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Q-Acoustics Concept 500 Referenz-Lautsprecher

Sound

"It doesn’t matter what type of music you play. Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring shows off the 500s' wide-ranging dynamics and ability to handle a multitude of instrumental strands without losing cohesion or the overall musical message. There’s so much detail on offer, and it’s organised with care and composure. Low-level nuances aren’t overshadowed and, equally, sounds meant to dominate do so with confidence. Pleasingly, this is not a product that emphasises the leading edge of notes just to appear impressive. The Concept 500s are more mature than that. They sound welcoming and easy-going with losing the excitement in the music. Their full-bodied tonal balance has plenty in the way of richness and weight but balances this with a fine sense of agility when the music requires.

The 500s' stereo imaging is good for speakers of this type – the elaborate cabinet construction making itself heard in the way they project the sound as much as in the undeniable dynamic benefits it offers. Massive Attack’s Angel has long been a favourite test track and these floorstanders take its juggernaut of a bassline in stride. We love the way they render bass – it’s properly deep and powerful, but tuneful with it. We’re surprised a pair of 16.5cm drivers can dig so deep so convincingly. Vocals are delivered with clarity and finesse. There’s no shortage of dynamic subtlety here, or transparency. This talent through the midrange points to well-designed drive units and crossovers, as well as a properly designed cabinet.



Verdict

We think these are among the most impressive high-end speakers we’ve heard in recent years. If they had been made by an established high-end brand rather than one trying to crash the party, we suspect the price would have been thousands higher. Recommended? You bet."




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