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Your first hi-fi system? Q Acoustics readies M20 powered loudspeakers

  • UK loudspeaker manufacturer Q Acoustics has today announced the M20 — a new pair of powered loudspeakers that put 65wpc of ‘digital’ amplifier power behind a 2.2cm tweeter and 12.5cm mid/bass driver and inside a point-to-point braced cabinet, complete with rear-firing bass reflex port. The result? A loudspeaker system that could serve as a tidy solution for small rooms and/or desktops. To wit, the M20 offers switchable EQ options (on the back panel) for ‘free space’ (aka flat), ‘wall proximate’ or ‘corner’. Q Acoustics rate the M20 as -6dB down at 55Hz when the EQ is set to flat.

    Inputs include 2 x analogue (3.5mm minijack and twin RCA) plus a pair of digital: 24bit/192kHz-capable TOSLINK and USB. The presence of an aptX HD-capable Bluetooth input makes music playback a bit more convenient for anyone happy to surrender a little audio quality to Qualcomm’s lossy data compression.

    Side note: we have to wonder how many consumers (and hi-fi publications) will incorrectly infer from the cleverly crafted language in Q Acoustics’ press release that the M20’s Bluetooth input is hi-res capable (when it really isn’t)? All Bluetooth audio is lossy compressed. No exceptions.

    We should also not mistake the M20 for an active loudspeaker when its stereo amplifier sits ahead each loudspeaker’s passive crossover; the primary loudspeaker (that houses the amplifier) hands off one channel of go-juice to the secondary box via speaker cable. Volume can be adjusted using the supplied IR wand or a pair of switches on top of the master speaker.

    However, the abundance of ‘lifestyle’ photos accompanying Q Acoustics’ press release reminds us that a loudspeaker’s appeal isn’t only its sound quality or ease of use. Looks matter too and Q Acoustics has good form in this department. It appears from the photo set that the M20 will be no exception; their curved corners will probably pull in curious onlookers, especially those looking for an attractive first hi-fi system. And the M20 are priced accordingly: £399, €499 or US$599 per pair. Shipping begins in August.

    Further information: Q Acoustics

    Another side note: not a single photo shows the M20 without their (presumably) detachable grilles.

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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