British audio specialist, Q Acoustics, has announced its first active loudspeakers: the Q Active 200 bookshelf speakers (above and below) and Q Active 400 floor standing speakers.
Designed from the ground up, the Q Active range delivers a versatile high-resolution system that can play music from any source – TV, network music streamer, smartphone, laptop, and even a turntable.
A compact central Control Hub configured either for Google “Chromecast built-in” – integrated at launch – or Amazon “Works with Alexa” – available early next year – is supplied with each pair of speakers, which allows users to connect to a variety of wired and wireless sources. The Hub can be connected to your home network using ethernet or Wi-Fi.
You can connect to wireless sources using Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Roon and Spotify Connect. The Q Actives support all popular music streaming services such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify and Tidal – and users can play and control their music directly from each platform’s native app.
The speakers can also operate as a UPnP media player capable of streaming your digital audio library from a computer or NAS drive.
For wired sources, the Control Hub offers an HDMI ARC input, an optical digital input, an analogue line level input and a subwoofer output. You can also plug your turntable into the Hub – it features a built-in moving magnet phono stage.
The Control Hub links to the Q Active speakers via a wireless connection where all incoming audio (Max Source Resolution 32bit/192kHZ) is converted to 24-bit/96kHz hi-res audio, making for a beautifully simple system free from the tangle of speaker cables. The wireless design means the Control Hub can be placed out of sight if desired: behind a TV, in a cupboard or on a rack. A remote control is also included with each Hub.
The Q Active 200 standmount speakers – which are available now – feature two 2.25in BMR drive units and a rear-firing 4.5in long throw subwoofer with a waveguide for excellent low-frequency bass performance. There are six discrete amplifiers powering the Q Active 200, resulting in a total power output of 280W.
The Active 200 can be equipped with the optional Q FS75 floor stands. Inspired by the Concept 300’s Tensegrity stands’ principles of the 1951 Festival of Britain’s Skylon structure, this stylish four-legged stand eliminates unwanted vibrations to result in a purer sound.
The Q Active 400 floorstanding speakers, meanwhile, available from January 2021, have the same BMR drive unit arrangement as the Active 200, but feature eight discrete amplifiers with 440W of total power output.
The key difference with the Q Active 400, besides its taller cabinet size, is that it features two rear-firing 4.5in subwoofers: one subwoofer at the top of the cabinet, one at the bottom. This arrangement neutralises the cabinet’s internal standing waves, which in turn reduces unwanted resonance and delivers a cleaner, tighter bass sound.
Both speakers will be available in matte white or matte black.