Q Acoustics Q Active 200 Speaker System Review & Comments

Devonshire

Active Member
Many thanks for the review. Really interesting product, but not sure about the design. They really do look like speed cameras!

Do you like the hub implementation over having one of the speakers house all the inputs? I was looking at the Wharfedale Diamond A1 the other day and while they are well reviewed, they receive some criticism because they have a similar hub system. Too many boxes and cables was the general opinion. However, I can see the appeal as you can hide the hub and therefore the cables behind something.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Hi. Good review, Ed.
Sounds like this is very problematicly priced. If I'm reading the review correctly, it sounds like I could buy QA Concept 20's (just to pick one of their own products) and a Quad Vena 2 Play, have better sound, better connections, use fewer plugs and a similar amount of space and have a significant chunk of change for other stuff. Record player/CD player/records etc.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Other reviews have been less kind about the sound quality and I find a mark of 8/10 difficult to believe when the review for the PMC Twenty5 23i was rated at 9/10 for the same. Are those two products that close in sound quality?
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Other reviews have been less kind about the sound quality and I find a mark of 8/10 difficult to believe when the review for the PMC Twenty5 23i was rated at 9/10 for the same. Are those two products that close in sound quality?

No because the 23i is judged relative to being a nigh on four grand floorstander (requiring at least another two grand's worth of stuff to function) and the Active 200 is judged as a £1,500 all-in-one. Scoring is not absolute across every category and price point and it never has been.

If I'm reading the review correctly, it sounds like I could buy QA Concept 20's (just to pick one of their own products) and a Quad Vena 2 Play, have better sound, better connections, use fewer plugs and a similar amount of space and have a significant chunk of change for other stuff. Record player/CD player/records etc.

You could do that and Q Acoustics would be happy to make that sale too. This comes out the box and works as a self-contained unit though. It suffers from looking like one thing and being another which is where I think some scoring decisions elsewhere come in. Look at it as a Mu-So2 competitor, looking for a similar clientele and it makes much more sense.
 

meduk1

Active Member
Was interested in these since the preview several months ago. Really interesting review Ed.

I'd think something like the KEF LSX would also be competitors here?

I personally went for a more traditional passive speaker / amp combo for my connected 2.0 system I've just bought, but would have seriously given these some consideration if widely available at the time. I'm not sure I would have gotten over the looks of them though!
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Look at it as a Mu-So2 competitor
I take your point, but still to mine, the Naim will sit on a side board, work top or desk, so I'm not sure it's like for like. This only works for me if the sound quality is A+. The fact that it's not suggests that you're better off spending your money on a quality midrange, just add speakers box and some good bookshelves. £1500 is a lot of money for what sounds like average sound quality, but without the space saving you get from Ruark, Naim etc.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I take your point, but still to mine, the Naim will sit on a side board, work top or desk, so I'm not sure it's like for like. This only works for me if the sound quality is A+. The fact that it's not suggests that you're better off spending your money on a quality midrange, just add speakers box and some good bookshelves. £1500 is a lot of money for what sounds like average sound quality, but without the space saving you get from Ruark, Naim etc.

I don't think you do take the point though. As noted in the review, the stands are optional and the speakers can sit on a shelf or sideboard if you wish. As the hub doesn't need to be connected to speakers or line of sight, it can be stuffed anywhere you want. When you compare the footprint of the two speakers versus a Mu-So2 or Ruark, it's much less clear cut- and if a TV is involved, the Q Acoustics is probably more suitable because they go either side rather than needing to be above or below. As the hub can technically be powered off the USB out of a TV, it's also not a given that you need a third mains socket too.

Assembling a system- even if it is just box and speakers does of course give greater flexibility but it's a different proposition in convenience terms to a device that lights up when you turn the TV on and just syncs up automatically.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
but it's a different proposition in convenience terms to a device that lights up when you turn the TV on and just syncs up automatically
Fair enough. Just one of those products that isn't for me. I assume there is a market though, or they wouldn't have made it.
 

Devonshire

Active Member
Fair enough. Just one of those products that isn't for me. I assume there is a market though, or they wouldn't have made it.
There's definitely a market. I'd love to buy these, just not at £1500. Hence why I'm looking at the Wharfedale Diamond A1. I'm just unsure whether they sound any good.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
There's definitely a market. I'd love to buy these, just not at £1500. Hence why I'm looking at the Wharfedale Diamond A1. I'm just unsure whether they sound any good.
Sure. I'm not anti all in one powered speakers. Quite interested in fact. The wharfdale's look good value, assuming they sound ok.
 

Paul7777x

Member
I’m very much an active speaker fellow, but these things leave me cold.

Especially those stands :blush:

A Node 2i (or even a WXC-50) and a pair of these with real stands is the same price for instance.


As are these...


And so many others.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
I generally really like q acoustics, and also within reason the looks don't bother me. This set though have gotten poor sound quality reviews mostly elsewhere. I do get this is all personal, but I'd be cautious about these ones
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I honestly feel that this thread has the answer to why some other reviews have wound up were they did. The issue is also of Q Acoustics' own making too. If (as they've done), you say, "we've made a pair of active speakers", people automatically (and completely justifiably) think of some of the things @Paul7777x linked to (or the KEF LSX which is, in fairness, conceptually closer but with poorer connectivity a terrible app and less stable wireless comms). The thing is, it isn't really a rival to those.

Now, if Q Acoustics had said "We've leveraged what we do to make something we feel is better than a Naim Mu-So 2"... well, it isn't anything like as interesting a product release but it does more accurately assess what they were shooting for. This is a one box rival. It works as a one box and it should be judged as a one box (with the caveat it comes in three). If other publications did that, (which, in fairness means ignoring a fair bit of Q Acoustics' own product literature) I suspect the conclusions reached would be different.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
I honestly feel that this thread has the answer to why some other reviews have wound up were they did. The issue is also of Q Acoustics' own making too. If (as they've done), you say, "we've made a pair of active speakers", people automatically (and completely justifiably) think of some of the things @Paul7777x linked to (or the KEF LSX which is, in fairness, conceptually closer but with poorer connectivity a terrible app and less stable wireless comms). The thing is, it isn't really a rival to those.

Now, if Q Acoustics had said "We've leveraged what we do to make something we feel is better than a Naim Mu-So 2"... well, it isn't anything like as interesting a product release but it does more accurately assess what they were shooting for. This is a one box rival. It works as a one box and it should be judged as a one box (with the caveat it comes in three). If other publications did that, (which, in fairness means ignoring a fair bit of Q Acoustics' own product literature) I suspect the conclusions reached would be different.
I read all your reviews Ed and love your practical and real world explanations. I respectfully though cant agree with this. It's a high end stereo pair of speakers that needs to be competitive with a stereo of similar pricing
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I read all your reviews Ed and love your practical and real world explanations. I respectfully though cant agree with this. It's a high end stereo pair of speakers that needs to be competitive with a stereo of similar pricing

For why I disagree with that, let's look at it a different way.

I have a budget of £1,500. I need the following features;
HDMI ARC,
Phono Stage
UPnP
Roon readiness
AirPlay 2
Chromecast
Voice control compatible

If you secure me that functionality in the partnering electronics, (which you'll need with an amplifier of some description to drive a normal pair of speakers), we can see how much budget is left for the passive speakers and see how they stack up. We can start (I hope) by agreeing that the budget available for those speakers won't be £1,500. Equally, if your response is "well, I don't need those features," as we've already covered, Q Acoustics is only too happy to sell you a normal pair of speakers. It does mean you aren't the target market for this though.

This is an all-in-one system. It has been appraised as such. I agree that due to its appearance and odd marketing, it's a mental leap to see it as one but that's what it is.
 

Paul7777x

Member
I honestly feel that this thread has the answer to why some other reviews have wound up were they did. The issue is also of Q Acoustics' own making too. If (as they've done), you say, "we've made a pair of active speakers", people automatically (and completely justifiably) think of some of the things @Paul7777x linked to (or the KEF LSX which is, in fairness, conceptually closer but with poorer connectivity a terrible app and less stable wireless comms). The thing is, it isn't really a rival to those.

