Speaker Review

3050i Floorstanders From Q Acoustics 

Offered at an attractive price, Q Acoustics has released a set of enhanced floorstanding models. Paul Rigby reviews the 3050i speakers  

Yes, floorstanding speakers take up space and can be an eyesore to some but their sonic benefits are tempting indeed. Well-designed floorstanders, as opposed to standmounts with a bit of cabinet stuck underneath can, of course, be a boon for those users looking for enhanced lower frequencies but they can also be perfect for those with a great sounding, yet low powered amplifier. These speakers have a 91db sensitivity, for example. Ideal for a relatively low powered valve integrated, if you wish to be adventurous. They can also provide a truly balanced performance that can be attractive and addictive. 

To that effect, Q Acoustics hope to have you hooked to your music collection through their 3050i speakers.

3050i Floorstanders From Q Acoustics 

Sporting two, coated paper, mid/bass units of 165mm, finished with newly developed, low-hysteresis, rubber surrounds and a soft dome, decoupled 22mm treble unit, the speakers include HPE (Helmholtz Pressure Equalizer) technology designed to, “…convert pressure to velocity and reduce the overall pressure gradient within the speaker enclosure…” said the company. “This technology is perfect for taller loudspeakers that tend to resonate at a single favoured frequency.”


You’ll find enhanced design features over the earlier 3050 model such as extra work on the cabinet in terms of extra bracing, infusing the cabinet with strength. While we’re on the subject of meat, the cabinet baffle has also been bolstered to provide a better foundation for the drivers on the front.

3050i Floorstanders From Q Acoustics 

Arriving in Graphite grey, English Walnut, Carbon black or Arctic white with a chrome bezel that frames the drivers to provide visual highlights, the whole lot can be covered, if you wish, by magnetically attached grills. I removed mine for the sound tests.

The speakers use “low profile” binding posts that accept 4mm Banana Plugs. The idea behind that was to avoid terminal cut outs to improve cabinet structural integrity. They worked very well. 


Spanning 310 x 1020 x 310mm, each speaker weighs in at 17.8kg.

SOUND QUALITY

I began with vinyl and Public Image Ltd’s This is What you Want…This is What You Get LP (1984) and the track, Bad Life.

First impression from the 3050i speakers was that the sound, in its broadest sense, was impressive. In terms of its overall sonic flavour and how high energy, dynamic music hits you. The music was presented in a big, bold and grand fashion. 


3050i Floorstanders From Q Acoustics 

Now, with any pair of speakers, you start talking like that and what normally follows is a concurrent lack of finesse but not here. The 3050i speakers provided plenty of that too. Hence, there was a delicate balance with, on one hand, lower frequency strength and, on the other, detail from the upper mids.

Let’s begin with the deep stuff. Bass was big, it was powerful and it delivered with heft but it never swamped the soundstage. Yes, there was punch and mass but it knew its place. It never threatened to invade the space allocated to the midrange. Hence, any air produced by the midrange was allowed to flow, the bass didn’t swamp or mask any of the more fragile aspects of the presentation. It merely sat alongside.

3050i Floorstanders From Q Acoustics 

Treble and midrange detail was heard in abundance with subtle sax effects easily tracked amongst the percussion and bass guitar. The measure of midrange insight meant that you always felt in touch with the subtle details, even in a raucous track such as this. 


But I wanted to investigate the upper frequencies further, so I loaded a Bing Crosby CD and Let A Smile be Your Umbrella on the album Bing With a Beat (Bluebird).

The beginning of this track begins with a busy series of percussive taps in which everything but drums are hit: the rims of drums, cymbal stands perhaps, coffee pots and flower vases maybe? Whatever they were, they were short and sharp tonal responses from the drum sticks. Oh and Crosby’s voice too. The Q Acoustics handled the lot with aplomb. And this is the thing about the 3050i speakers. Here I am going on about the bass in the text above but here, there was no hint that the upright bass, when it decided to join in, was being pushed forward in the mix, no sign that the lower frequencies were taking control. No, once more, balance reigned with each frequency type maintaining its true position, allowing the soundstage to sound measured and even in tone. 

