Size isn’t everything – Wharfedale DX-2

Wharfedale’s commitment to affordable – surround sound cheers Ed SeHey

It wasn’t too long ago that an entry-Level AVR partnered with a sub/sat speaker package was the default starting position for home cinema thrills. As such, any self-respecting speaker brand had one in its inventory. Yet times change — soundbars have left the compact home cinema option looking a bit Less compact.

Not everybody has abandoned the old ways, though. Wharfedale made us very happy with its DX-1SE array [HCC #267 — and our 2016/2017 Best Compact Speaker System award winner], which was very much in the classic sub/sat system mould, and it has now clearly felt that the design had more to offer. so has released the DX-2.

On the face of it, it doesn’t Look like too much has changed. You still get five tittle speakers and a subwoofer. But Wharfedale says that a lot of what you see is different — including cabinet designs, drivers that have been ‘fine-tuned’, and boosted subwoofer power.

So, at £450, is this is a tempting proposition?

Compact convention

In terms of speaker design, the DX-2 doesn’t push any boundaries. It features two pairs of compact satellites that function as left and right channels, front and rear. Each is a two-way design, with a 0.75in soft dome tweeter and 3in woven polypropylene midbass driver, and looks like a shrunken bookshelf speaker. These satellites are joined by a dedicated centre, which adds a second 3in midbass driver to the spec rather than simply placing a satellite on its side.

The system is completed by the WH-D8 active subwoofer. In a world of multi-driver monsters with output power in the kilowatts, a sub with a single 8in driver and 70W (150W peak) amplifier might not stir the blood, but this is still rather more subwoofer than some soundbar rivals possess. Most importantly, it feels like a properly engineered device. The seated cabinet is mounted an feet that are pliant enough to isolate it from the outside world, and ensure it doesn’t make a bid for freedom if you crank the levels up. You also get a crossover control, a phase switch and the ability to bypass the auto on/off function — although, it has to be said, this works pretty well.

The WH-D8 is going to be pretty busy in a system of this nature because the output of the satellites doesn’t drop especially Low. Wharfedale quotes a lower response of 120Hz (+/- 3cI8) and 100Hz at a more severe roll-off (+/- 6dB). As this means the sub’s output is likely to be at least partially directional, I found it does its best work on axis with the front speakers.

Crucially, the DX-2 package doesn’t feel cheap.  The finish of the satellites is fair, with a gloss-black front panel brightened up with chrome trim rings. I’m Less sold on the leatherette wrap on the cabinets, but it’s largely unobtrusive and the speakers themselves seem solid and well made.

At the moment, the DX-2 is available in black, as pictured, but a white finish is due to surface too.  The speakers can be wall-mounted via keyhole fixings, and they benefit from decently rugged speaker terminals. There are no spring-clip holes here.

Overall, I’d argue the Wharfedale system is built to a standard that is entirely competitive with soundbars in the £600-£700 range. This is important because the benefits of separate receivers and speakers are worth repeating. Not only can they offer authentic surround sound, they’re likely to offer better connectivity, improved stereo performance and the ability to be upgraded independently of one another. Wharfedale has an eye on this already, and has announced that an extra pair of DX-2 satellites will be available for £100 to enable expansion to 7.1.

Against this, you do have the greater complexity and cabling to consider, but installing a setup of this ilk is not exactly arduous.

Turning up the Wick

No less importantly, the DX-2 doesn’t sound cheap either. With the bruising core TrueHD mix of John Wick: Chapter 2 (Btu-ray), the Wharfedales cover all the basics correctly. With the woofer at the front of the room, I preferred using a 100Hz crossover to a 120Hz setting. I didn’t perceive there to be any `hole’ in the system’s bass response; the DX-2 instead sounded cohesive and controlled.

The movie’s opening chase through the streets of New York is handled well. The engine sounds of the slower cars that Wick’s Chevelle overtakes were smoothly passed from speaker to speaker.

The enclosures are, in home cinema terms, fairly small, yet the soundstage delivered never sounds small and creates a convincingly room-filling experience. Sure, there are limits. The sequence where Wick falls back through the catacombs can reach the maximum level of what the satellites are capable of handling, meaning they sound more congested, but the volume level that this occurs at is fairly substantial.

