Cyber Monday deals aren't limited to TVs, headphones and Bluetooth speakers – proper bona fide hi-fi kit is also partial. Here's a cracking deal on some Award-winning speakers: the Wharfedale Diamond 12.3.
They won Best Floorstanding Speaker under £500 in the 2022 What Hi-Fi Awards. And now they're reduced by £50 to just £449. Bargain.
The Diamond name is more associated with Wharfedale's standmounters than the line's solid if unremarkable floorstanders, but the Diamond 12.3 should change all that. They're truly musical floorstanders that come in at a reasonable price – even more so with the help of this discount, of course.
The cabinet is a carefully crafted, straight-edged design that's strategically braced to provide a solid and low resonance platform for the drive units to work from.
Inside, it's a 2.5-way design where the upper 13cm driver covers everything from midrange downwards, leaving the second one to reinforce the lows. Both drivers use a cone material called Klarity, a mix of polypropylene and mica which is light, rigid and well damped.
At just short of 98cm tall, the 12.3 aren’t massive speakers, but they still perform best if given a little room to breathe. We find they work well if positioned at least 50cm from the rear wall. Similarly, keep them at least 70cm away from the sidewalls if you want to maximise stereo imaging, sonic balance and clarity. A bit of angle towards the listening position helps to firm the stereo imaging, too, but the 12.3’s broad dispersion characteristics mean that you don’t have to be millimetre-perfect to get good results.
Speakers at this level have a difficult job to do: they have to be forgiving enough to sound acceptable with budget all-in-one electronics but still have the transparency to make the most of the best price-compatible separate components around.
The Diamond 12.3 are masters at juggling these almost contradictory demands. They're smooth, even-handed and wonderfully refined for the money. Feed them a poor signal and they are skilled at revealing the shortcomings without shouting about them. They’ll round off rough edges and downplay unwanted aggression without sounding like they’re smothering the life out of the music. But given a good source and suitably capable amplification, they perform superbly.
It’s tough to make a truly talented affordable floorstander, but Wharfedale has cracked it with the 12.3. They are terrifically accomplished for the money and good enough to claim a space in the Diamond’s hall of fame. You'd be a fool to pass on this deal.
Read our guide to the best floorstanding speakers
Read our Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 review
And our Fyne F302i review