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Q Acoustics 5040 Loudspeakers: Editor’s Choice 2023

Q Acoustics took on the middle of the market in 2023 with its fantastic 5000 series range of loudspeakers. The floor standing 5040 at $1,500 need to be at the top of your audition list.

Q Acoustics 5040 Floorstanding Loudspeakers in Black Lifestyle

2023 was a great year for music listeners looking for mid-tier high-end floor standing loudspeakers below $2,000. Brands like Q Acoustics, PSB, and Wharfedale introduced a number of new models that definitely need to be on your radar.

Change is hard for some brands and there is always a bit of a risk when a company introduces a new range meant to satisfy the needs of the middle of the market; especially when said manufacturer has already established itself as a category leader below $1,000 and in the segment above $3,000. Can they find that magic again in a segment of the market that often struggles to attract mainstream attention? 

Q Acoustics’ 3000 Series has made almost every “Best of…” list for the past 5 years at eCoustics, Gear Patrol, Digital Trends, What Hi-Fi, and at least a dozen other magazines that we can think of. 

Q Acoustics 3050i, 3010i 3090ci Loudspeakers in oak and QB12 Subwoofer
Left to right: Q Acoustics 3050i, QB12 subwoofer, 3010i, and 3090ci Loudspeakers

The 3020i3030i, and 3050i are category leaders because they offer so much performance for the money. We use the 3030i/3090Ci/Q B12 trio as a 3.1 home theater system in our living room and there is no desire to change it because it works universally well with music and movies.

The entry-level loudspeaker segment has become a rather crowed space with Q Acoustics, KEF, Wharfedale, ELAC, PSB, Monprice, Polk Audio, and Klipsch engaged in a Game of Thrones-esque fight to the finish. 

Fortunately, one does not need to overcome the mountain to find a pair of loudspeakers in 2023 that deliver great performance for less than $750.

But what about that segment of the market between $750 and $2,000 USD?

Q Acoustics 5040 Loudspeaker in White, Black, Oak and Rosewood
Q Acoustics 5040 Loudspeakers in white, black, oak and rosewood.

Do you really get that much more from a performance perspective when you purchase the Q Acoustics 5040 loudspeakers for $1,499 over the 3050i which retail for $999 USD? 

The new mid/bass drivers offer leaner, tighter, and better defined bass response with every genre of music. The 5040 sacrifices some impact compared to the 3050i but the detail and speed are far superior. 

The overall tonal balance is more neutral than the 3000 series and that makes the loudspeaker somewhat of a chameleon depending on your choice of amplifier. 

You can read my two-part review of the Q Acoustics 5040 here and here, but make no mistake — these were one of the most important releases of 2023 because they made rather incredible sonic performance that much more accessible to those looking for a well made floor standing loudspeaker that is actually affordable.

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Q Acoustics 5040 Floorstanding Loudspeakers in Rosewood
Q Acoustics 5040 Loudspeakers (rear, front and angle views) in rosewood.

$1,500 is a lot of money for most consumers, but in the context of the rest of the high-end market — these are a bargain and getting better with each new amplifier.

Just when I thought I had these highly expressive loudspeakers figured out, another amplifier gets dropped into the system and I find myself questioning why one needs to spend more.

Q Acoustics raised the bar with these under $1,500 and there is nothing else in the same price range that I’ve heard that I would rather own.

Where to buy: $1,499/pair at Amazon | Crutchfield | Q Acoustics

Continue reading more Editor’s Choice Awards from 2023.



  1. Samad

    December 11, 2023 at 12:08 am

    These are excellent speakers indeed. I was keen to buy them and compared it to Concept 50s and finally to Concept 500s. It was hard finding real differences with the 50s except for a bit more refinement and slightly less impact compared to the 5040. The 500s definitely was significant within the first few seconds of music played. It’s articulation of the first few words played was truly dynamic.

    • Ian White

      December 11, 2023 at 12:35 am


      The Concept 500s are fantastic speakers (planning on reviewing them in Q2 2024) but significantly more expensive than the 5040s. We will have one of the first pairs of the 5050 in late-January to review. I’ve already heard them outside of the house and they were quite good. Think 3050i with greater refinement, more vibrant treble, and under $2,000 USD.


      Ian White

    • Ian White

      December 13, 2023 at 7:41 pm


      I confirmed with Q Acoustics about my review pair of 5050 and Concept 500s. QED have some exciting new cables coming in 2024 as well.

      Ian White

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