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Customer Reviews

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 Bookshelf speakers (Black)

MFR # WHD121BLK

5.0 out of 5 stars
28 reviews
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A class leader

David from Colorado Spgs, CO on 12/27/2023

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Nice separation and distinction, great range when paired with a powered subwoofer with adjustable crossover.

Pros: Value. Nice sound performance in a smaller space.

Cons: Need a subwoofer and for smaller rooms only.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Smooth and sweet

Joseph from Apple valley CA. on 12/16/2023

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Just a few years ago you could not get this kind of quality at this price. I would describe the sound as smooth and sweet. Solid build, quality drivers and crossover, designed by Karl Heinz Fink. A good match for my Nad c316bee.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Richard from Los Angeles, CA on 12/1/2023

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Sparkling and clear, in my very live "open plan" living room.

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5 of 5 found this helpful

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Nicholas from Seville, OH on 11/27/2023

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average sound at best. not any better than a wireless JBL Flip3, but compared to the prices of quality speakers I guess you are getting what you paid for.

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0 of 7 found this helpful

Dear Wharfedale, look what you made me do.

Michael from SAINT AUGUSTINE, FL on 7/10/2023

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Well, after three weeks, I could go on and on about these but let's water it down to me liking them over what I know to be a really good pair of bookshelves: Focal Vestia N1. The Diamonds were just that; they just seem to sparkle more, particularly in the highs and with fuller lows. Note: they are paired with a Velodyne CT80 sub and driven by a beast, my Rotel RSX-1562. I hear details in the Wharfedales that are not as prevalent on the Focals.and I love the Focals. That's just how nice the Diamond 12.1s are. (I feel a second pair or perhaps the 12.2 with center channel coming. SHHH.don't tell my wife.)

Pros: For its pay grade, it radiates clarity, precision and detail. It comes ready to bi-amplify and it exudes build quality.

Cons: I wished they came with better "feet" but that's just me being picky.

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4 of 4 found this helpful

Beautiful listening

Sara from San Juan, PR on 7/4/2023

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Beauty and sound together

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Tim from Fontana, CA on 5/17/2023

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Great sounding speakers. If want more bass though go up to the 12.2. I knew I was adding a SVS sub to my 12.1. Fantastic sound.

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0 of 1 found this helpful

Exceeds Expectations - Great Value

Roger from Massachusetts on 4/3/2023

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Warm and confident sounding speakers. They accurately reflect the upstream source. I'm using it with a tube amp. Changing the tubes changes how the speaker sounds. Some tubes separate the instruments with pinpoint detail, the Diamond 12.1 obliges and presents it. Other tubes sound rich with strong vocal presence. The Diamonds accurately present it. I am very happy with these speakers.

Pros: Accurate reproduction. Confident sounding.

Cons: Has a small amount of warmth.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Shine bright like a Diamond

Suav from Sacramento, CA on 1/11/2023

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The hype is real. These speakers are the deal. They have sweet crisp highs, pronounced mids, and enough lows to satisfy my needs. First thing I noticed was the clarity. Tweeters are smooth without the harshness. Went from Polk Audio T15's, NHT Superones(Gen1), to these Diamond 12.1. NHT's were nice natural sounding speakers but these Diamonds are a next level up. I'm using a Kenwood KR-4400 to push these bad boys. Could never get tired of these speakers.

Pros: Build quality is top notch. Sound is even better.

Cons: When I have to do other things. I just wanna listen to these speakers!

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7 of 7 found this helpful

Diamond 12.1 bookshelf speakers

Ed from Tucson, AZ on 12/22/2022

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Sound great!

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Hugh from Richmondville, NY on 12/21/2022

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Beautiful warm sounding speakers. Perfect for a vintage amp and turntable.

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Cory from Spring, TX on 12/8/2022

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I'v A/B tested a number of speakers recently (Klipsch RM 600, Elac 6.2, Wharfedale 80s), and I would say the Diamonds are the victor. It's on the smaller side, but it really packs a punch. I will use the Diamonds as sort of an all arounder. (I will use the Wharfedale 80s for jazz listening, as the warmth of the 80s is unmatched.) Great customer service from Crutchfield.

