Presonus Eris E3.5 vs. Q Acoustics 3020i

Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers
$100 $450
Dimensions (H × W × D)
10.24” × 7.00” × 7.68”
260mm × 178mm × 195mm
10.90” × 6.70” × 11.00”
277mm × 170mm × 279mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
80-20,000 Hz 64-30,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 4.0
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.3 6.4

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of compact speakers, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 offers an impressive nearfield experience tailored for the meticulous audiophile on a budget. These studio monitors boast accurate sound reproduction and detail. Conversely, the Q Acoustics 3020i bookshelf speakers are lauded for their expansive soundstage and rich, full-bodied audio, making them a darling among home Hi-Fi enthusiasts. Both sets have distinct appeals: the Eris E3.5's studio precision is counterbalanced by the 3020i's wider room-filling capabilities, presenting a choice between professional-level monitoring and immersive casual listening for audiophiles traversing diverse sonic landscapes.

Speaker Comparison

When we talk about getting serious with audio, the landscape is often dominated by two factions: those looking for the pristine accuracy of studio monitors and those yearning for the lush, room-filling sound of hi-fi speakers. It's a domain where the PreSonus Eris E3.5 and the Q Acoustics 3020i come into play, representing their respective camps. These two offer distinctly different approaches to sound reproduction, and perhaps your preference comes down to whether you're mixing the next hit record or kicking back with your favorite vinyl.

Design Philosophy: Accuracy vs. Enjoyment

The PreSonus Eris E3.5 is a compact nearfield studio monitor designed with accuracy in mind. Musicians, producers, and audio engineers rely on studio monitors like the E3.5 to produce mixes that sound good on a wide range of playback systems. Conversely, the Q Acoustics 3020i is a bookshelf speaker that leans more towards a hi-fi experience, emphasizing an enjoyable and engaging sound that might not be as flat or neutral as a studio monitor but is often more flattering to a wide range of music.

Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
Presonus Eris E3.5 arrow (at

Build and Aesthetics

When it comes to build quality, both the Eris E3.5 and the 3020i exhibit craftsmanship that belies their respective price points. The E3.5 boasts a professional look with its matte black finish and compact form factor, making it an unobtrusive addition to a desktop or studio setup. The 3020i, on the other hand, sports a sleek, curved design that not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also helps to reduce internal standing waves and thus improve sound quality. The 3020i is available in several finishes, allowing it to blend seamlessly with home decor.

Sound Quality: Clarity vs. Warmth

In the arena of sound, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 offers a sound signature that's as close to the source as possible. It provides a flat frequency response for accurate monitoring, ensuring that what you hear is what you get. This clarity is crucial for audio work, where the tiniest details matter. The Q Acoustics 3020i, in contrast, delivers a warmer and more colored sound. It's tailored to create an immersive listening experience, with a wider soundstage and a rich midrange that brings vocals and instruments to life.

Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers
Q Acoustics 3020i arrow (at

One cannot discuss these speakers without bringing attention to the bass response. The Eris E3.5, with its 3.5-inch woofers, offers a surprisingly robust low end for its size, though it naturally can't defy physics and match the presence of larger drivers. The 3020i, with its larger 5-inch woofers, delivers a more authoritative and deeper bass response, making it better suited for bass-heavy music or cinematic experiences without necessarily needing a subwoofer.

High frequencies are handled with finesse in both models. The Eris E3.5's silk dome tweeters provide a smooth and detailed treble without harshness, which is essential for long mixing sessions. The 3020i's decoupled tweeters, which minimize vibrations from the woofer, present a crisp and airy treble that contributes to an expansive soundstage, a characteristic that audiophiles often seek out for a three-dimensional listening experience.

Connectivity and Versatility

The PreSonus Eris E3.5 edges out with its range of connectivity options tailored to the modern producer. With balanced TRS inputs, unbalanced RCA inputs, and an integrated headphone amplifier, it's a versatile unit for various audio sources. The addition of a front-panel volume knob and an auxiliary input also makes it user-friendly for desktop users. The Q Acoustics 3020i sticks to more traditional binding posts, catering to a classic amplifier or receiver setup. This might limit their versatility somewhat, but it aligns perfectly with their purpose as part of a dedicated listening room or home theater system.

In the grand scheme of things, the decision between the PreSonus Eris E3.5 and the Q Acoustics 3020i might not be about which is better, but rather which is more suited to your needs. The E3.5's studio pedigree makes it an invaluable tool for creators needing to hear every nuance of their work. In contrast, the 3020i's engaging sound profile makes it a delight for audiophiles and those looking to simply enjoy their music in a more casual, yet refined, setting.

Ultimately, whether you're dissecting the layers of a complex mix or sinking into the depths of a symphonic passage, your choice in speakers can elevate the experience. Between the PreSonus Eris E3.5's clinical precision and the Q Acoustics 3020i's enveloping warmth, there lies a fascinating dichotomy of purpose-driven design that caters to the diverse world of audio enthusiasts.

Check Current Prices:

Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers
Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.