March 22, 2023
Devialet launches a high-end portable speaker

Devialet launches a high-end portable speaker

When you talk about portable speakers, most people think of cheap Bluetooth speakers that you can easily put in your backpack when you go to the park. But Devialet has something different in mind with the Devialet Mania.

The French high-end loudspeaker manufacturer wants to create the most luxurious and high-performance portable loudspeaker available. The Devialet Mania costs $790 (€790) and is available today.

“We are launching a new product, the Devialet Mania. And this represents the end of a long process. We started with the amplifiers, then there were the Phantom loudspeakers, the Gemini headphones and the Dione soundbar,” explained Franck Lebouchard, CEO of Devialet. “We are entering a new market with this portable speaker.”

When Devialet decided to build a portable speaker four years ago, the concept was quite simple. Devialet wanted to design a speaker that works on battery, but a hi-fi speaker.

“Hi-fi means many things. This of course means excellent sound quality. Hi-fi also means stereo sound or at least stereo rendering,” said Lebouchard.

The Devialet Mania is a spherical loudspeaker without front or back. There is a handle at the top of the device which invites users to pick it up and carry it.

But you won’t put it in your backpack to go to the park because it weighs 2.3 kg (about 5 pounds). You can take it with you when you go on vacation, but it was mainly designed to be taken around the house.

Picture credits: Tech Crunch

When you start playing music, the first thing you’ll notice are the two woofers which are installed in a “push-push” configuration to prevent unwanted vibrations.

At the top of the device, there are four full-range speakers each pointing in a different direction. When you place the Devialet Mania on a table in the middle of the room, the full-range loudspeakers play the left channel or the right channel alternately (clockwise: left, right, left, right).

This way, wherever you sit, you mainly hear sound from the two full-range speakers in front of you – and you get stereo sound.

There are four microphones in the device along with an accelerometer. The Devialet Mania detects when it has been moved to a new location. Thanks to its built-in microphones, it can also detect when it is next to a wall.

In this case, the Devialet Mania determines the front and back of the device. The two full-range speakers on the left of the device broadcast the left channel, while the two speakers on the right broadcast the right channel.

Using microphones to actively adapt sound from the speaker was one of the selling points of Apple’s original HomePod. But Devialet also insists on sound quality, such as its proprietary SAM (Speaker Active Matching) technology.

“We are unique in combining portable, hi-fi and automatic calibration,” said Lebouchard.

The Devialet Mania works with Devialet’s own app and has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Over Wi-Fi, it supports AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect. The battery is supposed to last 10 hours at normal volume.

Some built-in buttons allow you to pause the music, change the volume, activate Bluetooth, and more. There is a single USB-C port on the device for charging.

And because the Devialet Mania has microphones, the company integrates Amazon Alexa for the first time. You can disable the feature entirely with a physical slider button near the USB-C port.

As well as the base model available in black or white, there is a $990 (€990) ‘Paris Opera’ model with gold-plated finishes and optional docking station – the base can also be purchased separately.

“If we want to become a global player in the audio industry, we need to have a product in every major segment of the audio market – wireless headphones, soundbars and portable speakers,” Lebouchard said. According to him, portable speakers and soundbars each generate 6 billion euros in sales each year.

Picture credits: Devialet

As for the company’s older products, Devialet released an update to its Phantom speakers in January 2021 with newer components and a matte finish. “With Phantom, we release a big update every two years,” Lebouchard said.

As far as amplifiers go, the Expert Pro was the company’s first product, but it hasn’t been updated for a while.

“Amplifiers are not a priority for us because it’s a very small market. But the Expert is an important product for our brand, for audiophile enthusiasts. We want to make the best amplifier in the world because we can’t say we’re the best sounding company in the world without selling the best amplifier in the world,” said Lebouchard. So I guess it means “stay tuned”.

Over the past year and a half, Devialet has delivered wireless headphones, a soundbar and a portable speaker. Lebouchard told me there was one product missing from the range – and that’s headphones.

But don’t hold your breath for the Devialet headphones because the company isn’t sure that would be a strategic move. “When you go out, people switch from headphones to wireless headphones,” Lebouchard said.

Picture credits: Tech Crunch

#Devialet #launches #highend #portable #speaker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *