These speakers are a great budget speaker and are regarded by many, as of right now, as being one of the best budget speakers on the market. When picking speakers for your specific environment requirements, some people often go overboard with purchasing a system.

Most of the time it is a game of wattage, we find that these Wharfedale Diamond 220’s are perfect for any small studio setup, or even in a university dorm setup.

At Wharfedale they have improved on the already popular Wharfedale Diamond 121s with this new and improved model. While these speakers seem small in stature and style they can create some serious sound for the right environment.

The last thing you want to do when you’re buying speakers, is wasting money on a set up that is too big for your room, or even worse a set up that is too small – the key is to recognise the limits of your own environment and figure out which speakers suit it best. 

Read on to learn more about why we loved the Wharfedale Diamond 220 speakers so much.

Wharfedale - Diamond 220 (Black) Black

Build Design

The already popular Diamond 121’s have been upgraded by Wharfdale into this new 220 model. One of the biggest and most recognisable changes is the change of material for the ‘speaker cabinet’.

A ‘speaker cabinet’ is simply the unit that encases the hardware. This can change the sound quality of the speaker greatly if the wrong materials are used. In the 220s they changed the material to a mix of MDF and chipboard wood. 

The original 121 had an uneven surface that first of all just looked bad and secondly caused some audio disruption. This MDF and chipboard combo is perfect to get rid of audio distortion and also makes the speakers marry perfectly into your room’s interior design.

This is thanks to layered approach to the speaker cabinet material which involves a layer of DMF, then a layer of chipboard, sandwiched with another MDF layer and finished with one final thin vinyl layer for style.

This vinyl finish is classy and unassuming, helping it blend perfectly into most environments. They also come in different styles such as walnut and rosewood finishes.

Unless you are throwing these speakers around, which we can’t imagine you are, then they will withstand transport and travel as well as generic wear and tear issues. 

The 5 inch woven Kevlar mids and bass driver from the 121 has come over to this model but is souped out with a bigger magnet which makes the bass more responsive and makes the harder easier to ‘drive’.

The tweeters are almost exactly the same as the 121 model which is good as we loved them on the older model. Their deep waveguide helps the effectiveness of the high frequencies being heard. A ferrite magnet helps produce a smooth sound also. 

The bass tuning of the 220 is also impressive, the port fires downwards in a small gap at the base of the cabinet this reduces chuffing and distortion and makes the bass speaker a little less bothered about placement which makes it perfect for a small studio again. 

Sound Quality

For their size and price, the Wharfedale Diamond 220s really pay off. If you’re looking for low end ability don’t look further than these as they have the capacity to play some serious bass heavy tracks.

You find a sense of scale and power in the drivers that seems much more than you’d expect from a speaker at this end of the market. For extra bassy quality with this setup simply add an external subwoofer to get some serious bite. 

Although, this can depend on placement. We found that the further away from the rear wall they are the more the bass can dilute song the other frequencies. We would suggest putting them against a wall in order to get the most out of them.

In a group of large people you would ideally want the tweeters to be above everyone’s head slightly and the bass to be in their face, but you can’t really place these speakers like that

While we found the stereo separation and staging to be pretty good for a speaker of this price, creating a pretty wide spread sound within a small place, one thing that does irk us with these types of bookshelf speakers is that they often lack a wedge at their feet in order to direct high frequencies.

While low frequencies such as bass aren’t directional and can be heard anywhere even through walls, high frequencies are directional and if you are not in the stream of sound that they are directing based on their placement then you won’t hear the full range of high and mid frequencies.

This is where the wedge comes in, because if you are standing up from your desk then the high frequencies could be pointed directly at your waist rather than your face. Although, if these are simply for gaming, or another purpose, and you will be seated the whole time, then this will do.

Although, the high frequency performance is actually pretty good on the speakers so long as you are facing them and they are put against a rear wall. The drivers, like the bass, are dynamic and powerful and create pristine vocals and clear synths.

In general, the Wharfeadale 220s can produce some high volumes that can deal relatively well with punchy high volume low end.

Some customers report that there can occasionally be a rattling that occurs at very high volumes that seems to come from the port rather than the woofer which makes us think this is a design flaw rather than a woofer issue as they often are. 

In terms of performance, you don’t really need much more than this in a small set up. If you are a student in a small dorm room and want some decent speakers to play tunes on while you get ready for a big night out – you shouldn’t need to look further than these speakers.

In the small environment you require them ( a dorm room, or similar sized room) these speakers will provide the necessary bass and highs for most music.

If you are a bit more of a music freak and audiophile but are looking for speakers for a similar sized room, then these are great and if you want to go a little further you can introduce an external subwoofer which would make things really pop.

We would recommend a subwoofer for the dance music lovers among us, this kind of music needs the extra boost an external subwoofer would bring to the table. 

However, if you are in a larger room, or are looking for speakers to suit a TV surround system, or even for a venue, then we would recommend you buy bigger speakers that include an external subwoofer.

These small bookshelf speakers are a great value purchase for someone trying to fill a small room, but when it comes to larger rooms these just won’t have enough wattage to fill the space. 

Wharfedale - Diamond 220 (Black) Black
  • Award-Winning Performance, Wide-Open Sound
  • One-Inch Soft-Dome Tweeter and 5.1” Kevlar Woofer
  • Layered Cabinet Construction and High-Quality Finish
  • Frequency Response: 45Hz - 24kHz -- 12.4” H x 6.9” W x 9.8” D (11.7 lbs.)
  • Currently available in Black and Walnut - sold in pairs

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the Wharfedale Diamond 220 Speakers come as a pair?

Yes, no need to fear, the price for these speakers include two of these speakers for both left and right separation. Which makes them even better value.

Our Final Say

All in all, thes speakers should perform well above their price range in terms of sound quality. Wharfedale have really improved on their already great 121 model with this 220 model.

These have much powerful drivers that really make the sound quality pop and is their key to getting higher quality sound from budget hardware. On top of that, these speakers look really sleek and unassuming in comparison to others on the market for the same price.

These speakers have good tonality, great power handling, and sleek looks that makes an attractive purchase for the audiophiles in small rooms.

That said, these speakers are great for those in small areas, and are more than enough to fill a small round well with dynamic bass and pristine highs. These would be pretty great for the gamers here too.

However, those who want a larger speaker system to play to larger crowds and find that these speakers don’t do enough, we would suggest getting a speaker with higher wattage.

The only other thing that we felt was missing was some form of speaker wedge that can give the high frequencies some direction rather than having them flat with your desk, this could make the high frequencies go even further in terms of value.

Customers seem to report generally good results from their speakers.

A combination of clever engineering and knowing their market has resulted in Wharfedale creating some really clutch speakers that are perfectly ideal for a small room setup.

I would have no qualms recommending these to anyone who is looking for a good value speaker that can fill a small room and satisfy its audio needs.

Last update on 2023-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API