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4 of 4 found this helpful

Great Little Speaker

Timothy from Olive Branch, MS on 11/22/2022

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Always wanted to try Wharfdale speakers. Got this on-sale for Black Friday early deals. Built very well and sounds really good for this price point.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Bob from Escanaba, MI on 9/28/2022

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Great speakers for the size. Very solid construction. Excellent sound.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

First time low/hi fi

AG from Miami, FL on 9/8/2022

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These are my first bookshelf speakers ever. Paired with a Yamaha AS301. They sound amazing. Nice mids, bass is nice too. Very happy with my purchase.

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12 of 12 found this helpful

Musical Nirvana from a Bookshelf!

William A from Vienna, VA on 6/11/2022

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I am quite impressed with their sound! Presentation balanced, transparent, and detailed. Highs sparkle very pleasingly with solid mids and bass. Musical! You cannot expect booming bass of course from such a small box, but it had very nice presence, and depending on your setup can easily have a very physical presence as well (i.e., using a tube amp or with a slight bass boost on equalizer). What is paramount though is setting them up per manufacture recommendations. If you place them closer than 6' apart then they will sound muffled and the sound stage becomes small losing distinction between instruments. And while they do specify that they can be as close as 2" from the wall, I found that when closer than 5" you can get occasionally an instrument/frequency to over exaggerate its presence and sound harsh compared to the rest of the music. I found 7" to be just perfect. Manufacturer specs recommend 15 to 40 degrees inward facing and indeed they work best this way. I preferred having them focused just behind me for best stereo separation. Once I had them positioned optimally they went from sounding a little muffled and constrained to ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC with clarity, transparency, distinction, balance, and a sublime stage presence - unbelievable for their size. LOVE THEM!! My setup: Technics 1200GR Phono w/iFi Zen Preamp, Rotel CD11 Tribute, Schiit Freya+ Preamp, Schiit Aegir Amp, and Schiit Lokius Equalizer.

Pros: When placed properly: wonderful sound stage, separation, clarity, and balance providing a highly engaging and fatigue-less musical experience even though so small. They also fill the room and surrounds with nice musical presentation if moving about the room or apartment.

Cons: Not unique to the 12.1's, but like all rear ported speakers are sensitive to how they are angled and how close to the back wall. And if you want big boom bass, then look to speakers with 8" or larger woofers, not bookshelfs.

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4 of 4 found this helpful

How a budget speaker made me the guru

Daniel from Milpitas, CA on 6/4/2022

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I bought this as a gift for my nieces graduation. I was hoping for something decent, she is always commenting how nice my Focal Arai 906 sound. Never bought wharfedale before but have always liked what I've heard. So...a grad party later...and...whaaaat??? I know these speakers I just paid a fith of the price of my focals for aren't embarrassing my past decision(haha). Don't misunderstand, my focals still got them, but it's a slim margin. In fact I couldn't help but think if I'd of bought wharfedale diamond series first, then heard focals there's no way I could justify paying the extra difference. And if i really wanted to be picky and say these don't have the bass my focals do, you could easily go the the 12.3 diamonds. Esthetically these rock, the wrap on the dark walnut is rich, they appear elegant and are not big at all but have good weight. So kudos to wharfedale, and kudos to me my niece now thinks I'm the hifi guru. She played some records and these wharfedale are sweet, nice and surprising bass, rich textured mids and solid details in the highs. These really play nice with records especially if you are looking for that rich analog sound. Couldn't be happier with my decision and if my focals ever take a dive you can bet on what my next speakers would be. I added a photo of her setup, does not do justice to how nice they actually look but it was the only photo I had. Hope this helps.

Pros: Appearance, price, sound, even the speaker wire connectors are offset facing and work good w bare speaker wire or banana plugs which we used.

Cons: At this price I don't know what anyone could possibly complain about other than it wasn't free. Since this is a new purchase the only unknown for us is its durability, but for those questions I would just advise to look at wharfedales in general and see what kind of quality impressions their past products have left with consumers.

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4 of 4 found this helpful

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Matt from Acworth, GA on 3/20/2022

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Good looking. They are bigger and heavier than I expected. They sound good. Packaging was great.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Wharfedales...

