In 2018, Q Acoustics launched its excellent range of 3000i speakers. It seemed completely formed with multiple standmounter options, a large tower, and dedicated home theater offerings. Now, surprisingly and with little warning, we have another model in the form of the 3030i.
The Q Acoustics 3030 are now the largest of the three supports in the range and, with all current models having already obtained five-star reviews, they have a whole heritage to defend.
It’s no surprise that Q Acoustics has stayed true to its successful recipe for the 3030is, simply adding a larger mid / bass unit and a more generous speaker.
With the speaker containing 12.5 liters of volume – more than double that of the 3020is (6.1 liters) – the mid / bass speaker and the subwoofer bode well for bass extension , dynamic range and the ability to play louder.
Technical specifications of Q Acoustics 3030i
(Image credit: Q Acoustics)
Case type Bidirectional reflex
Low unit 16.5cm
Treble unit 22mm
Response frequency 46 Hz – 30 kHz
Impedance 6 ohms
Dimensions (hwd) 32.5 x 20 x 33 cm
The 16.5 cm mid / bass of the 3030i (compared to 12.5 cm in the junior model) is in fact based on that used in the 3050i stands, but modified to work in this installation. He hands over to a 22mm dome tweeter at 2.4kHz.
This tweeter is shared throughout the range and is a pleasantly detailed and refined unit. Here, however, it is decoupled from the front panel to isolate vibrations generated by the mid / bass unit, which helps improve detail and focus.
The cabinet retains the appearance of the 3000i series family, to the point that some may find it difficult to differentiate between the various supports in the range from a photograph.
It’s relatively deep, to give that extra volume, so if space is limited, you might want to look at the smaller models instead. As with the other speakers in the range, the speaker is reinforced inside for more rigidity and carefully damped to minimize the resonances of the speaker.
The rear fire port means it is best to leave some space between the rear of the speaker and the wall behind, to allow the port to function properly.
We play with positioning and find that the 3030 is refreshingly simple. In our test room, they sound better when placed about 40 cm in the room, but remain fairly balanced even when they are much closer. A small pinch to the listening position helps solidify the stereo image, but the exact angle is not too critical.
Speakers at this level should be able to work with a wide range of equipment. They must be easy to drive so that even a micro-system, such as Denon’s D-M41DAB, can cope and have enough fluidity to sound correctly with music streams at low speed.
However, with sufficiently talented electronic devices, such as the Brio from Rega with a Planar 3 partner turntable or the CD player and amplifier Marantz 6006 series, these speakers must be able to shine.
Give these boxes a few days to settle in and they produce a familiar but surprisingly muscular sound compared to other supports in the 3000i series. Like the others in the range, they are performers of impressive cohesion with a soft tonal balance and an easy-going nature.
Rivals such as the Dali Oberon 1 or the B&W 607 may offer a more lively and exciting sound, but the Qs counter this with a balanced performance, slightly underestimated but still engaging.
We listen to Tchaikovsky Slavic Market Op.31 and the 3030 responds with a large-scale sound full of authority. The promised bass speaker is delivered, with the speakers offering a lot of weight at the low end. Fortunately, this extra dose of bass is well integrated and well controlled.
We can’t help but appreciate how these boxes follow the dynamics of the music roller coaster and how calm they are when pushed hard. They operate more comfortably at higher volumes than we would expect for a product of this price.
Go to massive attacks Heligoland, we admire the ability of the 3030is to follow several instrumental strands and the way they render low-level sounds in a very busy mix. They are extremely detailed interpreters, but they present this information in a coherent and not forced manner.
They are rhythmic and capable of transmitting the changing momentum of a piece of music. All of this creates an extremely rewarding listening experience; the one who made us play track after track long after the end of the test session.
The 3030is are a welcome addition to the 3000i range. They have all the attributes of their smaller siblings, but add a huge amount of authority to the process. In other words, you can buy them with confidence.
- Sound 5
- Compatibility 5
- To build 5
Best economical hi-fi speakers 2020
Read our Q Acoustics 3050i review
Read our Dali’s Oberon 1 review
Read our B & W’s 607 review