Be The Boss Of Your Devialet Phantom
It’s time to add to our Devialet Phantom review as it’s already been two years since the eponymous wireless speaker arrived. Lots of good things have happened with the Phantom speaker so without further ado, here is our report.
At the very top of the list of improvements since launch, a Phantom with the latest Dialog hub can now play nice with Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect and other streaming services.
Phantom is a luxury product and we are happy to report Devialet has had top-notch support available since its launch. Also, because of the products success an active community of Devialet owners can be found on forums that have the latest info, fixes, tweaks, and a generally a good place to go for for owners.
The Devialet Phantom Two Years On
Devialet is one of our favourite audio companies because they create amazing high-end wireless speaker systems. To sum up the three Devialet Phantom speakers: If you used a horsepower to watts calculator the Devialet Phantom is the Bugatti Veyron of speakers.
Just like a Bugatti, the Phantom is instantly recognizable in its space-age spherical enclosure. And like any good super-audio-system, it has thousands of digital watts, available on demand, packed into the smallest frame possible.
Along with a slew of patents and a long research and development cycle the Silver Phantom arrived about two years ago with a great deal of interest and speculation would it sell? Even with its luxury price tag, it was exciting enough that it instantly became the fastest selling audiophile product in history.
One look at the Phantom, and anyone in the hi-fi world, or the consumer electronics buying public, wanted to test it, see it, touch it, and of course listen to it. When the speaker launched, Devialet touted a pair of Phantom’s was equal to a $50,000 audiophile setup and everyone was clamoring to test the Phantom. All this excitement was not without some potential problems with testing the system.
As the potential reviewers of this uber-audio wireless music system found out. When the Phantom arrived, it was shown to the press and sent for review as a single unit. Also, the single Phantom was mono, an “all-in-one”, used WiFi or Bluetooth (noses up in the air) for music delivery.. So we are not surprised the critics wondered, how could this music system be audiophile-caliber?
If you read reams of audiophile and hi-fi magazines, and looked up “speaker reviews”, you’d find various speakers are featured each month. Most of these audio speakers are tested one speaker on the left, and one on the right, chair in the middle. Audiophiles will all also tweak the components and speakers during these tests in search of stereo nirvana. Because of these norms we knew the critics would wonder how a single speaker, that’s an all-in-one wireless audio system sitting on a table could be credible?
Success for Devialet Phantom
Now that it’s two years since the Phantom launched we can comfortably state as a pair they have no equal in the world of compact wireless speakers. Phantom is the supercar of speakers withs its multiple digital amps, speakers, and thousands of bass delivering watts. The product is an engineering accomplishment in home audio and when two of these speakers are setup correctly and without a subwoofer they will sound remarkable.
More Info on Devialet Control App, Music App and the Physical Remote
Devialet is part of a new generation of audio companies updating the speakers in a new way. This is called over the air (OTA) updates. Like a Tesla, smartphone, computer or TV operating these improvements are internal to the speaker and not just an upgrade to an app. We love you can buy something today and via OTA over the life of the system you’ll appreciate improved sound quality and usability.
We are answering these questions along the way, but with all of Phantom’s sonic goodness at hand, how do you become the boss of this particular audio system? What touch device or laptop might be best? What Control Apps, Music Apps, On-Board Controls, or Physical Remote Controls are at my disposal? Which one of these is best? How do I manage music and radio streaming services? Which of streaming apps are are best or already baked-in? Can I use Sonos Connect with my Phantom? What about Apple AirPlay?
When Phantom arrives in your home you’ll find these speaker systems will connect to your music in a plethora of ways. When you're setting up the system for daily use a little experimentation may be in order to get things to your liking.
To Start With: To Get The Most From Phantom it Needs Accesories
The team at Devialet are cunning Frenchmen and do have a Apple like accessories racket going on. You’ll find a variety of not only expensive, but sometimes necessary physical add-ons to get the most out of your system.
If you have more than one Phantom this will be the way you have to go. At the top of the list of add-on accessories you’ll need is a smallish white plastic box called “Dialog” and is a digital hub for the Phantom audio system. Yes it is an accessory, it is expensive, and also a must have.
