Q Acoustics debuted its high-quality 3000i speaker series last year (2018). It showed up finished, complete with a variety of stand-mounter choices, a sizable tower, and some home theater–specific features. The 3030i has appeared suddenly and without much advance notice as yet another option.
All three stand mounters in the Q Acoustics series have received five-star reviews, so the 3030is have a lot to live up to.
Not surprisingly, Q Acoustics kept the same basic design for the 3030is that proved so fruitful with the previous model, expanding only the mid/bass driver and the size of the cabinet.
The larger mid/bass driver and cabinet promise well for bass extension, dynamic reach, and the potential to play louder, with the enclosure carrying 12.5 liters of capacity, more than double that of the 3020is (6.1 liters).
The 3030i’s 16.5cm (larger than the junior model’s 12.5cm) mid/bass is derived from the 3050i floorstanders and has been modified for usage in this configuration. At 2.4kHz, it switches to a 22mm dome tweeter.
All models use the same high-quality tweeter, which provides a smooth and detailed sound. However, in this case, it is isolated from the vibrations produced by the mid/bass unit by being decoupled from the front panel. This results in better detail and focus.
The cabinet retains the familiar look of the 3000i series family, so much so that it may be difficult to tell between the various stand mounters from a photograph alone.
It’s very deep to accommodate the additional volume, so if you’re short on floor space, smaller models may be preferable. The enclosure is internally braced for rigidity and properly damped to minimize enclosure resonances, just like the rest of the speakers in the range.
Leave some space between the back of the speaker and the wall behind it to ensure the rear-firing port can do its job.
We try several placements and are pleasantly surprised by the 3030is’ lack of hassle. The best results were achieved in our listening room with them placed 40 cm from the wall, however, they sounded reasonably neutral at closer distances as well. Slightly angling the speakers in the direction of the listener improves the stereo image, but the precise angle is not crucial.
Professional public speakers should be comfortable using a wide variety of audio and video gear. So that even a micro-system like Denon’s D-M41DAB can handle them and have adequate smoothness to sound excellent with low-bitrate music streaming, it is important that they be easy to drive.
However, these speakers should be able to shine when paired with sufficiently gifted electronics, such as a Rega Brio and a Planar 3 turntable, or a CD player and amplifier from Marantz’s 6006 series.
Once broken in, these cabinets provide a sound that is both recognizable and shockingly muscular compared to other stand mounters in the 3000i series. These, like the rest of the series, are remarkably unified in their performance, delivering a harmonious blend of tones and a relaxed demeanor.
When compared to competitors like the Dali Oberon 1s or the B&W 607s, the Qs offer a balanced, slightly muted, yet always entertaining performance.
Tchaikovsky’s Marché Slave, Op.31 is played, and the 3030is produces a grand, authoritative tone. The speakers provide a satisfying amount of low-end weight, as promised. This supplementary bass is smoothly incorporated and nicely managed, which is a pleasant surprise.
We really like how well these devices follow the soaring and plunging dynamics of the music, and how steady they remain under stress. When put through their paces, they perform admirably even at higher quantities than we had anticipated for a product of this price.
The 3030is’ ability to track many musical strands and portray low-level sounds in a crowded mix is particularly impressive when listening to Massive Attack’s Heligoland. In spite of the wealth of material they convey, their performances feel natural and cohesive.
They have a good sense of rhythm and are able to depict the ebb and flow of musical movement. All of this contributes to an extremely satisfying listening experience, one that kept us returning to track after track long after our testing was complete.
Adding the 3030is to the 3000i lineup was a great idea. All the qualities of their younger relatives are there, but with these, there is also a substantial amount of authority. You may confidently make a purchase here.