Q Acoustics M20 HD Wireless

Should we call Q Acoustics’ M20 proposition a neat and versatile pair of Bluetooth desktop speakers, or a complete high-resolution wireless music system? Q Acoustics would unquestionably prefer the latter, but bodily, two flexible boxes are what you’re getting.

Essentially, the M20 is a pair of powered audio system designed to work anyplace you are feeling like putting them – perched on a bookshelf or speaker stands; fixed to the wall; flanking your computer screen or your TV. They even have a lot of helpful connections at the back – TVs, CD players, turntables and laptops will also be wired to the M20 through optical, RCA line-level, aux and USB Type B connections, and there’s a subwoofer output if you wish to add one to the set-up. aptX HD Bluetooth is also onboard, meaning you'll wirelessly movement high-resolution audio (up to 24-bit/48kHz) to them from compatible gadgets. 

But should you? And will have to you imagine Q Acoustics’ M20 proposition at all? That is what we’re right here to find out.

Build

It’s no longer imaginable to take away the grilles from the entrance baffle of the M20 audio system, but if lets, we’d see a two-way design with 125mm mid/bass driving force and 22mm tweeter. One speaker within the pair is the mains-powered 'master' and feeds the other through a provided piece of speaker cable. In an additional nod to ease of use, the again of the master speaker features a switch allowing you to allocate it as either the left or right channel. 

The back of this grasp is the place you’ll find all inputs, switches and also the amplification, which is 130W in overall. The handiest options at the back of the slave speaker are a set of binding posts and the bass reflex port. 

As you’d be expecting, Q Acoustics has carried over some established engineering tactics found in its passive stereo speakers, together with P2P (Point to Point) inside bracing, which provides additional tension to the portions of the enclosure that the majority need to be stiffened, resulting in a quieter cupboard.

Q Acoustics M20 tech specs

Finishes x3 (black, walnut, white)

Cabinet sort Two-way reflex ported

Frequency reaction 55Hz - 22kHz

Crossover frequency 2.4kHz

Inputs Bluetooth 5.0 (with aptX, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, SBC, AAC), USB (24-bit/192kHz), optical (24-bit/192kHz), stereo RCA, 3.5mm

Power 2 x 65W

Dimensions (hwd) 279 x a hundred and seventy x 296mm (Eleven x 6.7 x 11.sixty five inches)

Weight 5.1kg (passive speaker), 5.5kg (powered speaker)

The machine's tonal steadiness will also be tuned relying on whether or not the speakers are placed in a nook, against a wall or in unfastened area, thanks to an additional transfer on the back of the master speaker which adjusts the bass response. And in case you want to place them flush towards a again wall (which you'll wish to, making an allowance for they’re 296mm deep – simply as deep as your average bookcase), Q Acoustics has even supplied foam bungs for the reflex ports, to lower the level of bass. It’s worth experimenting here with what works for you, for your explicit room, as a result of while you get it proper these speakers will praise you for it. We decide on placing them 20cm away from the back wall, angled in in opposition to our listening place, and leave the foam bungs in the packaging.

The black plastic casework of these audio system seems elegant and minimalist, slightly than devoid of aptitude – but they’re additionally to be had in a white or walnut finish. On the highest of the master speaker, you additionally get an influence button framed with an LED light (which glows other colors as you press it to scroll thru Bluetooth, optical, analogue and USB source options) flanked by way of premium-feeling quantity up and down buttons. 

The provided far flung is nicely designed and can be used for playback regulate, volume adjustment and converting audio assets, even though a trademark to register our button pushes would be welcome.

Provided you’re au fait with feeding the provided speaker cable through binding posts and tightening them (relatively than just sticking a 3.5mm cable plug into the back of each and every speaker, which you have to do you probably have the important connectors), set up is simple – and Bluetooth pairing couldn’t be more uncomplicated. 

Features

Although the M20 isn't a wireless enabled proposition (it can't strengthen wireless community streaming), the main promoting point over competitors at this price point is indisputably the pair of stereo RCA line-level inputs at the again of the master speaker, which permit us to bodily attach an acceptable supply, say a Bluesound Node streamer or Marantz CD6007 CD participant.

Now, if we need to pause aptX HD and aptX Low Latency Bluetooth streaming from our telephone to hear an album on Tidal from the Bluesound, we will be able to. And as soon as now we have connected a USB A-B cable from our pc to the master M20 speaker, we can watch the inside track on BBC iPlayer with levelled up stereo audio, too. Q Acoustics' M20 audio system are ultimately convenient and proceed to give quite a lot of choices on the other hand we believe the usage of them.

Sound

The closest five-star competition to the M20 machine that you could believe at this point is the Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 desktop speakers, but put the two pairs aspect by way of facet and the Ruark proposition is dwarfed through the Q Acoustics. It’s as though we’ve put a pair of full-sized hi-fi stereo standmounters beside a collection of Bluetooth desktop speakers – but consider, there’s only a small difference between these two propositions in relation to worth.

Sonically, too, the sound from the M20 feels fuller, louder and no more compressed. Where the Ruark product turns out to say “I’m supposed on your laptop” and without a doubt does a ideal process there, the M20 has larger ambitions. Certain desks would possibly in fact be too small for the Q Acoustic M20, but that is in the long run a just-add-source answer that is designed for max flexibility in your house. 

We circulate I’ll Be Around via Yo La Tengo on Tidal from our iPhone, and the textured walking bass, guitar choosing and sombre vocal comes thru with area across the notes and at volumes that easily cross loud sufficient even for greater rooms. 

We transfer to AC/DC’s Hells Bells and the correct speaker is all angry, snaking guitar, whilst the left brims with bells and cymbals in an expansive soundstage. As the drums kick in, the Q Acoustic M20 shows an excellent sense of timing too, with all musical strands held competently inside a cohesive mix. 

When streaming Masterjam by way of Rufus and Chaka Khan, we become especially aware that there’s a deliberate refinement to the presentation here, with an simply treated treble that, whilst provide and fulfilling, gained’t overexpose harshness in certain Bluetooth information and recordings. Chaka Khan’s easy and gloriously belted vocal right here is going up in the course of the rafters alongside the horns and electrical guitar, in a sensible and really listenable efficiency. 

Verdict

Q Acoustics has released an unfussy, just-add-source set of powered audio system that we discover inconceivable to dislike. With all of the amplification squirrelled away in the master speaker and the plethora of connectivity and location choices lined, the M20 is some distance much more likely to become your whole song device than it's simply your new desktop audio system – and for this cash, you’ll be onerous driven to higher the sound high quality with hi-fi separates. 

SCORES

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