About the Q Acoustics Q Active 200 System
Wireless powered hi-fi speakers
Wireless powered hi-fi speakers
I was excited to see that Q Acoustics were making a pair of versatile wireless speakers. This relatively young British company has a reputation in audiophile circles for high-tech, forward-looking speaker designs. Imagine my elation when I found out that Crutchfield would be carrying the Q Active 200 system and that I would be auditioning it and writing about it.
The Q Active 200 speakers are the company's solution to wireless hi-fi sound. They a have a minimalist look that lets them blend into almost any decor. This active speaker pair uses a central hub for control and signal input. That design approach keeps the amplification and streaming sections separate from one another, for cleaner sound. With two offset drivers and a rear-firing subwoofer in each speaker, the Q Active 200 system provides gobs of detailed with a wide-open, room-filling soundstage.
A pair of Q Active 200 speakers can work with a wide range of sources, including turntables (not included)
A different kind of driver
Each Q Active 200 speaker uses two offset 2-1/4" BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) drivers and a rear-firing 4-1/2" subwoofer to deliver your music. BMR drivers have very wide dispersion patterns, so you can hear full stereo effects even when you're seated off to the side, unlike with traditional speakers. And unlike most speakers, there's no need for a separate tweeter, because BMR drivers can handle a very wide range of frequencies, including highs all the way up to 20,000 Hz.
The asymmetrical positioning of the drivers in the cabinet reduces diffraction (a form of distortion) and interference with the front baffle. The pair of BMR drivers in each Q Active 200 speaker work together to deliver effortless, uncolored midrange, crisp highs, and punchy midbass.
A high-tech built-in subwoofer
A 4-1/2" subwoofer is found on the back of the cabinet and provides stout, well-defined bass. It uses a high-power, long-throw driver that's housed in a die-cast chassis for added rigidity and stability.
The sub fires onto a kind of waveguide called a boundary control lens. It acts as an energy guide and helps to control the output of the sub by routing the airflow to the side vents of the cabinet. This helps reduce bass reflections to keep the low frequencies clear, and it ensures the timing alignment between the BMR drivers and the sub is accurate.
An X-ray look inside a Q Active 200 speaker.
Custom amplifiers and processing for each driver
I think the neatest thing about all of the drivers in the Q Active 200 speakers is that they each have their own amplifier and DSP (Digital Signal Processor). That's right — there are three amplifiers and DSPs per speaker. The company specifically designed the amplifiers and DSPs for each respective driver.
This design allows for finer control, since each amp only has to focus on one driver. For example, the DSP for the upper speaker goes from 20,000 Hz all the way down to the crossover point of the sub at 150 Hz. The DSP for the lower speaker, on the other hand, has a low-pass filter fixed at 5,000 Hz. There's also time delay circuitry that regulates the signal reaching the BMR drivers, keeping the front-mounted drivers and rear-mounted sub precisely time-aligned.
Placement versatility with the flick of a switch
On the back of each speaker, you'll find two switches. One tells the speaker whether it's a left speaker or a right one. The other switch tells the speaker where it's positioned in your room. There are three settings: one for open space, one for placement against a wall, and one for placement in a corner. When you adjust this switch, the speaker's internal DSPs will narrow or widen the dispersion pattern and fine-tune the low-frequency response, ensuring you're getting the best sound possible no matter the speaker's position.
Specially designed speaker stands for peak performance
While the Q Active 200 speakers will work well when placed on a bookshelf, desk, or table, I strongly recommend grabbing the matching FS75 stands for best performance. These carefully designed floor stands employ rods for bracing and weight distribution. That results in less vibration being transferred down to your floor, fewer reflections, and better-focused sound.
Central hub for all your sources
The included hub houses all the streaming architecture of the system, meaning it handles streaming signals and passes them along wirelessly to the speakers. You can stream to the hub from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It also features analog and digital connections for physically connecting sources, as well as a handheld wireless remote for controlling the volume.
Control the system using your voice
The hub also works with Google Assistant and Siri voice control platforms. Not only does that give you the ability to use your voice to access your tunes, but it also lets you create a Google or Apple-based multi-room audio system. If you already have a multi-room audio system that uses one of these two platforms, you can integrate the Q Active 200 speakers into the mix by assigning them a room.
On the back of the hub, you'll find an HDMI ARC input for connecting your TV, an optical input for a CD player or gaming console, and a stereo pair of RCAs. The RCAs can be used as either regular line level inputs or as a moving magnet phono input. A switch is used to toggle between the two modes. Analog input signals are converted to high-quality 24-bit/96kHz digital and sent wirelessly to the speakers, ensuring high-resolution sound. There's also a mono RCA output for connecting an external sub.
Q Active 200 speaker specs:
- two 2-1/4" BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) drivers
- BMR drivers provide a wide soundstage and aren't directional; no need to toe-in speakers for a "sweet spot"
- rear-firing high-power, long-throw 4-1/2" subwoofer
- ported (bass reflex) cabinet with sturdy internal dart bracing for added subwoofer rigidity and control
- built-in subwoofer waveguide controls airflow for smooth, tight bass
- three internal amplifiers per speaker — one for each driver
- 100 watts RMS per speaker
- two rear switches per speaker:
- left switch tells the speaker where and how they're placed (open space, against a wall, or in a corner) and adjusts DSP parameters accordingly to optimize the sound
- right switch tells the speaker whether it's a right-or-left channel speaker
- asymmetric driver positioning reduces diffraction and interference with front baffle
- frequency response: 46-20,000 Hz (-6dB)
- 6-3/4"W x 11-3/16"H x 11-7/16"D
- weight: 16.53 lbs. each
Control Hub specs:
- distributes signal to speakers wirelessly
- compatible with Google Assistant and Siri voice controllers
- create a multi-room audio system by assigning the system to a room
- works with Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Roon, and UPnP
- compatible streaming sources: Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify and TIDAL
- built-in Bluetooth 4.1 for streaming without a Wi-Fi connection
- supports up to 32-bit/192kHz files; downsamples them to 24/96
- converts wired analog input signals to high-res 24-bit/96kHz digital
- transmits digital signals to speakers using a 5GHz wireless link
- weight: 1.10 lbs.
- 7-1/8"W x 1-5/8"H x 4-7/16"D
Hub rear-panel connections:
- HDMI ARC for connecting a TV
- Ethernet port for a hardwired network connection
- optical digital input for connecting a gaming console or CD player
- pair of stereo RCAs for connecting a turntable or other analog input
- switchable between regular line-level inputs and MM (moving magnet) phono input
- mono subwoofer output for connecting external sub
- remote control included
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Thanks for submitting your review
More details on the Q Acoustics Q Active 200 System
Features & specs
|Tweeter Size (Inches)||---|
|Midrange Size (Inches)||---|
|Woofer Size (Inches)||4.5|
|Watts RMS (Continuous)||100|
|Watts Maximum (Peak)||280|
|Max. Digital Audio Bit Depth||N/A|
|Max. Digital Audio Sample Rate||N/A|
|Control by app||N/A|