Latest Q Acoustics stereo speakers come with Chromecast smarts and striking looks

stereo speakers
(Image credit: Q Acoustics)

Q Acoustics has announced its first pair of active stereo speakers, the Q Active 200 – and they're packing built-in Google Chromecast

As opposed to passive loudspeakers, active speakers don't require an external amplifier to power them, making your Hi-Fi setup less complicated, as well as potentially improving the precision of your music.

According to Q Acoustics, the new bookshelf speakers were designed "with the express intent of delivering an uncompromised, versatile high-resolution system that can play music from any source – TV, network music streamer, smartphone, laptop, and even a turntable."

'Widescreen sound'

The speakers come with a wireless Control Hub and remote control, which can be configured either for Google Chromecast or Amazon "Works with Alexa" (though Alexa support isn't coming until 2021). 

The new stereo speakers also support voice control via Apple Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and can form part of a multi room audio system.

According to Q Acoustics, the control hub allows the speakers to connect to a variety of wired and wireless sources, and you can hook it up to your home network using an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi.

Wireless connectivity comes courtesy of Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Roon, and Spotify Connect, and you can play music from pretty much any music streaming service via their native apps – no need to use an additional Q Acoustics app to play your tunes.

If you've amassed a collection of Hi-Res Audio files, the Q Active 200 can operate as a "UPnO media player capable of streaming your digital audio library from a computer or NAS drive".

If you prefer a wired connection, the Control Hub comes with HDMI ARC and optical digital inputs (so you can hook them up to your TV in place of a soundbar), as well as a line level input and a subwoofer output.

Vinyl enthusiasts will be pleased to know that you can can also plug your turntable into the Control Hub directly, as it contains a built-in moving magnet phone stage.

bookshelf speakers

(Image credit: Q Acoustics)

So, how will the Q Active 200 sound? Q Acoustics says that the inclusion of twin Balanced Mode Radiator driver units will deliver "a widescreen sound dispersal and a huge sweet spot", which means that "no matter where you're sitting in the room, you'll hear the same rich, detailed, and expressive sound". 

Each speaker also contains a rear-firing 4.5-inch long throw subwoofer, which should deliver powerful bass frequencies.

Wherever you place them in a room, the speakers should still sound great; each speaker has a switch at the back that allows you to designate left and right channels, as well as "tell the speakers where they are positioned in a room – close to a wall, in a corner, or out in free space". 

This allows the speakers to "fine-tune its low frequency response" – so, if you have them up against a wall, the bass shouldn't sound overpowering as it bounces against the hard surface.

The Q Active 200 will set you back $1,999 / £1,499 (about AU$2,800), while a pair of optional floor stands come in at $499 / £349 (about AU$550).

Too pricey? Don't forget that Amazon Prime Day is coming up on 13-14, and you may be able to find some fantastic deals on stereo speakers – and then Black Friday follows swiftly after in November. 

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.