If you’re a product designer at the top of the hi-fi food chain, you’re probably going to be choosing one of two lanes: conservative, serious, traditional and rectangular, or wacky, curvy, hyper-technical… and controversial.
Devialet has done both, and would like to give you the opportunity to hear and see its work for yourself during a special event at its flagship store at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, on May 24th (find out how to sign up at the bottom of this story).
What will you get to experience? Some truly cutting-edge technology. Devialet’s inventions include ADH (Analog Digital Hybrid) technology, a hybrid of musical, linear class-A analogue and high-precision class-D digital amplification; SAM (Speaker Active Matching) tech, which optimises its equipment’s output signal to your specific speakers (they’ve measured over 500 models); all manner of intelligent processing for vinyl, DSD files, multichannel movie audio; and much more.
And best of all, you’ll be able to play your own music through its range of Phantom and Expert systems. You know your tastes best, after all…
Meet the range
Since its formation in France 10 years ago, Devialet has been making some startling developments inside its products as well as outside.
Devialet was founded by three people – Pierre Emmanuel Camel (the tech specialist who invented the chip that makes all those features possible), Quentin Sannié (the marketing guru) and Emmanuel Nardin (the design genius). These three men strive for constant innovation, and it’s hard to argue with their output on that score. Over the past decade they’ve filed 88 patents and won 50 awards for their troubles. Not bad. All this tech is integrated in two models – Expert and Phantom.
Expert is an innocuous-looking slab that, despite its simple looks, would probably be one of the most complicated pieces of hardware in your house. It’s a pre-amp, a power-amp, a DAC, a streamer and a phono stage that can be set up in literally thousands of different configurations.
That means you can do everything from letting it optimise itself for every bit of equipment in your system to setting precise specifications for each of them yourself: special filters for your existing speakers, individual levels for individual inputs (it’s bristling with them), and even individual startup curves for your phono stage(s). It comes with a unique remote control: just three buttons and a scroll wheel, for ultra simplicity.
Phantom is a simple wireless speaker. Except it’s not. It’s designed to be able to replace every other bit of hi-fi kit you have – from docking systems and stereo speakers to home-cinema rigs, multiroom speakers and wireless systems. It uses Wi-Fi or a dedicated mesh network to access all manner of streaming services, including Spotify, Deezer and Tidal. You’ve probably seen it in the Apple Store in London's Covent Garden.
Like the Expert, the Phantom uses ADH technology, but marries it with Devialet’s Heart Bass Implosion system – which puts two woofers in a hermetic enclosure under high pressure. This lets it reproduce frequencies from 25kHz right down to a trouser-flapping 16Hz. It takes 1.2 tonnes of pressure to seal it in the factory, and in your house each driver exerts 30kg of force outwards.
How to see and hear for yourself
You can hear both the Expert range and the Phantoms at an exclusive event that What Hi-Fi? and Devialet are hosting at the company’s flagship London store at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush. You’ll be able to explore the company’s whole range, enjoy a little food and drink and chat to product experts.
And, best of all, if you’re lucky enough to be chosen to attend, you’ll have the chance to win a Phantom, worth £1690. We’re only inviting 20 people – so that gives you a rather good chance…
The time: 7.00-9.30pm on Tuesday May 24th
The place: Devialet’s London flagship store, Westfield Shepherd’s Bush.
For a chance to be invited to the event, all you need to do is tell us what live act you’d like to see more than any other – and why.
To enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer, along with your name, address and preferred contact details.
Find out more about Devialet at http://en.devialet.com
The small print
Competition terms & conditions: 1. Entries will only be accepted via email to email@example.com. Entries will be judged on the quality, originality and relevance of their submissions, which must not exceed 140 characters. 2. The closing date for entries is 11.45pm, May 13th, 2016. 3. Prize is: invitation to a Devialet evening on Tuesday May 24th, 2016. Winners will be required to make their own way to and from the event. 4. One attendee of the event will win a Phantom speaker worth £1690. 5. Open to UK residents aged 18 or over 6. No cash alternative. Prizes are non-transferable. 7. Only one entry per person. 8. The event will be filmed. By entering the competition, you consent to appearing in any media produced on behalf of Devialet. 9. For full terms and conditions click here. The Promoter: Haymarket Media Group, Bridge House, 69 London Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3SP, UK