3050i Floorstanders From Q Acoustics 

Hence, the percussion had plenty of space to maintain a delicacy during its initial tapping fest with treble in fine evidence while the contrasting Crosby baritone, full of delicate nuances and tiny degrees of emphasis here and there, provided a neat reflection of rough texture that gave the early part of the song a delightful relief. 


3050i Floorstanders From Q Acoustics 

As the rest of the jazz band launched into the track, I was happy to see enough instrumental separation that allowed even subtle elements of the music to ease through without any apparent effort. Hence the piano, which sat at the back of the mix, took full part of the song. Adding a sense of clarity but also richness to the output.

CONCLUSION

Q Acoustics should be congratulated for providing so many sonic goodies for the price here. The combination of midrange transparency and bass strength is pretty irresistible while all genres of music are treated with a sense of respect by these speakers. They never impose themselves upon the soundstage, they just allow the strengths of that piece of music to venture forth in a natural manner. 

The Q Acoustics 3050i speakers look good, they sound good and, by golly, the price is good too. What more could you ask for?


Q ACOUSTIC 3050i FLOORSTANDING SPEAKERS

Price: £649

Tel: 01279 501111

Website: www.qacoustics.co.uk


GOOD: airy mids, crafted bass, detail, aesthetics, value for money

BAD: none

RATING: 8


Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Group, The Audiophile Man: Hi-Fi & Music here: www.facebook.com/groups/theaudiophileman for exclusive postings, exclusive editorial and more!]

REFERENCE

Pro-Ject RPM3 turntable

Trichord Dino phono amplifier

Leema Elements CD Player

Rega Brio-R amplifier

Spendor A1 speakers

Tellurium Q cables

Blue Horizon Professional Rack System

Harmonic Resolution Systems Noise Reduction Components

All vinyl was cleaned using an Audio Desk’s Ultrasonic Pro Vinyl Cleaner 

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59 Comments

  • Reply
    Eric
    24th March 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Nice review Paul, big fan of q acoustics how do you think they compare to the concept 20s?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      25th March 2019 at 10:40 am

      Thanks Eric – I’d say that these are superior to the 20s.

  • Reply
    Umberto
    26th March 2019 at 11:44 am

    Greta review, why only 8/10?😜

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      27th March 2019 at 11:43 am

      Hi Umberto – please check out the explanation of my ratings system here: https://theaudiophileman.com/reviews-explained/
      As you can see, my ‘8’ is the same as a full mark, award-type rating you might see in a magazine. So, these speakers are receiving their due in terms of praise. It’s just that, when I started this site, I didn’t want to be cornered, I wanted elbow room 🙂 As you can see via the explanation in the link.

  • Reply
    Paul
    17th September 2019 at 9:17 am

    Hi Paul. I’ve had a pair of these speakers since I upgraded from Rega R1s last year and I’m very pleased with them. I’m tentatively looking to upgrade my amp from Marantz PM6005 and I’m quite impressed by the reviews of the Audiolab 6000A. Any idea how well it would pair with these speakers? My opportunity to audition the setup before buying is very limited so I’d appreciate your opinion.
    Thanks. Paul

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      17th September 2019 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Paul – many thanks for your question. Yep, the 6000a would match very nicely with these speakers. I’d say to go for it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jonas
    7th November 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Hi again Paul. Good to see you have reviewed these, which I am considering to pair with an integrated amplifier and streamer. I am still doubting with the Dali Oberon 5 (which are a bit ahead in design I would say, and although it should not be the main argument it plays a role) and the Dynaudio Emit M30 which I found for a quite reasonable price in my town. The 3050 are still the best priced though. Any idea how they rate compared to those two others?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      8th November 2019 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Jonas – I wouldn’t compare them to the Dynaudios because the latter are twice the price. Different ball game, I reckon. I would say that the Q Acustics are better balanced in tonal terms but the Dalis are excellent and offer great detail. I would try and grab a demo because you own ears will be the deciding factor.

  • Reply
    Ionut
    24th November 2019 at 5:36 am

    Hi Paul, what would your be your take between the Dali Oberon 5 vs QA acoustics 3050s paired with a Yamaha Rn-602?? I listen in a 25 sq meters room.. Momentarily to a MA Bronze 2 speakers that I’m are very tiresome with ..bleeding to my ears, bright, not balanced enough….and so on, that I want to replace !!! Thank you! Both speakers are having tremendous huge discounts this week in Romania… Which one would you choose for this specific situation???? Thanks!!… I know I’ve already bothered you enough, but anything added is very much welcomed and appreciated. Thank you… And sorry

  • Reply
    Ionut
    24th November 2019 at 11:25 am

    Thanks

  • Reply
    Jay
    10th January 2020 at 11:11 am

    Another excellent review, Paul. It helped me make my decision to recently purchase a set of these for myself.
    Just confirming, did you use the Rega Brio in this review? I hear alot of praise regarding the Brio.

    I am looking to upgrade from an old and relatively low end AVR to a proper 2 channel amp for my 3050i’s which is in an open plan living area (main entertainment area is about 3.5 metres by 5.5 metres).
    I haven’t had a change to audition anything yet, but my shortlist (within my budget) so far is:
    – Audiolab 6000a
    – Cambridge Audio CXA60
    – Rega Brio

    How would you rank these in terms of which would likely be the best pairing for the Q acoustics 3050i’s (also in a room of that general size)?

    Also, just out of curiosity, i note that all these amps have similar power ratings, however have you found that any of these particular amps seems to have a bit more headroom than the others and can be driven louder before hardness starts to creep in?
    Many Thanks!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      10th January 2020 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Jay – yes, I used the Brio but the Audiolab would do a great job too. I’d go with the latter because of how the Audiolab balances tonality and how well it integrates bass. The Audiolab should have the muscle too.

  • Reply
    Jay
    12th January 2020 at 11:17 am

    Hi Paul, thanks so much for your response. The audiolab is now much higher on my list. The added in built digital connectivity adds to its appeal for me (over the rega for example). Been doing a bit of research on the Audiolab and it appears to very well regarded (btw i enjoyed the youtube version of tge review as well).

    Out of interest I was checking out some of your other reviews earlier and came across your cyrus one article from 2016. How well do you think the Cyrus would pair to 3050i speakers ? How does the Cyrus One compare sonically with the Audiolab 6000a? Would your money still be on the Audiolab being the better match for the 3050i?
    Thanks again.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      12th January 2020 at 11:48 am

      Hi Jay – I like the One very much. It’s right up there in performance terms. If pushed, I’d probably still plump for the Audiolab but if you like the look of the One, you won’t be disappointed.

      • Reply
        Jay
        17th January 2020 at 7:34 pm

        Hi again Paul. Just an update that i picked up an audiolab 6000a a few days back. Its definitely a nice sounding amplifier and i think that you describe its qualities perfectly in your review.

        Just had a question though. So far i am finding that i am not getting a great deal of sparkle or a little bit of snap from the top end. There is some high end but feel like i need to listen carefully to hear/feel it (lacking that emphasis and crispness). Does this sound right given the combination of the Audiolab and the 3050i add speakers?

        Any suggestions on how i can improve this? I have had my speakers for just over a month now so would say that they would have well over 50 hours playing time. I don’t know if its relevant but i have some general entry level speaker cable ( had this from a previous AVR setup) . Is that the bottleneck? The audiolab has had a few days use including leaving it on a couple days during the day with the volume turned to minimum (i read about burn in).

        I am wondering whether the cyrus one may have been the better option or even the rega brio. I recall the cyrus for example definitely had alot of muscle and snap to the sound. In saying that the audiolab also has its own appealing qualities (very clear and refined sound).

