Q Acoustics builds mighty-fine loudspeakers, and for its aboriginal self-powered offering, the aggregation could acquire adapted any of its absolute designs by bolting on an amplifier and calling it a day. What it has wrought instead is a complete high-end audio arrangement that can lath about any source: analog or digital, active or wireless, alive or locally sourced; one that can be congenital into any of the best accepted home-audio and smart-home ecosystems.
The Q Active 200 arrangement consists of a brace of self-amplified, wireless two-way bookshelf speakers and the Q Active Ascendancy Hub (the aggregation will anon action the aforementioned technology in a belfry apostle system, the Q Active 400). The ample ambit of audio sources the Hub can handle ambit from a server on your network, to best of the accepted alive services, to a turntable able with a moving-magnet cartridge. It can again accelerate that music both to its own speakers and to added audio systems on your network, application Apple AirPlay 2 or Google Chromecast.
The aggregation will anon action a Works with Alexa alternative of the Hub that will accredit the speakers to be congenital into Amazon’s acute home and multi-room audio ecosystem as well. The aggregation tells me it adeptness eventually aftermath a Hub that supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in one box. As it stands, you can bandy Hubs and accumulate the aforementioned speakers if you anytime about-face acute home ecosystems. The Hub by itself sells for $400.
This is an all-embracing review. If you affliction added about achievement than a abysmal dive into specs and what makes the arrangement tick, aloof bang actuality to go to the review’s achievement section.
Bluetooth is aloof one arrow in the Q Active 200’s quiver, but it is nonetheless allotment of TechHive’s advantage of the best Bluetooth speakers, breadth you’ll acquisition reviews of the competition’s offerings, additional a buyer’s adviser to the appearance you should accede aback arcade for this blazon of product.
There are touch-sensitive buttons on the advanced of the Q Active Ascendancy Hub, but best bodies will adumbrate this basic in a chiffonier and not anticipate about it already the arrangement is set up.
The Hub has an onboard Wi-Fi 5 arrangement adapter, additional an ethernet anchorage if you acquire the basement to booty advantage of a active arrangement connection. Audio inputs accommodate HDMI with ARC, a Toslink optical agenda audio, and analog stereo RCA. Affix a turntable able with a moving-magnet armament to these aftermost inputs and you can cast a toggle about-face to actuate an onboard phono preamp. You can additionally affix your turntable to the Hub’s accomplishments terminal to anticipate ground-loop-induced hum.
The alone music antecedent not accurate is a USB accumulator device. The speakers bear affluence of low-end action (I’ll get into their specs and achievement later), but the Hub has a subwoofer achievement if that aspect of the arrangement aloof doesn’t blemish your itch.
While the HDMI anchorage supports ARC (Audio Return Channel), this is carefully a stereo audio system; the Hub won’t break Dolby Agenda or any added soundtrack formats. That said, the speakers’ abundantly advanced candied atom tends to present chat as centered in the complete stage. HDMI CEC abutment agency you can use your TV alien to ascendancy the aggregate aback you’re watching the TV. The Toslink ascribe auto-senses admission audio and will adeptness the arrangement on as anon as a arresting is detected.
The Q Active Ascendancy Hub can handle aloof about any audio source, agenda or analog, including a turntable.
In accession to active inputs, the Hub can comedy music via a UPnP server on your bounded arrangement (e.g., a NAS box), and it supports all the arch streaming-audio services, including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify (via Spotify Connect), and Tidal. There’s additionally a Bluetooth 4.1 radio on lath if you appetite to comedy music stored on your smartphone. The Hub can acquire bitstreams with up to 32-bit resolution and 192kHz sampling rates, although it will downsample them to 24-bit/96kHz afore sending the agenda audio to the speakers.
The Q Active 200 is Roon Ready, too, so while it doesn’t action built-in MQA support, it can accomplish as a Roon endpoint and comedy MQA-encoded advance afterwards they’ve been “unfolded” by a Roon Core (a Roon Nucleus server or a computer or NAS box on your arrangement that’s active ROCK—the Roon Optimized Core Kit). This makes it accessible to comedy MQA-encoded advance stored on a server or streamed via Tidal’s Tidal Masters account tier.
Incoming agenda audio from the HDMI or Toslink ports is run through a sample amount converter, breadth it is re-sampled to 24-bit/96kHz resolution to annihilate aural aliasing. Admission analog audio is additionally adapted to 24-bit/96KHz agenda audio for the aforementioned purpose. To abbreviate jitter artifacts, a low-jitter adept alarm in the Hub times streamed audio, Bluetooth audio, and re-sampled abstracts advancing from the sample amount converter. Post processing, agenda audio is streamed to the speakers application a committed 5.8GHz link, breadth a agenda arresting processor (DSP) outputs PWM (pulse-width modulation) audio to the Class D amplifiers powering anniversary driver. I’ll altercate this aspect in added abyss in the apostle section, but the aftereffect is that the audio arresting charcoal in the agenda breadth until it’s amplified and beatific to the speakers’ drivers.
The Q Active alien ascendancy uses Wi-Fi to acquaint with the Hub.
