The Q Acoustics M20 HD digital active speakers impressed us enough to be awarded our joint product of the year for 2022 (review here). You get so much for £400 – great flexibility, connectivity and sound quality. Not to mention fabulous looks. I wasn’t surprised when my son bought a pair, nor when friends bought some for their son (both using them with a turntable I should add).
I’ve revisited them myself recently, comparing them with another much dearer active speaker. If anything, I liked the M20 HD even more than before. Q Acoustics designers certainly have my respect. So when the company announced a new range of passive speakers (no amplification inside) I pored over the press release. And there’s much of potential interest to the HiFi Starter.
The basics first. The 5000 range sits between Q Acoustics’ entry-level 3000i series and the more expensive Concept speakers. There are five models; two standmounts (5010, 5020), two floorstanders (5040, 5050) and a centre channel speaker (5090). The latter means both AV and music use are catered for.
Pricing brings the 5000 series into HiFi Starter territory. The standmounts are £499/€649/$749 and £599/€799/$899 respectively, with the smaller 5040 floorstander costing £999/€1,299/$1,499. Pricing for the larger 5050 is yet to be announced. The 5090 centre channel is £399/€499/$599.
The 5020 and 5040 are available now, which tells us which models Q Acoustics thinks will sell best (we wouldn’t argue). The 5010 and 5090 will start shipping in May. Availability of the 5050 is to be confirmed.
The whole range comes in a choice of four finishes – Satin Black, Satin White, Santos Rosewood and Holme Oak – all of which look just lovely in the photos. Build quality appears to be up to Q Acoustics usual high standard (the M20 HD is stylish and really well built).
Matching stands for the 5010/5020 cost a not-unreasonable £175/€219/$239. There are also wall brackets available. Bundled 5.1 sets – based around the 5010 and 5040 – are offered at a discount to buying the speakers individually.
A key aspect of the 5000 series is a completely new mid/bass driver based around what Q Acoustics calls C3 Continuous Curved Cone™ technology. Basically the profile of the driver aims to get the best of both worlds; the bass performance of a traditional straight cone combined with the high/mid-range frequency control of a flared one.
Point-2-Point™ (P2P) internal bracing stiffens the cabinet to minimise lower frequency vibrations. And the floorstanders incorporate Helmholtz Pressure Equalisers (HPE™) to manage the movement of air within the cabinets. Finally the tweeters are based on those in the Concept range and are hermetically sealed / mechanically isolated for a more predictable performance.
5020 (actually bigger than the 5010)
HiFi starters view? All in all the 5000 series looks really interesting. If you can afford £499 then an extra £100 is probably achievable, so we’d look at the 5020 standmount first.
The 5040 floorstander also looks very interesting. We’re keen on cost-effective floorstanders at HiFi Starters. And with a fairly high sensitivity (how easy it is to drive) of 91.5dB the 5040 should work well with lower-powered amplifiers. So building a £1,500 system around them should be eminently feasible. Say a Marantz PM6007 amplifier with WiiM Mini streamer and the Q Acoustics 5040 (£1,460 total).
Needless to say we’d like to get some first hand experience of the 5000 series, so discussions are underway. For more information see here. They do look really nice don’t they?!