Home Theater Systems Buying Guide
Home Theater Receivers Buying Guide
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Model: QA8404 UPC: 5036694047583 Item: 3904
Bring your audio past and present into the future. In delivering an entire high-resolution audio system, one that serves up uncompromised audio quality while fitting seamlessly and conveniently into its user’s lifestyle, Q Acoustics has excelled in three key areas. Q Active is versatile. Q Active delivers superlative sound quality. Q Active is designed to look as unique as it sounds. And, of course, Q Active represents the sort of prodigious value for money every listener expects from Q Acoustics. An entire high-resolution wireless audio system, delivering uncompromised hi-fi sound that fits conveniently and seamlessly into your lifestyle.
Each Q Active system includes connectivity for Bluetooth 4.1, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and UPnP. Q Active is also Roon Ready. In addition, Q Active is designed to support your favorite streaming service’s native app - which means simple, straightforward access to the entire planet’s music. Q Active works with Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify and Tidal.
Whether you choose Google "Chromecast built-in", Apple AirPlay 2, or Roon to organize your multiroom music system, Q Active can be seamlessly integrated into it. So no matter if you want the same song playing all over your home, or different music in different zones, or if you simply want your music to follow you as you move around your home, Q Active can be part of your experience.
If you have Google Home or Apple Siri smart speakers on your home network, it’s easy to control the volume and playback selection of the Q Active system. Simply choose which of the formats you prefer and then use these mic-equipped smart devices on your network to control your Q Active system. You can also use the Google Home app on your mobile to control the Q Active system.
In addition to your choice of voice assistant, Q Active can also be controlled using your favorite streaming apps. Or if the TV plugged into the HDMI ARC socket on the control hub is CEC-equipped, use the TV’s remote to control functions like ‘volume’ and ‘standby’. Alternatively use the cabinet-mounted volume control on each Q Active speaker or the free Q Active Android and iOS app that allows control and customization of this wireless audio system.
Audio can be described as “high resolution” if it consists of a digital audio format of greater than the CD-standard 16bit/44.1kHz. Q Active can support wireless streaming, whether from its control hub or via a smartphone, tablet or the like, at a huge native 24bit/96kHz. Q Active can also play 32bit/192kHz audio files from an appropriate source, down sampling them to its native 24bit/96kHz resolution before wirelessly delivering them to the speakers. The result of all this painstaking and uncompromised engineering is extraordinary musical accuracy and amazing audio quality. Q Active delivers a sonic performance way beyond its price.
In a traditional, passive audio system there is one amplifier. It drives two speakers, which will have a total of at least four drivers. In the Q Active system, each driver (there are three in each Q Active 200 speaker and four in each Q Active 400 speaker) is controlled by its own individual, specifically selected amplifier. Using a total of six (or eight) discrete amplifiers, with a total of 280 (or 440) watts of power to drive the Q Active system means each individual driver receives its own carefully regulated amplification. As a result, Q Active is able to control each driver with accuracy and finesse which in short, means Q Active sounds bigger and more precise than you might think possible.
Q Active doesn't look unique simply for the sake of it. Q Acoustics wanted Q Active to deliver a widescreen sound with no compromise in stereo focus or soundstage and specified Balanced Mode Radiators (BMRs). BMRs allow Q Active to deliver outstanding sound quality across your entire listening area, rather than restricting it to the ‘sweet spot’ of more traditional driver arrangements. And, in addition to this widescreen presentation, BMRs deliver seamless midrange performance. Because they operate all the way down to 150Hz, where they hand over to Q Actives’ subwoofer driver, there is no midrange crossover distortion and, consequently, completely clean and uncolored midrange performance. Offsetting the BMRs in the Q Active cabinet serves a function, too. It allows for a degree of fine-tuning in your listening room, as it’s possible to position the BMRs to the inside or the outside of the cabinets.
The back of an ordinary loudspeaker isn’t usually worthy of discussion. But, as is surely obvious by now, Q Active is far from an ordinary loudspeaker - and that goes for the rear of its cabinet too. Q Active 200 features a rear-firing 114mm / (4.5in) subwoofer delivering fast, deep and beautifully organized bass. Q Active 400 features a pair of the subwoofers in order to double down on the low-frequency action. The reason these drivers are concealed, and the reason they are arranged in the way they are, is all to do with Q Acoustics’ determination to make Q Active easy to position and simple to live with, as well as helping the system sound brilliantly punchy and controlled. There is a carefully designed fixed ‘Wave guide’ boundary for the subwoofer to fire onto, too, which means the dispersal characteristics of the bass frequencies are always exactly as Q Acoustics prefers. Because the subwoofers fire onto a fixed boundary (the inside of the rear panel), the bass response of Q Active is always ideal, always perfect - no matter where in your room you decide to position the speaker.
Rather than attempt to fit one of its existing loudspeaker designs with electronics, Q Acoustics has designed Q Active from the ground up with the express intent of delivering an utterly uncompromised high-resolution audio system that looks as good as it sounds.
Meticulous attention to detail has produced a compact, high-performance system that makes a distinctive visual statement - but every element of Q Active has been engineered to deliver the best performance possible. As well as the panoramic, widescreen sound delivered by the BMR arrangement and the deep, controlled bass served up by the carefully specified and positioned subwoofers, Q Acoustics has paid painstaking attention to the way the Q Active cabinet contributes to the system’s outstanding sonic performance.
‘Dart’ bracing is in both the Q Active 200 and Q Active 400 cabinets to provide essential stiffness to the cabinet and equally helpful mechanical stability to the rear-firing subwoofer units. In Q Active 400, careful positioning of the two subwoofers means standing waves inside the cabinet that might color the sound are effectively neutralized to give a powerful linear bass response.
Unlike most loudspeakers, Q Active is tuned to perform to its maximum potential no matter where in your listening room it’s positioned. And unlike most loudspeakers, Q Active is remarkably forgiving of less-than-ideal placement. Its driver configuration means it’s one of the most flexible, as well as one of the best-sounding, speakers you can buy at any price.
Q Actives can be positioned with the BMRs either on the inside or the outside of the cabinets, allowing perfect audio reproduction no matter if you're sitting close to the speakers or far away from them. There’s a simple switch on the back of each Q Active speaker to designate it as either the left- or the right-hand channel.
A second switch allows you to tell the speaker exactly where it’s positioned in relation to the room - close to a rear wall, in a corner, or out in a little free space. This information allows Q Active to fine-tune its low-frequency response in order to deliver the best possible sound no matter the circumstances.
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