Q Acoustics’ new Concept 300 speaker hits all the right notes
Q Acoustics prides itself on its shorter-than-average heritage. Established in 2006, the British audio brand was founded with a passion for merging quality design with top-tier audio performance without the helping hand of either a starry name that would garner attention, or wealthy backers investing in a premium new start-up.
The brand first caught our eye in 2018 with the Concept 500, its sculptural flagship sound system that delivered an over-achieving visual and auditory experience. 2019 sees the introduction of its younger sibling, the Concept 300, which, while continuing to carry the young brand’s torch, more than builds on the innovation of its groundbreaking predecessor.
Much of the Concept 300’s structuring is genuinely innovative. Its meticulous, complex technical design offers a truly purist experience, meeting the standards of the most discerning audiophile. Every technological consideration is justly made, with the inclusion of the brand’s newly trademarked technologies pushing the boundaries of home sound systems.
At first glance, Concept 300 appears minimalist. ‘The aesthetic principles of the German industrial designer Dieter Rams have always guided my work, as has the designer Richard Sapper,’ states Kieron Dunk, the industrial designer behind the speaker. Clean lines and geometry certainly tap into these influences, the exterior smooth and unblemished by trimming hiding necessary fixtures and fittings.
A lacquered real wood veneer enclosure (available in Gloss Black/Rosewood, Gloss White/Oak and Silver/Ebony) meets an elegant tripod speaker stand, certain to draw the eye in any domestic backdrop. Upon closer inspection these aesthetic considerations are given all-important technological context. The stand, for example, is actually rooted in a structural design principle from the 1950s.
‘I have always been very interested in the US architect and designer Buckminster Fuller, who first illustrated the concept Tensegrity, a perfectly balanced structure where all the components are in perfect tension or compression,’ states Dunk. ‘Applying the concept of Tensegrity to a speaker stand presented a perfect match of mechanical, aesthetic and acoustic objectives.’
In short, the stand’s design cleverly reduces the transmission of vibrations from the speaker enclosure downwards. If absent, the amount of sonic reflections within the enclosure would increase, in turn lowering the fidelity of the audio.
This design motif is the underpinning focus of Concept 300’s design. Looking elsewhere around the speaker, it quickly becomes evident that the reduction of vibrations, internal and external, is of paramount importance to Dunk. ‘Loudspeakers are all about energy,’ finds the designer, ‘and managing their energy in a way that produces the purest reproduction of the music is key.’
Starting from the outside, the speaker’s Dual Gelcore cabinet intelligently takes the first step in reducing unwanted vibrations. It’s actually triple-layered, with each layer of wood separated by a non-setting gel developed by Q Acoustics that converts these excess vibrations into heat. ‘Using the latest design tools to analyse exactly what is happening within the structure has led us into an area of development which is showing some significant payback – Gelcore being an important part of that.’
Delving deeper inside, further details help stamp out any audio muddying, including the Isolation Base suspension system with Sylodamp dampening material; single tension-retaining bolts mounting the drivers to the cabinet; and the damped and isolated terminal panel on the speaker’s exterior. Another cleverly designed inclusion is Q Acoustic’s P2P (Point-to-Point) bracing, which also reduces the level of colouration to the audio. ‘What you hear therefore is what you are intended to hear, and not the spurious energy from the cabinet which can smudge sound,’ says Dunk.
Masterfully meeting conscientious visuals with genuinely forward thinking sonic design, the Concept 300 is a more than worthy competitor against the most revered and heritage-heavy audio brands. §