Q Acoustics is known for high-end audiophile speakers that cost thousands of dollars, and its newest release, the Concept 300, follows suit. But for once, it’s not the speaker itself that’s the star. Each Concept 300 speaker comes with an aluminum tripod stand that is an exceptional example of form meets function.
The Tensegrity stand — named after the structural principle — is a spindly, industrial-meets-mid-century tripod that’s made of aluminum tubes and stainless-steel cables. The idea of tensegrity is that of floating compression — the integrity of the structure comes not from the tripod alone, but the balance of tension (cables) and compression (tubes). This creates a self-supporting structure that is not subject to bending force and as a result, happens to diffuse vibration, which is wonderful for speakers.
Digital Trends notes that the company arrived at this particular design during a brainstorming session, when someone jokingly suggested levitating the speaker in order to isolate it. Floating compression is a fair compromise, especially when it looks this good.
The speaker rests on four springs, and the top of the stand has an isolation base plate that’s integrated into the bottom of the speaker’s cabinet. This ensures a rigid support system for the speaker, and it also creates a suspension system that converts vibrational energy from the springs into heat. Q Acoustics says the result of all this is a more controlled bass response and better stereo imaging.
Some are bound to be miffed by the fact that the speaker must be purchased with the stand, and by Q Acoustics’ dictation for how one must listen to the Concept 300. I’m more upset that I can’t purchase the stand on its own (regardless of whether it’s designed to fit this one speaker). Most speaker stands are ruthlessly blocky, utilitarian objects meant to be hidden, not elegant art pieces to show off. I feel mocked by Q Acoustics’ beauty shot of the Tensegrity stand that shows me what I clearly cannot have on its own.
Because I must, here are some things to know about the actual Concept 300 speaker. They’re a hefty 33 pounds each, and contain a 6.5-inch mid/bass driver, along with a 1.1-inch high-frequency driver. That mid/bass driver is held in place with spring-tensioned retaining bolts, which serves two purposes. It allows for a more pleasing aesthetic, as the screws are hidden, and also keeps torque constant without needing adjustment. The tweeter has an isolating mount, which lets it be closer to the mid/bass driver without unwanted vibrations damaging the integrity of the sound.
Q Acoustics’ Concept 300 speaker with Tensegrity stand, will come in three finishes — Gloss Black/Rosewood, Gloss White/Oak and Silver/Ebony — and will be available in March of 2019, for $4,499.