Q Acoustics is embarking on a new venture in audio with its latest product. The E120 wireless system marks the British brand’s debut in the custom install audio market and is designed to be paired with two or four in-ceiling or in-wall speakers.
The E120 – essentially a system and control hub – ticks the custom install criteria with a 3.2-inch colour screen (which displays track, artist and album names and can be dimmed in brightness), touch-sensitive fascia controls, and both splashproof (IP67-rated) and full-size remote controls for outdoor and indoor use respectively. The E120 is IP54-rated itself (i.e. protected from dust and water splashes), making it suitable for installation in a kitchen or bathroom where things can get a little damp.
Owners can stream songs wirelessly from their device to the E120 over Bluetooth 5.0, take advantage of the system’s built-in DAB+ and FM radio (with one-touch presets), and physically connect sources (including a TV) via the system's 3.5mm and mini TOSLINK inputs. The E120 also includes a subwoofer output, giving users the option of adding more brunt to their system, as well as an alarm function.
The system delivers 25 watts per channel of Class D power (into 6 ohms) to the chosen speakers, whether they be pairs from Q Acoustics’ new range or any other pair of passive speakers. The British brand would naturally point you to the former option, and to that end there are five packages.
Those after an in-ceiling set-up can purchase the E120 with a pair of Qi65CB indoor speakers (£499, about AU$900), Qi65C ‘Professional’ indoor speakers (£569, about AU$1000) or Qi65CW ‘Weatherproof’ 6.5-inch speakers for showers, bathrooms and verandas (£649, about AU$1200). Those who’d prefer on-wall speakers, meanwhile, can punt for the E120 with a pair of Qi65RP ‘Performance’ 6.5-inch speakers (£699, about AU$1300) or the Qi65EW ‘Weatherproof’ outdoor speakers for, say, installation on a wall by the exit to the garden or veranda (£699, about AU$1300).
With these options, two 7M QED speaker cables and 5M power cables are supplied. Want to use your existing speakers? The E120 can be purchased separately, in white or black, for £429 (about AU$800).
The E120’s speaker outputs can be configured as stereo or dual-mono (both output left and right combined) via a small switch, while a pair of speakers can be wired in series on each output to deliver an even distribution of sound in larger spaces.
The Q Acoustics E120 will be available from the end of April, so if you've been pondering an in-ceiling or in-wall audio set-up for your home or garden, this could be one way to do it simply and affordably.
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