It is also worth noting that this limit is much more on the part of the satellites than the subwoofer. The WH-D8 bass bin does a superb job all the way from its handover to the satellites, down to the point where energy is felt rather than heard. It sounds larger and more potent than you would expect, and balances this with a likeable sense of agility and speed.

This all means that the DX-2 is well equipped to tackle fast-paced but deft movie moments. The sequence where Joy and Sadness are ejected from the headquarters in Pixar’s Inside Out (Blu-ray) convinces, with the speakers nailing the movement of the memory balls and general sense of disarray while keeping the score and dialogue distinct from the wider effects.

The use of a dedicated centre speaker really pays dividends in situations like this. Sharing drivers across the front soundstage keeps it uniform tonally, resulting in a robust, believable sound with smooth transitions, and dialogue that’s never lost in the mix even when things get hectic.

The system maintains its clear and cohesive presentation with things like Sky’s deranged (but weirdly watchable) Britannia; is a satisfying listen late at night with the volume dropped low; and turns in a decent presentation with music too. That well-judged handover between satellites and woofer ensures an impressively fulsome delivery of Kraftwerk’s Aero Dyriamik (FLAC, 3-0 The Catalogue), with its bassline rolling along nicely with no sense of overhang or delay, nor any obvious feeling of there being three speakers rather than two. With the more considered and relaxed Losing to You by Stars, the DX-2 delivers the vocal centre of the song with surprising scale and genuine realism, given the dinky nature of the satellites. As with film use, you can push the speakers to run out of headroom, but the sub remains as unburstable as ever.

This 2.1 performance naturally isn’t as refined or largescale as that of a pair of floorstanding speakers, but it is achieved while taking up an awful lot less space in the room. And it’s more than good enough to balance some stereo listening along with multichannel.

A slice of home cinema

Again, Wharfedale has got the balance between price and performance bang an. The sonic chops of this sub-E.500 package are considerable, while styling is good and setup fuss-free. There are speaker wires to run and an AVR to budget for, but the DX-2 is not so much bigger or more cumbersome than a high-end saundbar, while offering much more flexibility. This gives buyers a real slice of home cinema joy at a very sensible price point. Like its predecessor, it’s a bit of a bargain.


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Wharfedale 起源與成就,引領世界的’‘聲音”

樂富豪是世界著名的音響品牌,出產於 1932 年,英國 Wharfedale 樂富豪享譽全球唯一超越八十多年音響設計及制造的國際知名品牌,樂富豪 80多年的歷史,也見証音響發展的歷史。

Wharfedale 起源與成就,引領世界的’‘聲音”

英國一向以來都是被國際發燒評審專家們斷定是設計和出產高品質揚聲器的寶地無論在技術上還是質量水平比都引領著世界的音響潮流。 WharfedaIe 樂富豪作為一個音響歷史上唯一的一家享譽超越八十余年依然堅守音響文化信念的英國尖端音響品牌廠商。憑借優良的音箱和單元吩十制造產品在發燒 Hi-Fi 界建立了無與倫比的英國品牌地位。

GiIbert Briggs 的傳奇人生 – 對聲音超越 85 年的堅持

Gilbert Briggs(吉貝爾恃布裡格斯)是英國 Wharfedale 喇叭的創始人兼任音像協會主持人。 他獻身於音響事業是出自於對音樂的熱愛,為了尋找一台聲音滿意的鋼琴,不惜花去多年的儲蓄足足換了40 台,才找到了至愛的 Steinway Grand 鋼琴。 他把自己對音樂的摯轟和執著化成了畢生的事業。他早期制造聲音重播系統的經瞼和理論相當成功從此開始創辦了一家舉世矚目的經典音響制適企業並享譽世界超越80 多年的尖端品牌廠商。



世界上第一隻 Hi-Fi 喇叭、世界上第一隻電磁動圈喇叭

1932 年 Gilbert Brggs 把家中地窖改裝成一個精簡的音響開發操作間。在這個地下室裡 Gilbert Brggs 成功地開發了世界上第一隻電磁圈推動的單體揚聲器。而位於 Wharfe 河邊的小鎮也因此成了 Wharfedale 音響制造業的發源地。 時至今天 GIbert-Briggs 的開創先驅性成就仍受到Hi-Fl界的無比贊宮與尊崇致敬。

