Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair)
The Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 is a bookshelf speaker that offers impressive performance at an affordable price point. The speaker is part of the Diamond 12 Series, which is the latest iteration of Wharfedale’s long-running Diamond line of speakers.
The Diamond 12.1 is a two-way bookshelf speaker with a 5-inch woven Kevlar cone woofer and a 1-inch soft dome tweeter. The speaker has a nominal impedance of 8 ohms and a sensitivity rating of 87dB. The speaker is rated to handle up to 100 watts of power, making it a good match for a wide range of amplifiers.
One of the standout features of the Diamond 12.1 is its build quality. The speaker is well-built and feels solid and substantial in the hand. The cabinet is made of high-density fiberboard and is finished with a choice of three attractive veneers: walnut, black, or white. The speaker grille is magnetic, which makes it easy to remove or replace as needed.
In terms of sound quality, the Diamond 12.1 delivers an impressive performance that belies its modest price tag. The speaker is capable of producing a wide soundstage with good depth and detail. The midrange is clear and natural, and the bass is tight and controlled. The tweeter is smooth and detailed, without any harshness or sibilance.
One of the strengths of the Diamond 12.1 is its ability to handle a wide range of musical genres. The speaker is equally at home with rock, jazz, classical, and electronic music. It’s a versatile speaker that can adapt to a wide range of listening environments, whether you’re listening to music in a small apartment or a large living room.
The Diamond 12.1 also has good imaging, which means that it can accurately place instruments and vocals in the soundstage. This makes it easy to pick out individual instruments and follow them throughout a track. The speaker also has good dynamics, which means that it can handle both quiet and loud passages without losing any detail or clarity.
In conclusion, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 is a well-built bookshelf speaker that offers impressive performance at an affordable price point. It’s a versatile speaker that can handle a wide range of musical genres and is equally at home in a small apartment or a large living room. The speaker’s build quality is excellent, and its sound quality is natural and detailed, with good imaging and dynamics. Overall, the Diamond 12.1 is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality bookshelf speaker that won’t break the bank.
Innovative, High-performance, Whole Home Audio Solution, the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 Bookshelf Speakers is for Music Lovers Of All Levels!
The all-new DIAMOND 12 Series is the best DIAMOND range yet, developed in collaboration with Karl-Heinz Fink – one of the most successful loudspeaker designers on the planet. Classic DIAMOND price points, industrial design that’s cool and contemporary yet still distinctly Wharfedale, and sound that delivers a new ‘budget’ benchmark through exceptional acoustic design and engineering – the DIAMOND 12 Series is one of the most exciting audio product launches of 2020
The true all-rounder, the Wharfedale DIAMOND 12.1 is a traditional standmount (or bookshelf) speaker that embodies the history and performance values of the Wharfedale DIAMOND series.
The perfect ‘affordable’ hi-fi speaker, the DIAMOND 12.1 offers the best of both worlds – compact size with power and detail.
Perfect for 2-channel hi-fi systems, thanks to its intricate performance but also compact and capable for immersive home theatre, the DIAMOND 12.1 is designed and certified to perform, regardless of room size and application.
The DIAMOND 12.1 features a high-performance 130mm (5”) KlarityTM driver for exceptional timing and refined bass. The superb 25mm (1”) woven polyester dome tweeter delivers open and smoothly extended high frequencies.
Klarity Affords Focus
New Klarity™ cone material, formulated from a blend of Polypropylene and mica adds stiffness to reduce flexing, enabling a lightweight cone with high rigidity, low colouration and lightning-fast response
Low Colour & Expression
The Klarity™ cone is fitted with a low-damping surround, thereby achieving both low colouration and expressive dynamics. By simulating many different cone shapes and adding ribs to provide further stiffening, a flat response curve was achieved without resorting to a high-damping surround, thereby striking the ideal balance.
