Pioneer SP-BS22-LR vs. Wharfedale Denton 85th
|Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
|Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
|Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.56” × 7.13” × 8.44”
319mm × 181mm × 214mm
13.44” × 9.44” × 11.94”
341mm × 240mm × 303mm
|ASR Score w/Subwoofer
TLDR Summary: In the realm of budget audiophilia, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR's offer an exceptional value, with accurate sound reproduction and a rich midrange courtesy of designer Andrew Jones. Conversely, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers are a nod to classic British hi-fi, offering a lush, warm presentation with a veneer finish that exudes vintage charm. The Dentons, while pricier, provide a broader soundstage and superior build quality. Both sets have their merits, but the choice ultimately hinges on listener preference for the Pioneers' clarity versus the Wharfedales' richer tonality and aesthetic appeal.
When it comes to setting up an intimate and engaging listening environment at home, the bookshelf speaker is an indispensable component for the discerning audiophile. Today, we will take a closer look at two standout offerings in this category: the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers. Designed by acclaimed engineer Andrew Jones, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR has gained a reputation for delivering exceptional performance at a budget-friendly price, while the Wharfedale Denton represents a blend of classic design with modern acoustic engineering, celebrating 85 years of the British audio legacy.
Design Aesthetics and Build Quality
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers sport a contemporary look with a minimalist approach. The curved cabinet design isn't just for show; it actually aids in minimizing standing waves inside the enclosure, which results in a cleaner sound output. In contrast, the Wharfedale Denton exudes a vintage charm with its walnut veneer and Tungsten cloth grille, evoking a sense of nostalgia. The build quality of the Denton is robust, with the weight and solidity of the cabinet reflecting its premium positioning in the market.
Sound Performance and Characteristics
Sound-wise, the SP-BS22-LR delivers a well-balanced and neutral sound profile. Its 4-inch structured surface woofer and 1-inch high-efficiency soft dome tweeter are tuned to produce a coherent and full-bodied sound that belies their compact size. However, they may lack the low-end punch required for certain genres of music. On the other hand, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers boast a lush and warm sound signature, courtesy of their 6.5-inch woven Kevlar woofer and 1-inch soft dome tweeter. These speakers offer a richer bass response and a sweet, detailed midrange that makes them particularly well-suited for jazz and classical music.
When considering the soundstage and imaging, the Denton 85th Anniversary speakers take the lead with their ability to create a more expansive and enveloping soundstage. They provide listeners with a precise sense of instrument placement, and the depth of the audio scene is quite impressive. The Pioneers, while offering a respectable soundstage in their own right, deliver a more intimate listening experience that might be preferred in smaller rooms or setups where space is at a premium.
Compatibility and Power Requirements
The Pioneers are relatively easy to drive, with an impedance of 6 ohms and a sensitivity rating of 85 dB, making them compatible with a wide range of amplifiers and receivers, including those with modest power outputs. The Wharfedale Dentons, however, have an impedance of 4 ohms and a sensitivity of 86 dB, requiring a more robust amplification to reach their full potential. This could mean that the Wharfedale speakers might not be the best choice for those just starting to build their hi-fi systems or for those who are not prepared to invest in a more powerful amplifier.
Compare to similar speakers
Value and Overall Impression
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers represent an incredible value for budget-conscious audiophiles, delivering outstanding performance that punches well above their weight. They are an excellent entry point into the world of high-fidelity sound, providing a clear upgrade path for future system enhancements. Meanwhile, the Wharfedale Dentons are positioned as a more premium offering, reflecting their higher price point. For the additional investment, one receives a speaker that not only sounds exceptional but also serves as a statement piece within a home audio setup.
In conclusion, choosing between the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers will largely come down to personal preference, listening habits, and budget considerations. The Pioneers are an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable entry into high-quality audio, while the Dentons appeal to those looking for a touch of audio luxury and a speaker with a strong heritage. Whichever you choose, both are capable of providing countless hours of listening pleasure and will be a worthy addition to any audio enthusiast's collection.
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