I can already hear people screaming. “$2,400 for a speaker? Who would be crazy enough to buy that?” What if I told you that they can be used in pairs via a separate hub? What if I told you that, with the remote, a stereo setup using the Phantom Silvers costs over $5,000?
The Phantom Silver is the mid-range 3,000 watt version of the Phantom, sandwiched between the 750 watt regular Phantom and the 4,500 watt Phantom Gold. It’s a ridiculously expensive, ridiculously high-end WiFi speaker that uses its own app to stream music from your devices and also offers Bluetooth. The sound coming from this guy will knock your socks off.
- Price: $2,390.00
- Wattage: 3,000W
- Sound pressure: 105 dB SPL at 1 meter
- Connectivity: Bluetooth with aptX, optical, WiFi, Ethernet, Airplay
- Dimensions: 253 mm x 255 mm x 343 mm
- Weight: 25.1 lbs
- Where to buy: Devialet
The design of this speaker is striking, and the last word I’d use to describe it is subtle. It stands out as a huge white egg. Opinions on its design will be mixed, but I think it’s beautiful. Even in a more traditional interior, it somehow looks the part. Maybe that may not be the case for the gold Phantom, but the white and silver make for a stunning look.
On the front you’ll find a flowery grill housing the aluminum tweeter. The ring around it is the aluminum mid driver with a Devialet logo right above it.
On the sides are stainless steel panels and the all important bass drivers. These can pulse for effect, but when the sound is turned up, they’re pumping out some crazy pressure.
On the back is the only button you’ll find on this speaker. It’s a simple power button. Every other control is done on your phone, aside from the pairing command. At the bottom there is a big metal heatsink and the power cable coming out of it. Underneath the power cable cover is an Ethernet port and an optical port. The power cable is an unfortunate yellow color, and being very thick, it stands out too much.
Inside is an ARM Cortex-A9 800MHz dual-core processor with 512MB of DDR RAM paired with a Texas Instruments PCM1898 DAC that supports 24bit/192kHz audio.
The box the Phantom comes in is pretty brilliant. Split it open and you’ll find the Phantom in a thin, tight cover on a styrofoam stand. It’s a pretty triumphant unboxing experience.
The outside shell is a glossy ABS plastic with no give to it. The sides are covered in matte stainless steel. Inside is an aluminum core made to build high pressures, replacing the need for a large cabinet size. Devialet claims that it can produce up to 1.2 tons of pressure. All of this results in over 25 lbs of weight; it’s a hefty speaker.
All of the materials feel very premium, though with stationary speakers this is not critical. The main part is that they look premium, which they absolutely do. Again, the only thing I really take exception to is the yellow power cord.
So what does $2,400 and 3,000 watts get you? An amazing listening experience. The maximum volume is ridiculously loud. The highs are perfectly clear even at full volume. Every detail is obvious in a way I have not heard before.
And the bass. It’s thunderous. It shakes your ribs, which is a wonderful feeling and very unexpected for the size. At one point the clock mounted to the opposite wall fell off. The woofers move like crazy, and putting your hands on them allows you to feel just how hard they’re pushing. It’s a wonderful sight to see these speakers putting on a show. Yet place your hand on top of the speaker and it’s barely even vibrating.
But it’s not all about impact, as the woofers produce a smooth, complex sound that really brings out the detail in the lows. This results in a beautifully warm tone to the music.
The highs are very powerful but far from sparkly. They’re surprisingly smooth, and that’s rare in any sound system. Brightness tends to be popular, but I never much enjoyed it. Despite not being sparkly, the highs are incredibly detailed.
The overall sound signature becomes very warm, though the bass never becomes overpowering. I do wish that the bass was adjustable, as in music like power metal I might turn it down a tad, but overall the sound is balanced very well.
My favorite part about the speaker is how distinct the separation is between the lows, mids, and highs. It really feels like the various sounds of complex music are coming from different spots despite the speaker being fairly small. This is especially apparent when two are set up in stereo.
The Phantom produces sound below the 20Hz level of human hearing. These tones have been shown to produce feelings of unease and nervousness from long exposures. With the Phantom able to product 16Hz sound, this creates a feeling of chills and depth that regular sound simply can’t.
Yes, the Phantom is an amazing experience at crazy volumes. But even at low volumes the sound is so smooth and warm. At a quiet volume you can talk over, you’ll easily differentiate between a Phantom and a sound bar with a subwoofer almost outsizing a Phantom. Unlike most speakers, clear details and warmth are not lost at low volumes.
Listening over Bluetooth is definitely a downgrade from WiFi streaming, so you’ll want your music to either be local or through Tidal (which prides itself on high-fidelity audio). Over Bluetooth you’ll notice a loss of detail and a lower maximum volume. It’s definitely still extremely enjoyable, but if you’re turning it up to 11, WiFi is the way to go.
The speaker comes with its own Android app called Devialet Spark, both to set the system up and to stream music over WiFi. The app supports streaming of local music, Deezer, Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal, and built-in web radio stations. There’s no Google Play Music here, which is a huge shame.
The initial setup basically asks what room your speaker is in and what connections you’ll be using. During the setup, a quiet tone will play and the woofers softly quiver like they’re alive. It’s almost eerie, but it adds so much to the experience. If you have two or more as well as a Dialog hub, you can assign each to a separate room or assign two to the same room in stereo. To select the speaker, you simply place a hand on it and the woofers will pulse and make a sound. Once it is done, the tone gets higher pitched and fades away. It’s an amazing and really special setup process. I’ve redone it simply for the experience!
From there, you can select local music, make playlists, listen to streaming services, and change settings for your speakers. It’s a simple, barebones app that isn’t particularly great. Thankfully it’s not buggy or annoying to use, either. It streams music just fine.
This app also updates all of your Devialet devices, which adds new features on a regular basis. Spotify support was added not too long ago.
With the Devialet Phantom system, you can buy various accessories. The Dialog is a central hub that allows you to sync up multiple Phantoms and build a multi-room network. If you want more than one of these $2,400 speakers, you’ll need this box. It has its own Ethernet and optical ports.
You can also get a $149 remote. Will this remote control every function of your Devialet system? Absolutely not! It’s a simple volume knob, but what a volume knob it is. The ring is made out of stainless steel with an acrylic center. To connect it to your Phantom, you bring it close and turn it upside down. It’s definitely an awesome piece of tech, but it’s a ridiculous amount of money for a remote that just does volume.
Then there are the various mounting methods if you don’t like your speakers on the floor. The Tree is a tall stand that comes in brown or white for $375 and $349, respectively. The Treepod is a three-legged, short stand that is $329. The Gecko is a $199 wall mount that is frankly impressive as it holds over 25 lbs. You can also get the $299 handmade Cocoon, a carrying case for travel.
It’s hard to describe the experience of listening to a pair of Phantoms. It’s just that: an experience. All the reviews and specs on paper won’t explain how it feels to listen to music on these speakers. Fire up some high-quality music of your choice, sit back, turn it up, and enjoy.
You’ll hear details you may have never heard with every listen. The bass will shake your chest. The warmth will envelope you. You’ll experience music in a new way. This is a bit dramatic, but it’s truly amazing when one has never had experience with truly high-end audio.
Of course you can build a better sound system for the money. It won’t be fancy, it won’t have all the nice software and support, and it’ll be much much larger. But you can get better sound for the price. However, Devialet has built an incredible, easy-to-use product that packs a ridiculous punch in a small package.
If you can get a chance at listening to one of these, take it. If you can afford to pick one up, do it. It’s an amazing product that matches audiophile sound and flashy presentation. Plus, every guest will ask you what that weird white egg is in your living room.