A Magnet Of Forces
A precision-made magnet system with an aluminium compensation ring to minimise the effect of variations in inductance as the voice coil travels. This contributes to an absence of distortion and intermodulation generated by the ‘motor system’
A Voice Coil Beyond This Class
The voice coil is wound on a high-power epoxy/glass fibre bobbin – highly unusual in speakers at this price level. This has the advantage of not adding eddy currents and delivering greater power handling than an aluminium bobbin, whilst also being much stiffer than the Kapton type associated with this price-class.
Wide Exposure Dome Tweeter
The 25mm dome is made from a woven polyester film with a high-gloss coating to deliver open and smoothly extended high frequencies. The magnet system and the front plate have been optimised for wide dispersion and uncompressed behaviour.
The front plate is flat and exposes the dome as much as possible; only a very short duct on the front plate balances the acoustic load and improves the SPL (sound pressure level) measurement
Diamond 12’s crossover network is far more sophisticated than one usually finds in speakers in this price class. It uses a complex Linkwitz-Riley 24dB/octave topology featuring air-core inductors (coils) of the type more commonly found in high-end speakers. Air-core coils produce the lowest distortion of all inductor types, contributing to Diamond’s well-deserved reputation for freedom from listening fatigue – perfect for an evening or an entire day of stress-free music enjoyment.
The crossover network uses an acoustic LKR 24dB topology. This includes air-core inductors of the type more commonly found in high-end speakers, selected because they produce the lowest distortion of all inductor types. As the resistance of the coil is higher than a standard laminated steel or ferrite core inductor, the magnetic structure of the mid/bass driver has been modified to compensate, resulting in fast, clean bass with no distortion from the inductor.
Resonance Control Cabinet
The best drivers and crossovers in the world would be for nought in a poorly made, highly resonant enclosure. Diamond 12 cabinet walls employ a multi-layered sandwich design to suppress resonance. Inside the cabinet, Intelligent Spot Bracing connects opposite walls with a wood brace to further reduce panel flexing and vibration. These braces are precisely modelled by computer simulation to improve upon the commonplace ‘figure of eight’ brace, which may transfer resonance from one wall to another.
A rap on the side of any Diamond model and hear the reassuring “thud.” Listen to music or a cinema soundtrack and hear the purity of sound that only comes with superior drivers positioned within an acoustically inert cabinet.
Inside the cabinet, Intelligent Spot Bracing connects opposite walls with a specific form of the wood brace to achieve an optimal reduction of cabinet resonance. These braces are precisely modelled by computer simulation to improve upon the commonplace ‘figure of eight’ brace, which may simply transfer resonance from one wall to another.
All Diamond series models provide two sets of high quality 5-way binding post terminals for optional bi-wire connection. The terminals are angled, allowing easier access and neater wire management.
The Choice for Home Cinema
If assembling a superior performance home cinema system at a sensible price is your goal, the Diamond Series is an ideal choice. All models use the same tweeter, driver cone design, and crossover topology for matched tonal balance and seamless surround imaging.
Reviews of the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 Bookshelf Speakers
- We’re hugely impressed that the Diamond 12.1s can live with the best at the price. They have a broad spread of abilities that will help them get the most from price-compatible electronics and deserve a place high on your shortlist….. What Hi*Fi?
- The new 12.1 is an impressive performer and manages to undercut other respected budget boxes by no small margin, yet still delivers excellent overall performance….. Stereonet
Specifications: Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 Bookshelf Speakers
|General description||2-way bookshelf speaker|
|Enclosure type||bass reﬂex|
|Bass driver||5″(130mm) advanced PP Cone|
|Treble driver||1″(25mm) Textile Dome|
|Sensitivity(2.83V @ 1m)||88dB|
|Recommended ampliﬁer power||20-100W|
|Nominal impedance||8Ω Compatible|
|Frequency response(+/-3dB)||65Hz ~ 20kHz|
|Cabinet Volume (in litres)||8.2L|
|Dimensions ( H x W x D )||312 x 180mm x (250+28) mm|
- Hi-Fi World review of the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1
- The Best Bookshelf Speaker Under $500?
- Best budget hi-fi speakers 2021
- Stereonet UK Review