It’s rare that something that gets showered awards and Stuff praise retains the motivation to keep improving, but that’s exactly what the Q Acoustics 1010i surround speakers have done. It’s been back to the gym, tweaked its performance and not charged us a single extra penny for the privilege. Really, you shouldn’t have.
Sub be good to me
So, what’s changed? The biggest improvement concerns the subwoofer, which was the main weakness of its predecessor. It’s much more powerful – up to 40%, Q Acoustics claims – and has a new driver with a much larger drive magnet.
It’s not all toning around the derrière, however. The 1010i front, rear and centre speakers have all had upgraded tweeters, and internal wiring has been upgraded.
For such a small system (in size and price), the clarity really is astounding, from the soundtracks of full-blown action movies to the most delicate of piano solos.
Dynamics also belie the package’s size and price. Big action moments deliver all the crash and swagger you’d expect for the money, and all the subtleties of multi-channel music are borne out with panache.
Sure, you’ll get more delicacy if you shell out a grand or more, but the beauty of these speakers is that they know their limitations and don’t try and imitate the bass boom of a bigger system.
Clear and detailed
The 1010i provides startling clarity and detail in the midrange, as well as a cohesive soundfield between all the speakers that is solid and well-knitted.
They’re not going to win any beauty contests, but we’ll bet they’ll fit in to any décor. In fact, we rather like that they don’t pull the trick of dressing up in glossy cosmetics to pull in the style crowd.
This package sets a new standard at surround sound’s £500 mark, a standard that combines smart, sensible design with awesome performance. We like.