What is Wharfedale DX-2?
At a time when the sound bars are fast becoming the option for people to improve the sound of their TV, Wharfedale wants to remind you that 5.1 surround sound is not just for those with a lot of space.
As the successor to the popular DX-1HCP package, the Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 system is a compact and affordable way to achieve a more cinematic sound experience, all in a flexible and easy-to-use way. accommodate the package.
You should consider the cost of wiring and an amplifier along with this package, of course, not to mention that you should be prepared for some more cables in your room. But this small system shows that 5.1 configurations do not have to be big or expensive to sound unbeatable.
Related: The best surround sound systems
Wharfedale DX-2 – Design and construction
The Wharfedale DX -2 pack consists of a dedicated center channel, two pairs of identical satellite speakers and a independent subwoofer. It is a compact package, designed to work well in almost any room size, with easy-to-accommodate satellite speakers that measure only 19 x 12 x 12 cm.
There is a large amount of reduced dimensions and an improved cabinet design since the DX-2 is designed to take full advantage of the 19mm tuned silk dome tweeter and the 75mm media / bass driver.
The center channel contains the same pairing, but adds a second 75 mm media / bass driver for greater authority when it needs to stand out in the mix.
The included active subwoofer has also undergone some changes with respect to the DX-1, which promises a more powerful 70-watt amplifier to offer greater scale, power and refinement from its 20 cm long in the front. throw bass cone
Aesthetically, the configuration receives some welcome adjustments, with a softer and more refined design compared to its predecessor. The edges of the speakers are rounded, the controllers are covered with fixed grilles with a chrome trim, and the high-gloss front deflector is attached by a leather finish to the rest of the cabinet.
Currently, the speakers are only available in black, but Wharfedale is planning a white version if it works better for your room.
Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 speaker system – Configuration
In the great 5.1 system scheme, the DX-2 is one of the most tired configurations you will find. Yes, you need to wire everything, but invest in a decent wiring with banana plugs and this will take a matter of minutes. Despite its affordable price, there are no spring terminals to see here.
And when it comes to placement, these speakers are not particularly fussy. If you have dedicated stands, then it's great, but you feel equally at home on the shelves, the television cabinets or the tables. The closed box design means you can even sit them close to a wall or mount them on the wall, without worrying about affecting performance.
Regarding the subwoofer, ideally you want this in front of the listening position and as close to the wall as possible. I placed it to the left of my TV stand, in line with the satellites and the center channel.
You want to leave enough space to access the sub controls on the back. These include a phase switch (try both to see which works best for your room, I kept it at 0 °), a crossover control (I set it just midway, between 100-120 Hz), a volume control (adjust just below half) and an on / off button for automatic ignition control.
You'll want to spend your time playing to make sure the secondary sound is well integrated, but do not take too much (or in fact very little) of the focus in the mix.
I tilted the front speakers towards the listening position, slightly, and did the same with the edges, which were placed along the side walls.
Once in position, I gave the whole system a good 24-hour tour before any critical listening took place, and, of course, I ran the setup program of my amplifier to ensure that the sound was correctly balanced for my room.
 Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 speaker system – Performance
One thing is for sure: the performance of the Wharfedale DX-2 is great for its size, and will not disappoint even in action scenes more challenging.
See Star Trek: Into Darkness gives the DX-2 a great opportunity to flex its muscles, and it does so convincingly. In the warp battle scene, where the USS Vengeance attacks the Enterprise, the submarine jumps to life to give a deep and solid sound to the engines while they are activated.
It's equally powerful when it comes to putting a short, sharp punch behind the missile fire, which shows a great level of agility as well. It may not show the most details in the lowest frequencies, nor be the most subtle, but its ability to get a volume as high and low as it does is impressive with such an affordable package.
Such a strong bass performance helps to shore up an equally safe, full-bodied and highly detailed middle range. In particular, the dialogue is handled superbly by the central channel, and remains focused and insightful, even when things get busy on the screen.
The treble is also well balanced, with no signs of roughness, even at volume. However, this does not mean that there is no bite when necessary, which helps ensure that the overall sound does not become too thick or lacking in expression.
Such a safe display in the frequency range means that the soundtracks sound great. Here is a large scale and a lot of dynamic knowledge, but with a good amount of precision that helps you place sound effects without interruptions in the room for a more captivating and cinematic experience than any sound bar can offer.
That helped with the fact that this small system will fill most rooms without problems. In fact, the sound study is quite extensive, not as comprehensive as you will get from larger speakers, but much larger than their dimensions suggest.
For its price, the Wharfedale DX-2 system is very successful at that time, but will begin to hear its limitations towards the upper part of the volume range. Here, a pressed touch may sound. Most will not feel the need to climb so high, however, such is the scale that is offered here.
You'll also notice that it does not stay more balanced during the busiest action scenes, when the speakers start to show their limitations when it comes to more detailed details and organization.
You will need to spend more money to solve these problems, and at this price the DX-2 far exceeds expectations in more areas that defraud with its shortcomings.
Why buy the Wharfedale DX-2 5.1 speaker system?
The Wharfedale DX-2 is a great speaker package for those who want an authentic home theater experience without the high price.  Its compact size and sophisticated design result in a configuration that is easy to accommodate in any room, while its flexibility over placement means you do not have to worry too much about having speaker stands filling the place – the speakers will work just as well of good on the shelves and tables that you already have.
While it can not compete with the pure comfort offered by a sound bar, the increase in performance is undeniable. The DX-2 offers a much more attractive, expansive and, above all, enjoyable home theater experience than any single-box solution.
Yes, you'll have to incorporate the price of an amplifier and wiring into your budget, plus a bit of extra faff in the process, but it's unlikely to be much greater than the cost of a premium sound bar.
That alone makes the Wharfedale DX-2 an even more attractive proposition, and a product that should appear highly on your listening list, if it's not superior to it immediately. It will do well to find better at this price.
A powerful and compact 5.1 home theater system that balances price and performance with style.