Super Cool French Wireless Speaker That Hits 99 Decibels Coming Soon
Called the Phantom the new device packs all the components of a home audio setup into a glossy white round shaped system that delivers blistering sound via a hybrid digital and analogue amplification process that allows for high volumes without the distortion normally associated with sound that has been pumped up to decibels as loud as a top end motorbike being wound up.
The device which is selling for $1,900 in the USA is tipped to go on sale in Australia shortly.
Devialet who has 88 patents on the new Phantom got its start in 2007, now the tech start up is attracting some serious investors with Bernard Arnault, chief executive officer of LVMH recently investing more than $3 million in Devialet as part of its $19.1 million Series A funding round.
The Phantom is Devialet’s first self-contained system, meaning you don’t need a collection of speakers, an amplifier, and a pile of other gear to actually hear your music-the digital-to-analogue converter (DAC), processor, amplifier, loud speakers, and connectivity are all inside.
All an owner has to do is plug the Phantom in, connect a phone, computer, or other audio source to it via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and you’re good to go.
While it’s described as portable the devices weighs 11 kilo so it is not something you’ll want to be carrying from room to room too often.
Although it does come with a really nice felt case (like those used to carry bowling balls) when the need strikes.
The French Company claims that the design of the device is driven by the need for all the sound to originate at a single point at the centre of the unit-hermetically sealed by 1.2 tonnes of pressure-and to radiate out from there. This lets the speakers sit very close together without interfering with one another. What we end up with is sort of a capsule shape with a glossy white surface and chrome accents.
Bloomberg who got their hands on the device said that setting up the speaker is relatively straightforward. Plug it in (yes, at 750 watts it does have to be attached to a wall), turn it on, and pair it with your device over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If using the latter, Devialet’s proprietary Spark app (iOS and Android) acts as a bridge between the Phantom and your music, either saved or streamed through a limited selection of services such as Tidal. The app also gives you more detailed volume controls (levels 1-100) and lets you network multiple units together and control them independently from one dashboard, sort of like Sonos.
While I was able to test the app during a guided demo of the Phantom, my review unit was a prototype without Wi-Fi and thus I was unable to use Spark during my own tests. I really wish I’d had a chance to get to know the interface better as it’s a critical part of the Phantom experience, and as it turns out, fairly necessary.
For instance, if you don’t use Spark and stream your music directly from Spotify or Google Play Music using your phone/music player, you only get the volume controls built into your device-the only actual button on the unit is the power button.
As you crank the volume up to the maximum 99 decibels, the soundstage opens up and you really start to notice the clarity and separation between instruments. Bass shakes your chest-the side woofer cones hypnotically blur along with the music (with 30 kilos of thrust force, according to Devialet’s stats)-and treble is powerful without being shrill. Low-end heavy music such as SBTRKT and The Weeknd sounded boring on my headphones after using the Phantom. Listening to Jos? Gonz?lez, I could almost feel the guitar strings in my hand said the reviewer.