Home » Devialet launches a high-end portable speaker • TechCrunch

Devialet launches a high-end portable speaker • TechCrunch

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When most people think of portable speakers, they think of inexpensive Bluetooth speakers that can easily be tucked in a backpack when going to the park. But Devialet thinks otherwise when it comes to Devialet Mania.

French high-end speaker makers want to create the most luxurious and best-sounding portable speakers. Devialet Mania is priced at $790 (€790) and is available now.

“We’re launching a new product called Devialet Mania, and it marks the end of a long process. We started with amplifiers, then Phantom speakers, Gemini earbuds, and Dione soundbars,” said the CEO of Devialet. Franck Lebouchard told me. “We are entering a new market with this portable speaker.”

When Devialet decided to develop a portable speaker four years ago, the concept was very simple. Devialet wanted to design a battery-operated speaker, but a hi-fi speaker.

“Hi-Fi means a lot. Of course, it means great sound quality. Hi-Fi also means stereo sound or at least stereo rendering,” says Lebouchard.

Devialet Mania is a spherical speaker with no front or back. The top of the device has a handle that the user can pick up and carry.

But it weighs 2.3 kg (about 5 pounds), so I wouldn’t put it in my backpack and go to the park. You can take it on vacation, but most are designed to be carried around the house.

Image credit: TechCrunch

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

At the top of the device are four full-range speakers, each pointing in a different direction. Place Devialet Mania on the table in the middle of the room and the full-range speakers will alternately broadcast the left or right channel (clockwise: left, right, left, right).

This way, no matter where you sit, you’ll hear the sound coming from two full-range speakers in front of you most of the time, giving you stereo sound.

The device has four microphones and an accelerometer. Devialet Mania detects that you have moved to a new location. Thanks to the built-in microphone, it can even detect when you’re next to a wall.

In that case, Devialet Mania will determine the front and back of the device. Two full-range speakers on the left side of the device broadcast the left channel, and two speakers on the right side broadcast the right channel.

Using a microphone to actively adapt the speaker’s sound Apple’s original HomePodHowever, Devialet is also particular about sound quality, such as SAM’s unique technology (Speaker Active Matching).

“We’re the only ones that combine portable, hi-fi and auto-calibration,” says Lebouchard.

Devialet Mania runs on Devialet’s own app and features both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Wi-Fi supports AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect. The battery should last 10 hours at normal volume.

There are some built-in buttons that allow you to pause music, change volume, enable Bluetooth, etc. The device has one USB-C port for charging.

Devialet Mania also has a built-in microphone, so the company is integrating Amazon Alexa for the first time. You can disable this feature completely using the physical slider button near the USB-C port.

There’s a black or white base model, plus a $990 (€990) ‘Opéra de Paris’ model with a gold-plated finish and optional docking station. Bases can also be purchased separately.

“If you want to be a global player in the audio industry, you need to have products for each major segment of the audio market, such as wireless earbuds, soundbars and portable speakers,” said Lebouchard. According to him, portable he speakers and soundbars each generate sales of €6 billion each year.

Image credit: Devialet

As for the company’s older offerings, Devialet released an update to its Phantom speakers in January 2021 with new components and a matte finish. “At Phantom, we release a big update every few years,” he says.

When it comes to amplifiers, the Expert Pro was the company’s first product, but it hasn’t been updated in a while.

“Amplifiers are not a priority for us as they are a very small market. We want to make the best amps in the world because we can’t say we’re the company that provides the best sound,” said Lebouchard. So I guess it means “stay tuned”.

Over the past year and a half, Devialet has shipped wireless earbuds, soundbars, and portable speakers. Lebouchard told me that he has one product missing from the lineup. It’s headphones.

But the company isn’t sure if it will be a strategic move, so don’t hold your breath for the Devialet headphones. “People have moved from headphones to wireless earbuds when they go out,” Lebouchard says.

Image credit: TechCrunch

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