You’d be forgiven for thinking that the addition of an ‘i’ would indicate only a minor update to a product. Yet the ‘i’ added by Q Acoustics to the already accomplished 2020 speakers back in 2011 brought with it a raft of changes, from a brand new tweeter to a carbon fiber-featuring mid/bass cone, plus a revised crossover to tie it all together.
These changes were designed to put the 2020s back on top of the budget stereo speaker pile, and with two Awards now tucked into their belt it’s fair to say they worked.
The secret is the elegance with which the 2020is manage to balance the refined, friendly nature of the original 2020s with lashings of punch and attack. This means these little stand-mounters are more than happy to help you relax to some smooth jazz, but they are just as eager to lead a heavy metal charge. And what’s most important is that whatever you play is delivered with verve, composure and impressive levels of detail for the money.
A gloss-finish premium
Talking of money, it’s worth remembering that only the walnut and graphite finishes are available for the £165 price we’ve quoted. The fancier gloss white you see here, and the equally stylish gloss black enclosures command a rather hefty £45 premium. You pay you money and you take your choice, and all that.
While the 2020is do sound perfectly good when placed against a rear wall, you’ll get the most even tonal balance by putting them on stands in a little free space.
It should also be noted that the terminals for speaker cable are placed underneath the speakers. This makes for an undeniably pleasing and neat finish, but it does mean that chunkier cables may not fit — so you’ll need to take just a bit of care.
That, though, is as significant as the problems get with these little speakers. The Q Acoustic 2020is are simply a superb, do-it-all option and they are brilliantly good value.
Type Standmounter • Sensitivity 88dB/W/m • Impedance 6 ohms • Max power 75W • Biwirable Yes • Finishes 4 • Dimensions (hwd)
26 x 17 x 28cm
FOR: Brilliantly balance refinement with excitement; impressive detail; solid build; flexible
AGAINST: Gloss finishes are a little pricey; thicker speaker cable may not fit
VERDICT: Flexible and fine-sounding, the 2020is are an almost unbeatable proposition at this price