        Curious to hear your thoughts on this.

        I should note that i have the option of returning the audiolab (though needs to be in next few days) and then buying an amp such as the cyrus one or the rega brio elsewhere.

        Slightly confused as what to do next so would appreciate any advice on this. Cheers.

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          18th January 2020 at 3:15 pm

          Hi Jay – quality speaker cables would be a big help, yes. Depends on your budget. Remind me, what source are you using please?

        • Reply
          Alexandre Perron
          13th February 2020 at 5:42 pm

          Hello Jay. Please excuse me for intervening, but I am considering pairing Q Acoustics 3050i with my Audiolab 6000a. Have you resolved your issue? I read elsewhere that the fact that the 3050i tweeter is located between the drivers as opposed to being on top of the latter does not help as the alignment with respect to your ears is different. Stupid question, but have you tried to lower your listening position to see if it makes a difference or not? Thanks.

  • Reply
    Jay
    20th January 2020 at 11:10 am

    Hello Paul.
    Apologies for the delay in replying. My source is all streaming (tidal), either from macbook or bluesound node 2i.
    Thanks

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      20th January 2020 at 11:46 am

      In terms of tackling the sound, the cables are a prime target. Do you have a budget figure in mind? Does the treble issue change at all when moving from Mac to the 2i? Yes, both the Rega and Cyrus would have leant more emphasis on the upper frequencies. Everyone has different ears and sonic bias that looks for different things in terms of music so, sure, its possible that they might be better options for you. For now, though, let’s try the cable, if you have time. You’ll need better cables anyhow.

  • Reply
    Marie Christine PAUSE
    8th April 2020 at 11:08 am

    Bonjour Mr Rigby,Voici mon systeme L’ampli Ampli Audiolab 6000 A- CD Marantz 6006- Enceintes Qacoustics 3050
    Quel cable de Modulation et cable haut-parleur me conseillez vous de procurer svp merci.
    Pause Christine.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      9th April 2020 at 10:43 am

      Salut Christine.
      Merci pour ta question. Quel est votre budget pour l’achat de câble proposé?

  • Reply
    Pause Marie -Cristine
    9th April 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you Paul.Alors pour le cable de modulation RCA moins de 400 euros
    cable haut-Parleur moins de 400 euros

  • Reply
    Marie Christine PAUSE
    9th April 2020 at 4:17 pm

    thank you very much Paul..et pour finir dans un budget raisonnable Quel cable alimentaton secteur pour Audiolab 6000A et lecteur Marantz cd 6006 please?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      9th April 2020 at 4:29 pm

      Voilà donc deux câbles – quel est le budget total pour ceux-ci?

  • Reply
    Marie-christine Pause
    9th April 2020 at 4:47 pm

    alors pour l’ampli Audiolab 600A moins de 300 euros et pour le cd Marantz cd 6006 moins de 300 euros également..bref tout en étant raisonnable vu la valeur de ces 2 produits; Merci Paul;sympa de votre part.

  • Reply
    Marie Christine PAUSE
    9th April 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Merci Paul mais..aie..aie..aie…ce sont des connecteurs USA mais chez moi je n’ai que des prises pour Schuko.;Quelle solution pouvez-vous m’apporter svp?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      11th April 2020 at 12:09 pm

      Contactez les entreprises individuelles et demandez-leur les terminaisons correctes

  • Reply
    Marie Christine PAUSE
    12th April 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Merci beaucoup Paul..Sympa de votre part pour vos conseils.Bonne continuation et merci de faire partager votre amour pour la Haute Fidélité.

  • Reply
    David
    7th May 2020 at 11:44 am

    Hi Paul, many thanks for all your great reviews!
    Would you match the Q Acoustics 3050i to the Naim Atom or are they too ‘budget’ for the expensive Atom?
    thanks!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      7th May 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Not at all, David – they would be a good fit.

