Do you consider in levitation? Spend a while with Q Acoustics Concept 300 and also you may. These bigger-than-your-averagebookshelf audio system ship dynamic, detailed, wide-open performances rivaling opponents a number of occasions their measurement in a vogue that may increase the hairs on the again of your neck.
And that’s not the one function that may set your spidey sense tingling: The Concept 300 make an architectural assertion even whereas completely silent, because of their ingeniously designed stands. These audio system will look proper at house in a modern, trendy residing house resplendent with low-slung furnishings, floor-to-ceiling home windows, and buffed wooden floors. Just kidding. They additionally regarded nice within the plaster-walled household room of my 170-year-old city dwelling.
The Concept 300 seem like typical two-way bookshelf audio system from the entrance, measuring 8.6 inches huge and 14 inches excessive. View them in profile, nonetheless, they usually look something however typical—stretching again 15.75 inches in depth. My two-tone overview models got here in a high-gloss silver end with an ebony wooden veneer accent on the rear. You can order yours in that end, black with rosewood veneer, or white with oak veneer.
Q Acoustics’ Tensegrity speaker stands—included within the audio system’ $4,499-for-the-pair price ticket—are boxed individually and arrive pre-assembled. That’s factor, because the stands’ industrial-looking building is like nothing I’ve encountered: Tripods with stainless-steel legs held in place by vertical and—on the base—horizontal metal man wires.
Famed architect Buckminster Fuller launched this light-weight load-bearing design as an enormous outside sculptural set up in early 1950s London. Q Acoustics has shrunk the idea to a 28-inch-high assemble that likewise affords power with out a lot mass. More importantly, the design impeccably isolates the stands from the audio system, in order that they don’t contaminate the audio system’ sonic copy by resonating in sympathy with the cupboards they’re supporting.
A spring-loaded suspension system hidden inside the underside of every speaker to the stands and contributes to that isolation. Visually, the audio system—housing tightly aligned wide-dispersion drivers (1.1-inch dome tweeters and 6.5-inch mid/bass) and a rigorously calculated crossover—appear to drift about their stands. All this, mixed with less-is-more enclosure bracing contained in the MDF cupboard partitions, and polyurethane elastomer sandwiched in layers between the cupboard partitions, contributes to the sense that the music itself is floating throughout the Concept 300.
The suspension system affords a secondary profit that Q Acoustics doesn’t convey up in any respect: Should somebody brush up towards one of many enclosures, the speaker will rock a bit, however the stand beneath will stay rock regular—regardless of the latter part’s mild weight (8 kilos, 10 ounces). Q Acoustics says this three-legged creature will sit extra securely on uneven flooring any four-legged stand.
Listening exams and conclusion
While the extremely environment friendly (90dB sensitivity) Concept 300 can put out prodigious quantities of sound with a minimal of simply 25 watts of amplification, I jumped at an invite to check the pair with Naim’s Uniti Nova, an all-in-one audio streamer with a Class A/B built-in amplifier that delivers 80 watts per channel.
With the Uniti Nova related to my house community, I used to be ready stream a spread of web radio stations in addition to tunes from Spotify and—in 44kHz/16-bit FLAC—music from Tidal Hi-Fi. From the dazzle of Rimsky Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” and Andre Bocelli wailing “Ave Maria” on Classic FM London, to the thumping dance beats and room-rocking bass of Deep Vibes Radio. Wow! Percussion comes alive on these audio system!
Tuned to Tidal, the Concept 300 put me in a first-row seat in Venice for Keith Jarrett’s grand piano improv set La Fenice. The audio system revealed Jarrett’s deft contact, theatrical foot-pedal stomping, and the inside mechanical rumblings of his instrument. Another deal with was listening to Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, on which tune stylists Rufus Wainwright, Diana Krall, Brandi Carlisle, Seal, and different artists share what they’ve discovered from legendary singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell.
Even extra telling, personally, was listening to the Concept 300’s decoding of my desert-island-favorite double album from Derek & The Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. The audio system did a masterful job of de-sludging the Miami studio mash-ups of Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, and mates.
But be warned: The Concept 300 will expose each flaw in lower-resolution and/or poorly miked recordings, a actuality I found whereas listening to tracks streamed by way of Bluetooth from a smartphone by means of the Uniti Nova, and cuts from the 20th-anniversary version of Now That’s What I Call Music on a CD performed on the just lately reviewed Panasonic DP-UB9000 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray participant.
At decrease quantity ranges, that keeping-it-real intent could make these audio system appear virtually too restrained and lightweight by way of bass response. But all’s proper with the world at average and louder listening ranges, with the Uniti Nova’s amplifier driving the audio system on the 50 to 80 vary on its 0-to-100 quantity scale. Above 80, truthfully, the laborious partitions in my medium-sized household room grew to become a limiting issue. Your mileage might range, after all; particularly in case you have a bigger or better-damped listening house.
Circling again to the ultra-modern design of the Concept 300’s stands for only a second: Sure, that suspension-bridge styling will be off-putting for those who’re not into the black-leather-and-chrome furnishings these stands no naturally complement. I say give ‘em a listen, if they’re inside your price range. I believe you’ll conclude their efficiency overrules all the things else. I’ve already determined they give the impression of being completely fantastic on my raggedy 1850-vintage southern-pine flooring.