Apple Stores expand high-end audio offering with Devialet Phantom 'implosive' speakers

Posted:
in General Discussion
High-end French audio firm Devialet on Tuesday announced immediate availability of its highly acclaimed, just-under-$2,000 Phantom Implosive Sound Center at select U.S. Apple Stores, with wide availability to follow in 2016.




At a respective $1,990 and $2,390, Devialet's 750-watt Phantom and 3,000-watt Silver Phantom speakers are the second and third most expensive speakers in the Apple Store's current lineup, coming in behind Bang & Olufsen's BeoPlay A9 floor-standing unit. The biomorphic white pods could be worth the price of admission, however, enjoying accolades from industry heavyweights including The Absolute Sound, SoundStage! and Rolling Stone, as well as various tech publications like Wired.

"Working with Apple has been a long-held dream of Devialet since the company's inception," said Devialet CEO Quentin Sanni?. "Like Apple, our products share the same level of category re-invention, premium quality and the acclaim of consumers worldwide, all fueled by a high degree of investment: $25M and 10 years of R&D just for Phantom."

Phantom is packed with cutting edge technology borrowed from the brand's high-end amplifier lineup. One such platform, dubbed Analog/Digital Hybrid (ADH) Intelligence, combines Class A (analog) and Class D (digital) amplification to reproduce undistorted sound at high volumes. Other enhancements include Speaker Active Matching (SAM) tech that optimizes driver response in real time and a unique spherical architecture for even sound dispersal.

A single Phantom is sufficient for room-filling omnidirectional sound, but users can pair them up for stereo output using Devialet's separate Dialog audio router. Up to 24 Phantoms can be chained together.

Inside the ABS shell is a Kevlar second skin, aluminum core and advanced circuitry like a 24-bit Texas Instruments PCM1798 DAC that feeds two high-excursion coaxial drivers and a single tweeter. Apple iPhone and Mac owners can connect over Wi-Fi with Devialet's Spark app, a physical TOSLINK optical input or via Bluetooth. A2DP and AVRCP profiles are supported, as are aptX, AAC and SBC audio codecs. Supported audio formats include HE‑AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 kbit/s), WMA, WMA lossless (16 bit only), MP3 (16 to 320 kbit/s), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, OGG, VORBIS.

In time for the holiday shopping season, Phantom will be available at 13 brick-and-mortar Apple Stores across the U.S., including outlets in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

AppleInsider will be taking a closer look at Phantom in a review to be published later this week.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    peteopeteo Posts: 324member
    To bad the iOS does not support aptX profile. But in any case buying thee and then connecting to them with blue tooth in the first place would be the ultimate waste of $$$
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Here's an idea... Next buy a high end speaker company with a stellar engineering reputation, THEN work with them to dress up their products to be more fashion forward.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Quality high-end is never fashion forward. Looks are the last thing on the list. But to hook up a high-end speaker to what's coming out of an iPhone or iPad is insane, even if you're using FLAC or Lossless.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    I would love to listen to 256kbps tracks on $2000 speakers!
  • Reply 5 of 10
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    bdkennedy said:
    I would love to listen to 256kbps tracks on $2000 speakers!
    I listen to such tracks on speakers costing several times that. You can't distinguish 256kbps from an uncompressed original.
    jhalmos said:
    Quality high-end is never fashion forward. Looks are the last thing on the list. But to hook up a high-end speaker to what's coming out of an iPhone or iPad is insane, even if you're using FLAC or Lossless.
    The output from iPods and iPhones, and many other phones like Samsung's is indistinguishable from that from dedicated CD players.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,995member
    cnocbui said:
    bdkennedy said:
    I would love to listen to 256kbps tracks on $2000 speakers!
    I listen to such tracks on speakers costing several times that. You can't distinguish 256kbps from an uncompressed original.
    What? You really can't tell the difference between a 256kbps iTunes track and a 24bit/96kHz track?
     
  • Reply 7 of 10
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    What? You really can't tell the difference between a 256kbps iTunes track and a 24bit/96kHz track?
     
    Several times in the past few years I have posted a file containing 223 kbps AAC segments interspersed with the 16 bit 44.1khz original track. No one has ever been able to name the edit points by listening to it. One person did manage to find the points using a Spectrum analyser, Matlab or some other such technique, but as I said, no one could hear the edit points. I haven't done it with 24bit 96khz but imagine the outcome would be the same. 24/96 is silly anyway given the noise floor in most listening environments on earth and because I am not aware of any published papers that have proved Shannon to be wrong about the sampling rate required to perfectly reproduce the original signal.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    I just put an ipod/usb adapter in my Porsche and have been amazed at how crappy 256kbps mp3s sound compared to even CDs. But the Porsche does have a killer sound system.
    On my studio monitors, there is a huge difference between 256kbps and 24/96 (although I actually personally record at 24/88.2 to not have to deal with src when delivering CDs). But I have very nice converters clocked with a Big Ben going into very nice monitors that I know very well, so that might make a difference.
    Maybe it's 20 years of critical listening... my kids don't seem to notice.

  • Reply 9 of 10
    I just put an ipod/usb adapter in my Porsche and have been amazed at how crappy 256kbps mp3s sound compared to even CDs. But the Porsche does have a killer sound system.
    On my studio monitors, there is a huge difference between 256kbps and 24/96 (although I actually personally record at 24/88.2 to not have to deal with src when delivering CDs). But I have very nice converters clocked with a Big Ben going into very nice monitors that I know very well, so that might make a difference.
    Maybe it's 20 years of critical listening... my kids don't seem to notice.

    We are not talking about MP3s here. There are some really bad mp3 encoders out there. Scientific tests have proven that 256kbps AACs are indistinguishable from the original. The same holds true for 16/44.1 vs. 24/192. Try this for yourself: use a converter with proper dithering to convert one of your 24/192 files to 16/44.1. You will NOT be able to tell the difference. Convert the 16/44.1 file again, this time to 256kbs AAC. Compare to the original 24/192 file. Again, you will NOT be able to tell the difference. You must use proper software to do the comparison, so that you don't know which file is currently being played. All people who have claimed that they could tell the difference have failed to do so in a proper A/B/X test setting. (I'm using STAX headphones and amp, but the results are the same with any type of equipment - no audible difference.)
    cnocbui
  • Reply 10 of 10
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    I just put an ipod/usb adapter in my Porsche and have been amazed at how crappy 256kbps mp3s sound compared to even CDs. But the Porsche does have a killer sound system.
    On my studio monitors, there is a huge difference between 256kbps and 24/96 (although I actually personally record at 24/88.2 to not have to deal with src when delivering CDs). But I have very nice converters clocked with a Big Ben going into very nice monitors that I know very well, so that might make a difference.
    Maybe it's 20 years of critical listening... my kids don't seem to notice.

    There is an audio software app called Foobar, with an add-on ABX module for it that is designed to allow anyone to do a proper scientific blind A/B comparison of sound sources. If you are curious, you could try it out and see if you really can hear such differences. Many, many people have tried uncompressed source vs compressed to pretty much make it an absolute that reasonably high compression rates done with good codecs, like the ones in iTunes, are quite transparent. You could checkout Hydrogenaudio.org for years worth of discussions on audio topics such as this. You can get Foobar here: http://www.foobar2000.org/downloadr and the ABX comparator for it here: http://www.foobar2000.org/components
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