Things tend to move slowly in the world of loudspeakers. Unlike the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it TV market, the innovations tend not to happen overnight. So when the latest generation from a line of award-winning speakers surfaces, it’s pretty exciting news.
Speakers may end up being a part of a manufacturers range for a number of years before it’s time to revisit and revise. The Q Acoustics 2020i; ‘Product of the Year‘ winner in What Hi-Fi? for 2012 and 2013, has been in production since 2011. Now we say hello to its predecessor – the 3020.
The original 2020i has been a favourite of ours in the budget bookshelf arena in the past few years. Able to offer a well-balanced, detailed performance across a wide range of music and with no real fuss over its partnering amplifier. The 3020 then, has a lot to live up to…
The 2020i’s rather prosaic styling has been updated nicely for the 3020s with the rather fetching white leather finish once again available (pictured above). There’s been a welcome change with the single-wire binding posts moved from the underside of the speaker to the back, this was always a bug-bear for me and the decision to put them back in their natural place seems eminently sensible.
It’s the sound that makes or breaks the speaker and we gave the 3020s a proper run-in before setting them to work in our demonstration room. ‘Keith Don’t Go’ from Nils Lofgren’s ‘Acoustic Live’ album was first up is one of our favourite Hi-Fi test tracks – a close-mic recording of one of the world’s finest guitar players and about none other than Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.
The 3020s responded wonderfully throughout the song especially the guitar solo, for an acoustic track it’s an electric performance and the speaker certainly helped play its part. The clarity was fantastic, the music sounding authoritative when needed, delicate when not. More importantly, it worked hard to convince me that I was there in the audience.
As I moved through a number of my favourite albums the 3020s handled the varying genres admirably. As a preference, I enjoy listening to bookshelf over floorstanding speakers, and the 3020 reaffirmed my reasons for this (although I can’t wait for a listen to the 3050 floorstanders!).
Bass was tight and hit hard, but didn’t overshadow everything else. The mid-range was expressive at all times, and was particularly captivating on live performances that I had to hand. Treble was never shouty or brash, but also never slipped into warmth and stodginess. Altogether neutral, revealing and really good fun!
If it’s not been made clear enough yet, I was completely enamoured with these little wonders. They were as accurate to the source as can be expected for the price, and more. Those on the lookout for a true Hi-Fi bargain are well advised to give these a listen. Your wallet and music collection will thank you!
For more information on the Q Acoustics 3020 range, please click here.
Author – Chris, Liverpool store