Bluetooth: If you chose, it’s fast and easy with your smartphone or tablet just connect your Phantom system via Bluetooth; and leave it at that. Generally speaking audiophiles don’t mind the sound of Bluetooth or Bluetooth aptX for casual listening but it won’t deliver the premier sound the Phantom is capable of. What Bluetooth is great for, is sharing and letting friends with smartphones jump on your music system and play some new songs more than for delivering ultra high-end audio.
WiFi and AirPlay: For the ultra high-end more audiophile minded, the Dialog hub lets you set up stable dedicated high performance WiFi networks for each Phantom (up to 20) along with music streaming services management. We also like the hub has a optical input. iI’s audiophile quality and having a few of these you can quickly connect to your Phantom music system via the MacBook Pro’s optical headphone jack, or hook up a CD, turntable or TV.
Buy the Dialog hub adds some important functionality even if you buy one Phantom and just have thoughts of growing the system. The rest of the Devialet accessories you’ll have to decide on their importance. They include a pricy and gorgeous control wheel aka, volume control. It’s small, heavy, feels good and meant to sit table side and let you adjust the volume with micro precision (LOL) and not much else. Depending on your decor and room setup speaker stands could be in order and Devialet offer three types of handcrafted speaker stands including one for wall mounting. If you have money to burn they also offer a hilarious looking travel case.
Hands On With Your Devialet Control App
When you're in wireless mode using WiFi, Bluetooth or Apple AirPlay it’s the smartphone that’s in everyone's pocket or the tablet on your coffee table will be the way you most likely way you’ll control your Phantom system.
Loaded with various music apps your touchscreen device offers more control than physical buttons or even a physical remote controller is ever likely to provide. The Phantom uses a downloadable Control App called Spark. With its tutorial it will show you how to use the system and help you initially set things up. Here is a great short video on getting started with your music system. It is a very space age process and is really is fun to do and amusing to watch on the Devialet how-to video.
How to set up one or several PHANTOM with DIALOG [Video]
The Spark app can also be used to control your music and it’s functional and has some unique features and benefits. To start with, Spark is very visual with album covers and buttons in the right places. Spark was also easy to get around whether we used it on a laptop, tablet or smaller touch device which is important.
Spark started out a bit spotty but it’s two years on the this app has gone through over 16 updates and once setup is now a pleasure to use.You’ll really will want to the the time to master all of Sparks features.
There is so much integration in this app for both music management and managing Phantoms throughout the house, so take the time to learn it. One of the best ways is just watch the Devialet videos on Youtube.
One of our favorite parts of the Spark app is how it puts all your streaming music and local devices visually in one place on the screen. Anyone using Spark easily show you what music streaming services or local music is available. This lets everyone to jump between say, Spotify, Tidal or local music and select music and create a Spark playlist. The solid UI (user interface) then lets you drag and drop albums or tracks into your playlist. The ability to organize music on-the-fly is a unique experience even if just two people use Spark. When using it, we felt it added a nice sharing and social aspect to listening to music.
The Devialet Spark App Is Not Your Only Choice
Spotify Connect: We think Spotify Premium all on its own is an amazing music streaming service and Devialet knows it. So, if you have a Phantom system you can have Spotify Connect instead of Spark and you won’t have to change a thing. Spotify Connect also works well on any device of your choosing from laptop to touch devices. (Image 2)
Sonos and Apple: Finally, your Phantom setup can play music with just about any music or video application. As we reported the latest Dialog hub plays nicely with the popular Sonos music management system and Apple AirPlay. The AirPlay protocol is also very popular and effortlessly lets your iPhone, iPad, or Macbook work with iTunes or any compatible music apps.
Rate Your Sound Wrap Up
At RateYourSound we think great things come in small packages and is particularly true when it comes to speaker systems. We know the Devialet designers exploded many an OEM speaker inside the hermetically sealed enclosure before they got it right by with their own custom designed speaker units. Over the past two years they have also continued to upgraded their Spark Control App and OTA added other improvements to the Phantom. Along with better integration of the most popular music apps and streaming services.
If you want to remove yourself from the traditional component stack and downsize your system with a pair of end of game speakers we suggest taking a very close look at all three versions of the Phantom wireless speaker system from Devialet.