  • Reply
    Ken
    13th May 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Hi John would my 100w Onkyo amp be enough to power these 3050i’s ?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      13th May 2020 at 5:18 pm

      As John seems to be indisposed 🙂 I’ll answer instead. Yes, you should be fine there.

      • Reply
        Kendeas Harris
        13th May 2020 at 5:31 pm

        Thank you very much

      • Reply
        Daren
        9th June 2020 at 12:57 pm

        Hi Paul

        Fantastic review and I found it very useful, detailed and informative.

        I have been considering these speakers for a while now, I’m looking to upgrade to some floor standers.
        What would be your thoughts on adding these to my amp below, and would they be worth upgrading from my current speakers.

        Yamaha R-N803 Network steaming amplifier.
        Chord C- Screen speaker cable
        Focal Aria 906

        Keep up the good work on the site.

        Many thanks

        Daren

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          9th June 2020 at 3:36 pm

          Hi Daren – yes, you have decent speakers there but the 3050i speakers would be a nice addition but I would consider upping the budget a touch to see some more improvement over what you already have and looking at these: https://theaudiophileman.com/monitor-audio-silver-300-speakers-review/

          Next? Consider a separate audiophile amplifier with a separate streamer to enhance the front end. The new speakers will also appreciate that upgrade.

  • Reply
    Daren Lumley
    9th June 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Paul

    Thanks for the reply.

    I do have the Monitor audio silver 300 in my list but was thinking that they might be too good for the Yamaha steaming amp I currently have.

    If I was to plump for the silver 300’s what sperate music streamer and amplifier would you recommend?

    I listen mainly to MQ tracks and albums from Tidal and the occasional CD.

    I also listen to net radio for back ground music if I’m busy doing chores.

    I’m happy to spend up to £1,500 or possibly stretch to £2,000 at a push for the Streamer and amp once I sell the Yamaha.
    And then potentially get the MA silver 300’s
    which I can pick up for around £1,250

    What would you recommend?

    Many thanks.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      10th June 2020 at 11:02 am

      You’re right – but I could say that about the Q Acoustics too. I assumed you were attached to your Yamaha. Some people get very possessive about their kit 🙂 If you’re more open minded then I would put the speaker upgrades on hold and upgrade your source first. I’d look at a Bluesound 2i for streaming and the like, for around £500. For an amp? Maybe the Cambridge CXA81, Rega Elicit-R, Leema Elements or a pre/power combo of Schiit Freya pre and Edge power amp.

  • Reply
    Dermot
    11th July 2020 at 11:50 am

    Hi Paul terrific review as always. I’ve had my eye on these a while now but they are ridiculously underpriced for what they do, especially now being a £100 cheaper!

    My question is, and I don’t mind asking you this as I’m sure you’re more than familiar with my speakers; they’re 26 years old and owned from the very start and still performing well. I give you the Castle Howard’s and their renowned sonics especially that bass. Would these Q Acoustic speakers knock them of their precarious throne in this technology advanced 21st century? Obviously they seem to be forgiving of less than perfect recordings and well balanced too so I’m sure the tweeter gets out of the way as it should without losing the important detail. But….what about the bass? Has it got heft and richness. My room size is 13×13.5×10.
    Thanks in advance…..

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      11th July 2020 at 7:39 pm

      Hi Dermot – it’s a tough call to compare the two to be honest. Firstly, because I have never given the Castles a proper test although I have heard them at a friend’s house and they sounded very rich and warm in his system. I would guess – and it is a guess I’m afraid – that the 3050i speakers would be more neutral in presentation. Bass is good for the price, it won’t be as controlled or as focused as a pair of £1k speakers, sure. But they’re a good choice if you want a floor stander at a low price.

