I am pretty pumped about this Wharfedale D320 and Sony SSCS5 battle that we have going on here today. These are two great sets of bookshelf speakers and we have already looked at the Sony SSCS5 speakers here on the site and today they have a pretty solid matchup with the Wharfedale D320 speakers. No matter if you have a home theatre setup in your home and you are looking for some high-quality rear speakers or if you are tight on space and need a set of smaller, but still very good quality speakers to pump your music with or to enjoy your movies, these are two sets of speakers that have to make your shortlist.
Hmm, the price category in our Wharfedale D320 and Sony SSCS5 contest is a bit of an awkward one as one of these sets of speakers are so much easier to get a hold of than the other. I do think that is something that has to be taken into consideration when we look at these speakers.
The Wharfedale D320 speakers are a really tricky beast for me to talk about. The reason I say this is that these are not exactly super easy to track down in the USA from places like Amazon, Walmart, or Target. The set I am looking at today I actually found at a garage sale and they were brand new in the box, guy said they had never been used! Anyway, on Amazon right now, neither the white or the black version of these are in stock and they have not been for a very long time. They do have a $199,99 RRP when you do see them. However, I did have a look on eBay and found none on there either, Amazon UK did have a set so importing these may be the way you have to go about getting them.
I am pretty sure that the Sony SSCS5 speakers have an RRP of $199,99 which I think is a more than fair asking price for a set of speakers of this quality. The thing is on Amazon, the price is all over the freaking place for these! The last time I spoke about these they were listed at 128 bucks. I have also seen them lower than that and even at the $199,99 mark! However, as of me writing this article today, the Sony SSCS5S are currently listed at $158 which I still think is a good price. If you look on eBay, the prices are crazy on there too! These tend to be anywhere from 40 bucks for a used set to over 200 bucks for a new set. However, I would say that they tend to average out at around the $130 range. The point I am making is be sure to look around for these are there are certainly deals to be had.
The Verdict: This is a really tough call as these can be found at so many different points of the pricing spectrum. If we take these at their face value on Amazon right now, I would probably say that the Sony SSCS5 gets my vote. However, be sure to be patient with these and do some shopping around as you could potentially save as much as fifty bucks no matter which ones you go for.
Our design category is something that I am pretty pumped about as the design of these is very different. This makes the design category probably my favorite of all the categories we have in this Wharfedale D320 and Sony SSCS5 showdown that we have going on here today.
Wharfedale D320: It is worth noting that the Wharfedale D320 speakers come in different colors. The version that I am specifically talking about today are the black ones that I bought at a yard sale. However, these are also available in white and walnut. The dimensions of these speakers are, 12.2” x 7.08” x 9.84” so they are nice and compact. They also manage to have a more “premium” kind of feel to them than you may expect at this kind of price range. These have a bit more of a modern look to them thanks to them having a curvier design than the Sony speakers that they are going up against today. That along with the rounded fabric on the speaker grille gives these a more modern kind of personality, my friend actually said that he thinks they have a kind of PC look about them which I find hard to disagree with.
I like the way these look with the grille on than without. The way the fabric is just where the drivers is was something that I thought was really cool. One neat feature that I think gives these speakers a bit more personality is the feet that they stand on. These do stand a little bit off the ground which makes them look even better if you have them actually sitting on a shelf. As we flip these so that we can see what is on the back, you will notice that there is not much going on here apart from the binding posts. In all, these look cool and are ideal if you want a set of bookshelf speakers that have a bit more of a modern look to them.
Sony SSCS5: Before I share my humble opinion on my I think these speakers are so awesome, I highly recommend that you look at this Sony SSCS5 Speaker Unboxing video as you can see these being freshly unboxed. I am pretty sure each time I have looked at the Sony SSCS5 speakers here on the site, I have talked about how much I love the design. These speakers have that classic Sony design and that is something I always love; it just screams the 1980s to me and that is something I think is very cool. These come in at 7 1/8″ x 13 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ and weigh around the 9 pounds mark so they do not take up much space at all. They are perfect if you want speakers that blend into the background, but also have a lot of personality so when they do catch your or a guest’s eye, they look cool! One thing that is really neat is the speaker grille has this angled part to it at the top which gives this a bit more of a slicker and cooler kind of style.
I want to stick with the speaker grille for a moment as it really is something that I think is very, very cool. It has the Sony logo in white towards the bottom which I am always a big fan of. However, when you take the grille off, these speakers look really awesome too! You once again have the Sony logo towards the bottom, but I love the design of the three-driver system that makes up these speakers. It is a rare instance where I am not sure if I prefer these with or without the speaker grille! The overall build quality of these is fantastic and despite being rather lightweight, these speakers do have a very high-quality feel about them. The back is pretty plain which is to be expected, but it is where you will find your binding posts to hook these up to your receiver with.
