With a power output of 4,500 watts and 108 decibels, the Phantom Gold wireless speaker can literally blow you away. Its creators at French audio company Devialet say that at max volume, the Phantom Gold is the equivalent of a live rock concert.
The Devialet Phantom Gold is latest and most powerful entry in the company’s Phantom series, a range of high-end portable speakers looking to replace a whole room’s worth of surround audio gear with something a lot more compact. It has been earning the praise of audiophiles around the world ever since it launched, on July 14, but with a price tag of $2,990, one has to wonder, what makes this gadget so darn special?
For one, it relies on Devialet’s proprietary Analog Digital Hybrid (ADH) technology, which the company has been developing over the last 10 years. While sound systems traditionally rely on either analog or digital amplifiers, Devialet has come up with a way of combining the two and provide far superior sound quality because the amplifiers operate in parallel rather than in succession. “This has been a dream for engineers for 40 years, and we were the first ones to do it,” says co-founder Quentin Sanié. For the Phantom Gold, the French company managed to miniaturize a digital and an analog amplifier, and used the powerful current generated by the former, which doesn’t produce a high quality sound, to power the latter, which produces a very clear sound, but is usually energy inefficient.
Then there is the design and materials used to create the Phantom Gold. It might look like a weird futuristic alien egg, but there is a point to the speaker’s shape. It’s shaped like a sphere because, “acoustics engineering dictates that’s actually the best shape for a loudspeaker,” Sanié says. That glossy shell may look plastic, but it’s actually made of Kevlar, a material usually used in bulletproof vests. I’m not sure if that makes the Phantom Gold bulletproof, but it certainly minimizes vibrations. In a test performed in a number of video reviews of the luxury speaker, you can see that setting a glass of water on it, there are almost no ripples in the liquid, even at high volume. Even at 100 percent volume, there is no audible distortion. Oh, and did I mention that those metallic trims are plated with real 22-carat rose gold?
But ultimately it all comes down to power and sound quality. The basic Phantom White speaker boasts 750 watts of power and costs $1,990, the mid-level Phantom Silver has 3000 watts and costs $2,300, but the newly-released Phantom Gold pushes the envelope with 4500 watts and an almost astronomical price of $2,990. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but Devialet claims it’s actually a bargain, since you’re getting “the best wireless speaker in the world”, capable of a level of performance normally found in high-end equipment that costs as much as a luxury car.