We don't usually cover old-school, passive stereo speakers here at T3, but Britain's Q Acoustics Concept 300 is something very special, as you can see. They come as a complete package, with those remarkable stands, in three very attractive, ultra-modern wood/paint colour combos. The good news is, from what we've heard, they also sound fantastic.
All 3 of the Q Acoustics Concept 300's different, rather fly, finishesImage 1 of 4
The Concept 300 speakers have a 3-layer, 'Dual Gelcore' construction, which basically means there's gel sandwiched between the wooden layers, rather like jam in a Swiss roll. Mmmm, Swiss roll. This, we are informed reliably, 'dissipates high-frequency vibrations, generated by the moving drivers, into heat to maintain a focused audio performance.'
Further sound-enhancing internal stability is proved by P2P (Point to Point) bracing, which is placed only after painstaking analysis of the cabinets in use, in 'areas of the cabinet susceptible to low-end frequency reverberations.'
The Tensegrity stands are obviously the real draw here, though.
As well as looking rather magnificent, the Tensegrity tripod stand 'eliminates radiating sound and reflections for a purer sonic performance'. It's constructed from slender, aluminium rods, held in place by a combination of steel cables and the sheer heft of the speakers themselves – each weighs 14.5kg. This means the stands are never subjected to bending force.
The other part of the Concept 300's sonics-boosting stability equation is the cabinet's isolation base plate system. This bolts to the stand, and is loaded with four industrial-grade springs, damped with a polyurethane elastomer called 'Sylodamp' – Q Acoustics does like its oddly-named, trademarked, engineering tricks.
Tailored to the mass of the speaker, this converts any vibrational energy in the springs into heat, for 'a more controlled but extended bass response and improved stereo imaging.'
As we fell in love with this speaker at first look, we were a bit trepidatious about hearing what it actually sounds like. However, during a demo at London's legendary Cornflake Shop, the Concept 300 sounded great, with a wide variety of music from unadorned female voice to banging European power trance.
A concern with this kind of hi-fi speaker is it will wimp out when you want it to rock out, but that does not seem to be an issue here. We'll be first in line (for a review sample) when they hit the shops.