A little while back, I reviewed some massive speakers that, when installed in our moderately-sized living room, felt like we’d uncovered a pair of Arthur C. Clarke’s monoliths and could expect our boys to start fighting with clubs, and the strains of Also Sprach Zarathrutra to rattle the french doors off their hinges. They were very good speakers, but to get close to a full sound out of them, I found I had to turn the amplifier way up. They dominated the corners of the room such that we needed to use robot grabber arms to reach the DVD collection, and weighing in at over 60 lbs. each, there was a risk they could fall over and injure a pet.
So, when those went back to their makers and Q Acoustics (whose sound bar I previously reviewed here) sent me their 3050 floorstanding speakers, it was something of a relief, and a revelation.
Here’s the thing: when you’re buying a really good pair of speakers like these floorstanding units, perhaps to upgrade from smaller bookshelf or satellite speakers, you need to take the specifications into account to make sure they’ll be right for you. When I got these 3050s set up and running, suddenly I could hear everything at much lower volume settings, and the base response was much heavier than the more massive pair. This may seem odd, until you understand power requirements.
My Yamaha tuner/amp supplies the following output power: Dynamic Power per Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms): 95/110/130/150W. The previous giant speakers are listed at 8 ohms impedance, and want 90-200 watts, meaning I was barely driving them with 95W output from my tuner. The Q Acoustics 3050s are listed at 6 ohms, and are looking for 25-100W to drive them, meaning my tuner is more than powerful enough, and I can enjoy the full range of their output. It was a Goldilocks moment: these speakers are just right!
Indeed, because both my original satellite speakers and the previous pair of monoliths were a little weak (for different reasons), I had the bass level boosted from the tuner. With the Q Acoustics 3050s, I had to bring the bass back down because the response was so strong. These speakers are great for watching TV and movies, for playing videogames, and for filling a room with music in a way that no battery-powered Bluetooth speaker can. And better yet, while they look good and make both a visual and audio statement, they don’t overwhelm the space; they fit. Indeed, when I was taking the monoliths to UPS to ship them back, I needed one of my sons to help me get them into and out of the car, because handling them wasn’t a one-person job. These 3050s are much more reasonable.
So, what was a lesson-learned for me, I can pass on to you as a recommendation. When you go to upgrade your speakers, make sure you know what your system can handle before you make a decision. The monoliths weren’t bad speakers, but if I’d been truly intent on incorporating them into my home, I would have had to upgrade my tuner/amp as well, adding hundreds of dollars to the purchase. Whereas the Q Acoustics 3050s are the perfect fit for my existing equipment, and the space they’re going into. And that makes all the difference.
The Q Acoustics 3050 Floorstanding Speakers are available from their website, or via Amazon for $700 a pair (both with free shipping).
Note: Q Acoustics provided a pair of speakers for the purposes of this review.