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Q Acoustics 3030i review

An excellent addition to the 3000i series of speakers Tested at £329 / $399 / AU$899

5 Star Rating
Q Acoustics 3030i review
(Image: © Q Acoustics)

Our Verdict

The 3030is are yet another excellent speaker from Q Acoustics. They deserve a place on the shortlist

For

  • Insightful and expressive
  • Impressive, well-integrated bass
  • Fine build

Against

  • Tough competition

Back in 2018, Q Acoustics launched its excellent 3000i speaker range. It appeared fully formed with multiple standmounter options, a large tower and dedicated home cinema offerings. Now, surprisingly and with little warning, we have another model in the form of the 3030i.

The Q Acoustics 3030is are now the largest of the three standmounters in the range and, with all the current models already having gained five-star reviews, they have quite a legacy to uphold.

Build

Q Acoustics 3030i build

(Image credit: Q Acoustics)

It comes as no shock to find that Q Acoustics has stuck closely to its successful recipe for the 3030is, merely adding a larger mid/bass unit and a more generous cabinet.

With the speaker’s enclosure packing 12.5 litres of volume – more than double that of the 3020is (6.1 litres) – the larger mid/bass driver and cabinet bode well for bass extension, dynamic reach and the ability to play more loudly.

Q Acoustics 3030i tech specs

(Image credit: Q Acoustics)

Enclosure type 2-way reflex

Bass unit 16.5cm

Treble unit 22mm

Frequency response 46Hz – 30kHz

Impedance 6 ohms

Sensitivity 88dB

Dimensions (hwd) 32.5 x 20 x 33cm

The 3030i’s 16.5cm mid/bass (up from 12.5cm in the junior model) is actually based on the one used in the 3050i floorstanders, but tweaked to work in this installation. It hands over to a 22mm dome tweeter at 2.4kHz. 

This tweeter is shared throughout the range and is a pleasingly detailed and refined unit. Here, though, it is decoupled from the front panel to provide isolation from the vibrations generated by the mid/bass unit, which helps improve detail and focus. 

The cabinet keeps the 3000i series family appearance, so much so that some may struggle to differentiate between the various standmounters of the range from a photograph.

It’s relatively deep, to give that extra volume, so if space is at a premium you may wish to look at the smaller models instead. As with the other speakers in the range, the enclosure is internally braced for rigidity and carefully damped to minimise any enclosure resonances.

Compatibility

Q Acoustics 3030i compatibility

(Image credit: Q Acoustics)

The rear-firing port means it’s best to leave a little room between the rear of the speaker and the wall behind it, to allow the port to work properly. 

We play around with positioning and find the 3030is to be refreshingly unfussy. In our test room, they sound best when placed around 40cm out into the room, but remain pretty balanced even when much closer. A little toe-in towards the listening position helps solidify the stereo image, but the exact angle doesn’t prove too critical.

Speakers at this level have to be able to work with a wide range of equipment. They need to be easy to drive so that even a micro-system, such as Denon’s D-M41DAB, can cope and have enough in the way of smoothness to sound good with low-bitrate music streams

Yet, given suitably talented electronics, such as Rega’s Brio with a partnering Planar 3 turntable or Marantz’s 6006 series CD player and amplifier, these speakers have to be able to shine.

Sound

Q Acoustics 3030i sound

(Image credit: Q Acoustics)

Give these boxes a few days to settle and they produce a sound that’s familiar yet surprisingly muscular compared to other 3000i series standmounters. Like the others in the range, these are impressively cohesive performers with a smooth tonal balance and easy-going nature. 

Rivals such as Dali’s Oberon 1s or B&W’s 607s may deliver a more vivid and exciting sound, but the Qs counter that with a balanced, slightly understated but always engaging performance.

We listen to Tchaikovsky’s Marché Slave Op.31 and the 3030is respond with a large-scale sound packed with authority. The promised bass heft is delivered, with the speakers delivering plenty of weight to the low-end. Pleasingly, this extra dose of bass is well integrated and nicely controlled.

We can’t help but enjoy the way these boxes track the music’s roller-coaster dynamics and their composure when pushed hard. They work more comfortably at high volumes than we’d expect for a product of this price too.

Switching to Massive Attack’s Heligoland, we admire the 3030is’ ability to follow multiple instrumental strands and the way they render low level sounds in a busy mix. These are impressively detailed performers but they present that information in a coherent and unforced way.

They’re rhythmic and able to convey the changing momentum of a piece of music well. It all makes for a hugely rewarding listening experience; one that had us playing track after track long after the test session ended.

Verdict

The 3030is are a welcome addition to the 3000i range. They have all the attributes of their smaller siblings, but add a huge slice of authority into the proceedings. Simply put, you can buy these with confidence.

SCORES

  • Sound 5
  • Compatibility 5
  • Build 5

MORE:

Best budget hi-fi speakers 2020

Read our Q Acoustics 3050i review

Read our Dali’s Oberon 1 review 

Read our B&W’s 607 review

  • Markmaguire
    I was just about to buy the 3050i when these were announced a few months ago. Was eagerly anticipating the What HiFi review for comparison. How do they compare to the larger floor standers ad part of a 5.1 system?
    Reply
  • Mr. C Nation
    I have always been a bit puzzled by speakers like these, as standmounts. They don't take up any less room, on stands, than floor standers. The Atacama stands that these look to perched on - the Atacamas are a 5* stand, at any rate - are £120 at Richer Sounds and elsewhere.

    Total price £419 from R. S. - the same price as a pr of Fyne Audios 302's. Oberon 5's @ £499. Q Acoustics 3050 @ £349.

    Unless floor space is an issue and these speakers must go on shelves - they used to be called 'bookshelf', this sort of speaker - why lose the bottom end that only volume can give?

    And the performance if placed on a shelf is almost certainly going to be inferior to stand-mount. Back to sq 1.

    As my guitar guru says, why buy a two pick-up guitar - 2/3rds of a guitar - when you can buy a Strat?
    Reply
  • Vasile Burghel
    Is the pairing of q acoustic 3030i with marantz pm 6006 good?
    Reply