But the Media 4 redeems itself with an impressive mid-range specification, including a rock-solid construction and 2.75in full-range BMR drivers, plus a built-in downward-firing 150mm x 120mm elliptical-design subwoofer. The unit eschews both HDMI and Dolby Digital (set your outputs to PCM) but socketry includes an optical input, stereo phonos, 3.5mm line-in and apt-X-equipped Bluetooth.
Operation is more or less a case of scrolling through the inputs (indicated by a coloured LED) as there are no DSP modes to play around with – what you hear is what you get – but you can add an additional powered subwoofer. One setup niggle I found is that if the aux line-in is hooked up the stereo phonos are disabled.
The joy of the Media 4 is not in its looks but in its performance. The classic train crash sequence in Super 8 on Blu-ray is a cacophonous plethora of effects, including flying wreckage, the train whistle, wind howling, kids screaming, the camera winding through and the explosion on an almost nuclear scale. The Media 4 does a sterling job with the lot, generating a broad, powerful soundstage and delivering its sonic goods with refinement. Dialogue sounds rich, warm and is well-projected, but most impressive is the subwoofer array and the soundbar’s handling of low frequencies, which is both potent and yet surprisingly nuanced.
Music is also a pleasure to listen to. The Q Acoustics provides both real punch and strict control, and the unit's BMR drivers delivers a good sense of stereo imaging. If you can find the space to accommodate it, this is a great one-box option.
Q Acoustics Media 4, £340, www.qacoustics.co.uk
Want the latest issue of Home Cinema Choice? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!
Want to see your home cinema system featured in the pages of HCC? Click here for more info.
Love home cinema? Sign up to our emails for the latest news and special offers!
Home Cinema Choice is proud to be a member of EISA.
Visit www.eisa.eu for more info.