Ok, I'll bite.
During my last trip to London, I bought 5 Q Acoustics 3000-series speakers from a UK dealer (Sevenoaks in London Holborn) in January 2016, and brought them on the plane back to the US. I kept them in their shipping boxes, swaddled them in bubble-wrap, bag-wrapped 'em, and checked them as luggage. It was quite an adventure, and my spouse thought I was nuts for doing it. She was not entirely wrong.
Because I "imported" them 6 months before they opened their US operation, it is entirely possible that I am Q Acoustics' first US customer.
I had not listened to any Q Acoustics speakers live, personally, before buying them, but had read several favorable reviews; notably, Ed Selley's and several others, plus some thoughtful commentary in this and other forums. I felt that Q Acoustics met my key criteria: good sound at a comparatively affordable price point, with excellent wife acceptance factor (WAF).
So, here's the setup:
- Fronts: 2 x 3020 speakers (white)
- Center channel: 1 x 3090C speaker (white)
- Rears: 2 x 3010 speakers (white)
- Stands: 4 3000-series stands (white)
- Subwoofer: SVS SB-1000 (gloss white)
I went with all-white speakers because I like the look. It's actually quite hard to find clean, aesthetically pleasing bookshelf speakers in white, and the Q Acoustics speakers look fantastic. Great build quality, beautiful glossy finish, and with a very solid feel. I liked the magnetic speaker covers, which means four fewer holes in the front.
Instead of buying the standard 5.1 cinema pack (which includes 4 3010s), I was persuaded by what I'd read to select the 3020s for the fronts, with 3010s for the rears. As for the subwoofer, I didn't go with the Q Acoustics 3050. Most of the writeups for the Q Acoustics 3050 subwoofer suggested that it didn't go especially low. Also, the 3050 subwoofer (at least, at the time I was looking at it) was meant for the UK market, which meant that it shipped with a UK plug. I did buy a US "figure-8" power cable, which would have worked just fine (the subwoofer does 110V). However, I'd discovered the SVS SB-1000 subwoofer, liked the reviews and commentary, and bought that instead.
The rest of the setup includes my Pioneer VSX-1020 AVR. I ran the MCACC calibration and hand-tuned the subwoofer settings. Because the speakers have a nominal impedance of 6Ω, and the run around the edge of the room is 30+ feet, I wired them with 16 AWG cables (from GLS Audio) and Sewell banana plugs. The living room they are in is half-glass, with hardwood floors, about 20' x 13' (275 square feet). The glass, obviously enough, reflects quite a bit of sound. I toed the speakers in a bit towards my "sweet spot" listening position.
Ok, so that's the setup. They look great. How do they sound
Take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt for two reasons... first, I had not been in the market for speakers for 15 years, and what these speakers replaced was not that great (4 Cambridge Soundworks satellites and a BassCube 10). I'd been used to bad sound. The second reason, of course, is good old confirmation bias... we tend to like what we buy. Human nature!
That aside, my impressions of the speakers are very positive. Before setting up the subwoofer, I listened to the 3020s in 2-channel mode and played a few personal "reference" recordings to see how they'd do without any subwoofer assistance (Duke Ellington "Typerturbably Blue"; Miles Davis "Freddie Freeloader", Milt Hinton "Jon John"). The bass response on the 3020s was better than I expected... the brochure says 64 Hz (about midway on an upright bass) but it felt a bit lower. After setting up the SVS with an 80 Hz crossover, it sounded fantastic.
The midrange was really nice, very clear. The high notes and percussion, in particular, sounded terrific. Songs like Massive Attack's "Paradise Circus" really show the speakers off to good effect. Stereo imaging is pretty good, but then again, I've been spoiled: when I was a lot younger a friend of mine invited me over to listen to some Miles Davis on his Quad ESL-63s, and the pinpoint imaging of those speakers dropped my jaw. These are not anywhere near that precise (obviously), but considering my modest setup, they do a fine job. I am very pleased with the sound.
I used "The Force Awakens" on Blu-Ray for my 5.1 test. It's a great demo disk in general, and it sounded terrific on my setup. The 3010s are good rear speakers; certainly, they are a huge step up from my old ones. The space battle scenes were immersive, dialogue was crystal clear, and the scenes with deep bass kicked ass. The bass response is a testament to the SVS sub, which works very well with these speakers. It's a really good-sounding movie-watching setup.
Overall, I am quite delighted with my purchase. I would recommend them highly. The look great, and sound great. Putting it another way: every time I get in my car and turn on the radio, or plug in my phone, or listen to my phone's speakers, I am now irritated in a way that I wasn't before — because it all sounds muddy or dull by comparison.
My only gripe with Q Acoustics is: what took you guys so long to come to the US?