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Q Acoustics has a deserved reputation for manufacturing speakers that combines a level of build quality and performance that’s far in excess of their price point. The new mid-range 5000 Series is a perfect example, trickling down innovations from the high-end Concept Series, while adding an improved driver design that offers better dispersion and smoother integration with the tweeter.

The result of all this sonic wizardry is a range of speakers that not only sound fantastic with music, but are balanced enough to work in harmony as part of a multichannel system for TV shows and movies. In addition to 5010 and 5020 bookshelf models, there’s a brace of floorstanders in the shape of the 5040 and 5050, along with the 5090 dedicated centre speaker.

While you can mix-and-match speakers as you see fit, Q Acoustics also offers a pair of 5.1 packages aimed at home cinema enthusiasts. There’s one based around four 5010 bookshelf units, the 5090 centre speaker, and QB12 subwoofer; while a second package swaps out two of the 5010s for a pair of 5040 floorstanders to add scale while pulling double duties with music. 


The Q Acoustics 5040 speaker package immediately reveals the kind of high-frequency smoothness and well-mannered midrange for which the brand is best known. While these speakers might lack the attack of some competitors, the balanced soundstage they present makes them ideal allrounders that manage to sound lively and fun with just about any material.

What obviously differentiates this Q Acoustics speaker package from the one based on 5010s is the inclusion of the 5040s at the front. It might comes as a surprise, but even multichannel mixes are primarily focused at the front, with the rears largely being used for surround effects. As a result, the larger floorstanding speakers add greater scale and impact to the front soundstage.

The 5040 floorstanders are as good with music as they are with movies, demonstrating a clean delivery, detailed frequency range, and a full-bodied bass response without needing help from the QB12 subwoofer. Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here sounds fantastic, whether it’s the epic guitar chords at the start of ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ or the acoustic intimacy of the title track.

The ‘drum dance’ sequence in House of Flying Daggers reveals a cohesive 5.1 system that’s tonally balanced thanks to the use of identical tweeters and drivers, and tight at the low-end thanks to the marriage of the 5040s and the QB12. The C-Cubed drivers add extra width to the overall dispersion, allowing pebbles to bounce seamlessly from drum to drum around the room.

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is the perfect test of a 5.1 system’s ability to add scale to a soundtrack thanks to a mix that combines extensive dynamic range with prodigious amounts of bass. The Trinity test is the standout sequence in this regard, with the two 5040s, the 5090 centre speaker, and the QB12 sub all combining to create a powerful and cohesive front shockwave.

The 5040s (and 5010s for that matter) might have a decent low frequency response, but it’s the QB12 that fills in everything below 50Hz. It might be a relatively simple subwoofer, but it gives an excellent account of itself when it comes to extending the bass response, and also integrates seamlessly the floostanders to deliver low frequency effects that hit you in the chest at times.

Somewhat surprisingly for a film about the development of the atomic bomb, large parts of it take place in a small meeting room. This is where the 5.1 system does a great job of creating a believable three-dimensional space, with chatter and echoes around you. The relatively large 5090 melds well with the 5040s, bridging the front soundstage and clearly delivering all the dialogue.


The Q Acoustics 5000 Series speakers all use a bass reflex design with rear-facing circular ports, and 18mm MDF construction, apart from the front baffles which use 25mm HDF (high density fibreboard). The baffles are laminated with a layer of rubber and include an acrylic trim to provide damping that suppresses cabinet vibrations, while magnetic fixings lock the drivers in place.

The 25mm fabric dome tweeter is based on innovations first introduced on the brand’s higher end Concept models, and is hermetically sealed and mechanically isolated from the speaker baffle – although it uses a more cost-effective housing. In addition there’s a vented rear chamber designed to reduce distortion around the crossover point between the tweeter and driver.

Speaking of the mid/bass drivers, the 5000 series debuts Q Acoustics’ new C3 (or C-Cubed) Continuous Curved Cone design. This combines the bass benefits of a traditional straight cone shape with the frequency control of a flared one. The brand claims this widens the dispersion, while simultaneously improving the frequency response for smoother integration with the tweeter.

