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Devialet Phantom multiroom audio system revealed

Devialet has announced its first multiroom audio system - the Phantom starts at an eye-watering £1,390

Devialet might not be a name you’re familiar with, unless you’re an audiophile with very deep pockets. They’re known for making premium audio equipment, including amps that range into the tens of thousands of pounds. In comparison, £1,390 for the newly revealed entry-level Phantom multiroom speaker is almost reasonable – relatively speaking. 

Devialet says the Phantom is the result of 10 years of development and the result of attempting to condense a £50,000 system into something more compact and reasonably priced. The range will be launching with two models, the standard Phantom (£1,390) and the Silver Phantom (£1,690). The main difference between the two is power output; the Phantom outputs 750W, whereas the Silver puts out an astonishing 3000W. Both speakers use the same Texas Instruments PCM1798 DAC that supports high-resolution, 24bit/192kHz audio.

Both use a similar, eye-catching design, with a slightly barrel-like cabinet and a spherical section at the front that houses the actual speaker components. Made from a composite of glass fiber filled polycarbonate and ABS, each speaker uses aluminium for the central core and dome drivers. The dome drivers on the sides come in white for the regular Phantom or silver for the more premium model.

Both Phantom models use Devialet’s Analog/Digital Hybrid amplifier, which pairs a single class A amplifier with several class D amplifiers. Devialet says Phantom can deliver strong and impactful bass despite the small dimensions, whether you place them on the floor or buy the optional £200 ‘Branch’ stands. They not only put the speakers on display but help dissipate heat through the base.

You’ll need to purchase a separate Dialogue hub to connect the Phantom to your wireless network; it’s possible to have up to 24 of them connected at once, if you are both rich and have a large mansion. An app called Spark will control your music and will be able to pull in audio from multiple sources. Devialet promises it will have a unified search for music services, much like with the Sonos system. Multiple users can use the app to queue up music, or you can lock down playback so only one person has control over the playlist. The app will be available on iOS and Android and there will be desktop software for both Windows and OS X.

We got to hear the Phantom at the launch event and came away impressed. Bass was extremely tight, yet the delicate mids and trebles weren’t lost. Even with the twin domes vibrating violently with the volume cranked, the actual cabinet remained steady, so much so the Devialet CEO demonstrated putting an iPhone on top of the spherical speaker without it falling off, even during bass-heavy songs. The speakers were also unsurprisingly loud and distributed sound evenly throughout the room. We were certainly very impressed by what we heard.

If the price alone doesn’t make these feel exclusive enough, they are also only being sold in Harrods, London and Colette, Paris, from the 1st of February 2015.

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