The Verdict: This is a tricky one to call as these have rather different styles. The Wharfedale D320 speakers have a bit more of a modern and almost PC speaker kind of look to them. The Sony SSCS5 speakers on the other hand I feel have a more “classic” kind of design. At the end of the day, this is a real personal preference kind of thing and for me, the Sony SSCS5 appeal to me more than the Wharfedale D320 speakers do.
The main event of our Wharfedale D320 and Sony SSCS5 fight to the deal is sound. These are two decent sets of speakers and the sound quality that both of these produced impressed the hell out of me. I put these speakers well and truly through their paces with some movies and a few of my favorite albums too.
Wharfedale D320: This guy gives a good and honest review of these speakers in this Wharfedale D310 Low-Cost, High-Performance, Fantastic Value Speakers – Honest Audiophile Impressions video which I recommend that you check out. The Wharfedale D320 speakers despite their rather modest size still sound great. I had to test this out with my surround sound setup at first to see how they function as rear speakers and they were more than up to the task when I was watching Pixels which has sound coming from every angle they did their job very well and I could see me using these as my rear speakers in my home theatre and being ok with it. Of course, I did have to see how these would perform if they were the speakers handling all the sound, so I positioned them just under my TV to see what they would offer as a main set of speakers. To be honest, I was in the mood for some laughs so I put on Spaceballs and these delivered a very well balanced sound. It did lack a tad in the power department, but to be fair, I think I am being a bit picky here.
As far as using the Wharfedale D320 speakers for music goes, I was rather impressed by what I was experiencing here. I had a real hankering to hear some Stevie Knicks so I put on Fleetwood Mac: Greatest Hits vinyl that I got on clearance on Amazon for under ten bucks a few weeks back. It sounded great when played through these speakers. I was impressed with how balanced the sound was, especially as I cranked the volume up. The bass may not be room rocking, but it more than holds its own. Speaking of rocking, I am always looking for an excuse to listen to some Bon Jovi so I put on their most recent album, 2020 which may not be their best work, but at least it sounded good when played through these speakers. For a smaller scale room, I am sure that you will be more than happy with the sound that these provide.
Sony SSCS5: A little while back I was given the chance to check out the Sony SSCS3 3-Way Floor-Standing Speaker which are designed to go with the Sony SSCS5 speakers. What is cool about that is that these bookshelf speakers are part of an epic set that also includes the Sony SACS9 10-Inch Active Subwoofer, the Sony SSCS8 2-Way 3-Driver Center Channel Speaker, the Sony SSCSE Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers and the Sony STRDH190 2-ch Home Stereo Receiver. All of this adds to make an amazing and affordable Dolby Atmos surround sound home theatre setup! I tested the Sony SSCS5 speakers with my own surround sound setup and they did their job very, very well. I ended up watching Venom: Let There Be Carnage which has a great surround sound audio track and these speakers were clear, dynamic, and had way more bass than I thought they would. I even tested these out as “main” speakers and they produced some damn fine stereo quality sound when I watched Free Guy which is a really fun movie by the way. When it comes to movie and TV shows, the Sony SSCS5 speakers are clear and balanced and that is all you can ask for at the end of the day.
I did have to see what these brought to the table as far as music goes too and a great song to test any set of speakers out with is Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden from their album of the same name. With the slow and direct vocals at the start of the song and the kickass guitar and drums that follow, you really get a good indication of what a set of speakers can do with this song. I found the sound quality to be great, it was nice and clear and it actually offered way more bass than I thought that these would. I could see having these speakers being their main speakers for their turntable, hi-fi, or whatever and being very happy with it. Even the wife said that they were great when she listened to 30 by Adele.
The Verdict: I will always be the first to admit that I am a massive Sony fanboy and that I sometimes do these comparative articles with my Sony glasses on. However, I will be 100 percent honest and say that when it comes to the sound of these two, there really is not much at all in it. My wife flat out said that she noticed zero difference. For me, I do think that the Sony SSCS5 speakers did offer just a wee bit more bass and power so I am giving them the win here, but it is very, very close.
Which Is The Best Speaker?
This Wharfedale D320 and Sony SSCS5 battle has been fun to do and these are two solid sets of bookshelf speakers. Both the Wharfedale D320 speakers and the Sony SSCS5 speakers offer you excellent sound at an affordable price and they both look cool too. For me, I have to say that I prefer the style of the Sony SSCS5 speakers more and I did think that they sounded just a little bit better, that is why I am picking them as my winner here today. However, there is another reason why they take the win and that is the fact that they are just so much more readily available in the USA than the Wharfedale D320 speakers are. The effort to track them down I feel is not worth it when the Sony ones are so easy to find. Plus, if you get the Sony speakers, you can always someday upgrade your setup with the other products that go with them.