When Wharfedale launched their first Diamond Series speakers back in the early 80s it really changed the hi-fi market. It set the benchmark for value speakers and continues to be one of the most popular speaker ranges available. This version, the 12.1 is a neat and tidy little standmount that proves great sound does come in small packages.
The one-inch textile dome tweeter is designed to deliver high frequencies with minimal distortion, a smooth frequency response and excellent imaging. It has an optimized magnet system with a compensated aluminum compensation ring to reduce harmonic distortion. The acoustic cavity has been designed with careful attention to acoustic dampening, allowing for the wide dispersion and uncompressed playback that the Diamond series is famous for.
Designed by Karl Heinz Fink, who launched his namesake Q Acoustics brand and now designs for Wharfedale under the Fink Team moniker, this is an impressive little box. It looks smart and stylish on the desktop with a pair of stands and it doesn’t dominate rooms like some larger bookshelf models do. The quoted frequency response is decent too with a low bass extension and a good high-frequency performance. The sensitivity is also up to scratch with an impressive 88 dB/W/m sensitivity that is easy for most amplifiers to drive.
Having been run principally with the Naim Supernait 3 integrated amplifier and Chord Electronics Hugo2 and 2Go as Roon endpoints along with a fair amount of Tidal, FLAC and DSD files there is little to fault with the sound quality this speaker provides. It’s a fantastic baby box and a worthy challenger to the likes of the DALI Oberon 1 that we recently reviewed.