Wharfedale Diamond 220 Bookshelf Speakers



It was way back in 1981 when the Wharfedale Diamond first redefined expectations of small speakers. The original model proved that a small speaker didn’t necessarily need to sound ‘small’. For the first time, a small, budget speaker could sound full-bodied without being intrusive. The latest Diamond 220 follows on from the highly successful 121 model and has already received an excited response.


New to the Wharfedale Diamond 220 is a sandwich cabinet design. Rather than the simple chipboard and MDF used by the previous Diamond 121, the new 220 uses particle board sandwiched by MDF on either side. This new type of construction gives superb rigidity and damping properties, helping to further reduce the already low levels of distortion. A further benefit is the smooth, MDF construction that offers up a cleaner surface for the veneer to be applied to; meaning a smoother finish all round. Also new is the gloss finished baffle, making the speakers far more pleasing to the eye. As before, the 220 ports the bass via an integral plinth, rather than the more usual front or rear holes. This not only provides a more efficient and even bass output but also makes the speaker easier to place as you don’t have to take wall positioning into account – ideal in a speaker that’s likely to be placed close to a wall.


As before, the bass driver is formed from woven Kevlar and has ribs for added rigidity. What’s new is a revised magnet system for even tighter control of the sound. Vocals still sound more realistic than you’d believe for a speaker of this price and the bass is upbeat and never lagging behind the rest of the mix. At the other end of the scale the treble unit is surrounded by a deeply dished waveguide. This helps to improve the imaging and ‘width’ of sound, making it easier to pick out individual instruments. The treble also provides loads of detail without ever sounding unrefined. Put together, the overall sound quality is still fantastically well-balanced and natural with a sense of realism that you wouldn’t expect from a speaker of this price.

With its latest upgrades the Wharfedale Diamond 220 has truly come of age. If ever there was an argument for evolution over revolution in speaker design, a listen to the Diamond 220 proves the case for the former – and then some!