世界上最古老的 Hi-Fi 揚聲器生產廠家創建,1933 年 Hi-Fi邁 出了誕生后的第一步 

1933 年 Gilbert 在 Bradford 附板開辦了一家小工廠進行推動揚聲器單元的手工生產 。此消息很快傳遍整個英國地區而當時的揚聲器單元的訂貨頓時大增。 起初他們隻是家庭式生產作業,Gilbert 的太太也在主管生產部門工作,一切單元的音圈繞制焊接也都要親力親為,不眠不休的進行,這樣才可以勉強 應付當時市場對揚聲器單元的激烈需求。

世界上第一本揚聲器設計教程 ,曠世巨著 – [Loudspeakers-The Why & How of Good Reproduction] 

Gllbert-Briggs 在 1948 年創作的經典著作 LOUDSPEAKERS 是世界一第 一本講解揚聲器的設計和制作的業界天書。 Gilbert-Briggs 畢生為英國音響行業培養出許多音響設計技術專才,在英國有不少 Hi-Fi 音響廠家的設計師曾經在 Gllbert-Briggs 門下 得以揚聲器制作技術真傳。Gllbert-Briggs 著作的 Loudspeakers – The Why & How of Good Reproduction 揚聲器制作天書是眾多的國際 Hi-Fi 揚聲器廠家(包括美國、德、法、日)設計揚聲器的基礎上首要學習的必讀 參考書籍。 如今 Gilbert-Briggs 所著作的書籍已經成為世界上具中之一的珍貴科研學術遺產。

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Wharfedale Diamond A1

130mm mid-bass driver, 25mm fabric dome tweeter 1x coaxial digital, 1x optical, 1x RCA stereo phono inputs Bluetooth aptX 2x 50W amplification Remote control

What is the Wharfedale Diamond A1?

The Diamond A1 is a relatively high-end pair of Bluetooth speakers, and the active, more attractive version of the Wharfedale Diamond 220.

If you’re after something more room-filling and high-fidelity than the army of one-box wireless speakers out there, these are a truly impressive option.

Wharfedale Diamond A1 – Design and features

Unlike the majority of Bluetooth speaker systems around, you don’t get one box, or even two boxes; three separate boxes for the Diamond A1. That’s because, in addition to the pair of stereo speakers, there’s a wireless control box that handles all the pairing and physical inputs.

But let’s start with the speakers, which are really rather classy. They might be based on the Diamond 220, but aesthetically they have far more going on, with radius corners and a choice of either gloss white or black for the front baffle. The real touch of panache, however, comes from black leatherette wrapped around the edges of the cabinet.

Mounted into the baffle of each is a 130mm mid-bass driver and a 25mm fabric dome tweeter, driven by 50W of internal amplification. There’s no slave and master here, with both speakers having their own power – they’re identical, and each has a switch to designate whether it’s the left or right channel.

Of course, this means that the speakers don’t need to be tied together by any kind of cable. The downside is that each requires its own power input, and Wharfedale has chosen to use external power supplies rather than integrating PSUs inside the speakers.

The choice to have a separate control hub adds yet another mains adapter and plug socket into the equation, so the wireless dream could turn into a nightmare if you can’t easily hide all those wires, transformers and plugs somewhere.

The Wharfedale H1 hub looks a little like a router. On the front is an IR receiver for the supplied remote control, while on the top is a small display and touch controls for power, volume up and down, and source selection. Around the back are coaxial and optical inputs for digital sources, and an RCA stereo phono line input. There’s also a micro-USB socket for firmware updates.

The remote control is light and plasticky, but looks far nicer than many of the cheap units usually supplied with Bluetooth speakers – when they have a remote at all.

Wharfedale Diamond A1 – Sound quality

Setting up the Diamond A1 is a bit of a faff, mainly a result of that separate control hub. There’s a series of button presses required, as well as ensuring one of the speakers is set as the left channel and the other as the right.

With that done, and a Bluetooth device paired, it’s all ready to go. And it impresses immediately.

Starting with something expansive – The National’s ‘The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness’ – the Diamond A1 rose to the challenge, forming a wide soundstage and reproducing the guitar particularly well.

