Q Acoustics first active loudspeakers – the Q Active 200 – launched earlier in 2021 and now it’s been joined by its bigger sibling in Q Active 400 floorstanders.
The Q Active 400 were due to go on sale all the way back in January 2021, but the release date fell to May 2021. We reviewed the Q Active 200 back in March and enjoyed its ‘swiss-army knife’ performance. Here’s hoping for a similar performance from the bigger model.
Price and availability
The Q Active 200 bookshelf speaker are available now for £1499 (per pair). The version with Google hub goes on sale November, while the Alexa version (same price) is scheduled to appear later in 2021.
The Q Active 400 floorstanders are on sale in their Google hub version, priced at £2299 / $2999 / €2999. Like the Q Active 200, the Works with Alexa version is expected to go on sale later in 2021.
Q Active 200 & 400 specification
Q Acoustics designed both speakers from the ground up to deliver an uncompromised and versatile high-resolution system that can play music from effectively any source.
The Q Active range features class D amplification, eliminating the need for an external amp or receiver. Both models use twin Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) drive units in an offset configuration that Q Acoustics claims disperse sound wider, producing a bigger sweet spot in the process, so listeners can hear the same sound wherever they sit.
Around the back of each speaker is a switch to designate the left and right channels, while another informs the speakers’ positioning so Q Actives can fine-tune their low-frequency response for the best possible sound.
A wireless Control Hub is supplied (as well as a remote) and can be configured for built-in Chromecast or “Works with Alexa”; which opens up the speakers to an array of wired and wireless sources. The Hub serves as connection to your home network via wired or wireless means, and accepts audio signals up to 32-bit/192kHz before being converted down to 24-bit/96kHz.
For wireless sources there’s compatibility with Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Roon, UPnP (for streaming from a computer or NAS drive) and Spotify Connect. There’s a bevy of supported music streaming services such as Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon Music, Apple Music and Deezer, although control for these apps is done through the native streaming apps and not one app a la Sonos.
The Control Hub has a HDMI ARC, optical digital input, analogue line-level input and a subwoofer out connections. A turntable can be plugged into the Hub via its built-in moving magnet phono stage.
And what about the speakers themselves? The Q Active 200 standmount feature 2.25-inch BMR drivers, with a rear-firing 4.5-inch long subwoofer that has a waveguide to help shape an “excellent low-frequency bass performance”. There are six discrete amplifiers that power the Q Active 200 to the tune of 280W of power. An optional accessory are the A FS75 floor stands (£349) inspired by the Concept 300‘s Tensegrity stands, employing a four-legged structure to eliminated unwanted vibrations.
The Q Active 400 have the same BMR drive unit arrangement, but come with 8 discrete amplifiers that the speaker’s power output at 440W. Another difference is the two rear-firing 4.5 subwoofers – one at the top and one at the bottom. This configuration is said to neutralise internal standing waves inside the cabinet, reducing unwanted resonance for a cleaner, tighter bass performance. Both speakers will come in white and black finishes.
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