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Wharfedale DS-2 – dinky desktop divas

Wharfedale DS-2Wharfedale have just let us know about their diminutive DS-2 stereo Bluetooth speaker system.

The Wharfedale DS-2 delivers hi-fi sound in miniaturised form. This makes them perfect to place on a desk, table or shelf.

Bluetooth speakers are wonderfully convenient but all too often their sound disappoints. This is especially true of many models below £200.

Common issues include their lack of proper stereo, poor sonic definition and small-scale soundstage leaving music sounding distinctly flat.

Wharfedale DS-2

Wharfedale DS-2However, Wharfedale’s new DS-2 stereo Bluetooth speaker system is an entirely different proposition. It’s based on the now-discontinued DS-1, the award winning Bluetooth speakers widely acknowledged as the best available under £200.

The DS-2 reconstructs the original DS-1 concept with an all-new design, delivering even better sound- per-pound performance.

In contrast to most Bluetooth speakers, the DS-2 is a pair of proper two-way hi-fi speakers shrunk to desktop size. The speakers stand just 190mm high, 120mm wide and 140mm deep.

Pedigree and power

Wharfedale DS-2Wharfedale is arguably Britain’s most famous loudspeaker brand. Just check out their audio engineering heritage stretching back to 1932.

Furthermore, the company invented the concept of the two-way speaker – utilising separate drive units for high- and low-frequencies.

Given this background, it’s no surprise that each DS-2 contains two high-performance drivers: a 19mm silk dome tweeter and a 75mm mid/bass driver.

Drivers

Wharfedale DS-2The mid/bass driver’s cone is fashioned from woven polypropylene. The material has been chosen for its ideal combination of lightness, strength and low coloration. Both drive units are protected by specially designed metal grilles.

The speakers are also equipped with a rear-firing port. This has been designed to augment low-frequency performance to provide bass that’s surprisingly deep and punchy for the speakers’ size.

Amplification

Inside the master speaker nestles a high-performance digital amplification. Dishing out 2x15W of continuous and 2x30W peak.

This drives the treble and mid/bass units via a high-quality crossover network containing select audio-grade components. Moreover, this is superior to the cheap, single-component crossovers used by many compact speakers.

Connectivity

Wharfedale DS-2Bluetooth provides simple wireless pairing with smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, complete with support for the sonically superior aptX codec.

Also, flexibility is further enhanced by a 3.5mm analogue stereo input and supplied cable. This is positioned on the side of the master speaker, along with the volume and pairing controls.

The results

The DS-2 makes full use of Wharfedale’s award-winning acoustic engineering expertise.

According to Wharfedale, you can expect impressively agile and articulate audio for their size and price.

Additionally, they also boast an engaging musicality and a spacious stereo soundstage that their Bluetooth price-rivals cannot muster.

Finally, the rigidly constructed cabinets with tastefully curved corners are finished in high-gloss finish that’s offset with tactile leatherette.

Words

Peter Comeau, Wharfedale’s Director of Acoustic Design, stated:

The award-winning DS-1 desktop Bluetooth speakers were a tough act to follow, but we’ve really brought the design forward with the new DS-2. These are low-cost stereo Bluetooth speakers that punch above their weight, robustly built with a musical performance that belies their compact size.

We spent a great deal of time voicing these speakers to ensure they’re perfectly balanced for use on a shelf or desktop and can be positioned close to a rear wall for hefty, yet agile, bass output.”

Price and availability

The Wharfedale DS-2 stereo Bluetooth speakers are available from March in a choice of black or white.

They have an RRP of £179.95.

For further information, head on over to www.wharfedale.co.uk

Wharfedale DS-2 – dinky desktop divas

by Jay Garrett time to read: 2 min
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