Wharfedale Diamond 10 HCP review

The Diamond 10 HCP is a very capable system for the money, but it needs a little polish to truly shine Tested at £650.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The Diamond 10 HCP is a good system at a tempting price, but it's not quite up to the standard of the class leaders


  • +

    Compact dimensions

  • +

    detailed, punchy, direct sound

  • +

    excellent subwoofer


  • -

    Centre channel could integrate better

  • -

    not as dynamic as the best systems at this price-point

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Back in the September 2009 issue of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision, Wharfedale's new generation of Diamond loudspeakers made its debut in spectacular fashion. The £200 Diamond 10.1s were lavished with praise in a glowing five-star review.

Now, we've assembled a Diamond-studded surround sound package. The front and rear speakers are the £130-a-pair Diamond 10.0s.

At just over 23cm tall, they are hardly imposing, and, unlike the curved-cabinet design of the 10.1s, they are square-edged.

Their size means they use a 10cm Kevlar driver as opposed to the 12.5cm version found on the 10.1s.

The 10.CC centre-channel (£120) is cheapest of three new models and uses two 10cm Kevlar mid-bass drivers, positioned either side of a 2.5cm soft-dome tweeter. Bottom-end grunt comes from the Diamond 10.MX subwoofer (£300), its downward-firing 25cm driver and 150W amplifier.

All the 10 HCP speakers have rear bass reflex ports, so you'll have to take care with positioning close to a wall. That apart, there's nothing to worry about for set-up.

Detailed, punchy audio
The sound produced is punchy, detailed and controlled. When the airliner plummets in Knowing, the speakers have no issue picking out the detail in the debris as it whizzes from front to back.

Wharfedale has a history of producing handy entry-level bass boxes, and integration of the sub with the rest of the system is spot on: the taut, punchy bass delivery complements the solidity and precision of the surround channels.

See all our surround speaker Best Buys

But the Diamond 10 HCP isn't quite the definitive article. The 10.CC centre channel doesn't gel with its 10.0 brethren as well as it could. You find yourself too aware of the role it is playing in the package. Dialogue sounds a tad closed-in and lacks clarity.

Also, while the speakers will certainly go loud, their dynamic ability isn't up to that of the best at this price.

During Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix in the O.W.L. exams, the dynamic shifts from the quiet of the examination room to the fireworks display don't have the same impact as with class-leaders.

As an entry-level system, the Diamond 10 HCP has enough in its arsenal to warrant audition, but there are other systems capable of going that extra mile.

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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, Reading 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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