In 2010 we got the chance to experience a revolutionary product in home-entertainment in the form of Violet 3D HT speaker package. This speaker package won the hearts of many for their uber utility, aesthetics, ease of use, pricing and performance, as everything put together made the package an amazing value-for-money product. Following the success of the HT speaker package, the engineers at Snap Networks put on their thinking caps and released a tiny little subwoofer in the form of qb3.
Out of the Box
Subwoofers, especially the standalone ones, are always associated with a bulky form factor. And why shouldn’t they be? Their sole USP is the magnificent lower end power, which reflects in their size. But the designers at Snap Networks seem to think otherwise. The qb3 is a small box, an imp that sits in front of a giant troll. However, having said that, we were sure that the qb3 will not disappoint us. We find out about the technology and performance of this subwoofer in our following sections.
A cube of bass
The diminutive subwoofer comes boasting of three 6.5” drivers that occupy almost every inch of space in the cube. Two of the three woofers are passive and run on the single active driver in the subwoofer. All the three drivers are made up of NBR, a type of rubber composite that is used in numerous other drivers, particularly designed for bass-heavy car audio speakers and subwoofers. The most important characteristic of this material is the strength and flexibility that it combines. It is this combination that enables a subwoofer to be quick in response and provides a wide frequency response within its gamut. It houses a Class-D digital amplifier that can churn up to a good 200W of power. In terms of connectivity, the qb3 houses the regular line-level mono and stereo inputs with RCA connectors.
The size of the subwoofer plays an important role, particularly in this case. The small size of the Violet 3D qb3 is simply a blessing in disguise as it nullifies the dilemma that the consumer faces in placing the subwoofer. Due to its small form factor, the subwoofer can be parked anywhere in the house without any reluctance. Another feature that we really appreciated was a small pictorial representation of a small and a large front speaker on the qb3's crossover frequency knob. All those who don’t know how the concept of crossover frequency works, can simply turn the knob to point at either the small speaker or the large speaker according to what they are using and get going. The designers claim the qb3 performs best when used with their own Violet 3D HT speaker package, but can also be used as a standalone subwoofer. We had three different HT speaker packages—ranging from the small Yamaha YHT-196 satellites to the slightly bigger Focal Cub satellite speakers and the Yamaha NS-150 HT speaker package.
Small but powerful
Giving a break to the regular subwoofers that we usually connect our speakers with, we connected the qb3, and it turned out that the qb3 willingly accepted the offer. The Violet 3D qb3 was an excellent substitute for both the Yamaha and Focal subwoofers. With its deep and timely performance, the qb3 added a considerable amount of liveliness and excitement to the overall ambience in the studio. But what surprised us was the consistent performance of the subwoofer when used with Yamaha NS-150 speaker package wherein the fronts (NS-F150) were almost five times bigger than the qb3. While we were engrossed in watching the Blu-ray of Kung Fu Panda 2, the qb3, along with the rest of the Yamaha NS-150 package, did complete justice to the Dolby Digital True HD soundtrack on the disc.
The Violet 3D qb3 was at par with most subwoofers that are bigger in size and power as it effectively reproduced all the explosions, thuds and even the peculiarly wobbly sounds in Po’s (Jack Black) stomach quite well. At no point did we feel that the subwoofer was struggling to cope with either the quick drivers of the Yamaha NS-F150 (working to reproduce the extreme low-end below 80Hz) or with the Focal Cub satellites (working on a slightly broader frequency range between 150Hz to 170Hz). The versatility of the Violet 3D qb3 in matching up to different frequency ranges is something to experience.
Connections for HT packages
Verdict and Price in India
Look at any standalone subwoofer that can produce approximately 200W of power, and you will know that q3b possesses the compatibility to work with a wide range of HT speaker packages, yet provides ease of use making it extremely user-friendly even for first-timers. Subwoofers with such quality and drive are usually priced around Rs, 20,000. But Violet qb3, at Rs. 17,000 breaks the monotony, thus, we strongly recommend trying the subwoofer to know its impact.
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