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Q Acoustics is a British manufacturer who has built a reputation for producing speakers that sound fantastic but won’t break the bank. The 3050i surround sound cinema pack is the perfect example of this philosophy, delivering superior sonic performance at a very affordable price.

This 5.1-channel system uses technology first introduced on the brand’s high-end Concept 500 speaker, and is based around the 3050i floorstander, 3090Ci dedicated centre speaker, 3010i bookshelf speaker on surround duties, and the slimline 3060S subwoofer to handle the grunt end.

Sound Quality

The Q Acoustics 3050i cinema pack is an engaging and dynamic system, and despite its name proves just as capable with music as with movies. This added capability is largely thanks to those impressive floorstanders at the front that not only add musicality but also create an expansive soundstage, and some excellent stereo imaging.

The inclusion of a dedicated centre speaker ensures dialogue remains clear and focused on the screen, while the overall delivery from all the speakers is wonderfully detailed. The matching tweeters and woofers result in a cohesive and tonally balanced sound field, so all the speakers blend seamlessly with one another.

This allows audio effects to be steered from speaker to speaker without sounding noticeably different, and if you feed these speakers some serious power the result is an epic sense of scale that lends itself to today’s cinema blockbusters. Crank up the volume and this system remains composed, but it’s equally assured at more sociable volumes.

The slimline subwoofer is the only real weak link in this system, and although it’s flexible, inconspicuous, and lays down a solid foundation of bass, it does lack the ability to mine those serious low-end depths. However, this one complaint aside, you won’t find a more capable 5.1-channel speaker package for the money.

Living with the 3050i system

The Q Acoustics 3050i cinema pack is built around a pair of 3050i floorstanders with a 22mm tweeter and a pair of 165mm woofers. The resulting frequency range is impressive going from 44Hz to 30kHz. The tweeter is isolated to reduce any vibrations from the woofer, which in turn has also been designed to eliminate resonances and improve accuracy.

All the speakers in the system sport precision cut cabinets with double thickness baffles, and improved internal bracing for a more rigid enclosure. The 3050i also employs HPE (Helmholtz Pressure Equaliser) technology, which is essentially a pipe connecting the highest and lowest pressures within the cabinet, thus equalising the pressure and improving bass performance.

The 3090Ci centre speaker uses the same 22mm tweeter as the floorstander, along with a pair of 100mm woofers either side, and two bass ports at the rear. This speaker is designed to handle dialogue in a focused fashion, while also matching the overall tone of the floorstanders.

The 3010i is a bookshelf speaker with a two-way reflex design, and the same 22mm tweeter and 100mm driver as the centre speaker. The 3010i handles the rear channels, and since all these speakers use the same tweeters and woofers, the system sounds cohesive and tonally balanced.

Finally the 3060S slimline subwoofer generates the low frequencies using a ported cabinet with a side-firing 200mm driver powered by 150W of built-in amplification built-in. As a result this boom box is capable of delivering bass down to a respectable 35Hz.

These speakers look more expensive than they actually are thanks to solid build quality, eye-catching curved cabinets and chrome bezels around the drivers. There are low profile binding posts at the rear, bass ports with foam bungs, and magnetic black fabric grilles on the front.

There’s a choice of Arctic White, Carbon Black, Graphite Grey, or English Walnut finishes, although whichever you choose the price is the same. All the speakers (and sub) come with spiked feet, along with rubber caps for those who don’t want to damage their floors, and the floorstanders also have outrigger plinths at the rear for added stability.

Listening notes

Almost Famous.

This nostalgic (and partly true) story of an aspiring rock journalist’s experiences on tour with an up-and-coming band is chockfull of classic seventies bangers, but it’s during the unforgettable scene where our weary troubadours sing along to Tiny Dancer that these speakers really shine.

1917

This powerful war film is the perfect way to demo the cinema pack’s cohesion and tonal balance because it was shot to create the illusion it’s one continuous take, with highly directional sound effects that should seamlessly move from speaker-to-speaker as they follow the roving camera.

Interstellar

This mind-blowing space adventure is a great reminder that a well-mixed 5.1 soundtrack can still impress, even in these days of immersive audio. The scene where our heroes struggle to break free from the gravitational pull of a black hole uses all the speakers and sub to rattle your senses.

What the press say

Why you should buy it

The Q Acoustics 3050i speakers are able to handle both movies and music with undeniable skill thanks to the two floorstanders at the heart of this impressive system. They deliver power, depth and musicality, while the dedicated centre speaker ensures clear and focused dialogue. The two bookshelf speakers create the surround channels with precision and skill, and the 3060S subwoofer handles the heavy lifting at the lower frequencies with some nice bass extension.

The speakers produce a cohesive and tonally balanced soundstage, primarily thanks to the use of identical tweeters and woofers throughout. The system as whole is capable of an energetic delivery with plenty of scale, so this awesome cinema pack is sure to impress. The only real weakness is the sub’s lack of serious depth, but its slimline proportions make it easier to install. Otherwise this is another winning system from a company that continues delivers year after year.

Video review

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