Q Acoustics today announced its first active loudspeakers: the Q Active 200 bookshelf speakers and Q Active 400 floorstanding speakers. Designed from the ground the two Q Active models can be used with a TV, network music streamer, smartphone, laptop, and even a turntable. A compact central Control Hub configured either for Google Chromecast built-in or Amazon Works with Alexa is supplied with each pair of speakers, which allows users to connect to a variety of wired and wireless sources. The Hub can be connected to your home network using ethernet or wi-fi.
You can connect to wireless sources using Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Roon and Spotify Connect. The Q Actives support all popular music streaming services such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify and Tidal – and users can play and control their music directly from each platform’s native app, keeping the Q Active experience reliable and fuss-free without the need to download any additional apps. The speakers can also operate as a UPnP media player capable of streaming your digital audio library from a computer or NAS drive.
For wired sources, the Control Hub offers HDMI ARC, optical digital input, and analogue line level inputs plus a subwoofer output. You can also plug your turntable into the Hub which features a built-in moving magnet phono stage. 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. A remote control is also included with each Hub.
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 Q Active Control Hub will be available with the former integrated at launch, while the Amazon version will be available in early 2021.
The Q Active range is a true active design, with class D amplification. Both Q Active 200 and Q Active 400 speakers feature twin Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) drive units in an offset configuration that deliver a “widescreen sound dispersal and a huge sweet spot”. The Q Active speakers are tuned to perform their best no matter where they are placed in your listening room. 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. This information allows the Q Actives to fine-tune its low-frequency response to deliver the best possible sound for its environment.
Q Active 200 (£1,499 / $1,999 / €1,999 per pair)
The Q Active 200 standmount speakers feature two 2.25in BMR drive units and a rear-firing 4.5in long throw subwoofer with a waveguide for excellent low-frequency bass performance. There are six discrete amplifiers with a total power output of 280W.
The Active 200 can be equipped with the optional Q FS75 floor stands (£349/$499/€419 per pair). Inspired by the Concept 300’s Tensegrity stands this stylish four-legged stand “eliminates unwanted vibrations to result in a purer sound”.
Q Active 400 (available January 2021)
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 4.5in subwoofers. This arrangement neutralises the cabinet’s internal standing waves, which in turn reduces unwanted resonance and delivers a cleaner, tighter bass sound.