Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 speaker test
Wharfedale is headquartered in the UK, the brand is best known for its speakers. It is currently a member of the International Audio Group. Wharfedale also manufactured televisions, DVD players, set-top boxes and Hi-Fi players. Since 2008, only audio equipment has been manufactured and sold. Wharfedale Wireless Works was founded in 1932 by Gilbert Briggs and has since become one of Britain’s leading manufacturers of audiophile equipment, particularly speakers.
The size of the speakers still remains compact, but the speaker box volume and drive size are increased for even greater efficiency. Perfect for larger rooms and more powerful 2-channel hi-fi systems. The Diamond features 12 high-performance 150mm KlarityTM drives for extended, tight bass, and anticipated 25mm woven polyester dome tweeter for clean and extended high frequencies. Made from a blend of polypropylene and mica, the Klarity cone is rigid, lightweight, and secure. The stiffness of the cone is further increased by the ribs formed on its surface. This is said to contribute to extended yet tight basses and reduce hue and performance speed. The magnetic system is equipped with an aluminium compensation ring to minimise distortions when the voice coil moves.
The sound coil is wound on a high-performance epoxy / fiberglass spool, which is extremely unusual for speakers in this price range.
The crossover system uses an acoustic LKR 24dB topology, which results in the least distortion. Because the coil resistance is greater than a conventional laminated steel or ferrite core inductor, the magnetic structure of the mid / deep bass drive has been modified, resulting in fast, clean bass without distorting the inductor.
Inside the cabinet, Intelligent Spot Bracing optimally reduces cabinet resonance. The stiffeners were accurately modelled by computer simulation for this purpose. Speaker sensitivity is 88 dB, recommended amplifier power 20-120W, maximum sound pressure (SPL) 96dB, frequency response (+/- 3dB) 50Hz ~ 20kHz, dimensions (L x W x D) 335 x 200 x (285 + 28) mm, the weight is 8.2 kg / pc.
Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 bass reflex speaker testing
This is another stunning Diamond bookshelf speaker that is basically one of the cheaper two-way bookshelf speakers.
This Diamond model looks completely different from its predecessor and also differs in sound. While the Diamond 11 has a curved look, the Diamond 12 with its angular appearance suggests greater precision and enhanced dynamics. It has a more dynamic sound compared to the previous model. The Diamond 12.2’s fast, tight bass, focused stage image and detailed treble result in excellent sound. As for the exterior design, this time a more traditional back (bass reflex) box is used.
The housing of the Diamond 12.2 has a multi-layer sandwich design to reduce resonance. In terms of size, it is a compact yet not lightweight speaker that can be felt when lifted. There are connectors on the back of the speaker that allow for dual cabling and amplification.
For testing purposes, we paired the Diamond speakers with the Denon AVR-X540BT receiver, also available at an affordable price. We tested the speakers in a medium-sized room. The room, which used to be a garage, has been transformed into a home cinema and hi-fi room. Double wood membrane wall sound-absorbing panels as well as diffuser front acoustic panels were used to treat the walls of the room, a thick, dense acoustic carpet was placed on the hard-surfaced floor, thus optimising the acoustics of the room.
Based on the 88 nominal sensitivities, I found that the Diamond 12.2 speaker is a relatively easy-to-use speaker, but we would still recommend a higher power amplifier to deal with impedance drops (which can reach up to 4 ohms). Beware of cheap AVRs and stereo receivers.
We placed the Diamond speakers on metal stands, about two and a half meters from the wall behind them, and about three meters from the side walls. They were about 6 feet from the listening position. When placing the speakers, it is very important not to place them directly against the wall if possible to achieve the ideal sound.
Already in the first listening, it was proved how balanced and complex the Diamond 12.2 is compared to its price. These speakers are very dynamic, giving nice detail at the top ends, the exact mid-range, tight bass is really stunning.
The sound stage wasn’t too wide, but it was deep and tall enough, so we got the 3D effect we would expect from speakers that cost twice as much. They shine like real uncut diamonds alongside their competitors on the market. While listening to the instrumental tracks, we could distinguish clearly each instrument. The sound was a little too directional, it seemed lacking warmth sometimes. We had similar experiences while watching movies. The sound stage and imaging are first class, plus the bass is dynamic, deep and accurate.
This speaker is available at an absolutely affordable price, and its affordable price has not gone to the detriment of design and sound at all. The design is simple, clean, square. Thanks to the advanced technology, the resonance of the housing is minimal. Among speakers in a similar price range, the Diamond 12.2 has few rivals in terms of dynamic, clear and accurate sound. It could have sounded a little warmer, but that’s not necessarily a problem for everyone. The sound was surprisingly pronounced even in larger rooms, despite its compact size. It is worth using with a heavier power amplifier. For those who want a good-sounding but cheaper speaker, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 can be the perfect choice, whether it’s for listening to music or watching a movie.
Written by Róbert Polgár