A run through Massive Attack’s iconic ‘Blue Lines’ album proved the Diamond A1 have a tightly controlled bass – although since their bass ports are on the back, this will be affected by how much space you give them to breathe. At the very least, I’d leave a gap of three inches behind to avoid booming and a disconnect with the mid-range.

There’s a handy trim control on the rear of each speaker, though, with the ability to boost or reduce the bottom end. I found it worked well to increase the bass when using the A1 in a larger room.

Something a little subtler, such as Iron & Wine’s ‘Beast Epic’ album, exposes the Diamond A1’s limitations. Vocals don’t quite have the realism, and the mid-range doesn’t have the separation that can be achieved by spending a little more on a dedicated hi-fi system. For the money, though, this still offers impressive performance.

Should I buy the Wharfedale Diamond A1?

The Diamond A1 are super-impressive for the money. They offer excellent scale and power, as well as revealing a decent level of detail. For truly room-filling hi-fi sound, there’s very little that can touch them at this price. And they look far more expensive than they are.

The lack of aptX HD support – so no wireless Hi-Res Audio streaming – might concern, but the Diamond A1 don’t quite have the finesse to resolve that extra detail. Really, you’ll need to spend quite a lot more to get to that level.


Excellent-sounding Bluetooth speakers with a ton of sonic scale for the money.


   From “Trusted Reviews”
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Wharfedale Diamond 11 榮譽再來

Diamond 11.1
绝不要把 Diamond 11.1 想象成传统产品,她远远超乎你的想象!

Diamond 11.2

自1981年以來,Wharfedale 著名的 Diamond 系列一直在不斷地重新定義高性價比的揚聲器所能達到的效果。每一次升級都會超越上一次。現推出的新一代 Diamond 11系列,在音色優美及清晰度方面會呈現更多的細節。優雅的弧形以及三明治箱體設計,配合現代技術與工藝相結合的揚聲器和立體導相技術,讓音樂沁入到每個聽眾的心臟和靈魂,這就是鑽石的魅力。

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Wharfedale Diamond 11 SERIES

only a diamond cuts to the heart of the music

Since 1981, Wharfedale’s famous Diamond line has continually redefined what can be achieved by modestly priced loudspeakers, each iteration improving upon the last.

Now it’s time for a new generation – the Diamond 11 Series – to burst sonic expectations with a range of bookshelf and floorstanding speakers that deliver spellbinding clarity and sparkling refinement.

Elegantly curved multi-layered cabinet walls, advanced drive unit technologies and a sophisticated slot-loaded port system combine to expose the heart and soul of every musical performance, as only a Diamond can.

advanced bass and midrange drivers

The Diamond 11 Series incorporates the most advanced drive unit systems ever seen in an affordable loudspeaker range, with massive ceramic magnets for high sensitivity and highly linear motor systems for minimal distortion.

Woven Kevlar cones are bonded to a super-lightweight surround made from hi-tech foam, delivering remarkable clarity and musical expression. These cones are driven by copper-clad aluminium coils, which surround a specially shaped one-piece pole plate fitted with a copper cap to reduce inductance and linearise the magnetic flux.

The driver assembly is held together by a specially designed basket, ribbed to increase rigidity, with a large open area behind the cone. The rigidity improves transient impact while the big open area reduces early reflections to cone and allows the internal cabinet absorbent to do its work.

wfr treble unit

Developed specifically for the Diamond 11 Series, Wharfedale’s Wide Frequency Response tweeter incorporates its own ‘cabinet’ – a precisely shaped rear chamber damped with a fibre filling. This provides a low resonant frequency below 800Hz, ensuring that the usual distortion heard from such resonance is buried deep below the musical output.

An over-sized ceramic magnet, chosen to give a smoother sound than the commonly found neodymium, is attached to a vented pole piece with copper cap. Together, these features contribute to a wonderfully lucid midrange as well as smooth, pure and richly defined high-frequency detail.

elegantly curved cabinets

The main enclosure of each Diamond 11 Series speaker is expertly engineered to make the most of the advanced drive units, utilising a multi-layer sandwich of woods of differing density to subdue the identifiable characteristics of the cabinet ‘sound’ and so let the drivers speak for themselves.

