Review: Devialet Phantom I & II Wireless Speakers
Devialet Upgrades Their Phantom Series
After years of success with their Phantom Premier and Phantom Reactor speakers, Devialet has unveiled their Phantom I and Phantom II series speakers and we're here to take the confusion out of the new line-up and break down what you need to know about the changes.
Barely a day goes by that someone doesn't ask us about the Devialet speakers on demo in our showrooms. "What's that?!"... "Whoa, are these speakers?"... "They look so cool, but how do they sound?" Devialet makes some of the most head-turning, conversation-starting, cool-looking speakers out there. Their Phantom wireless speakers are iconic and unmistakable in design and, unlike some other brands out there that may look really cool but sound like crap (sorry), we can confidently say Devialet's speakers really do sound as good as they look. The Phantoms emit ultra-dense sound with physical impact and have been revolutionizing the speaker game since their release as references for acoustical excellence.
So, with the new 2021 line-up Devialet has kept their signature space-age styling but have delivered a refreshed look and made some much-needed technology upgrades to offer better connectivity and enhanced audio.
Devialet Phantom I vs. Phantom II:
First off, Devialet changed the naming conventions of their Phantom line-up. The Phantom Premier will be know as Phantom I (103dB or 108dB) and the Phantom Reactor will be known as the Phantom II (95dB and 98dB). Both units have matching stands with options for the treepod (aka tripod stand) or the tree (a single unit speaker stand). Aside from the name changes, the big story are the upgrades to the Phantom I wireless speaker. Devialet introduced new colorways, an improved next-gen processor, and AirPlay2 and Roon Ready support.
Phantom I upgrades at a glance:
- Brand new user experience with intuitive app interface, including Devialet Remote for precision handling.
- Enhanced connectivity with Airplay 2, Hi-res on several sources, IP control, etc.
- Increased power efficiency with lower energy consumption = high-end, ultra-dense sound with more power, clarity, and precision from infrabass to the most extreme treble.
- New, modern colorways available in an exclusive white or black matte finish, with new sets of side panel options.
- New side panels: Light Chrome, Matte black, Gold, Dark Chrome
- New logo: Devialet tear redesigned and modernized
- Next-gen chip: Devialet Intelligence Processor gathering SAM, AHD, Magic Wire, Class A, DAC in a single chip
The Phantom I has new colorways, finishes and packaging, and will also now be packaged with an included sleek, round-shaped remote to control playback. The new speaker comes in two power levels: the 103dB model with a a frequency range of 16Hz to 25kHz is available in light chrome or matte black. The 108dB with a with a frequency range of 14Hz to 27kHz is available with dark chrome or gold side panels. Both the Phantom I and Phantom II have colorway options in Opera De Paris, with luxe gold leaf side panels. The special edition Opera De Paris models were created in partnership with the Paris Opera and inspired by the iconic gilded interiors of the space.
The Phantom I's brand new next-gen processor means thermal dissipation will be "up to 4 times more efficient" which will result in less wear and tear on components and better power consumption overall. This, along with Devialet's Analogue Digital Hybrid (ADH) amp, a proprietary technology the company says can deliver the quality of an analogue amp in a digital-sized package, should allow the Phantom I to provide "best-in-market performance in terms of compactness to power fidelity ratio". Remember what we said above about these little speakers sounding as good as they look? Devialet's entire philosophy is about achieving "high-end ultra-dense sound with power, clarity and precision like nothing you've ever encountered".
And, not to be outdone by it's little brother, the Phantom II, the Phantom I's connectivity was improved with the new Devialet app that allows multi-room configuration between all Phantom models, and support for AirPlay 2 so you can bypass the Devialet app if you choose and stream music directly from your iPhone. Roon Ready support also now allows for Hi-Res Audio streaming. Phantom's open architecture lets you get straight to the music you love: AirPlay 2®. Spotify Connect, Roon Ready, UPnP.
The Phantom II feature set remains largely the same as its predecessor, the Reactor, but will be also now be available in a matte black option, as well as iconic white, and gold leaf.
Like the Phantom I, the Phantom II speaker comes in two power levels: the 95dB model with a frequency range of 18Hz to 21kHz is available in iconic white chrome or matte black. The 98dB with a with a frequency range of 18Hz to 21kHz is available with dark chrome or gold side panels.
To clarify any confusion around the different max volume power levels of the Phantom speaker models, basically, the main difference between Phantom II 95 dB and Phantom II 98 dB, for example, is just that: their power. Phantom II 98 dB can achieve twice the power of Phantom II 95 dB. It all comes down to personal preference... and your budget, of course.
New Devialet Multiroom for Phantom
Both the Phantom I and Phantom II now offer multiroom capabilities. Using the new Devialet app, you have the option for three different playback modes. Multi-zone play lets you play the same music to multiple speakers in different rooms of your home. Single-zone play lets you play to multiple Phantom speakers in the same room. Individual play lets you listen to whatever you want in oh Phantom speakers in different room in your home. Listen to jazz in the kitchen while someone else enjoys a podcast on the couch. Control your volume and manage zones directly in your own Devialet apps.
Stereo Pairing: Two Phantoms is Better Than One
When it comes to stereo pairing with Devialet Phantom speakers, 1 + 1 = 3. Create a stereo pair and gain up to three extra decibels. A pair of Phantom speakers in stereo is a compact hi-fi system that packs a serious punch. With left and right channel synch, it delivers an incredible soundstage in a sleek package.
A Memorable Experience
Founded in 2007, Devialet is a French acoustical engineering company operating at the intersection of luxury and cutting edge technology and a Devialet encounter in our showrooms is one to remember. The space-age design, atop a tabletop or perched on one of the matching modern stands, is, as we said above, a head-turner. One might even call it a polarizing design: you either love it, or you hate it. But, when you listen to these wireless speakers, the spherical shape and purist design becomes so clear and purposeful and the haters usually become fans. The unique design, consisting of 981 parts protected by even more patents, is engineered with a focus on function to deliver sound and even physical impact that is unrivaled from such a compact profile. Devialet stands confidently behind their promise that "0 distortion, 0 saturation and 0 background noise ensure you get nothing but audiophile-grade playback, even at 900W".
The new Phantom upgrades prove that Devialet is still relentless in their pursuit to continue to improve on and deliver an emotional musical experience in a truly unique fusion of engineering and design that impacts your auditory, visual, and even tactile senses.
I see they dropped most of their unrealistic 1000+ watt PMPO claims.
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