There’s also Point-2-Point internal cabinet bracing across all speakers in the 5000 Series, while the 5040 floorstander filters down additional innovations introduced further up the range such as internal Helmholtz Pressure Equaliser (HPE) tubes, which help tune the bass output. In addition, the latter includes solid aluminium stabilisers that feature top adjustable spikes for easier levelling.

The overall design is clean and contemporary, with curved edges, magnetic black fabric grilles and a level of build quality we’ve come to expect from Q Acoustics. The same goes for the brand’s attention to detail, with an eye-catching silver ‘Q’ logo on the front, and the brand’s low-profile multi-way binding posts around the back for closer placement to the wall if necessary.

All the 5000 speakers are available separately in a choice of matte black, matte white, oak and rosewood finishes, but the two 5.1 speaker packages only offer the black or white options.

The QB12 subwoofer also offers a choice of gloss black or white if bought separately, and is a highly capable bass-maker thanks to its 12in long-throw driver and 220W of rated amplification. Q Acoustics claims a frequency response that goes down to a respectable 28Hz, and as a result it makes a great partner for the 5040 floorstanders, taking over the heavy-lifting at the lower end.

Installation is a doddle, with these speakers proving extremely flexible and forgiving when it comes to placement. However they perform best when given a degree of space to breathe in, and Q Acoustics recommend placing the speakers 25cm from a wall and 50cm from corners. Given this is a 5.1 system that shouldn’t be difficult as they need to be spaced around the room anyway.

The 5040s obviously handle the main left and right channels, the 5090 speaker sits under your screen, and the QB12 is probably best placed at the front of the room. The 5010s are at the rear on surround duties, with optional stands and wall brackets available should you need them. The floorstanders and sub also come with rubber covers and feet to protect wooden flooring.

The 5000 Series is surprisingly easy to drive, with even the bigger 5040s proving accommodating with less capable amplifiers. Of course the more power you have available the better the overall performance, and if you drive the system hard you’ll be rewarded with a composed soundstage that’s able to shift smoothly from kitten’s breath to nuclear detonation with a nimble elegance.


The Q Acoustics has done it again, somehow managing to conjure up a range of speakers that combine contemporary design, solid build quality and an elegant finish with some cutting-edge sonic innovations to deliver a superior level of performance without breaking the bank.

The 5040 5.1 speaker package takes all these strengths and mixes them together into a system that’s tonally balanced and tightly controlled at the low-end thanks to the addition of a capable subwoofer. The centre speaker ensures clear dialogue, with the front floorstanders add scale.

The result is an accomplished multichannel setup that sounds great with music, TV shows and movies, while also being able to handle an array of different rooms and configurations. If you’re looking for a solid but affordable 5.1 system to begin your home cinema journey look no further.


Wish You Were Here (Blu-ray)

Pink Floyd’s follow-up to Dark Side of the Moon may have had a troubled production, but all that time in the studio resulted in a recording that’s full of complex arrangements, sound effects, and crystal clear instrumentation. There’s even a multichannel mix based on the old quad release from the ‘70s, which this 5.1 system handled with great aplomb.

House of Flying Daggers (Blu-ray)

This Chinese ‘wuxia’ flick has graced countless demos thanks to its famous sequence where pebbles are flicked at drums placed in a circle, and then a blind dancer hits the same drums with a weighted scarf. It’s the perfect test of a system’s ability to seamlessly steer effects from speaker-to-speaker while delivering tight and controlled bass.

Oppenheimer (4K Disc)

Christopher Nolan prefers a traditional 5.1 mix to newfangled Dolby Atmos immersion, and the result is a soundtrack with clearly delineated effects, extensive dynamic range, and bass that’s not afraid to mine the depths when necessary. The results test every aspect of a system: from dialogue clarity and effects steering to bass delivery and scale.

What the press say

Why you should buy it

This impressive and affordable 5.1 speaker package ticks all the boxes with its contemporary design, excellent build quality, and accomplished performance. The inclusion of innovations from the flagship Concept range, along with the new C-Cubed driver design, ensure a composed and balanced delivery, but it’s the awesome 5040 floorstanders that are the real headliners.

Video review

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