Micca RB42 vs. Wharfedale Denton 85th

Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $1000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
8.70” × 4.90” × 7.90”
221mm × 124mm × 201mm
13.44” × 9.44” × 11.94”
341mm × 240mm × 303mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
50-20,000 Hz 45-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
4.4 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
6.6 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the budget audiophile realm, the Micca RB42 Reference speakers shine with their compact design and surprisingly full soundstage, delivering punchy bass from their 4-inch woofers. They're ideal for smaller spaces where every inch counts. Wharfedale's Denton 85th Anniversary, however, is a tribute to classic British sound. Sporting a 6.5-inch woofer, these larger bookshelf speakers offer a warm, rich midrange and a well-integrated bass response. The Dentons, with their nostalgic wood veneer finish, cater to the discerning listener looking for a blend of vintage aesthetics and a sound quality that honors their storied heritage.

Speaker Comparison

When exploring the landscape of bookshelf speakers, the Micca RB42 Reference and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary editions stand out as intriguing options for the discerning listener. Each model brings its own unique characteristics to the table, offering a stark contrast in design philosophy, sound signature, and heritage. The Micca RB42, a compact, budget-friendly contender, promises high-quality audio performance from its small enclosure. In contrast, the Wharfedale Denton represents a legacy of British audio engineering, with its 85th Anniversary edition paying homage to the brand's storied history with a classic design and meticulous craftsmanship.

Design and Build Quality

The Micca RB42 boasts a no-frills, yet solid construction with a handsome wood grain vinyl finish that belies its affordable price point. Its compact size is perfect for small spaces, yet the build quality is robust, providing a sense of durability. On the other hand, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary edition exudes a vintage charm with its beautifully crafted wood veneer and inlaid front baffle. The attention to detail in the Denton's construction is evident, reflecting a higher-end aesthetic and an air of luxury that is often associated with its more premium price tag.

Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Performance

The sound profile of the Micca RB42 is surprisingly full and rich, given its diminutive size. The speakers are capable of delivering a warm midrange and a relatively deep bass that one wouldn't expect from such compact units. Their highs are clear without being overly bright, making them well-suited for a variety of genres. In contrast, the Wharfedale Denton carries a lush, warm sound with a more laid-back treble. Its midrange is velvety and articulate, a signature of Wharfedale's tuning for natural vocal reproduction. The bass is weighty and controlled, thanks to the Denton's larger cabinet and driver design.

Imaging and soundstaging are areas where both speakers shine, but in different ways. The Micca RB42s, while limited by their size, project a soundstage that is wide and immersive for near-field listening. The Wharfedales, with their larger cabinets and heritage design, create a more expansive and three-dimensional soundstage that allows for greater speaker placement flexibility and room filling sound.

Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th arrow (at Amazon.com)

Value and Versatility

The Micca RB42s are a standout in terms of value. They are exceptionally versatile, performing well on desktops, in small home theaters, or as part of a compact stereo setup. Their ability to sound larger than they are makes them a great choice for those on a budget or with limited space. The Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers, while higher in price, offer a more premium listening experience, a testament to their historic lineage. They are geared towards the audio enthusiast looking for a statement piece that provides both sonic pleasure and a nod to the golden age of hi-fi.

In terms of powering these speakers, the RB42s are relatively efficient but will benefit from a quality amplifier to drive them to their full potential. Conversely, the Dentons' higher impedance and sensitivity mean they are more demanding in terms of amplification, preferring a more powerful and refined amp to reveal their full dynamic range and detail.

Ultimately, choosing between the Micca RB42 Reference and Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers will come down to individual preferences in sound signature, aesthetics, and budget. The RB42s serve as an entry point for budding audiophiles or those seeking quality sound in a small package, while the Dentons cater to a more discerning ear, with their rich heritage and superior craftsmanship shining through in their performance. Both, however, are worthy contenders in their respective classes, and either choice would be a testament to the listener's commitment to audio excellence.

Check Current Prices:

Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.