The Q Acoustics 3010i speakers deliver a wonderful, balanced sound at a price you can afford
I’ll be honest. I made a silly mistake when I first purchased the Q Acoustic 3010i. You see, I needed surround sound speakers for my Home Theatre set up which already consisted of the Q Acoustic Concept 40 floorstanding speakers and a Q Acoustics Concept centre speaker.
My thought was that I should keep it consistent and go with a similar sound profile all the way around. That’s what all the smart kids tell you, right? So I put these on a couple of stands behind the couch and connected them to my Denon AVR-x4500h 9.2 channel amp via the amphony wireless surround sound speaker kit.
I ran Audessy to get them tuned in and off I went, watching movies and enjoying the new deep and resonant surround sound speakers I had.
Then one day a few months down the track, while setting up my studio in the end room of the house I remembered I had an old Denon stereo amp that I wasn’t using and the Q Acoustics 3010i might be a good addition to the room.
I was starting to suspect they were a little overkill for surround sound considering surround sound is really about effects, fill and highlight sounds.
So, I moved the 3010i to the end room, plugged them into my old Denon HiFi stereo amp, sat back and proceeded to scoop my jaw off the ground for the next hour or so until I was called for dinner.
How could I be so stupid to waste this warm, rich and resonant HiFI bookshelf speakers as a surround sound speaker pair? Fool of a Took!
The sound that came flowing from the 3010i was rich, full and bursting with depth and height. The soundstage was wide, begging for me to sit in front of it and simply enjoy the large space these tight little bookshelf speakers transported me to.
While the Concept 40’s filled my living room I now had a perfect companion in the studio to keep me company and caress my audiophile soul.
I replaced the 3010i with a pair of bi-polar Fluance surround speakers on Amazon which sounded much better in a surround capacity.
I’m not sure how much I should talk about price. Only because at the price these sell for, you shouldn’t care. For under $300 (USD) you’re getting a quality piece of English engineering that delivers audible joy that even your wallet will listen too and nod along with.
For a little more you could get their award-winning bigger brother, the Q Acoustic 3020i . I’m not here to stop you doing that as they too are a sonically wonderful pair of bookshelf speakers. I’m only here to talk about the 3010i as these have impressed me beyond what I expected.
Q Acoustics 3010 vs 3010i?
These are not to be confused with their smaller predecessors, the 3010. The i on the 3010i just means its the newer model, which happens to have a 25% larger cabinet and tweaked sound profile. It’s still compact making it the perfect speaker to place in smaller spaces.
The size is mostly found in the updated depth and height of the cabinet. The width remains the same but you get an extra .75 inches to the height and depth goes from 7.87 inches to 9.9 inches.
The specs are the mostly the same although the 3010i achieves a lower bottom end and higher top end in the frequency response.
Q Acoustic 3010i Specs
Talk of specifications of the 3010i, the specs are as follows:
|3010i Speaker Specs||Info|
|Stereo Amp Power||15 – 75 watts|
|Power Input||50 – 125 watts|
|Frequency Response||65 Hz – 30 kHz |
(3 Hz deeper and 8K higher than 3010)
|Nominal Impedance||6 Ohms|
|Binding Posts||Low-profile capable of 4mm Banana Plugs|
Don’t like the color? That’s OK. The 3010i come in Arctic White, Carbon Black, English Walnut and Graphite Grey so you have plenty of choices. This really helps with the WAF factor.
These are a compact speaker so the overall size is a manageable 10.0 x 5.9 x 10 inches.
We’ve already talked about sound, haven’t we? That’s OK. I’d be happy to discuss it even more. You too? Awesome, let’s do it.
How these sound will depend on where you put them. Compact bookshelf speakers they might be, but I think they will benefit from certain placements and positions that allow them to shine and emphasise their audio excellence.
I really feel you don’t want to trap these – they are forgiving but I’d hate for you to miss out on the best you can get. You can put them on a bookshelf but don’t suffocate their left, right and rear too much. The bottom end on these is full and deep and if you want them to breathe.
They come with foam bungs included and also have low-profile binding posts so if you are going to put them in the corner (nobody puts baby in the corner) then use the foams and experiment with placement.
Setting these on a set of bookshelf stands would be, in my opinion, the place they will pay you back most of all.
If you close them in too much you might find you get a little too much pillow talk from them – by that I mean it might get a little stuffy and muffled. You might lose some of the rich clarity these drivers push out.
Sorry, we were talking about sound…
Truly madly deeply, these have crisp highs, clear mids and full bottom end. The sound is balanced and makes you feel safe…if it’s possible to say that about a speaker? You lean into the sound with the confidence and knowledge that it will deliver a solid, consistent and full sound that you can lose yourself in. Its balance is inviting.
Smaller to medium rooms will respond best so this audio bliss might not carry quite as well in large open spaces. As a speaker you have on in the background while you do other things around the house, they will still deliver a perfect sound.
Talking of pillow talk these would make particularly excellent speakers in good sized bedrooms or apartments where you need to maximise sound in smaller spaces.
You won’t feel like these are small units as they pack real quality when paired with a suitable amp. You don’t need a super-powered amp, any quality stereo amp will make these sing.
If you own a bigger house then as I mentioned above, I do think these would make great bedroom speakers. Allow you to listen to meditation sounds and chilled beats and float off to la la land or enjoy your date night playlist a little more – you’re welcome.
The studio and office would certainly be a nice spot for these but don’t think of them as desktop speakers – that’s not fair.
These need more depth and room to breathe than a desk allows. Yes, they have a 4-inch main driver, which is common for studio monitors, but the cabinet pushes the sound a decent distance before you get to the zenith of good sound.
There are other studio monitor speakers with stands that would suit such close range listening you can choose for professional work.
If you are a student audiophile then these would suit a dorm room and make you the envy of your peers.
In a larger house, these wouldn’t be my first pick for a lounge or living room but I’d put them pretty much anywhere else.
It’s hard to find something bad to say about these Q Acoustics 3010i bookshelf speakers. They are a big step up from the 3010.
I’ve been impressed with ever Q Acoustic speaker we’ve heard. The Concept 40 power our Home Theatre with great power and thunder (paired with a SVS SB-2000). The 500 series are sublime if you have more coin to splash around.
There is a lot of competition around this size but I’d say these punch above their weight. If you like a sharp and harsh attack these might not be for you. If you like a full sound with great balance, clarity and deep resonance, these would be a good choice.
Any questions – did I miss something? Fire your thoughts in the comments below and we can get into it.
This post was last updated on 2020-09-29 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.