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Q Acoustics unveils neat and flexible M20 desktop speaker system

Q Acoustics M20
(Image credit: Q Acoustics)

If you're looking to soup up the sonics of your working-from-home set-up, Q Acoustics may have just what you need in its all-new desktop speaker system.

The M20 is a pair of powered speakers designed for music, movies and gaming. They are designed to go almost anywhere – perched on a bookshelf or speaker stands or fixed to the wall, flanking a computer on a desktop or perhaps even a TV.

While Q Acoustics not too long ago introduced its first pair of streaming active bookshelf speakers, the multifaceted and ambitious Q Active 200, the M20 are, while similar in aesthetic, simpler and more compact, desktop-friendly versions without network streaming. These are closer in concept to the brand's previous Q-BT3 speakers.

The M20's support for aptX HD Bluetooth means users can wirelessly stream high-resolution audio (up to 24-bit/48kHz) to them from compatible devices. Sources, such as TVs, CD players, turntables and laptops, can also be wired to the M20 through optical, RCA line-level, aux and USB Type B connections. There’s also a subwoofer output if you want to bring more bass into the set-up via a separate sub.

Q Acoustics M20

(Image credit: Q Acoustics)

One speaker in the pair is the mains-powered 'master' and feeds the other 'slave'; each can be allocated as either the left or right channel to make it easier to accommodate mains plug locations in a room. The system's EQ balance can also be adjusted depending on whether the speakers are placed in a corner, against a wall or in free space.

Q Acoustics has naturally used some of the established technologies found in its passive stereo speakers, such as P2P (Point to Point) internal bracing, which adds extra rigidity and support to the parts of the enclosure that most need to be stiffened. This, the company says, helps to improve stereo imaging.

Lastly, a 130-watt amplifier feeds the 125mm mid/bass driver and 22mm tweeter, which are complemented by a rear-firing reflex port in each speaker.

Q Acoustics' M20 wireless music system costs £399 / $599 / AU$899 and is available from this month.

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Becky is Hi-Fi and Audio editor of What Hi-Fi?, and has been part of the team for almost eight years, with her current position preceded by roles as a staff writer and news editor. During that time she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching horror movies and hunting for gluten-free cake.

  • manicm
    This is not a ‘compact’ speaker system. I’ve had a look at the dimensions on the website, and they’re too large for a ‘desktop’, unless your desk is humongous.

    It‘s 279mm (H) x 170mm (W) x 296mm (D). The depth is nearly as long as many traditional bookshelf speakers like the B&W 606.

    So in effect it’s a very niche powered bookshelf speaker for pc/Bluetooth/TV users, except their PC/laptop will least likely be on a desk.

    Guess I’ll be sticking to my MM1s for desk+laptop duty then.
    Reply
  • gasolin
    Q acoustics 3030i is larger and it is just a big bookshelf speaker

    Overall dimensions (HxWxD): 325x200x329
    Reply
  • manicm
    gasolin said:
    Q acoustics 3030i is larger and it is just a big bookshelf speaker

    Overall dimensions (HxWxD): 325x200x329

    Does not change the fact that the M20 is too large for the average desk. The 3 series are already deeper than average speakers, and I emphasise again - the M20 is nearly as deep as a 606 at 296mm. That is simply too large for for an average 70cm deep desk.

    What should also give you a clue is that while they have an equalisation switch to allow for close to wall placement, they also supply bungs for the rear bass ports.
    Reply
  • gasolin
    Q acoustics are generally very deep
    Reply
  • manicm
    gasolin said:
    Q acoustics are generally very deep

    I have no problem with that, but if they’re marketing this as a ‘desktop’ speaker then maybe their marketing division need to redefine what they think a desk is.
    Reply
  • Tinman1952
    Once again What HiFi promote the myth that Bluetooth can transmit Hi-res audio….😣 AptX HD has a bandwidth of 576 Kbps…..just over a third the quality of CD (1411 Kbps). Shameful and misleading to beginners.
    Reply
  • doifeellucky
    Tinman1952 said:
    Once again What HiFi promote the myth that Bluetooth can transmit Hi-res audio….😣 AptX HD has a bandwidth of 576 Kbps…..just over a third the quality of CD (1411 Kbps). Shameful and misleading to beginners.
    Probably just regurgitating the official marketing without any real understanding, not even taking the time to check some of the details, such as the ‘compact’ dimensions. Unfortunately that’s fairly typical these days.
    Reply
  • doifeellucky
    Tinman1952 said:
    Once again What HiFi promote the myth that Bluetooth can transmit Hi-res audio….😣 AptX HD has a bandwidth of 576 Kbps…..just over a third the quality of CD (1411 Kbps). Shameful and misleading to beginners.
    Just read Darko’s piece on this announcement, and he specifically commented about how certain hi-fi publications would probably get this wrong, based on the way the marketing is written.

    What surprises me is that these mistakes happen far too often and never get corrected.
    Reply
  • manicm
    Tinman1952 said:
    Once again What HiFi promote the myth that Bluetooth can transmit Hi-res audio….😣 AptX HD has a bandwidth of 576 Kbps…..just over a third the quality of CD (1411 Kbps). Shameful and misleading to beginners.

    To be fair, it has full 24/192 capability through USB.
    Reply