Fans of British hifi, for whom names like Wharfedale and Quad raise hairs on the back of the neck, are still well served by these vintage brands. Even though they are now Chinese-owned, and the gear is made not by ladies in hairnets in Cambridgeshire but by Chinese workers at an extraordinary factory-cum-resort in Shenzhen, their products are generally still conceived and designed in the UK.
Wireless speakers are, for the hifi enthusiast, a wonder. Speaker cables are horrible visually and Bluetooth aptX makes them unnecessary. These, the new Wharfedale Diamond A1s, would make stupendous desktop speakers to team up with your computer – or a pretty marvellous living room hifi. Each speaker has a 50-watt amplifier, and the mid-range/bass driver is 13cm across and made of Kevlar. The result is an amazing sound for this price. Setting them up is super-easy, and the speakers will work up to 20m from the hub (they both need powering from the mains, though).
The Diamond A1s are covered in leather-look PVC, which doesn’t sound promising on paper, but the overall appearance, with the quality, shiny plastic surround and that reassuring Wharfedale logo, is entirely acceptable.