Loud and clear: Devialet’s Gold Phantom speaker punches above its weight
Tiny wireless speaker reproduces the “soundstage and musicality of speakers 20 times its size”
When it first arrived, wireless A/V technology promised much. Imagine being freed from the binds of cables, enjoying pure home cinema and hi-fi sound in any room of the house.
In truth, the early systems underwhelmed – in terms of quality and reliability. Ten years on, the industry has made a quantum leap in product development. Today’s wireless systems are awesome - if you’re prepared to pay for high-end, and have the infrastructure to support them. Just as Wi-fi surpassed Bluetooth for quality music streaming, the purest-sounding, most advanced audio equipment – such as that produced by French company Devialet – requires even more.
Its wireless solution is regarded as a first for any high-end audio company. Hardware and software have been developed from scratch to produce Devialet AIR, which incorporates multiple back-up techniques to preserve the integrity and continuity of the data flow. Designed to connect to your (high quality) home Wi-fi network, it promises that buffering is constantly optimised, streaming starts instantaneously and remains robust at all times. Streaming uncompressed audio data via this technology delivers music playback which sounds natural and balanced, with deeper, better defined bases, and pure, neutral trebles.
The key to such audio nirvana lies in a solid, high-quality Wi-fi network. This is necessary to ensure a coherent and lossless data transmission.
The company says internet routers are usually too weak or unadapted. They are fine for email or web browsing, but can hardly cope with a significant data-flow involved in an HD audio-stream. Additionally, streaming requires a strong Wi-fi signal.
The diminutive speaker, its shape reminiscent of a Faberge egg, promises “zero distortion, zero saturation and zero background noise” while “reproducing the soundstage and musicality of speakers 20 times its size.” It’s encased in Kevlar – the material used for bullet-resistant vests – to minimise vibration.
The third product in the series, Gold Phantom, is billed as the “most extreme version” yet. As the most powerful connected speaker developed, it’s eight times more powerful than the original delivering 4,500W of power (compared to 3,000W with Silver Phantom), and 108 dB of physical impact - the sound level of a live rock concert.
Gold Phantom’s new titanium tweeter is made of Grade 1 titanium, the purest available, with a strength-density ratio among the highest in the metallic elements. “Gold Phantom goes beyond the best performances in high frequencies restitution, now up to 27 kHz,” say the developers. Thanks to Devialet’s patented ADH Intelligence, they add, audiophiles may experience “a beautiful, moving sound and the most perfect restitution”.
It comes with Bluetooth and Wi-fi connectivity, as well as a digital optical socket for legacy equipment, and an optional ethernet connection. Paired with the music-sharing app Spark, it takes just one Phantom to wirelessly play all your music saved locally or online, from all your sources, via a multi-room system.
For those who like their high-end kit to also look the part, Gold Phantom is available with an exclusive 22-ct rose gold-plated finish.
Now that Devialet has opened a store at IFC Mall in Central, audiophiles can book a private listening session to check out the sound for themselves.