Bounding Unicorns

Wharfedale Sapphire SP89 Speakers


  • 3 way
  • 1" soft dome tweeter
  • 6.5" midrange
  • Two identical 6.5" woofers wired in parallel
  • Bi-wire capable - upper binding posts go to tweeter only, lower binding posts go to midrange and woofers

Listening Impressions

A very pleasant speaker overall. Sounds very good in my living room which has the best speaker placement and low frequency gain.

I am positively impressed with the bass in the living room. The bass is very present but also balanced. The speaker appears to play low, much lower than I would expect given the drivers (2x 6.5" woofers).

The midrange is very nice. There is more midrange compared to Emerald EM99 I would say.

I feel that the treble is rolled off slightly compared to Wharfedale Emerald EM99 MKIV and Definitive BP7002 (and note that BP7002 has two tweeters per speaker). I also thik that the treble is slightly dirty, depending on the material (especially at lower bitrate). The tweeter is the speaker's weakest point in my opinion - it could have more presence and sparkle. The tweeter is also placed rather high - the cabinet is 44" high and the tweeter is at the top of it, with the center of the tweeter being 41.5" off the floor. For comparison, EM99's tweeter is 37.25" and BP7002's tweeters are 37.5" off the floor.

Given the treble rolloff, I find SP89 to sound best on axis. I also imagine it could perform well in near field, which is my office setup. Turning off "pure direct" mode on Yamaha receivers also balances the tweeter better with the midrange.

Additional References