The Devialet Phantom looks like no other wireless speaker. When it launched a couple of years ago, it carried a price tag that made you wonder if a decimal point had been misplaced, it rocked out 750 W of zero saturation, distortion-free sound from its unusual driver configuration and attracted more than its fair share of audio expert appreciation. The French audio house has since released a 3,000 W Silver model and a 4,500 W Gold version, which really made the original look like a poor relation. That's now been remedied with the release of an updated 1,200 W "entry level" Phantom.
The headline-grabbing feature of the new-improved Phantom is of course the 60 percent peak output increase, but the SPL has also gone up from 99 dB to 101 dB (at 1 m), total harmonic distortion/noise is reported to be 0.0005 percent, which is pretty much inconsequential, and Devialet is promising zero saturation and absolutely no background noise – meaning power, precision and clarity are the buzzwords here.
A glass fiber-filled polycarbonate inner skin surrounded by ABS housing with an aluminum central core is home to the Phantom's aluminum tweeter, mid-range and side-firing bass drivers, an updated version of Devialet's ADH technology (which is said to significantly boost performance by "blending all the sophistication of Class A analog with all the power and compactness of Class D digital technology"), a 24-bit/192 kHz DAC and ARM Cortex A9 brains with support from 512 MB of DDR3 RAM.
The high-end audio thrower features dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with aptX (for "CD-like" streaming quality), Gigabit Ethernet and an optical input for connection to a games console or TV.
The Phantom is described by Devialet as putting out a high-end ultra-dense sound, and previous incarnations have certainly pleased industry pundits and audio lovers alike. It's functionality is controlled via the Spark companion app for Windows, OSX, iOS or Android, where users can play music, set up playlists and access streaming services like Deezer and Tidal, as well as tune into internet radio.
The eye-catching 253 x 255 x 343 mm (9.96 x 10 x 13.5 in), 11.4 kg (25 lb) Phantom is priced at US$1,690 on its own or, for a limited time, $1,790 with a beech wood tripod stand.