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JVC SX-WD10 review

JVC's SX-WD10 stereo speakers may look good, but even the innovative wood cones can't save them from a two star fate Tested at £500.00

Our Verdict

Not even the innovative wood cones can save these poorly performing speakers from their two-star fate

For

  • Decent looks and build quality
  • passable detail levels

Against

  • Dynamics are absent
  • little bass weight on offer
  • sound lacks transparency
  • there’s no real sonic spark

Aluminium, kevlar, paper and plastic are all common materials used to make speaker cones. JVC is the only manufacturer we've ever come across to use actual wood.

JVC's thinking isn't completely off the wall. The company believes using wood - and birch in particular - improves frequency response and helps to produce a more natural sound.

And just to ensure the cones don't crack when pressed in the machine, the wood is first soaked in sake – Japanese rice wine. Tom Waits' may have claimed 'The piano has been drinking', but likewise these speakers have had a tipple of their own before reaching your living room.

The 'WD10s are two-way floorstanding loudspeakers: each contains two, 10.5cm wood cone bass drivers and a 2cm wood dome tweeter. Considering their height, they're remarkably thin and slender. They're single-wired, and come supplied with their own – spikeless – bass plates.

Slothful sonic character
Spin a tune, and the first thing that grabs your attention is the sense of scale – or rather, the lack of it. Considering their size, the 'WD10s are very sonically restrained.

As a result, Lady Ga-Ga's Poker Face lacks sufficient weight, solidity and slam. Music like this requires great impact, but the JVCs don't have the ability to drive the music along.

The lack of bass weight also means that the treble sticks out and sounds bright.

Test them with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and the JVCs' slow, slothful character hinders the music: they don't convey the urgency it demands.

Detail levels, to be fair, aren't substandard, but they can't compete with the best at this price level.

Wooden speaker cones is a fascinating idea. In this case it's better in theory than practise.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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