Wharfedale Diamond 8 Series Speakers Reviewed

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Final Take - Thinking it appropriate that I first audition these products of England with material of similar heritage, I broke out Queen's exceptional DVD-Audio disc, A Night at the Opera. I went right for "Bohemian Rhapsody," a song I've heard enough times to know what to expect. In a word, wow! Though the lower end could have used a tad more punch, the tight midrange and sweet highs made for riveting sound. This was the best rendition that I'd heard in quite some time.

So the Diamonds can handle music, but what about movies? In keeping with the British motif, there was clearly only one choice. After only a few minutes of watching Austin Powers in Goldmember, it was clear to me that these speakers have earned their overseas reputation. The front soundstage created by these speakers is wonderfully wide and airy. The DFS surrounds add just the right amount of ambience, without ever drawing undue attention. The hilarious pre-credit and credit sequence of Goldmember runs the gamut of sound, and the Diamonds tackled it admirably without ever breaking a sweat. That is no small feat, considering the fact that these are power-hungry 6-ohm speakers.

There is a lot to like about these speakers. I have to give Wharfedale bonus points for the 8.4's well-constructed stand and carpet spikes. As a matter of fact, the build quality on each of these speakers, including the subwoofer, is well above average. Also noteworthy are those slick, KEVLAR drivers. The fact that these Diamonds created such a transparent and enveloping sound field was icing on the cake.

Keeping the Diamonds from a perfect score however, were those flimsy speaker grilles and a somewhat timid lower end. The Powercube subwoofer did well handling most low frequency information, but it just didn't grab me as much as some other subs do. I'm not going to hold the relative inefficiency of these speakers against them, because that can be a total non-issue if paired with the proper amplifier. Simply remember that these are 6-ohm speakers with a fairly low sensitivity rating of 86dB. To get the most sparkle out of these Diamonds, use a good amp with clean power and lots of it.

Considering their extremely affordable price, the performance and feature set of these Diamonds is hard to believe. For roughly $1,500, Wharfedale has put together a suite of sharp-looking and great-sounding speakers for anyone wanting high-end speaker performance on a bargain budget. On a personal note, they have certainly given me pause as I continue to wrestle with what to buy my lovely wife. Honey, you said you wanted diamonds, and these we can both enjoy. Happy Anniversary!

Additional Resources
• Read more bookshelf speaker reviews from Wharfedale, B&W, Paradigm, Linn, Jamo and many others.

Wharfedale Diamond 8 Series
Diamond 8.4
6.5" mid/bass Kevlar driver
6.5" bass Kevlar driver
1" silk dome tweeter
Bi-wireable, Bi-ampable
5-way binding posts
Carpet spikes included
Power Handling:150W
Nominal Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 86dB
Frequency Range: 30Hz-20kHz
36"H x 9"W x 11.5"D
MSRP: $599/pair

Diamond 8 Centre
(2) 5" mid/bass Kevlar drivers
1" silk dome tweeter
Bi-wireable, Bi-ampable
5-way binding posts
Power Handling:100W
Nominal Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 88dB
Frequency Range: 30Hz-20kHz
7"H x 17.75"W x 7.25"D
MSRP: $169

Diamond 8 DFS
(2) 5" mid/bass Kevlar drivers
1" silk dome tweeter
Bi-wireable, Bi-ampable
5-way binding posts
Wall-mountable
Power Handling:120W
Nominal Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 90dB
Frequency Range: 70Hz-20kHz
14.5"H x 16.5"W x 6.75"D
MSRP: $299/pair

Powercube DX12 Subwoofer
12" downward-firing woofer
Auto on/off
Line-level and speaker-level inputs
Frequency Range: 32Hz-170Hz
Adjustable Crossover: 70-170Hz
17"H x 14.75"W x 14.75"D
MSRP: $499


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HTR Product Rating for Wharfedale Diamond 8 Series Speakers

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

4

Overall

4

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