Should we name Q Acoustics’ M20 proposition a neat and versatile pair of Bluetooth desktop speakers, or a complete high-resolution wireless music system? Q Acoustics would surely choose the latter, however physically, two flexible packing containers are what you’re getting.
Essentially, the M20 is a pair of powered speakers designed to work anyplace you're feeling like putting them – perched on a bookshelf or speaker stands; fixed to the wall; flanking your display screen or your TV. They also have numerous useful connections on the back – TVs, CD players, turntables and laptops will also be wired to the M20 thru optical, RCA line-level, aux and USB Type B connections, and there’s a subwoofer output if you want to upload one to the set-up. aptX HD Bluetooth is also onboard, meaning you'll be able to wirelessly movement high-resolution audio (as much as 24-bit/48kHz) to them from appropriate gadgets.
But must you? And should you imagine Q Acoustics’ M20 proposition at all? That is what we’re right here to determine.
It’s no longer conceivable to remove the grilles from the entrance baffle of the M20 audio system, but if we could, we’d see a two-way design with 125mm mid/bass driver and 22mm tweeter. One speaker within the pair is the mains-powered 'grasp' and feeds the opposite via a equipped piece of speaker cable. In an additional nod to ease of use, the back of the master speaker features a switch allowing you to allocate it as both the left or right channel.
The back of this master is where you’ll in finding all inputs, switches and also the amplification, which is 130W in general. The only features on the back of the slave speaker are a collection of binding posts and the bass reflex port.
As you’d expect, Q Acoustics has carried over some established engineering techniques present in its passive stereo speakers, together with P2P (Point to Point) internal bracing, which adds further tension to the portions of the enclosure that the majority wish to be stiffened, resulting in a quieter cupboard.
Q Acoustics M20 tech specifications
Finishes x3 (black, walnut, white)
Cabinet type Two-way reflex ported
Frequency reaction 55Hz - 22kHz
Crossover frequency 2.4kHz
Inputs Bluetooth 5.0 (with aptX, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, SBC, AAC), USB (24-bit/192kHz), optical (24-bit/192kHz), stereo RCA, 3.5mm
Power 2 x 65W
Dimensions (hwd) 279 x one hundred seventy x 296mm (Eleven x 6.7 x 11.65 inches)
Weight 5.1kg (passive speaker), 5.5kg (powered speaker)
The device's tonal balance may also be tuned relying on whether the speakers are placed in a nook, against a wall or in loose house, thanks to an extra switch at the back of the master speaker which adjusts the bass response. And in case you need to position them flush towards a back wall (which you will wish to, bearing in mind they’re 296mm deep – simply as deep as your average bookcase), Q Acoustics has even provided foam bungs for the reflex ports, to lower the extent of bass. It’s value experimenting right here with what works for you, on your explicit room, as a result of once you get it proper those audio system will praise you for it. We settle on hanging them 20cm away from the back wall, angled in towards our listening place, and leave the froth bungs within the packaging.
The black plastic casework of those speakers seems to be stylish and minimalist, reasonably than devoid of aptitude – however they’re additionally available in a white or walnut end. On the top of the grasp speaker, you also get an influence button framed with an LED light (which glows different colors as you press it to scroll via Bluetooth, optical, analogue and USB source options) flanked by way of premium-feeling quantity up and down buttons.
The equipped remote is effectively designed and can also be used for playback regulate, volume adjustment and converting audio assets, although a hallmark to register our button pushes can be welcome.
Provided you’re au fait with feeding the equipped speaker cable through binding posts and tightening them (quite than just sticking a 3.5mm cable plug into the back of each and every speaker, which it's worthwhile to do if in case you have the essential connectors), arrange is discreet – and Bluetooth pairing couldn’t be more uncomplicated.
Although the M20 is not a wi-fi enabled proposition (it can not reinforce wireless network streaming), the main promoting point over competition at this price point is surely the pair of stereo RCA line-level inputs on the back of the master speaker, which enable us to bodily attach an acceptable source, say a Bluesound Node streamer or Marantz CD6007 CD participant.
Now, if we wish to pause aptX HD and aptX Low Latency Bluetooth streaming from our phone to hear an album on Tidal from the Bluesound, we will. And once we have attached a USB A-B cable from our pc to the master M20 speaker, we will be able to watch the inside track on BBC iPlayer with levelled up stereo audio, too. Q Acoustics' M20 audio system are ultimately convenient and continue to give various options then again we consider using them.
The closest five-star pageant to the M20 system that you might believe at this point is the Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 desktop speakers, but put the two pairs aspect by way of aspect and the Ruark proposition is dwarfed by way of the Q Acoustics. It’s as if we’ve put a couple of full-sized hi-fi stereo standmounters beside a suite of Bluetooth desktop speakers – but keep in mind, there’s only a small distinction between those two propositions in relation to value.
Sonically, too, the sound from the M20 feels fuller, louder and no more compressed. Where the Ruark product turns out to mention “I’m supposed in your computer” and indisputably does a very best activity there, the M20 has greater ambitions. Certain desks might if truth be told be too small for the Q Acoustic M20, however that is in the end a just-add-source answer that is designed for optimum flexibility in your house.
We flow I’ll Be Around by means of Yo La Tengo on Tidal from our iPhone, and the textured strolling bass, guitar choosing and sombre vocal comes thru with space across the notes and at volumes that simply move loud sufficient even for better rooms.
We switch to AC/DC’s Hells Bells and the appropriate speaker is all angry, snaking guitar, whilst the left brims with bells and cymbals in an expansive soundstage. As the drums kick in, the Q Acoustic M20 displays a great sense of timing too, with all musical strands held competently inside of a cohesive mix.
When streaming Masterjam via Rufus and Chaka Khan, we transform especially conscious that there’s a planned refinement to the presentation here, with an simply handled treble that, while provide and enjoyable, gained’t overexpose harshness in certain Bluetooth files and recordings. Chaka Khan’s effortless and gloriously belted vocal right here goes up during the rafters along the horns and electric guitar, in a smart and really listenable performance.
Q Acoustics has launched an unfussy, just-add-source set of powered speakers that we discover inconceivable to dislike. With the entire amplification squirrelled away in the master speaker and the plethora of connectivity and placement choices covered, the M20 is a long way more likely to develop into all of your tune gadget than it is merely your new desktop speakers – and for this money, you’ll be onerous driven to higher the sound high quality with hi-fi separates.
- Build 5
- Features 5
- Sound 5
Read our overview of the Ruark MR1 Mk2
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