Critical bracing of the cabinet panels contributes to the eradication of audible resonance, as does the curving of the cabinet walls to provide a non-boxy shape. In addition, the cabinet walls are lined with a specially developed internal fibre, chosen for its outstanding absorbent qualities across a wide bandwidth.

The result is that the listener hears the drive unit output unsullied by unwanted colorations caused by panel vibration or internal resonances, revealing more of the detail of the musical performance.

sophisticated slot-loaded port

Instead of a standard circular reflex port, an enhanced version of Wharfedale’s more sophisticated Slot-Loaded Distributed Port is used to augment bass performance.

An internal port tube, with precisely curved openings to smooth airflow, opens into a slot formed between the cabinet and the plinth. This reduces the turbulence and audible ‘chuffing’ suffered by conventional ported systems, which is caused by the sudden outrush of high pressure air into the low pressure in the room.

The result is an entirely natural recreation of the fundamental notes of bass instruments, matching the realistic sound of the midrange and treble characteristics. It also allows the listener to position Diamond 11 speakers closer to a rear wall than would be possible with conventional rear-ported speakers, helping to make them less obtrusive in a room setting.

sound that sparkles

It all adds up to unquestionably the best Diamond range yet, delivering a natural sense of space and musical communication that is both instantly engaging and consistently appealing in the long term.

Diamond 11 Series speakers draw you into every musical performance in a way you’d normally expect to hear only from models at considerably higher price levels, epitomising the traditional Wharfedale attribute of being great all-rounders with any kind of music.

Add the elegantly curved and immaculately finished cabinets, available in a choice of black, white, walnut or rosewood, and Wharfedale is proud to have created a range of speakers that delivers premium quality at remarkably affordable prices – entirely befitting the company’s 85-year legacy.

the range in full

The Diamond 11 Series comprises eight models: three standmount designs, three floorstanders and two centre speakers for home cinema systems.

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關於 Wharfedale(樂富豪)




Wharfedale 樂富豪作為音響歷史上唯一享譽超越八十多年、依然堅守音響文化信念的英國尖端音響品牌廠商。憑借優良的音響和單元設計制造產品在發燒Hi-Fi界建立了無與倫比的英國品牌龍頭地位。

Gilbert Briggs (吉貝爾特布裡格斯)是英國Wharfedale喇叭的創始人兼任音響協會主持人

在 1932 年 Gilbert-Briggs 把他家的地窖改裝成一個精簡的音響開發操作間。在這裡,他成功地開發了世界上的第一隻電磁圈推動的單體揚聲器。這個位於 Wharfe河邊的小鎮也成了 Wharfedale 音響制造業的發源地。


起初,他們隻是家庭式生產作業,Gilbert 的太太也在主管生產部門工作,一切生產都要親力親為,日以繼夜的努力開工,才得以勉強應付當時市場對揚聲器單元的激烈需求。

同年,Gilbert 帶著首個商業設計的揚聲器參加了 “Bradford Radio” 這個首度的第一次的全英電聲學揚聲器大賽,成功贏得第一、二名兩項大獎,同時,還獲得開業以來第一張最大訂單。至此 Wharfedale Wireless Works 公司就順利登上英國音響龍頭寶座。

Gilbert-Briggs 在1948年的時候開始著書出版,當時他的經典著作《LOUDSPEAKS》是世界上第一本講解揚聲器的設計和制作的業界天書。並同期開始在全球廣泛推動技術理念和演講及交流,傳授電聲及揚聲器制作技術。

Gilbert-Briggs 畢生為英國音響行業培育出許多音響設計技術專才。在英國有不少Hi-Fi 音響廠家的設計師曾經在 Gilbert-Briggs 門下得到揚聲器制作技術真傳,在當年英國有許多揚聲器設計大師的年輕志願希望都在 Wharfedale 工廠任職學習。

Gilbert Briggs 所著作的《Louspeakers-The Why&How of Good Reproduction》揚聲器制作天書是眾多的國際Hi-Fi揚聲器廠家(包括美、德、法、日)設計揚聲器的技術上首要學習的必讀參考書籍,以其引為設計揚聲器的標准和典范。

Wharfedale被尊稱為音響行業的“西點軍校”,也是設計制造揚聲器的教父。足以體現Gilbert Briggs和樂富豪品牌對現代音響行業所做出的巨大的貢獻
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