Q Acoustics' M2 sound base with Bluetooth is the sonic bargain of the month

An excellent speaker and sound base in just one very black box for under 300 quid

Q Acoustics' M3 is T3's favourite soundbar, no less. Now it's just dropped the M2, a Sonos Playbase-style 'sound base' as a further audio option for your burgeoning suite of lounge-based tech.

T3 has had a listen and it is well up to the standard set by the M3 (and its uglier, yet more 'audiophile' predecessor, the M4).

This discreet black box can have TVs up to 25 kilos in weight sat on top of it, or it can live in your TV cabinet, more like a soundbar. A switch on the back optimises the sound for each position, while a further switch gives a volume boost if your TV's sound output is on the quiet side.

The boxier shape also makes it pretty suitable for use as a standalone speaker, not least because, like the M3, the M2's performance with music seems truly exceptional, from what I've heard of it so far. Especially considering it's ostensibly designed for movie sound.

Plugged into a telly, the M2 gave a really great rendition of the 'spaceship collision leads to alien vessel scraping along the ground then nearly crushing Charlize Theron' scene from Prometheus. Erm… Spoilers. Sorry.  

To be honest, with the Balance Mode Radiator speakers giving an impressively wide soundstage, and a down-firing sub providing plentiful but tight bass, I assumed during the demo that the M2 was in the £400-£500 bracket… but it's actually £299. That's not quite 'cheap' as such, but it is a DEAL.

Around the back there are two HDMIs, with ARC for super-easy connectivity to just about any telly, as well as optical digital, phono and 3.5mm inputs. Bluetooth 4.0 with Apt-X and AAC allows for high quality audio, the easy and wireless way. T3's early verdict on the M2: dull to look at perhaps, but great to listen to. 

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."