About the Q Acoustics M20 HD Wireless Music System
Hi-fi made affordable
Hi-fi made affordable
Q Acoustics are no strangers to great sound. The company made the M20 HD powered speakers as an affordable solution for hi-fi music lovers. This stereo pair uses powerful drivers, clean Class D amplification, and a potent Bluetooth chip to make your favorite albums or movies come to life. These versatile speakers offer loads of connections and ways to get sound going, too, so don't be shy when it comes to sources.
High-quality Bluetooth streaming
These powered speakers have Bluetooth 5.0 built-in and support aptX® HD for high-res wireless streams up to 24-bit/48kHz. That means you can stream high-quality sources like TIDAL, Qobuz, Deezer, or any high-res tracks from your smartphone and still maintain fidelity.
A vibration-damping cabinet
Everything about the M20 HD speakers was built to provide the best possible sound. Their cabinets use Q Acoustics' award winning P2P™ (Point-to-Point) internal bracing, designed to add extra stiffness and support to parts of the cabinet that need it most. It helps eliminate internal standing waves and cabinet distortion, giving you clean, transparent stereo sound. Even the grilles help improve the sound. Their sleek contours help with tweeter dispersion and keep baffle reflections to a minimum.
An X-ray look inside the M20 HD, showing the drivers and unique cabinet bracing
Mounted inside the cabinets, there's a 7/8" tweeter and a 4-15/16" mid/bass driver. The tweeter is decoupled from the cabinet to minimize internal vibrations that muddy sound. It provides wide, even high-frequency dispersion. The drivers are powered by a 65-watt x 2 Class D amplifier that's built into the active speaker. The cabinet also has a rear-firing port to help deepen the bass response. Altogether, the drivers deliver rich, dynamic sound with nuanced lows, crisp highs, and articulate midrange.
Connections and controls
One speaker has the amplifier, digital-to-analog converter, and physical input connections while the other is passive. The only connection you'll need to make if you're looking to get jamming right away is a single run of speaker wire (included in the box) between the left and right speaker.
The back of the active speaker has a plethora of connections for your TV, turntable, CD player, and more. It features a stereo RCA input and 3.5mm aux input for analog sources, an optical digital input, and a USB Type-B input for your computer. The onboard DAC supports up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution from your digital sources. There's also a subwoofer output on the back if you'd like to connect an external powered sub and really shake the room.
The active speaker also features a nifty switch that lets you tell the speaker whether it's the left or right speaker. There's another switch that tells it if it's placed in an open space, near a wall, or in a corner. The amplifier's internal digital signal processor/EQ then takes that info and tweaks the sound accordingly to ensure the speaker provides optimal sound no matter where you place it.
I'm no stranger to Q Acoustics' sound, as I'd auditioned their flagship Q Active 200 powered speakers back in 2021. When I saw that they were releasing a “little brother” version, the M20 HD, and saw the incredibly affordable price it had, the company sure had my attention. I was sent a pair of the M20 HDs to try out, and what a joy they have been.
The speakers were ridiculously easy to set up. I plugged the “main” speaker (which houses a two-channel amplifier) into a wall outlet, ran the included speaker wire from the “main” speaker to the passive speaker, and turned the system on. Pairing my phone to the speakers via Bluetooth was seamless and took just a few seconds.
I was curious to see how these speakers performed on a female vocal track. The best one I could think of was a stripped-down version of LiSA's “Gurenge.” What's special about this version is that it was recorded in a single take and features almost no instruments, save a backing piano. It's about as barebones as you can get for a song, and that really lets the vocals shine — in all their imperfect glory
Thankfully, LiSA is a fantastic singer, and the M20 HDs are remarkably good at resolving detail. The attack and decay of her frequent trips into the higher register were accurate and lifelike. The speakers showed me that her voice featured a unique texture that I hadn't really picked up on before. The subtleties and inflections that make the performance so great came through clearly.
The backing piano was also a delight to hear on the ‘M20s. It was crisp and defined, but noticeably placed behind LiSA in the soundstage. Its low notes carried plenty of punch.
A precise soundstage
Next up was an “Devil We Know” by Lily & Madeline. The duo are sisters who have been practicing music since they were young, and they've garnered the ability to harmonize flawlessly, almost to the point where you're not sure if you're hearing a single singer or multiple. I've heard this song probably hundreds of times through lots of headphones and speakers, and the M20 HDs put the sisters' talent on full display.
The thing that struck me most was that the speakers provided exceptional separation of their individual voices. They were also able to show me that Lily was sitting slightly behind and to the right of Madeline, singing in a lower register while playing her guitar. My mind was blown, considering I've heard speakers costing more that weren't as pinpoint-precise.
Getting in the groove
I wanted to see how the speakers performed on a groovy pop track, so I queued up “Butter” by the K-pop band BTS. The lead bass and snares landed with crisp snaps and punches. The bass output of the M20s was perfect in my medium-sized living room, often making me stare down my subwoofer to make sure it was off. These won't shake your couch, but they do a killer job.
