A wireless speaker with an eccentric design and, at times, a thrillingly excitable sound – but it’s constrained by the very things that make it unique.
- Powerful, energetic sound
- Number of connectivity options
- Thrilling aesthetic
- Can stammer when more than subtlety is required
United states of america
Supports UPnP and Roon Ready connections
Heart Bass Implosion
An acoustic process that emits low frequencies with depth and impact
Stereo pairing and multi-room
Ii speakers tin can joined in stereo pair configuration, and multiple speakers paired in a multi-room set up-up
Devialet is a French hello-fi company with a gustation for the weird and wonderful, and its Phantom speakers are perhaps the weirdest and most wonderful affair it currently makes.
A fusion of high-concept design and engineering science, the Phantoms are a wholly unique proposition. The Phantom i was introduced in 2022 as part of a shake-up of the Phantom family, the smaller Phantom Reactor renamed Phantom II to simplify matters. Only, simply to dingy the waters, the Phantom one models is available in 103dB and 108dB variants.
The model tested here is the Phantom 1 108dB Gold. Like previous Phantoms it delivers a operation that wouldn’t be possible without the innovation that’s gone into it; only it’s as well hamstrung past the traits that brand information technology so unique.
- Compact, ovoid shape
- Side-firing woofers
- White or black finish
The Devialet Phantom 1 looks similar no wireless speaker y’all have come up beyond, the kind Tom Cruise would be listening to in the time to come landscape of his 2022 film Oblivion. Viewed from caput on, the speaker takes on the shape and appearance of the moon; from the side it looks like the sort of helmet the now defunct (or should that be de-funked?) Daft Punk would article of clothing.
Information technology’s a design that throws up a few questions, like how does it produce audio? Where is the speaker’southward front? And is that actual aureate plating?
The front of the speaker is the face with the tweeter-covered grille, the design of which takes inspiration from French 18th-century gardens and Chladni patterns (await them upward). Side-firing woofers add together to the visual spectacle of the Phantom 1 once it starts digging into those low frequencies, while effectually the back is a heatsink and a power cablevision. Rather inelegantly, hidden behind the cable are the Ethernet and digital optical connections.
With a matte cease that can attract a bit of dirt, you wouldn’t desire to get the 22-carat gold side panels messy – and at 11.4kg for each speaker, they have a deceptively low heart of mass. The weight raises the thought of purchasing stands, of which there are three to cull from: Tree (the most conventional of the lot), Treepod (a compact stand) and Gecko (a wall-mount). There’s besides a travel handbag called the Cocoon that looks somewhere between a tea cosy and bowling ball handbag.
- Features a wealth of interesting tech
- Diverse connectedness options
- Intuitive app and remote
It wouldn’t be a Devialet production if in that location weren’t whatever fancy-sounding acronyms – and lo and behold, the Phantom i lives up to expectations with ADH, SAM, and HBI.
ADH stands for Analog Digital Hybrid. The analogue amplifier reproduces an unspoilt signal and passes information technology off to the digital amplifier. In the words of Devialet, this procedure combines the precision of analog and the ability and firmness of digital distension. SAM isn’t a person, but Speaker Active Matching, an algorithm that recognises the speaker’southward specs and tailors the sound for an optimal performance.
Eye Bass Implosion sounds like a dance album from the early 2000s, and is all near reproducing low frequencies with depth and ability – and, in the class of the Phantom i, that gives birth to some truly prodigious bass extension. Non-acronym features arrive with a more power-efficient system chip, improved free energy consumption and reduced distortion through the speaker’s signal path.
The 108dB version of the Phantom i has at its disposal 1100 watts RMS of ability, which is a mode of saying this speaker tin can make a racket. Source connectivity stacks up to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, UPnP, Roon Ready back up, and an optical cable (for plugging the speaker into a TV or other device).
You can manage those sources through the Devialet app, which is stable, swift in terms of speed, and intuitive. Within the app, and if you have more than than i speaker to paw, there’s the hope of linking them upwardly through multi-room or bringing two together to grade a stereo pair – a process that’due south like shooting fish in a barrel to achieve. There’s access to music streaming services (Spotify, Qobuz, Deezer, Tidal), as well every bit playback functions with rail skipping and book control. If yous take a pair, the book can exist controlled independently of each speaker.
