Wharfedale unveils Aura Series loudspeakers

British company Wharfedale has launched its third loudspeaker range to emanate from its Elysian development project, the Aura Series – which claims to deliver flagship-level engineering at an affordable price.

The Aura Series consists of two standmount models (Aura 1 and Aura 2) and two floorstanders (Aura 3 and Aura 4), plus two centre speakers for home cinemas. Explaining its Air Motion Transformer Wharfedale says: “Unlike conventional dome tweeters, or other forms of ribbon and planar diaphragms, the AMT high-frequency transducer does not move forwards and backwards like a piston. This means it is not constrained by the mass of its diaphragm, with the attendant blurring of transient response. Instead, the diaphragm is folded and carries conductive elements immersed in an immensely strong magnetic field.”

“When the music signal from the amplifier traverses the diaphragm, the folds constrict and expand – this has the effect of squeezing the air between the folds, rapidly altering its pressure to accurately transmit the equivalent pressure wave received by the microphones in the recording studio.

“The diaphragm operates over a large area, delivering high efficiency, and can generate transient acoustic power with ease. Wharfedale’s design team has improved the AMT unit to extend the response to 36kHz (-6dB), allowing a smooth and linear response to 22kHz (+-3dB).”

For the Elysian Series, Wharfedale developed bass and midrange diaphragms formed from a proprietary woven glass fibre matrix to match the transient accuracy and efficiency of the AMT treble unit. These offer low mass and high strength, with the addition of a high-plasticity coating.

The smaller of the two standmount speakers, the two-way Aura 1 costs £1,500 and combines the AMT treble driver with a 130mm mid/bass unit to give a claimed sensitivity of 86dB and nominal impedance of 6ohm. The larger three-way Aura 2 (£2,000) separates bass and midrange with 150mm and 100mm drivers respectively and has 88dB sensitivity. The floorstanders use the same 100mm midrange unit as the Aura 2, coupling this with twin bass drivers – 130mm units in the Aura 3 and 150mm units in the Aura 4. Sensitivity is quoted as 88dB and 89dB with 6ohm and 4ohm nominal impedance. The Aura 3 costs £3,000 and the Aura 4 £4,000.

The cabinets are available in black, white and a feature-grained walnut wood veneer, each lacquered and polished, while Wharfedale says the curved design helps to disperse the acoustic output of the drive units.

Beneath the lacquered veneer is a sandwich of woods of differing density, designed to reduce panel resonance to below audibility. Named PROS (Panel Resonance Optimisation System), this multi-layer construction also attempts to inhibit the leakage of unwanted sound energy from inside the cabinet, which would otherwise interfere with the forward output of the drive units.

All of the Aura Series incorporates Wharfedale’s SLPP (Slot Loaded Profiled Port) bass reflex design, this latest version developed so that the high-pressure, high-velocity airflow from the downward-facing port is appropriately matched to the low air pressure in the room by distributing the airflow through a series of slot ports in the plinth.

Stands are available for the Aura 1 and Aura 2, designed to position the speakers at the ideal listening height and made from acoustically damped MDF and high-carbon steel to manage the unwanted effects of vibrations and sound reflections. These cost £900 and £1,000 per pair respectively.

Available to buy now, you can find out more about the Wharfedale Aura Series of loudspeakers here.