Jason from Bucyrus, OH on 3/17/2022

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For this price, these are lovely speakers. Very nicely finished and look great. The mids and bass are nice and full. Treble is pretty rolled off. Not really prominent, but still nicely detailed.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

John from Fort Collins, CO on 1/20/2022

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Very happy with my purchase. Bought for my basement to listen to music - blues, jazz, country, rock and other, on CD or streaming from my iPad. I sit about 9 feet from them so I didn't need large speakers. Might be a bit light on bass for some but works for me.

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9 of 9 found this helpful

Pleased!!

Crutchfield customer from Kailua Kona, HI on 12/27/2021

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Got everything way before Christmas and we're getting it all put together now. Impressed with the quality of all components. Thanks for making Christmas very special for my son.

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Cons: Non

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3 of 3 found this helpful

Excellent all around small speakers in the $500 or less range.

Guest from Phoenixville, PA on 12/18/2021

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I sold my Emotiva B1+'s (foolishly) for one of the Elac Uni-fi models. One of the tweeters seemed to be blown...all static. Sent them back for Polk Elite Series...unlistenable treble, sent them back. About to look for another hobby but took a chance on the 12.1's and couldn't believe how nice they sounded on my moderate system and small room. If you are looking to upgrade your current budget small speakers for something just a bit better...get these and be done with it unless you have $800 or so for speakers.

Pros: warm and neutral sound

Cons: may need a subwoofer - a cheap one will do fine.

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Affordable audiophile experience

Patrick from LONG BEACH, CA on 12/7/2021

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Purchased these to be a compliment to a Marantz PM6005 integrated amplifier. Wharfedale came up frequently as a good match for Marantz integrated amps, and the 12.1's seemed like an affordable and quality option. These speakers are definitely an improvement over previous speakers on my system. Not overly bright, with great soundstage and depth. The bass could be a bit more, my set up could possibly benefit from a subwoofer someday, but the bass is acceptable, just not "in front", if that makes sense. I am currently bi-wiring these and liking the results. The biggest joy, at moments, and disappointment, at other times, are that the 12.1's DO NOT hide the quality of the source material, as I guess any good speaker should. Playing high def versions of Neil Young's Harvest, Buena Vista Social Club, The Black Album by Jay'z, Tom Petty's Wildflowers, one can be paralyzed with delight by the enveloping quality of these recordings. But, play a record whose recording quality, or really, crud-bricked mastering completely ruins the experience, good, transparent speakers like these will not in any way try to disguise the ugly truth of the source material. Overall, very happy with my purchase. A great joy to go back and register to favorite recordings, often for a few hours at a time. I take that as a good sign these speakers were a worthwhile purchase.

Pros: Clarity, depth, great mids and highs. Results that continue to delight and draw me in as a listener.

Cons: Bass could be deeper, but not a deal breaker.

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6 of 6 found this helpful

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Crutchfield customer from Silver Spring, MD on 10/26/2021

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Warm, full sound.

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4 of 6 found this helpful

Excelentes!

Gabriel from Miami, FL on 9/21/2021

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Muy buena construcción y terminación, caja MUY robusta, muy lindo el enchapado, si bien es vinílico , está muy bien hecho, y no se lo ve de mala calidad como a algunos otros de su precio. El frente laqueado brillante es muy lindo. Los conectores son excelentes para un bafle de su valor. Sonido : MUY bueno, creo que de lo mejor que escuché en su rango de precio, tienen un sonido grande, muy generoso, son de una escucha muy relajada, es un sonido con cuerpo, muy natural y suave, nada grita, nada chilla, nada molesta voces claras bien adelante, y muy buena ubicación de los instrumentos. Es un sonido muy british , muy equilibrado y sobre todo es un bafle en el que a uno le dan ganas de escuchar durante mucho rato. Las telas tienen muy buena terminación y si bien son magnéticas se agarran muy fuerte, se pegan bien fuerte. Sin duda es el bafle ideal sin gastar una fortuna. Very good construction and finish. VERY robust box with a beautiful and well-made plating even though it's vinyl. Unlike other items at this price point, it doesn't look like it's poor quality at all. The bright lacquered front is gorgeous, and the connectors are excellent for a speaker of this price. Sound: VERY good. I think these are the best sounding speakers in their price range. They have a big sound that is generous and relaxed. It's a muscular sound - very natural and soft. No screaming, screeching, or obstruction. The voices are clear and up front, and the instruments are very well placed. It's a very British sound: very balanced and above all they're speakers that make you want to listen to them for a good long while. The screens have excellent finishing. Even though they are magnetic, they stick on very tightly. Without a doubt this is an ideal speaker that won't cost a fortune.

