What are the Wharfedale DS-2?
The DS-2 is a pair of Bluetooth desktop speakers that are small enough to sit on a desk, shelf or anywhere they can be squeezed, and aim to provide better stereo separation than a speaker box can.
Follow in the footsteps of its predecessors, the highly capable DS-1 speakers of 2015, and use the same drivers and speaker design as the satellite speakers in the DX-2 5.1 home theater package.
Considering the performance of the DX-2 package, it should come as no surprise that they sound so good, and the fact that they reach only £ 180 only helps to boost their charm.
Related: Best Bluetooth Speakers
Wharfedale DS-2 – Design and Construction
The DS-2s are designed in exactly the same way as a bi-directional hi-fi speaker, but measuring only 19x12x14cm, they have been reduced to a more accessible desktop size.
Each speaker features a 19mm silk dome tweeter and a 75mm wov is a polypropylene media / bass driver, which is located behind a pair of fixed circular metal grilles and chrome edges in the high-brightness front baffle of the speakers.
Everything in black (or white, if you prefer), this is compensated by a faux leather finish in the rest of the cabinet, which has been slightly curved at the edges to give it a smoother overall look.
On the back, there is a rear trigger port to give the kick drum an extra touch, while on the right of the master speaker (right), you will find a small control panel. This offers volume controls, a Bluetooth sync button and a 3.5mm auxiliary (with a cable included in the box) – these are not the most refined controls I've seen, but they do the job.
That leaves the rear panel clear for all except one input that connects the left and right speakers, and a power input and turns on the master speaker. As is always the case in this type of speaker configuration, the main speaker is the brain of the operation, and it is where the new generation digital amplifier sits, capable of 30w of continuous power
This drives the highs and averages / Low units through a high-quality cross-network that contains selected audio-grade components, which is far superior to the cheap single-component crossovers used by many compact speakers.
A single light is on the front of the right speaker too, which glows blue to show when they are on.
Wharfedale DS-2 – Features
Wharfedale has removed the NFC connection that was on the DS-1 speakers, so if you want to use aptX Bluetooth for music playback, you must physically pair the DS- 2 with the chosen device by pressing and holding the pairing button.
Once in synchronization mode, the blue LED on the front of the speakers will flash and the DS-2 will appear in the pairing menu of your device. Once paired successfully, the light will change to fixed blue.
Wharfedale recommends having your device volume about 75% of the maximum and then adjusting the volume up or down using the volume controls on the speakers.
depends on your location as to how convenient it will be: the lack of remote control or remote application means that it is a bit annoying to have to go to the speakers whenever you want to adjust the volume, but there is more volume available here than what you'll get from maximizing your phone's volume control.
Wharfedale DS-2 – Performance
The DS-2 are very competent speakers for their size, offering a direct and articulated performance that really shows the drops you experience from a single-box design.  The most obvious thing about this are the stereo images and the stereo separation, which is much stronger here than you will hear from a single speaker at this price (and even higher). The DS-2 is much more capable of placing sounds accurately in the listening position, and of widening the sound in the room, due to the obvious advantages of a two-box design.
They are also magnificently balanced, without swelling in the bass or with hard edges in the treble, even when listening from medium to high volume. The middle range, in particular, is very well managed and places the voice at the front and center of your concerns, with a level of clarity and expression that can not always be expected at this price.
The bass line, meanwhile, does enough to keep things strong and authorized, and for the size of the DS-2, it will also be very low.
If you want more thrust, placing the speakers closer to the wall will help the bass have a greater impact. Just do not expect these to rumble on your boards when you slow down: it's not really your MO
Instead, you're more focused on the details, and you put the insight, agility and expression at the top of your task. list. They may not have the vo voom of a party speaker, but what they offer in musicality and time more than makes up for it. Not even the extravagant rhythms of the organ donor of DJ Shadow could stun them.
And although they are not the most dominant speakers I've heard, that does not mean they can not have fun. Thanks to a decent handling of the dynamics and the scale of surplus, the DS-2 does a good job when communicating the ascent and fall of a track without sounding forced. There are certainly more attacks here than you might have heard about your predecessors.
However, try to push them out of your comfort zone and things may start to shake. When they play on top of their volume controls, the treble can start to sound a little more fragile and the bass can lose a touch of composure and refinement as well.
Connect your device through 3.5mm and things work tighten and sound more solid (also a tip to get the best of the lower quality bright recordings), but keeping these a few notches from the maximum, which is still High enough for most rooms, when they're going to sound as good as possible.
Why buy the Wharfedale DS-2?
If you're looking for a refined desktop speaker, and put the musicality, agility and expression at the top of your wish list, the DS-2 will mark all those boxes for less than £ 200.
get a better stereo image feel here than a single-unit drive, and a much more insightful performance than most of them do too, particularly for less than £ 200.
If you're looking for an ap arty speaker, probably Do not be the most forceful or dominant sound you can get. And get on the sublime Ruark MR1 Mk2 will get more versatility, thanks to a remote control, an optical input and subwoofer preamp.
But for something that will bring you closer to an authentic high-fidelity experience on a budget, and that can be heard for hours, these small desks are excellent.
Petite, refined and articulate, Wharfedale DS-2 speakers bring high fidelity to the desktop.