We look back to 1985 and the first pair of Wharfedale Diamonds, one of the most successful speaker ranges of all time...

When Wharfedale launched the Diamonds in 1982 we doubt anyone thought they would go on to be such a success. And yet 32 years and 12 generations later, the Diamond 220s won a What Hi-Fi? Award.

That original was a squat thing, standing just 24cm high. The Mk1s cost just £65 and soon built up a mighty reputation for being musically talented. They delivered surprising bass weight (for one so small) and had far more finesse than their lowly price suggested.

Wharfedale has built on that success with regular updates and additional variants (including active and luxury-finished versions). Gradually the process involved transforming the Diamond from a single product into a complete range. 

And, while some of the floorstanders models have been good, it has always been the standmounters that remained closest to our hearts.

That’s where we find the 220s, the 12th generation of Diamond. 

More after the break

In engineering terms these are way ahead of their forebears. The distributed-port arrangement gives solid but tuneful lows, while both drive units feature the kind of engineering details that would have been considered exotic just a few years ago. 

Despite that the 220s remain what the best Diamonds have always been: excellent budget speakers.

MORE: Wharfedale Diamond 220 review

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