually seamless with smooth rounded corners are available in grey, walnut, white or black. My samples arrived in black. The finish is like a matte or semi-gloss, not too shiny and not overly dull. Shiny chrome bezels surround the twin, black-coated, paper 165mm precision drivers which sandwich a 22mm cabinet-decoupled high-frequency driver on the face of the speaker. The tweeter has a wide surround which Q Acoustics claim creates a wide and even dispersion of the stereo image. Around back is a large bass port and a pair of fat, low profile speaker terminals. Sensitivity is quoted at 91db, which makes them an easy pair to drive.
Q Acoustics has taken design cues and technology from the high-end Concept 500 Series such as Point-to-Point (P2P™) bracing—which helps to reduce cabinet vibrations for a purer sound and more accurate soundstage—and HPE™ (Helmholtz Pressure Equalizer) technology. Which is basically a vertical tube inside the speaker filled with dampening material which helps to reduce energy and resonance within the speaker cabinet coloring the sound.
The Q Acoustics 3050i arrived neatly boxed and came with some the usual assortment of foam bungs, speaker spikes, fixing screws. They made sure to include an Allen key for tightening purposes. Also included were a pair of stabilizers, magnetic speaker grills (a huge bonus at this price level), a user manual and handling gloves. Affixing the stabilizers and spikes was simple and pain-free.
I initially set the 3050i’s up as fronts in my home-theater replacing my B&W 683’s (s1) powered by my Marantz SR6009. The first few tracks were played via Bluetooth from my iPhone. I was bowled back by the sound. Clear, punchy with a nice large scale sound. I decided to warm the speakers up in this configuration. On the movie front, the Q acoustics didn’t miss a beat with Spiderman Homecoming.and were well at home through any of the Marvel Movies I threw at them.
Once I had the 3050i’s warmed up I brought them up to my living room and set them up paired to my trusty old Nad 326bee. My sources were a Marantz Cd5001 and a Macbook pro via Arcam rDac. The Nad leans a bit darker and bass heavy which in theory is a perfect fit for me and the 3050is. Much had been made of the previous 3000 series’ scale, warmth, and energy but still, I managed my expectations and tried my best to be as critical as possible.
Because my nearly 3-year old daughter runs the music selections in our house we have been listening to Remember Me and Poco Loco from the movie Coco about twenty times a day. Fortunately, the tunes are fairly catchy so don’t mind too much. Ernesto De La Cruz’s voice sounds big and powerful while the music is nicely textured and dynamic.
After a few weeks, it was time for the Main Event. Before even receiving the speakers The rep mentioned that Q Acoustics believed that a great amplifier match to the 3050i’s was Cambridge Audio’s CX series. I since I just happened to have a CXA60 in my living room it would be a shame to not give it a go.
Spoiler alert. These two sound incredible together.
It became immediately apparent that the pairing of the CXA60 and the 3050i’s was a match made it audio heaven. If there was a Tinder for Hifi these two would be swiping right for sure. Paired with the Cambridge CXA60 the sound opened up and was less dark sounding and bloated on the low end. The lows stayed low mind you. but the overall stereo image was much cleaner.
Lyves is a guilty pleasure of mine. I love her voice and this track just begged me to crank up the dial. Her vocals felt as if she was in the room with me rather than from inside of the speaker. And when the volume hit the fruitier side of noon (which is loud as hell in my home), the 3050i’s didn’t strain or become harsh to my ear. It just got louder.
Since I was loving vocals, I have an old Talkin Loud promo cd with the acoustic version of Terry Callier’s Love theme from Spartacus on it. And since this is acoustic I could really crank up the volume on this. Terry Callier (may he rest peacefully) voice is beautiful and somewhat haunting and altogether vocals are on showcase here.
The boys at UVB-76 have been releasing fire ever since they launched their label and this track from Overlook is yet another barn burner. Crashing breaks and heavy bass adorn this Photek styled tune. I missed out on the vinyl release so I have to settle for the mp3 in 320kbps via my Macbook Pro. The 3050i’s did not disappoint as they dug nice and deep and the bass had all the rumble I needed. This made me realize something. I did not have a sub connected and I really didn’t feel the need to have one connected.
So why not try out my favorite D&B track from the past year. Surely this would make a case for connecting a sub? Nope. I’m seriously impressed by these speakers they belted this track out like nobody’s business. It was around now that I was kindly asked by my better half to turn it down as the kids were sleeping.
This was another telling piece of music. The 3050i’s really brought to life the subtle ambiance of the intro, then crashed through the expertly chopped up breaks and rumbled on when the bass dropped. The 3050i’s powered through and all but disappeared.
I found myself just leaving the 3050i’s on all the time and much louder than I would.
I wouldn’t classify these floor-standers as the most revealing and clinical speaker but one that is just easy to listen to. My B&W 683’s dig just as deep but the FST cone helps the mid and high frequencies shine for a clearer more refined presentation. However, they also retailed for twice of what the Q Acoustics 3050i do and to my ears, it isn’t necessarily worth the extra grand and I never really felt like I was missing anything when I switched back to the 3050i’s.
I’m unabashedly a budget speaker connoisseur. The value for money of the Q ACOUSTICS 3050I is undeniable. For under a grand you can own a pair of remarkable speakers that not only sound great but also look great as well.
- Everything about these speakers
- Relatively lightweight which makes moving them around easy
- Amazing bass weight
- Vocals sound great
- These in my living room
- The only downside is that I have to give them back.
Listen, for the price point I wasn’t expecting the sort of sound that the 3050i’s reproduced. I love these speakers. They sound great out of the box, as floor-standers go they’re relatively light and they add a sleek but modern touch to your living space. Out of the four finishes, the white has caught my eye and I believe they would be a great match to the decor in my home theater (let’s be honest, basement). For the short time that I’ve had them, I feel like they’ve reinvigorated my music collection. And heck, coming in hot at just $799 USD for the pair, the 3050i are a must audition for anyone looking to add a bit of heft to their setup.