Q Acoustics 3030i Bookshelf Speakers Review!

Hello everyone!
Today, I’ll be reviewing bookshelf speakers 
from one of the youngest brands in the  
business – Q acoustics, model – 3030i, the 
one with a proper 6.5inch driver. Without  
further ado let’s briefly overview 
the build quality and design first.
So, certainly, those British loudspeakers 
look indisputably unique. That is mostly  
thanks to their rounded edges which are not 
only advantage from the design point of view  
but supposedly in sonic performance as well. 
I like this and one thing I can tell you,  
after spending some time with them, my main 
speakers just didn’t look the same as before.
On the front, around the drivers, they put those 
metallic rings which I am also into. Wherever  
it’s plastic or real metal, I don’t care because 
they are totally convincing and of superb quality.
Even on the back, they put effort to maintain 
minimalism, quality, and attention to detail  
which is not always the case especially at 
this price point. Also, the terminals look  
very different than usual and totally fit the 
whole design. All of the regular trademarks and  
labels were put around the bass port, which 
is a very smart utilization of free space.
The only thing I don’t like is the 
outside surface. Important note,  
there are some other color choices

even wood vinyl. Though in my case it  
was the very same material/paint 
I criticized in the B&W 606.  
It looks a bit cheap and boring and just 
doesn’t suit the rest of the elegance here.
…but anyway both the design and build quality 
are easily one of the best in the class in my  
opinion. In 3 words the Q Acoustics 3030i 
looks coherent, simple, and elegant.
So all the less important things 
aside, how’s the sound quality?
Well, the sound signature is direct and 
condensed, tonally they are rather a bit warmish.  
Though at the same time 
there is some forward energy  
due to slightly elevated higher 
frequency response and punchy bass.
At first, before further listening 
and doing some measurements,  
I honestly thought those speakers 
were emphasizing midrange a bit.  
Why? Because the vocals sounded slightly louder 
than what I am used to… and I really enjoyed this  
since the way how speakers are manage to reproduce 
voices is one of the most important aspects to me.
That’s said, what I learned here is 
that perceived advantage in vocals  
may not always mean the most 
flat frequency response.
If we’ll look at the measurements in my room 
I’ve done later, there seems to be a dip around  
the 1.5 to 2.5kHz frequency range which actually 
stands for some lack in the upper midrange region.
Please, keep in mind those are just 
measurements in my room, so we have to  
at least compare them to some other speakers.
Now what you see is the comparison with my  
reference Quadral Platinum+ Two marked as 
a blue line on the graph – notice their  
frequency response is more flat 
and the dip is not present there.
Just keep in mind those speakers belong 
to a different class so I won’t bash the Q  
Acoustics here. I am just trying to point out 
their key characteristics as best as I can.
So, what I think is actually happening in the Q 
Acoustics is that the sense of density and body  
I’ve heard, especially in low pitch 
male vocals, comes from the combination  
of solid lower mids foundation, that 
obvious dip, and slightly sparky highs.
…without a subtle boost in high frequencies, those 
speakers would probably sound a bit too muddy.
The cloth-dome tweeter in here may not do 
the best I’ve heard in terms of resolution  
but the speakers are sort of balanced in a way 
that I hear a good amount of detail in the music  
and the performance seems to be on par with the 
price. Indeed, they are sparky but harshness  
is not a problem here – in opposite 
to let’s say B&W 606, known for that.
How about lows? Well, right from the first 
audition bass was not my cup of tea. Sure, it  
probably has more weight than the smaller 3020i, 
and its punchy but it just sounds too artificial,  
boosted in some ways I don’t like, and shallow 
in others. I don’t hear many different textures  
and the lower frequencies in here sound kind of 
uneven like all the bass was trapped somewhere.  
I have to say, usually, 6.5inch drivers perform 
with a bit more finesse, even at this price point.
…and maybe I could live with some limitations in 
bass response but my main gripe, probably in part  
connected with this, is soundstage – surprisingly 
despite very respectable horizontal dispersion,  
the 3030is sound just a bit too small, they 
cannot really create a convincing powerful  
image around themselves and whereas 
the imaging and separation are decent  
the speakers are simply unable to provide with 
a sense of reality in the scene. Perhaps if  
they would experiment with the cabinet proportions 
results would be different but we don’t know that.
In summary, the Q Acoustics 3030is 
are interesting pair of speakers  
with unique characteristics 
– both in sound and design.
I really liked their unusual shape, attention 
to detail, and very good build quality.
In terms of sound, I enjoyed the directness 
in the vocals and the sense of forwardness.
Having said that, I can’t really 
recommend them as all-around performers.
In my opinion, their main flaw 
lays in the lack of fidelity  
and ability to create more 
sophisticated 3D -like image. 
Also, the bass lacked some warmth 
being a bit too hard and shallow.
So, in the end, Q Acoustics 3030i gets 4 out of 
5 stars which I think is reasonable accounting we  
speak about 400$ price range. Whereas the speakers 
are not really for me nor I would recommend it to  
most people, I can totally imagine someone looking 
for that distinctive direct and condensed sound.
Let me know what do you think about 
the 3030i in the comments down below.  
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See you in the next one! Peace!

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