Smaller apartment-style living in the 50s and 60s produced an increase in demand for compact stereo speakers. When that demand met with new technological and manufacturing innovations, small cabinet sound quality went up and consumer costs went down, giving rise to the bookshelf speaker. Smaller, lighter, less intrusive, and far more affordable than their floorstanding forebears, there’s very little not to love about the Bookshelf. But, when it comes to a bookshelf loudspeaker what’s most important to YOU ?
Sound quality, right! You want texture, nuance – that little extra sparkle smart speakers and soundbars just don’t produce. After all, high fidelity should produce highly impressive audio. But being compact is probably important, too. Contemporary listening environments demand subtle, unobtrusive designs that perfectly integrate with your home’s style. But, maybe most important of all is knowing that your hard-earned dollars are working equally hard for you – i.e, value for money.
When Wharfedale collaborated with Karl Hinz Fink to produce the latest Diamond series, they upped the audio quality by using computer modulation, redesigning the driver systems, and formulating an entirely new woofer blend. They focused on discrete cabinet design to create a subtle physical footprint (Diamond 12.1: 31 x 18 x 25cm). And they included a ton of technology like epoxy/glass fibre bobbins, computer-simulated cabinet bracing, and air core conductors – all to ensure that at $649 Diamond 12.1 is an absolute steal.
But don’t just take our word for it. What Hifi? (audio's very own holy bible) recently reviewed Diamond 12.1 to discover that “they sound confident and composed in a way that evades most budget rivals.” As for discrete home integration, well – “a neat and compact box – standing at just 31cm, it won’t dominate any room.” And when it comes to bang for buck, they determined that the Diamond 12.1s are “excellent speakers for the money and deserve a place high on your short list.”
Overall, Wharfedale’s Diamond 12.1 received a FIVE STAR rating: five out of five for sound, compatibility, and build. Combine these talents with discrete design and outstanding value-for-money and you have a master bookshelf loudspeaker answering to all the demands of the modern listener.
Click HERE for all the Diamond 12.1 details. And for the full What HiFi? review, check the link below: