Wharfedale and Audiolab Review: The Gold Standard in Hi-Fi Audio

Wharfedale (Made in UK) Dovedale Loudspeakers

Wharfedale: The Quintessence of Audio Excellence

Few names in HiFi resonate with a wider audience than Wharfedale. From its inception in the early 20th century to its current goal-kicking status as both a premium and affordable loudspeaker manufacturer, Wharfedale has consistently set new standards for quality and innovation in audio technology. And with its recent return to small-batch, UK-Made premium loudspeaker ranges like Dovedale, Wharfedale has its sights on a long and successful future.

The Genesis and Evolution of Wharfedale

Wharfedale's story begins in the picturesque valleys of West Yorkshire, where, in the 1930s, Gilbert Briggs built his first loudspeaker in the basement of his home. This humble beginning marked the birth of a brand that would one day become a global giant. Over the decades, Wharfedale has pioneered numerous advancements in speaker technology, from creating one of the first two-way loudspeakers to introducing innovative materials and designs that have helped shape not just the audio industry, but the listening experiences of generations.

The Distinctive Wharfedale Sound

Wharfedale is distinctly British: warmth, ease of listening, a music first approach to sound reproduction, and an unwavering commitment to providing its listeners with greater sound per British pound performance than any other speaker in its class. But, more than that, Wharfedale combines aesthetic elegance with acoustic excellence, ensuring that each speaker is not just an instrument but a piece of art.

Testimonials from audiophiles and professionals alike attest to the immersive listening experience that Wharfedale speakers offer. And an overburdened shelf of accolades from a wide variety of industry's leading publications are what set Wharfedale leagues apart from competitors.

The Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series

The Diamond 12 Series represents the latest evolution in the acclaimed Diamond lineup, offering price conscious listeners musical experiences that are as close to the original performance as possible. The series utilizes Klarity™, an advanced polypropylene compound for the cone material, offering minimal coloration and lightning-fast response.

But it's Wharfedale's collaboration with renowned loudspeaker designer Karl-Heinz Fink, and his industry leading approach to computer-optimised cabinet construction and bracing, that has become Diamond 12's greatest departure from previous series. Coupled with its modern design aesthetic, the Diamond 12 Series stands as a testament to Wharfedale's commitment to form, function, and affordability.


The Wharfedale Linton Heritage

Linton Heritage not only pays homage to Wharfedale's rich history; it embodies decades of acoustic research and development to create a truly modern loudspeaker with a classic aesthetic. Offering a warm and expansive sound that is rarely found in modern speakers, particularly at its price, Linton has fast become Wharfedale's greatest selling loudspeaker of all time. With hand-crafted wood veneers, jersey-knit grills, and matching speaker stands that house 30-odd of your favourite 12" vinyl records, Linton Heritage has become a collector’s item.


Why Wharfedale Stands Apart

Wharfedale continues to be a leader within the loudspeaker market, not just by creating exceptional products, not just by advancing loudspeaker design and material use, and not just by continuing to offer exceptional sound quality for the money, but also by upholding a legacy instilled by its founder, Gilbert Briggs. This commitment is evident in every speaker that bears the Wharfedale name, offering audiophiles and casual listeners alike a truly distinct, truly British music experience.

Unveiling Audiolab: Pioneering Precision in Audiophile Electronics


Audiolab is beginning to make a serious name for itself within the world of audio electronics, repeatedly delivering series after series of award-winning integrated, pre, power and source components. Most known for its minimal, industrial aesthetic and unrivalled audio transparency, Audiolab delivers incredible power, clean audio, and exceptional build quality for an almost unrivalled price.

A Journey Through Audiolab’s History

Established by Philip Swift and Derek Scotland in 1983, Audiolab emerged from their frustration with, as they saw it, the high costs and the unnecessary complexities of hi-fi equipment at the time. By the late 80s Audiolab became an iconic brand within the British HiFi scene, achieving broad acclaim for its integrated amplifier, CD players, and digital-analogue converters. However, by 1998, Audiolab was acquired by the Tag McLaren audio project, which ultimately failed, leading to a short hiatus.

Resurrected by the IAG Group in 2005, Audiolab went to work on rebuilding its 80s brand prestige, developing the acclaimed 8200 series in 2010 and the almost mythic M-DAC in 2011, featuring advanced ESS Sabre technology. But its was the introduction of the 6000 series in 2017 that gave it greater global recognition, receiving both critical acclaim and the love of serious listeners the world over.

Under the direction of famed designer, Jan Ertner, Audiolab maintains complete control over its design and production processes, ensuring exceptional quality, specifications, and value across its product range. Designed and engineered in the UK and manufactured in China, Audiolab continues to be a leader in the hi-fi electronics market, blending traditional fidelity with cutting-edge technology.

Defining The Audiolab Difference

Audiolab is truly defined by a suite of products famed for their clean circuits and robust engineering. Simple, industrial design aesthetics that combine both traditional jog dials and digital displays, and the ability to get out of the way and let the music through. It's not known for being forward nor sluggish. It's known for being a window into the music.

Garnering unwavering consumer trust and critical acclaim, Audiolab is a brand that continually performs far beyond expectation. 8200 series, 6000 series, 7000 series, and now 9000 series: the five star reviews stack high. So too the YouTube reviews, offering equal praise for a wide range of electronics within each series. And it's this praise that serves as a testament to the functionality, elegance, and superiority that Audiolab brings to the table.

Spotlight on Innovation:

Audiolab M-DAC+

Launched in 2011 under John Westlake's expertise, the Audiolab M-DAC quickly became iconic, securing five consecutive What Hi-Fi? Product of the Year awards until its discontinuation in 2016. Esteemed for integrating ESS Sabre technology, it set a benchmark in DAC performance. And its legacy endures! Not only is it represented in equally lauded products like the successive M-DAC+; but also helping to shape the brand's philosophy and influence its product range to this day.


Audiolab 6000A Play

6000A is an award-winning integrated amplifier combining premium engineering with a wide berth of versatile features. It includes a 50W Class AB amplifier, high-resolution digital and analog inputs, Bluetooth connectivity, and a dedicated headphone amplifier. Designed for audiophiles on a budget, 6000A offers What HiFi? Five-Star sound quality and a robust build, ensuring both quality and value the "most affordable amp Audiolab has produced in recent years, and also one of its most capable, confident and competitive efforts."


Why Audiolab Stands Apart
Audiolab's incessant innovation and fine-tuned production echo a brand that's building to become the audio electronic world's vanguard. Combining robust research and development with a passion for unadulterated sound, Audiolab consistently breaks new ground in the industry. Every component, every connection, and every coil is carefully considered to create products that don't just perform but inspire a deeper connection to music.