Devialet have enjoyed sharp expansion since scene-arrival in 2010. Back then they employed 7 staff. At the Munich High-End Show in 2015 the number is set to tip 186.
Their flagship store count is on the rise too: Paris and Shanghai are already operational whilst New York, Berlin, Singapore and Hong Kong are schedule to open ‘soon’.
January’s CES 2015 was this commentator’s first exposure to Phantom, Devialet’s future-facing active loudspeaker that promises 16Hz – 25kHz. I’m a fan. However, I’m puzzled by the Devialet’s over-driven presentation in Munich. Pushing one, two, then three Phantom’s so hard/loud isn’t necessary to appreciate their keen value proposition. It’s counterproductive.
The dinosaur egg-like enclosure conceals a pair of 3 litre chambers that help to deliver Devialet’s HBI – Heart Bass Implosion. As might be obvious, Devialet’s marketing department L.O.V.E. acronyms.
The Spark application (iOS and Android) handles music sources and multi Phantom sync Tidal’s Pål Bråtelund was on hand in Munich to announce the Norwegian streaming service’s full integration into Phantom ecosystem where it joins Qobuz and Deezer.
The standard Phantom (750w, 99db) sells for €1690 whilst the Silver Phantom (3000w, 105db) is yours for €1990.
Seeing first daylight at the M.O.C. was the Phantom’s Branch stand (€249 each) that locks the unit into place and relocates power input to the stand base. Branch then routes all other cables up through its the tubular support which, made of aluminium, plays the role of heatsink.
In stark contrast, the Cocoon carry case (€TBA) affords the Phantom proper portability.
In lieu of their active loudspeaker, Devialet’s high-end (chrome pizza box) line is now referred to as ‘Expert’. They reportedly shifted 3500 units last year. Pivotal to the Expert line’s ingenuity is its EVO platform and the downloadable firmware updates that bring better sound quality, more power and greater functionality.
With each update though come more acronyms: ADH in 2010, EVO in 2011, SAM in 2014.
Originally developed for the Phantom, 2014’s SAM (speaker active matching) allowed Devialet to measure a loudspeaker, correct for frequency and time domain errors and upload the corrected loudspeaker profile to their website for download and application by the end user.
This measurement process would take place at Devialet’s Paris HQ and typically take engineers three days to complete. Devialet users could vote for their favourite speaker to be measured and corrected.
With the imminent firmware 8.0 comes SAM v2. This will enable the French manufacturer to tackle more complex speakers, as well as providing greater bass extension and stability (at higher SPLs) and even more precise group delay reparation.
The bigger bombshell arrives with news of SAM Lab – a portable measurement system. Its gold coloured module permits loudspeaker modeling anywhere in the world by any Devialet-approved representative. The kicker? SAM Lab measurements can be completed in less than 10 minutes before being shared via
Also landing with firmware 8.0 is yet another acronym: the RAM (‘Record Active Matching’) phono stage brings remote controllable configuration of loading, gain and thirteen EQ curves. Alternatively, single-click presets for 130 of the world’s most popular cartridges can be applied – great news for novices.
Lastly comes MAT (‘Minimal Arithmetic Transform’), Devialet’s long awaited DSD engine that will bring full DSD compatibility to all inputs. Finalement!
All Devialet products are Made in France.
Further information: Devialet
Munich High-End 2015 coverage sponsored by LH Labs: