Wharfedale Diamond 230 vs Philips Fidelio X2HR


Novice Member
I do enjoy music from the vintage Technics CD player SL-PG590 with directly connected headphones Philips Fidelio X2HR.
No external amplifier.
Actually, I am astonished by the sound quality of that 'setup'. Stacks of CDs are surrounding me now!

How can I achieve the same, enjoyable sound in my living room?
Currently the Wharfedale Diamond 230 speakers powered by Denon AVR-S530BT sound 'flat' comparing.

1. Can the Wharfedale Diamond 230 match the Philips Fidelio X2HR in sound quality?
If not, what speakers do I need?
2. Is there any low budget amplifier, which will match the Technics's SL-PG590 internal headphones amplifier sound quality?
[not for headphones - but for speakers] - i hope that i am clear :)



Headphones will invariably sound better than speakers in the room simply because the room is taken out of equation. Headphones from a good jack or headphone amp is the purest your going to hear the sound. It will be hard to get speakers and amp that will sound as good as the headphones because of the influence of the room.

You can certainly get a good sound in a room for stereo music but not with a Denon AV amp doing the driving. Spend the equivalent amount of money on a stereo amp and is going to sound much better. Almost all of the Denon AV amps will sound flat in comparison to a good stereo amp and I speak as a Denon owner.

I listen to a lot of music on headphones, listening now in fact and I always listen to a new disc on the headphones in the first instance. As much as I like my headphones being played via a standalone headphone amp it still doesn't feel as good as listening to the main system through the speakers.

The Technic players are very much like those from Marantz that have a headphone jack. The output isn't that high, somewhere are 30mW. Connect the player by RCA to a headphone amp and I can assure you you will be pleasantly surprised.


Novice Member
Thank you Gibbsy.
After reading that, my friend came up with a solution;
Noting that, I was satisfied with Wharfedale Diamond 230 prior to obtaining the Philips Fidelio X2HR.
She wants to trade me the cheapo Philips O'Neill headphones so then the speakers will definitely sound way batter :)

But seriously:
The headphones front jack out (amplifier??) on the Technics CD player SL-PG590 sounds wonderful.
As for volume and dynamics, I can't go over 1/3 of the dial without it being too loud yet it is still very clear and punchy.
Will I really benefit from an external amplifier whether a vintage component or a modern headphones amp? (For the sole purpose of driving headphones.)


If you're are happy with what the headphones are sounding like now and they Technics has no problem driving them then that's really what matters. Years ago I had all Technics kit and ran headphones from the amps jack but I have no recollection of how they sound except that the headphones I had were bloody uncomfortable.

Unless you now sit down and compare like for like with a standalone headphone amp it's going to be hard to say which is going to sound better to you. Your way forward may very well be to get better headphones. They certainly do sound different the more of your money you are prepared to part with and you'll find good headphones right across the cost spectrum. To be on the safe side I would look at headphones with a low ohm loading.

How deep are those pockets?


Active Member
Hi. Not really a fair comparison is it? You're comparing midrange headphones with budget floorstanders, driven by an av amp.
You might get similar sound quality, assuming your room's ok, from £500-£700 bookshelves, powered by a stereo amp, but I wouldn't imagine you get close before that level.

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