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Q Acoustics unveils first ever active speakers in Q Active 200 and Q Active 400

Q Acoustics announced its first active loudspeakers in the Q active 200 bookshelf speaker and Q Active 400 floorstanders.

Q Acoustics has designed both speakers from the ground up to deliver an uncompromised and versatile high-resolution system that can play music from any source.

The Q Active range features class D amplification, which eliminates the need for a  external amp or receiver. Both speakers have a twin Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) drive units in an offset configuration that Q Acoustics claims delivers a wide sound dispersal and a big sweet spot, so listeners can hear the same expressive sound wherever they sit.

There’s a switch around the back of the speakers that designates the left and right channels, while another informs the speakers as to where they’re positioned so Q Actives can fine-tune their low-frequency response for the best possible sound.

A wireless Control Hub is supplied with each pair of speakers (as well as a remote) and can be configured for built-in Chromecast or “Works with Alexa”; opening the speakers up to an array of wired and wireless sources. The Hub can be connected to your home network via wired or wireless means, and can accept incoming audio signals up to 32-bit/192kHz before converted to 24-bit/96kHz.

For wireless sources the speakers are compatible with Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Roon, UPnP (for streaming from a computer or NAS drive) and Spotify Connect, as well as supporting music streaming services such as Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon Music, Apple Music and Deezer, although control for these apps is done through the native streaming apps and not one app a la Sonos.

The Control Hub has a HDMI ARC, optical digital input, analogue line-level input and a subwoofer out connections. A turntable can be plugged into the Hub via its built-in moving magnet phono stage.

And what about the speakers themselves? The Q Active 200 standmount feature 2.25-inch BMR drivers, with a rear-firing 4.5-inch long subwoofer that has a waveguide to help shape an “excellent low-frequency bass performance”. There are six discrete amplifiers that power the Q Active 200 to the tune of 280W of power. An optional accessory are the A FS75 floor stands (£349) that are said to be inspired by the Concept 300‘s Tensegrity stands, employing a four-legged structure to eliminated unwanted vibrations.

The Q Active 400 have the same BMR drive unit arrangement, but come with 8 discrete amplifiers that the speaker’s power output at 440W. Another difference is that there are two rear-firing 4.5 subwoofers – one at the top and one at the bottom. This configuration is said to neutralise internal standing waves inside the cabinet, reducing unwanted resonance for a cleaner, tighter bass performance. Both speakers will come in white and black finishes.

The Q Active 200 bookshelf speaker is available for £1499 (per pair). The version with Google hub goes on sale November, while the Alexa version (same price) arrives January 2021.

The Q Active 400 floorstanders go on sale January 2021. Price is TBC.

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