Product review: Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 speaker

Back in 2009 a pair of speakers came along from Wharfedale that really were a force to be reckoned with.

They were a new set of speakers from their diamond range called the 10.1. They really were a fantastic achievement for Wharfedale and were a hit amongst reviewers. The bookshelf speakers gained a coveted 5-star review from What Hi-Fi? magazine and they sold in their droves. Over the succeeding years Wharfedale have redesigned the diamond range to good effect. Now we have the British companies’ latest bookshelf offering from the diamond range in the 11.1.

You can tell immediately that they’ve redesigned the look of the speaker. The size remains similar to its predecessor, the Diamond 220, at just 194 x 310 x 285mm but everything else looks very different indeed. They look more like the classic Diamond 10.1s that were released years ago. There’s those familiar curved sides that taper in towards the rear of the speaker and that silver trim around the drivers. Much different to what these speakers have replaced in the more angular Diamond 220. They come in both a white and black finish but there is only one set of binding posts for each speaker, so no bi-wiring here. Not that it will make much difference I doubt.

Let’s just hope they sound as good as all the previous versions and hopefully taken a step forward.

With a quoted frequency response of 55 – 20,000 they should have an ever so slightly better bottom end so that’s something I intend to look out for. They use a bass reflex design and use a slot port at the bottom of the speaker. This enables easy placement in a room without having to worry about being too close to a wall.

All setup and ready to go.

The evolution of a classic, the Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 continues to lead the compact speaker market.

I’m going to introduce these speakers to a bit of Calvin Harris to get that low end pulsing through the speakers to see what we’ve really got. As expected, from what I’ve come to love about the Diamond range, there’s plenty to get stuck into in that regard. The bass is taught and firm without being overpowering. Wharfedale have redesigned the drivers for these speakers and you can certainly tell. There is a lot more of a premium feel to the Kevlar drivers and this shows up in the bass performance. It’s certainly impressive from a cabinet of this size.

Next, I’ll try something completely different and play “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan.

This really shows off the quality of the treble in most speakers so it’s a good test and the Diamond 11.1 pass with flying colours. Her angelic, almost eerie voice come through with the precision and clarity this track warrants. The high-frequency response is showing up here and at this price, I’ve not heard much better in that regard. Everything is held together superbly and it doesn’t lose focus as the track goes on. I then turn up the volume a bit to see what happens and nothing changes. Except for the obvious loudness. The quality is still there and there no harshness to her voice regardless of what I try. Simply superb.

I’m going to stick a bit of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day on. Not because I need to test these out some more (my mind is made up), but purely for the fact that I like the song and I fancy listening to it through a really decent set of speakers. Which the Diamond 11.1 most certainly are.

Wharfedale have built on their Diamond legacy and improved the range once more.

Don’t believe me? Then bring down your favourite tracks to your local Richer Sounds and hear these beauties for yourself.

Click to find out more about the Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 speakers.

Author: Bradley, Plymouth store

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