A more physical ways of control is with the Phantom Remote, a puck-sized controller with buttons for playback, a twist of the rotary punch moves volume upwardly and downward. The set-up is a mannerly process with in-app references to a “new life” being born and the speaker – which pulses during set up-upwardly (those side-woofers at it again) – calmed by a touch on every bit if information technology’s a new-born baby. The Phantoms are plenty eccentric, and winningly so.
- Lots of ability, lots of attack
- Condensed soundstage
- Tin can strike an impressively natural tone
For a speaker of its size and shape, at that place’s no shortage of energy about the way the Devialet delivers its sound. Bass beats are seriously impressive in how they’re communicated: the size, weight and depth bring plenty of scale to bass-heavy tracks.
And in terms of volume, this is a speaker to exist turned upward and turned up loud. It isn’t fussed about making a din (although maybe your neighbours will), and dynamically there are few shortcomings in describing hushed moments and thundering notes, or the difference between low frequencies and loftier. There’south an elasticity to the speaker’due south range that convinces.
Likewise met with confidence are the high notes that sparkle with clarity and item through the Grade I Titanium tweeter, and it proves good with male person and female person voices, treating them with a naturalism that makes them sound lifelike. In fact, when listening to the Guardian Football Weekly podcast, a fellow member of the team walking by thought there were more people in the room with me. Mesh that with a sprightly sense of set on and a character that’s happy to play a range of music genres – from pop, R&B, soul music, classical to stone – and you’d expect the Phantom one to be a dab hand at everything at which it tries its hand.
Simply the shortcomings of the previous Phantom models don’t go abroad, and unless Devialet comes with upwardly some neat engineering science, volition always be ingrained into their Deoxyribonucleic acid. The width of the soundstage it describes is small, not specially escaping the confines of its ovoid shape – and this is evident in busy tracks, where the soundstage becomes congested, and detail goes awry. The Prodigy’southward Stand up sounds messy and disorganised with a lack of clarity and shape to its presentation, despite the impressively big and meaty bass frequencies.
With Billy Joel’south It’southward Nonetheless Rock and Ringlet to Me, there’south an effort at describing the depth of the runway, but his voice and other instruments come beyond as if they’re sitting on each other at times. Stereo pair the Phantom 1 and you lot get a flat soundstage; Aaron Copland’south Fanfare for the Mutual Human being doesn’t feel as if it reaches into the room but instead is kept at a remove, and that makes for a less engaging heed.
Should you buy it?
If you lap upwardly eccentricity in spades
From its appearance to its sound, the Phantom 1 Golden does things differently and on its own terms. It’s besides actually expensive, and has entreatment for those who covet shiny pretty things.
If you favour a more expansive and articulate operation
When played songs more than its speed, there’s no dubiety the Devialet offers a dynamite performance, but its small soundstage highlights issues that hamper music playback.
The Devialet Phantom one isn’t the be all and end all when information technology comes to its audio performance, just when on vocal information technology’s a wireless speaker with a very entertaining presence. It shows no fealty to the mere whims of conventional design either, and whatever owner of this speaker will be glad of its outré fashion.
That is, if you can afford information technology. There’s impressive tech at the eye of the Phantom ane – there’s no doubting Devialet’s skill or nous in that regard – but there’southward something of a contradiction in that eye, boasting engineering that’s meant to free it from its lovely confines, but which also serves to restrict it. The Phantom 1 can reach thrilling heights, but it can also be shackled to the basis.
How we test
We test every wireless speaker we review thoroughly over an extended menstruation of time. We use manufacture standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we detect. We never, ever, have money to review a product.
Notice out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Tested in single and stereo configurations
Tested with various streaming services and sources
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How much is the Devialet Phantom ane Gold?
The Phantom ane Aureate is priced at £2790 / €3200 / $3200 / AU$5490 / CAD$4200
The states RRP
European union RRP
Sound (Power output)
Devialet Phantom 1 Gilt
252 x 342 x 235 MM
Grade I Titanium tweeter, Aluminium Medium driver, Aluminium Bass drivers
Digital optical audio, Ethernet
Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect UPnP, Roon Prepare, Wi-Fi
Aureate, Dark Chrome
xiv 27000 – Hz
Posted by: Sadiyev.com