Now, if Q Acoustics had said "We've leveraged what we do to make something we feel is better than a Naim Mu-So 2"... well, it isn't anything like as interesting a product release but it does more accurately assess what they were shooting for. This is a one box rival. It works as a one box and it should be judged as a one box (with the caveat it comes in three). If other publications did that, (which, in fairness means ignoring a fair bit of Q Acoustics' own product literature) I suspect the conclusions reached would be different.

I’m also a fan of your articles Ed.

But... the Muso is a one box job.

And the Qs are, as you’ve said, three boxes.

Stereo speakers, with a source box.

So are the ones I alluded to.

The Node being much more flexible except for the HDMI which may or may not be something of a white elephant in this particular market sector.
 

Paul7777x

Member
This is an all-in-one system. It has been appraised as such. I agree that due to its appearance and odd marketing, it's a mental leap to see it as one but that's what it is.
Whilst I still love you Ed, if that’s the case, then every set of active speakers with an adequate source box is an all in one system.

Which of course it is.

Including the two I mentioned as quick examples, and a few dozen more.

I’m sure the Qs will sell. They appear to be a successful company.

But, personally, and only that, I’d take actives from (again) as an example , Hedd, Dynaudio, Focal, or Genelec and something like the Node or the Yamaha.
 

Paul7777x

Member
Ps, on an entirely seperate note and having bugger all to do with the sound... £350 for four sticks is breathtaking.

Wish I had the nerve.
 

muljao

Well-known Member

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
So are the ones I alluded to.

The Node 2i can't be used as a hub as it has no preout. The Yamaha can but that still leaves you with no HDMI (so no auto start), no Roon and no voice control. It has to be wired to the speakers. So, when you say;

Whilst I still love you Ed, if that’s the case, then every set of active speakers with an adequate source box is an all in one system.


You know as well as I do, that's not the case. This is not simply an argument over outright sound quality- I'm sure the Dynaudios in particular will do a fine job- but the manner of how it does it that matters too. From a purist perspective having a device that turns on when you power up the TV or when you yell at it isn't critical but for many people it is. The moment you mix and match, a significant chunk of that seamlessness is lost.

No less pertinent to describing the Active 200 as an all-in-one is that none of the three boxes will do anything at all independent of the others which would suggest that it is a single system by any reasonable definition of the term.

£350 for the stands is audacious though. On that I will broker no argument.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
I think if they sounded wonderful everybody would be ok with it. £1500 for really good speakers, with good connectivity would be fine. However, yours and several other reviews point to decidedly meh sound quality. it feels like QA have put the cart before the horse here.
 

Paul7777x

Member
There's definitely a market. I'd love to buy these, just not at £1500. Hence why I'm looking at the Wharfedale Diamond A1. I'm just unsure whether they sound any good.

I’m pretty sure the Wharfedales will be pretty good, they (Wharfedale) have a fine reputation.

They use a small mid-bass though an are not active speakers if that’s what you’re after.

You might care to look at these


 

Paul7777x

Member
The Node 2i can't be used as a hub as it has no preout. The Yamaha can but that still leaves you with no HDMI (so no auto start), no Roon and no voice control. It has to be wired to the speakers. So, when you say;




You know as well as I do, that's not the case. This is not simply an argument over outright sound quality- I'm sure the Dynaudios in particular will do a fine job- but the manner of how it does it that matters too. From a purist perspective having a device that turns on when you power up the TV or when you yell at it isn't critical but for many people it is. The moment you mix and match, a significant chunk of that seamlessness is lost.

No less pertinent to describing the Active 200 as an all-in-one is that none of the three boxes will do anything at all independent of the others which would suggest that it is a single system by any reasonable definition of the term.

£350 for the stands is audacious though. On that I will broker no argument.

I find it hard to believe that anyone would choose a hifi based on whether or not it turns on with the telly.

But then I thought again... I think I know a couple of people who might well...

Ps, the Node can indeed be used as a pre/amp Ed, the phono outputs can be set to fixed or variable.
 

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