Pros: La escucha es muy relajada, sonido muy natural y la construcción es digna de un parlante mas caro. Mellow, natural sound and craftsmanship worthy of a more expensive speaker.

Cons: En este valor ninguna, solo agradecimientos a la gente Wharfedale. At this price, there are none. Just thanks to the folks at Wharfedale.

Crutchfield response on 9/28/2021
Translation provided by Crutchfield's International Sales and Support team.

2 of 2 found this helpful

Good value - balance of performance vs price

Crutchfield customer from Waxhaw, NC on 8/23/2021

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Good speakers for the size and price point. They look great. Sound is a little flat, lacking in depth, but overall do a good job for the price.

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Nice balanced speakers

Kevin from East Islip, NY on 2/28/2021

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I was looking for speakers for a condo and tried the 12.0's and 12.1's by Warfedale. I listed more info on my 12.0 review with specific songs etc. so if interested go see that review. I really liked the 12.0's but given the outstanding Crutchfield return policy I just figured I would try the next model up because I wasn't quite sold. Both the 12.0's and the 12.1's can produce deep enough base to satisfy most people looking for a well rounded speaker. Surprisingly despite the stats I found the 12.0's to go about as deep as the 12.1's in my room. Both speakers have a balanced neutral sound. The advantage of the 12.1's is they just have a more open airy sound with a little more transparency. I think they are well worth the extra 100 bucks. If money is an issue or if you just really like the novelty of a really small speaker producing shockingly good sound the 12.0's will do the job. Either speaker could fill my 15 x 18 foot room at a volume level that most people buying a small bookshelf speaker would be satisfied with. I auditioned them using a fairly high end separate amp/pre-amp combo. I am going to buy a less expensive integrated amp to use with these in the near future. I did try the 12.0's with an older 50 watt Onkyo receiver and that powered them just fine. Lastly build quality is great, you don't feel like your getting relatively inexpensive speakers.

Pros: Great balanced speakers that produce a nice natural sound. Highly recommended. Both the 12.0's and the 12.1's are impressive given size and price.

Cons: None at this price.

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13 of 13 found this helpful

Denton 85ths Nephew?

Douglas from Clyde, NY on 12/18/2020

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I purchased these to replace a set of SX50s. The white oak is ok, Elac DBR6.2 white oak is more pleasing to my eye. Wharfedales quality here is on point with there recent Speakers. The 12.1s are heavy and stout. Run by a 803N set at 4 ohms. They are tight and powerful both in the treble and bass. The detail exceeds the SX50s by a mile. The bass is more than enough for music. I did add a 8 inch sub that added wonderful extension. Queens Another 1 BTD, and Fat Bottom Girls, were simply rocking but detailed. These sound a lot like the Denton 85th, which I tried a few months back. The 85ths are strong strong strong. I loved them. They were to dynamic for my space and I did return them. The 12.1s have the detail and dynamics, just a little less. The treble on the 12.1s is turned up for a Diamond series. I used my treble and variable loudness controls and the treble is still to strong for me. But these 12.1s are a very good speaker, the bass hits hard and tight, the treble is detailed and clean. With the right set of controls and listening preferences these will please a lot of people. The also remind me of the DBR6.2s the way they hit hard and strong. I am staying with my SX50s, Diamond 225s, and Denton 80ths. Just because I have definitely landed on the warmer side of music. I turned the treble way down on the 12.1s and still too much for me and my old ears. I am sure these will please anyone eyeing the Denton 85ths for music.

Pros: Rock solid build Tight hard hitting bass Clean detailed highs and mids Magnetic grills

Cons: Very Bright for me Black grills do not give this model the looks it deserve

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5 of 7 found this helpful

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