  • Reply
    Dermot
    13th July 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks Paul! I’ve actually come up with another idea which I’m terrified of carrying out. I have two systems in the same room and I’m thinking of using a second pair of speakers with the other system when the mood takes me. All the better if the sound is ‘different’ but not necessarily better than my ‘main’ system. I can be a kid again with the Q Acoustics and more grown up with the Howard’s 😊

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      14th July 2020 at 11:29 am

      Hi Dermot – two systems in one room is fine and, if they represent a different tonal approach, a sensible one. I’ve thought about alternative systems too. In my case, the other systems wouldn’t be based on sound quality but, well, fun. Stuff I know is sonically compromised but, hey, who cares because I’d just enjoy using it. Time and space have put me off so far. Oh, cash too. I’ll get there, though. I keep looking at about 7 cassette decks… I’m in a tape mood.
      In short, don’t worry about it. Enjoy it.

  • Reply
    Andrew
    11th August 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Hello,

    have you had the opportunity to listen Wharfdale Linton’s 85 ?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      12th August 2020 at 10:40 am

      Not yet but I have heard good reports.

  • Reply
    Suhaib
    20th August 2020 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Paul! Hope you are well. How would you rate the Fyne Audio F303 compared to the 3050i?
    I just purchased the Rega Brio and how would both these speakers pair with it?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      21st August 2020 at 10:16 am

      I haven’t reviewed the Fyne speakers so please take these words with a certain pinch of salt. That said, when speaking to colleagues, I do hear about a slight bright edge to the treble. The 3050i speakers are quite balanced in comparison.

      • Reply
        Olivier
        14th October 2020 at 3:43 pm

        Hi Paul, I have the same question about the F303. I bought them when it was impossible to go for a listening session in a shop, and now I have doubts about mychoice based on recommendations. I’ev since been to a shop and listened to the 3050i that sounded terrific especially the soundstage. Mids and bass were great too, though I would say that they were maybe less dynamic and less direct and clean than the F303. Though, it was in an auditorium in the shop, the 3050i were properly installed and run out. The F303 sounded flat compared to them, but I think they were not run out properly (barely 15hrs).

        Have you had the chance to listen to the F303? And if so, what are your favourite speakers?

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          15th October 2020 at 9:56 am

          Hi Oliver – I’m afraid that I haven’t had a chance to listen to the F303 speakers in a ‘formal’ setting, to give an opinion, as it where.

          My favourite speakers of all time are Quad ESL-57s, with the One Thing panel mod added.

  • Reply
    Frank
    30th August 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Hi,

    Thanks for the review. How do these compare to the Q Acoustic Concept 40 speakers? Which would you say you would prefer or recommend for both music and movies, taking into account that a subwoofer would be paired with either? And which delivers the least cabinet resonance between the two? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      31st August 2020 at 8:44 am

      I haven’t compared the two so I can’t provide a definite answer on that I’m afraid, Frank. Both are excellent and highly regarded. If you’re unable to demo either/both would suggest looking for the better deal and going for that. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with either of them.

      • Reply
        Frank
        31st August 2020 at 11:25 am

        Okay, thanks Paul!

  • Reply
    Steve
    5th October 2020 at 11:42 am

    Hi Paul.
    I’m looking at a pair of 3050i,s but am concerned about the amp I’ll use, a NAD3020. I know it’s a bit long in the tooth, but will this be a bit underpowered, even allowing for the room they’ll all be in is 15ft x 11?
    They’ll be used at fairly low volume, (as working from home) but may consider moving into the lounge which is slightly bigger, at some stage.
    If I’m needing an upgrade, budget will be about £250-£300, so any recommendations, would be appreciated.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      5th October 2020 at 11:51 am

      I reckon you’ll be ok, Steve.

  • Reply
    Steve
    5th October 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Cheers Paul.
    That’s what I thought, just needed reassurance before splashing the cash!
    The NAD has ser ed me well and has so much sentimental value, be hard to say goodbye!
    If it ain’t broke………..

    • Reply
      Hari
      17th October 2020 at 7:34 am

      Hi Paul
      Nice review.
      How would Q3050i pair with Yamaha RX V585 Receiver, for my 16*20 feet living room.

      Regards

      • Reply
        Paul Rigby
        19th October 2020 at 10:51 am

        In techie terms, they should work well together, Hari.

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