Me being myself, I had to finish off my listening session with a metal song. Ready to rock out, I started playing “Sun Killer” by Spiritbox. The song starts with syncopating bass notes before the acoustic drums come in with a tasty fill.
The drums were tight and clear, with snares, toms, and cymbals coming through without hesitance and going away before overstaying their welcome. Courtney LaPlante's soft voice carries the track, and yet again the ‘M20s showed a delightful amount of vocal texture. When the crescendo came in (which I'm totally not singing as I'm writing this), it really landed.
I was met with a barrage of heavy guitars, drums, and bass, and the M20s didn't let up for even a second. Even when the song was cooling down, the drivers remained articulate and accurate until the very end. Color me impressed that a $600 pair of speakers could rock that hard.
- powered bookshelf speakers
- 7/8" decoupled tweeter
- 5" mid/bass woofer
- bass reflex (ported) cabinet with rear firing port
- proprietary Point-to-Point (P2P) cabinet bracing adds extra rigidity and stiffness to the cabinet while eliminating standing waves and minimizing internal vibrations
- 65 watts x 2 Class D amplifier built into one speaker
- frequency response: 55-22,000 Hz
- two rear switches on active speaker for setting speaker location and left/right designation
- internal DSP will tweak the sound of the speakers based on their location to ensure optimal sound quality
- built-in Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD support for wireless high-res music streaming
Rear-panel connections (active speaker):
- stereo RCA input for an analog source
- 3.5mm auxiliary input for a wired connection to a compatible phone or portable audio player
- optical digital input for connecting a gaming console or CD player (max. supported sample rate: 24-bit/192kHz)
- USB Type-B input for connecting a computer (max. supported sample rate: 24-bit/192kHz)
- mono RCA subwoofer output for connecting an external subwoofer
- speaker wire output for connecting the passive speaker
- remote control included
- included speaker wire for connecting passive speaker to powered speaker
- optical digital audio cable included
- dimensions (measured by Crutchfield): 6-11/16"W x 10-15/16"H x 12-3/16"D
- weight: 11.25 lbs. (passive speaker); 12.2 lbs. (powered speaker)
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # QA7612U
What's in the box:
- Powered speaker
- Passive speaker
- 6' AC power cord
- Remote control
- 2 "AAA" batteries
- 13' Speaker wire
- 59" Optical digital cable
- 2 Foam port plugs
- Owner's Manual
Q Acoustics M20 HD Wireless Music System reviews
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More details on the Q Acoustics M20 HD Wireless Music System
Features & specs
|Tweeter Size (Inches)||0.875|
|Tweeter Material||Not given|
|Midrange Size (Inches)||---|
|Woofer Size (Inches)||5|
|Woofer Type||Not given|
|Watts RMS (Continuous)||128|
|Watts Maximum (Peak)||Not given|
|Max. Digital Audio Bit Depth||24-bit|
|Max. Digital Audio Sample Rate||192 kHz|
|Control by app||N/A|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
M20 HD Wireless Music System: The Q Acoustics M20 is an active wireless music system designed to deliver powerful and immersive stereo sound for music, movies and gaming. The M20 consists of two stereo bookshelf speakers. One of the bookshelf speakers is self-powered with a built-in amplifier, as well as contains all of the system's analog and digital source inputs. The other bookshelf speaker is passive and connects to the powered bookshelf speaker via the included 13' length of speaker wire. Using a switch on the back panel of the powered speaker, you are able to designate the powered speaker as either the left or right channel.
Advanced Driver & Amplifier Design: Whether listening to music, watching a movie or playing a game, the M20's advanced driver technology is designed to produce accurate and highly immersive stereo sound wit low distortion. Powered by a built-in amplifier providing 128 watts of Class D amplification, each speaker receives 64 watts of power to its 2-way driver array (32 watts to each tweeter and 32 watts to each woofer).
- 0.875" Tweeter: Each speaker features a 0.875" dome tweeter that is decoupled to minimize any internal vibrations that can adversely affect the audio for crisp, clear highs that create a wide dispersion of stereo sound.
- 5" Woofer: Each speaker also houses a 5" cone mid/bass driver in a bass reflex enclosure with a rear-firing reflex port that combine to deliver well-balanced sound with detailed midrange and dynamic bass.
Note: If the speaker system's bass is too "boomy", you can insert the two supplied foam plugs into the rear ports to "tighten" the bass response.
P2P (Point to Point) Cabinet Technology: Featuring award-winning cabinet technology, every element of the M20's enclosure design is specified to deliver an optimal audio performance. The beautifully sculpted cabinet uses Q Acoustics' proprietary P2P (Point to Point) bracing to support the parts of the enclosure that need to be stiffened. The result is an exceptionally rigid cabinet that eliminates internal standing waves to improve the focus of the stereo image and give the soundstage more accuracy than ever before. The grille's curved contours are also designed to disperse any tweeter activity, keeping unwanted reflections to a minimum (the grill is not removable).
Bluetooth 5.0: The Q Acoustic M20 HD wireless music system features built-in Bluetooth 5.0 with support for wireless audio streaming (A2DP) and control (AVRCP). You'll be able to wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content from your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to the speaker system. You'll also be able to control basic playback functions (Play/Pause, Previous/Next Track, Volume Up/Down) from the included IR remote. You can pair multiple source devices with the speaker system, but only one device can be used at a time for playback. It will automatically connect with the last connected device when the system's Bluetooth input is selected. It supports a variety of Bluetooth audio codes including SBC (Sub-Band Coding), AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), aptX, aptX HD, and aptX LL (Low Latency) codecs.
- SBC: The SBC (Sub-Band Coding) is Bluetooth's standard audio codec that is universally compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices. SBC supports up to 320kbps.
- AAC: AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) is a step-up from Bluetooth's standard SBC codec and is Apple's standard audio code. AAC supports up to 250kbps.
- aptX: aptX is an audio codec that can provide "CD-quality" music (up to 16-bit/44.1kHz). The system will automatically utilize aptX when connected to a source (such as Android) that supports aptX.
- aptX HD: The Q Acoustics M20 also supports the higher resolution aptX HD for 24-bit/48kHz wireless audio. If your Bluetooth source device utilizes aptX HD then that resolution will be utilized automatically.
- aptX LL: In addition, the M20 features aptX LL (Low Latency) which automatically ensures a wireless Bluetooth connection can deliver sound in sync with visual media. It reduces delay and improves end-to-end speed of the audio transmission, resulting in a high quality, synchronized user experience with any transmitting device that supports aptX LL.
Note: To utilize any of the aptX codecs, your Bluetooth-enabled source device must also support that version of aptX. Currently, Apple iOS devices only support SBC and AAC.
USB-B Port: The Q Acoustics M20 is equipped with a USB-B port for audio playback from your Windows PC (XP-up) or Mac computer (OS X). The speaker system supports playback of 2ch stereo PCM audio files, up to 24-bit/192kHz. A Windows PC will require the installation of a separate USB driver (click here). A Mac computer will not require the installation of a separate USB driver.
Optical Digital Input: The M20 HD wireless music system is outfitted with an optical (toslink) digital input that allows you to connect your TV. The optical digital output supports 2-channel PC audio up to 24-bit/192kHz. The optical digital input is not compatible with Dolby Digital, DTS, or other multichannel audio formats.
Dual Analog Inputs: The M20 is equipped with two line-level analog inputs. It has one stereo RCA input and one stereo minijack (3.5mm) input. Both analog inputs are on the rear-panel of the speaker system. It does not have a dedicated Phono input. If you want to connect a turntable, you will need an external phono preamp (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) or a turntable with a built-in phono preamp.
Binding Post Terminals: Binding post terminals are utilizes to connect the included speaker wire between the powered and passive speaker. The passive speaker has a a binding post input to receive the audio signal from the powered speaker's binding post output. The speaker system comes with a 13' length of 16AWG speaker wire. However, you can replace the speaker wire with a higher quality and heavier gauge speaker wire. The binding posts will accept bare wire (up to 12AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single only).
Subwoofer Output: The Q Acoustics M20 HD wireless music system is equipped with a mono-RCA subwoofer output for connection of a powered sub (sold separately) for bigger, deeper bass response. The M20's subwoofer output does not include a built-in low pass crossover frequency filter or level control. Make sure your powered subwoofer has a built-in low pass crossover and level control.
Simple Control: The Q Acoustics M20 HD wireless music system offers simple and convenient control. The powered speaker features top-panel controls that include Power On/Off and Volume Up/Down. The speaker system also comes with an IR remote control for wireless operation of basic functions such as Power On/Off, Source Input, Volume Up/Down, Mute, Play/Pause, and Previous/Next Track.
Mounting & Placement Options: The Q Acoustics M20 speakers can be mounted on stands (sold separately - see Accessories Tab), bookshelf, or other flat tabletop surface. The speakers should be placed 6.5' to 13' apart from one another, spaced 7.875" from the back wall, and positioned at ear level in a seated listening position for optimum performance. An EQ switch on the rear-panel of the powered speaker lets the system know if each speaker is positioned in a corner, against a wall, or in free space so its DSP (digital sound processing) can optimize the audio performance.
- Free Space: This EQ setting will give you the most bass output and is best suited when the speakers are placed away from the walls or corners.
- Against A Wall: This EQ setting will give you a mid-point in bass output and is best suited when the speakers are placed close to a wall or on a shelf.
- Corner Placement: This EQ setting will give you the least level of bass output and is best suited when the speakers are placed in corners of the room.
Note: The Q Acoustics M20 HD wireless music system does not provide any brackets, keyhole slots, or threaded inserts to wall-mount the speakers.
Power Requirements: The Q Acoustics M20 HD wireless music system requires connection to an AC power outlet. The use of surge protector or line conditioner (sold separately) is recommended. Only one of the speakers has to be plugged into an AC outlet and comes with a detachable 6' AC power cord (C7, 2-prong). The speaker system will automatically go into Standby mode when there is not audio signal or operation for approximately 20 minutes.
Note: Q Acoustics M20 HD wireless music system is not battery powered.
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