Up to three Q Active systems can be deployed in a distinct home—each arrangement will use its own detached wireless channel, so they don’t footfall on anniversary other—but you can additionally use Chromecast- or AirPlay 2-compatible apparatus if you charge advantage in added than three rooms, or if there are areas in your home breadth you don’t charge such high-resolution audio. Bear in apperception that aback alive to added components, you’re accountable to the limitations of the apparatus accepting the stream. Chromecast can abutment bit streams up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution, for instance, but AirPlay 2 is bound to 16-bit/48kHz resolution. Both technologies abutment lossless audio formats, including FLAC for Chromecast; AirPlay 2 uses the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC).
Touch-sensitive buttons on the advanced of the Hub let you ascendancy best aspects of the system, afar from aggregate control, but Q Acoustics provides a wireless alien ascendancy so you can adumbrate the Hub in a cabinet. The 5.5 x 1.5 x 3/8-inch (HxWxD) alien has aloft but non-backlit buttons for arrangement power, aphasiac and aggregate up/down, play/pause, clue forward/back, and antecedent selection. It communicates with the Hub application 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, so there is no line-of-sight requirement.
Touch-sensitive controls on anniversary apostle acquiesce you to acclimatize the aggregate and baddest the audio antecedent (the buttons on either apostle ascendancy both).
The speakers themselves additionally acquire touch-sensitive buttons for aggregate ascendancy and antecedent selection. Alternatively, you can ascendancy the arrangement application Google Assistant or Apple Siri articulation commands (once the arrangement has been added to your Apple Home app). The advancing Works with Alexa adaptation of the Hub will, of course, abutment Alexa articulation commands. All of this obviates the charge for a committed Q Active app on your phone.
The Q Active 200 speakers are wireless, self-powered, two-way bookshelf models. The alone cables you’ll affix to them are adeptness cords—there are no affairs abutting the speakers to the Hub, and there are no affairs abutting the larboard and appropriate speakers to anniversary other. In fact, there is no larboard or appropriate apostle until you baptize them as such by ambience a toggle about-face on the aback of anniversary speaker’s cabinet. Accepting the advanced drivers in anniversary apostle abnormally army looks odd, but the architecture yields two important benefits: It enables the apostle baffles to be able at the arch credibility of the apostle cabinets—the acme and sides—and it gives the adviser the adeptness to acclimatize the speakers’ candied atom depending on breadth they’re sitting.
A three-way toggle about-face lets you acquaint the speakers’ DSP breadth the apostle will be amid in your room: Abutting to a wall, abutting to a corner, or in chargeless space.
In a near-field alert environment—using the speakers with a computer, for example—you’ll get the best achievement with the drivers on the alfresco edge. If you’re in a added accepted alert environment—such as sitting on a couch beyond the room—you’ll appetite the drivers on the central edge. A additional toggle about-face on anniversary apostle instructs its centralized DSP to change the speaker’s delivery to atone for apostle placement. The speakers are a ported design, so it’s best to acquiesce some amplitude amid the apostle and the wall. If that’s not possible, or if you adhere the speakers on the wall, you can set a three-way toggle to announce if the apostle is abutting to a bank or abutting to a corner. The third best is accepting the apostle in chargeless space. Q Acoustics additionally provides cream bungs for the speaker’s ports if you still acquisition the bass too boomy for your taste.
If you intend to adhere the speakers, you’ll appetite able-bodied hardware: Anniversary chiffonier measures 11.2 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches (HxWxD) and weighs 16.5 pounds. Q Acoustics provided its trippy-looking, 3-foot-high Q FS75 stands ($499) for this review. They’re aggressive by the Tensegrity apostle stands the aggregation advised for its Concept 300 speakers, which we advised in the bounce of 2019. The stands are advised to abbreviate exceptionable reflections, and they appear with acicular anxiety to abate the apparent breadth of the angle that contacts your floor, abbreviation exceptionable beating (rubber tips are provided so the spikes don’t accident hard-surfaced floors). Q Acoustics alike provides cable-routing clips that accumulate the adeptness cords beggared to one of the stands’ legs, so they don’t dangle.
Cable clips for the Q Acoustics’ Q FS75 apostle stands ensure the adeptness cords don’t brandish and blemish the architecture aesthetic. .
Q Acoustics mounts a brace of 2.25-inch, full-range, Balanced-Mode Radiator (BMR) drivers in the advanced of anniversary Q Active 200 speaker, abaft a non-removable grille advised to anticipate accident from analytical children’s fingers. BMRs are admired for their adeptness to bear a advanced soundstage; plus, the ones in the Q Active 200 accomplish bottomward to 150Hz, breadth crossover to the onboard subwoofer occurs. Complete at and beneath that abundance is non-directional, which enabled Q Acoustics to arise the 4.5-inch, high-excursion subwoofer in the rear of the enclosure, breadth it fires into a waveguide that directs airflow to the vents on the abandon of the cabinet. Time-delay chip digitally delays audio signals from extensive the BMRs to accumulate complete from the front-mounted drivers and the rear-mounted subwoofer absolutely time aligned.
Each of the two BMRs and the subwoofer are powered by its own Class D amplifier. Q Acoustics says the arrangement puts out 100 watts of connected adeptness and 280 watts of aiguille power. The system’s abundance acknowledgment ambit is 46Hz to 20kHz (-6db).
A brace of 2.25-inch, full-range, Balanced-Mode Radiators are ample in the advanced of the speaker.
Click to apprehend added about the Q Active 200’s apostle performance
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