In the past we have reviewed the Q Acoustics 3020 and 3010 speakers and saw how great they perform. They were simply individual speakers but imagine if you have a whole bunch of speakers that can serve you as a full set of 5.1 channel surround sound setup. That setup would produce some of the best surround sound experiences for the listener and that is exactly what we are going to look at.
What is inside the pack?
The Q Acoustics 3000 5.1 Cinema pack comes with 2 pairs of 3010 speakers, one 3090C center speaker and 3070S sub woofer. All of these speakers are built with high quality material that is going to last for years to come. It is very similar to the Q 2000 series 5.1 channel cinema pack.
When it comes to surround sound, the speaker placement is an important point that cannot be overlooked. The 3010 speakers come in pairs and thus you will have 4 of these to take care of. In a stereo setup, just 1 pair is enough, but in the case of surround sound setup one pair will stay on the front and one pair goes at the back of your sitting arrangement.
Make sure the center speaker is placed right in front of you, ideally under or over the screen for a perfectly synchronized surround sound. The sub woofer should be placed behind you for ideal placement.
It is very important to keep the location of the speakers equidistant from the screen or from the location of viewer. If the left speakers are slightly closer to the center speaker, you may not experience ideal surround sound effect on the left side. It goes the same for the right side.
Newer, more sophisticated 5.1 surround sound speaker setups may come with automatic calibration that can sense the location of the listener and adjust their outputs accordingly to provide true surround sound despite the individual speakers being not placed at their corresponding ideal locations. However, this feature depends upon the 5.1 surround sound player.
3090C Centre speaker
Just like the Q Acoustics 3010 speakers, the 3090C can be thought as an elongated version of 3010. Similarly, all the driver configuration and construction are identical. There is a ring radiator and dome tweeter that offer high sound dispersion and good directivity. The drivers are mounted on butyl rubber for preventing any distortion due to vibration.
The amazing 6 ohm nominal impedance ensures high sensitivity and more power handling capacity. Apart from that, even the minute details in speech will be immediately heard by the listener, especially in a TV series like ‘Peaky Blinders’ where they seem to whisper all the time. High sensitivity can also give interesting and wholesome experience while listening to a complex orchestra of many instruments.
3070S Sub woofer
Looking at the specifications, you can notice that the lower cut-off frequency of the sub woofer is just 50Hz. In my opinion, it should have been lower in order to give a decent performance. It will be better to simply avoid buying the 3070S sub woofer because the bass coming out from it is simply ridiculous at a price point of nearly £280.
To be more specific, the bass sounds are little too quiet. I believe that the reason for such performance lies at the frequency cut off. Lowering that to 30Hz will definitely improve the performance. But, there is no way for the customer to do that and Q Acoustics need to take this into consideration for future releases. There is squelch removal circuit inside it which automatically turns off the drivers when there is no audio. Apparently, the squelch circuit is too sensitive and produces crackling noise intermittently during silent silent sections of audio tracks.
The drivers itself are of high quality, but the iltering circuit back in the signal chain need a dramatic improvement and so does the squelch remover before I can recommend you to buy it.
If you want your setup to be full Q Acoustics, then there is the Q 7070S sub woofer which can work with this setup and offers great low frequency performance.
Sound bar; an alternative
If you have too much clutter of devices and cables running near your screen, you may as well consider the Q Acoustics Media 4 sound bar. It comes with stereo speakers and an elliptical bass speaker that can deliver punchy bass.
The Media 4 is designed to be a rather unusual shape on the whole. It is flat on the front and trapezoidal if you look from the above. There is Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio transfer but that is not really a good idea considering that we will be using it in 2.1 channel mode or as part of a bigger, 5.1 channel setup. Given that the wireless option exists, you may use it for casual music listening.
The Media 4 can easily replace the sub woofer and the two front speakers thereby saving some space and chord clutter. Although, you will still need two back speakers for that surround sound effect. You will be feeding sound to the Media 4 sound bar with a 3.5mm input.
Media 4 comes with a very responsive bass driver which reproduces gun shots and explosions very well. You will not find any muddiness in the bass or any kind of distortion at high volume level.
Media 4 sound bar comes at a price of £339 from Amazon UK. It is still worth buying because you will be saving a lot of money which would have been spent on buying separate front speakers and an additional sub woofer.
The Q Acoustics 5.1 surround sound pack has great speakers apart from the sub woofer which does not deliver the desired performance. To complete the pack, you will have to look out for a different sub woofer than what comes with the Q acoustics pack.
There is not just one way to build your surround sound setup, the best performance and experience comes with taking what’s best out there.