Devialet's hugely expensive wireless earbuds promise luxury design and improved sound

Devialet Gemini II lifestyle image
(Image credit: Devialet Gemini II)

The Devialet Gemini II wireless earbuds have landed, and they're as stylish and chic as you'd expect from the luxury French audio manufacturer. Promising better sound and enhanced features, including adaptive noise cancellation, the new Gemini II buds tease "extraordinary sound quality, high-end ergonomic design and impeccable usability" – plenty of big claims to challenge the best in this highly competitive category.

The premium Gemini II feature a brand-new custom 10mm titanium-coated driver while offering support for Qualcomm's aptX Bluetooth codec. That, plus a refined ergonomic design and better fit, should ensure sonic and usability improvements over the earlier generation. We judged the first Gemini model to be a competent debut, but found their heavy-handed sonic approach detracted from the overall experience, so here's hoping the second iteration learns from its predecessor's shortcomings.

Devialet's own ANC tech adjusts to the shape of your ear for a more personalised experience while also reducing audio artefacts and white noise. The ANC itself is supported by a hybrid dual-microphone structure and digital filters that use the brand's own Internal Delay Compensation (IDC), a clever system that compensates for the internal delay generated by a noise cancellation loop.

Further still, the earbuds use what they call "active wind reduction" technology, which seeks to reduce the intrusion and noise of blustery conditions, with each embedded mic surrounded by a layer of anti-wind material and cavity shields, along with a bone conduction sensor and beamforming microphones to further facilitate clearer voice calls.

Devialet Gemini II lifestyle image

(Image credit: Devialet)

As is becoming commonplace for earbuds at this price point, the Gemini II also include Bluetooth Multipoint so you can switch between two devices on the fly. If you're thinking of taking your new buds out and about, IPX4 splash resistance means you're fine to bring them out to the park or even to the gym if needed. Touch controls can be adjusted via the app, while battery life is quoted at five hours on a single charge and 22 hours in total with the charging case. That's not quite as class-leading as rivals from Bose, Apple or Sony, so that's one to think about if you rely on earbuds for a long commute.

With an eye-catching design (which looks rather like miniature version of the Phantom wireless speaker), the Gemini II earbuds are complemented by the voguish appearance of a thinner, leaner charging case. If you're keen to show off your sense of style (and have deep pockets), there's a special Opéra de Paris edition which celebrates Devialet's five-year partnership with the renowned French institution.

Like most Devialet products, these buds don't come cheap. The Devialet Gemini II wireless earbuds are available in black or white colourways for a rather steep £349 / $450 / AU$699 – that's a jump up in price from the first generation's £279 / $299 price tag, and even pricier than the priciest pairs we've tested this year, the premium Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 buds (£349 / $399 / AU$700). The special Opéra de Paris edition, meanwhile, will set you back a whopping great £549 / $649 / AU$1099. Let's hope the sound quality and perceived value match up to that high asking price.


Read our review of the original Devialet Gemini 

These are the best wireless earbuds we've tested

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II: which noise-cancelling earbuds are best?

Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. During his time at the publication, he has written countless news stories alongside features, advice and reviews of products ranging from floorstanding speakers and music streamers to over-ear headphones, wireless earbuds and portable DACs. He has covered launches from hi-fi and consumer tech brands, and major industry events including IFA, High End Munich and, of course, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or trying to pet strangers' dogs.