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Q Acoustics M3 soundbar review

Q Acoustics M3 soundbar

£300
8.3

Build quality

8.0/10

Design

8.5/10

Ease of use

9.0/10

Performance

8.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Looks great
  • Easy set up
  • Convincing sound
  • All-in-one design
  • In-built stand and bracket

Cons

  • Bass/Low mids can get confused

q_acoustics_m3_soundbarAfter I was told about the Q Acoustics M3 soundbar I had to see if I could check it out for you good people.

The M3 soundbar looks to improve on the company’s Media 4 unit. For all intents and purposes it certainly looks like they’ve managed it.

What I wanted to find out was whether or not its beauty is only skin deep.

Read on and see what I think.

M3 soundbar design

The M3 cuts a rather more dashing silhouette, I think we can all agree on that. The Media 4 wasn’t ugly but this latest model looks to have employed a stylist.

The design is sleeker and it sits on a fitted brushed aluminium stand. The stand gives the bar an almost floating appearance. More importantly, as it is part of the design, there’s no construction required.

m3 longestThe stand also doubles as a wall mount bracket. Which is nice.

You also get extra features compared to its sibling. The M3 brings HDMI input with Audio Return Channel (ARC) support. This means that you can feed sound from the TV directly into it and sync up control so you need use only one remote.

q acoustics m3 portsThe usual array of inputs are all present and correct too. There’s Optical in (which can support up to 24-bit/96kHz music files), Aux in, RCA in and, of course, wireless audio streaming via built in Bluetooth aptX.

There is also a user adjustable EQ option so you can choose from predefined EQ settings to tailor the sound to your needs.

q acoustics m3 soundbar longBuild quality feels suitably sturdy and the finish classy.

M3 soundbar performance

The M3’s svelte and slippery shape is all the more impressive when you take in to account it houses the same large elliptical subwoofer driver from the Media 4 in the back of the unit. You have probably noticed the lack of an external sub in this set-up.

Two BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) drivers handle the left and right channels.

All of that is squeezed in to a beautiful body that measures 70mm x 1000mm x 125mm (HxWxD).

q acoustics m3 buttonsFor those wanting to stream songs wirelessly from their many smart devices, aptX Bluetooth makes the process fast and painless. The button is hidden on the back of unit but in the same area as the main bank of buttons.

q acoustics m3 in situThe LED around the bar’s power button lights up with different colours depending on the input used: purple for HDMI, white for optical, blue for aptX Bluetooth, and green for line in. The top control buttons are responsive and nice to use.

m3 remoteThe M3 comes with a tiny credit card-style remote. It’s a no-frills affair but actually does everything it needs to.

Sound quality

Kicking things off with Iron Man 3, I was impressed by just how big the sound from this single unit is. I am used to a Panasonic SC-HTB485 bar and woofer so was expecting to miss some of the low-end with the M3.

If anything, when pushed at volume, there might be too much bass for this bar.

Flicking over to Deadpool and fight-scenes, gun shots and heads-hitting-metal all ring through convincingly.

Dialogue is clear and upfront, too. Handy when dealing with the sarcasm and dry whit of Ryan Reynolds.

q acoustics m3 organicMoving on to Nine Inch Nails and the ‘And All That Could Have Been’ DVD. The M3 handles itself admirably but its blooming bass and low-mids occasionally muddies the otherwise sharp response.

Cymbals, high synths and, thanks to aforementioned movies, breaking glass are all sharp and clear.

Am I expecting too much from an all-in-one? Perhaps, but I am aware of how well received the Media 4 was and was looking forward to the M3 building on that.

M3 soundbar review conclusion

There is no doubt that the M3 from Q Acoustics is capable. It fires dialogue and effects powerfully and clearly. Explosions and gunshots ring through and soundtracks sound large.

To my ears though it sounds to like there needs to be some better separation between the mids and the low-end. Try to push this bar and things can get a little muddied and confused.

I do like how it looks and the one-piece design is cool. I think a little EQ tweak could make this a winner.

M3 soundbar price and availability

You can buy the M3 now from Amazon for £300 or direct from Q Acoustics. You can also get more information at the Q Acoustics website.

Q Acoustics M3 soundbar review

by Jay Garrett time to read: 3 min
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