We’ve had Devialet Phantom speakers in our showroom for almost two years now, so we’ve had a lot of time to enjoy listening to these wireless speakers and really understand what makes each model special. More recently, Devialet added the smaller Reactor models into the Phantom family and so we thought it would be a good time to write this guide to the range and hopefully help you decide which model is the right choice for you.
Phantom range explained
The image below gives you a brief starting guide to the range. Basically, this image shows you the relative power output of each model and the frequency range of each model – how high it goes (in the case of the Gold Phantom upto 27kHz) and perhaps even more significantly how low each model goes (again on Gold Phantom down to 14Hz). Why is the low end of the frequency range more significant? While Phantom speakers are far from being “bass heavy” and give a well balanced sound across the frequency range, its highly significant to mention their “low end” capabilities as many subwoofers don’t even go down as low as the 14Hz that Gold Phantom can achieve – and without distortion. To achieve this from such a compact cabinet gives you a good idea before you’ve even listened of the remarkably achievements in design Devialet has achieved with Phantom. You can even put your hand on the top of the cabinet and while you see the drivers on each side moving, you can barely feel any vibration. To deliver such performance from such isolate cabinets is truly remarkable.
The “standard” full size white Phantom is 1200W (1o1dB) and can achieve between 16Hz and 25kHz. As the “entry level” full-size model in the range still goes deeper than many subwoofers, achieves a wider frequency range with a more beautifully balanced soundstage than any other wireless speakers we can think of anywhere near the price and if you crank it up, is is still potentially louder at 101 dB than most Ferrari V8. So its an incredibly impressive speaker! This is still the entry level full size Phantom, but now sits above the new Reactor models (scroll down for more)
Sitting above the white Phantom is Silver Phantom. This model delivers the same impressive frequency range but is even more powerful at 3000W and has the potential to be even louder at 105dB. At this point its worth mentioning that you can use full-size Phantoms in pairs but all of these stats are for a single speaker only – so adding another speaker for a stereo set-up is of course even more impressive. We can only recommend popping in for a listen to hear how the sound develops from white Phantom, so Silver Phantom and then to Gold Phantom..
Gold Phantom sits proudly at the top of the range and is incredible powerful – a whopping 4500W with a wider frequency range of 14Hz-27kHz and has the potential to be incredibly loud (108dB) but like its brothers, is a flexible performer and sounds just as good playing at normal volumes as it does playing loud and showing off. While the white Phantom and Silver Phantom are truly excellent class leading wireless speakers, its fair to say that Gold Phantom is Devialet’s crowning achievement. Additional clarity is delivered thanks to a titanium tweeter and due to its flagship status this is the model most often featured and reviewed in the press.
Gold Phantom is a more considerable investment than the other two and while the other two are excellent, many customers who have visited our showroom to listen to all three simply can’t resist the charms of the Gold Phantom once they’ve heard it. This is why (and you may be surprised to hear this) we’ve sold more Gold Phantoms than any other model in the range because despite its higher price, its a remarkable speaker that unleashes an unlimited dose of Devialet’s Phantom engineering with an incredible impressive sound. The Opera Edition offers the same incredible performance as Gold Phantom in a special limited edition release with “Opera” edition gold leaf side panels.
But wait, smaller Reactor models have arrived!
The range has very recently changed with the addition of Reactor 600 and Reactor 900 models. These models followed feedback from some listeners who love Phantom but wanted a smaller alternative for their office, bedroom, etc. Devialet listened to feedback and responded with these smaller models that offer the same incredible engineering as larger Phantom in a smaller design. Far from being a “miniaturized” version of Phantom though, the Reactor models are a remarkable achievement in themselves. The first time we got to hear one of these speakers (only a couple of months ago) it was sitting next to a full-size Phantom that we’d just played for comparison and as soon as our Devialet representative streamed some music to the Reactor, we thought he was still connected to the larger Phantom. To achieve such sound quality from a cabinet that is this much smaller is just astonishing.
As per the specs image above, Reactor 600 is 600W (hence the name), 95dB and achieves a frequency range of 18Hz to 21Hz. The Reactor 900 achieves the same frequency range but is more powerful at 900W (again hence the name), 98dB. To put things into perspective, while this is obviously lower than the larger and much more expensive full size Phantoms, this is still lower and even more powerful than most other wireless speakers on the market anywhere near this price – and even more importantly, the Reactors achieve this without distorting and sound excellent.
The Reactor models also introduce control buttons onto the top of the unit along with a 3.5mm aux input, making these an excellent choice for close listening (perhaps at your bedside or on your office table) vs. the larger Phantom models which are usually listened to on their matching stands as a main system with app control from your smartphone or tablet. Having said that, of course Reactor will also be ordered as a main music system for many rooms and to achieve this from a single compact speaker where perhaps you cant accomodate a pair of full size Phantoms only goes to reinforce the Reactors range of abilities. Above that, the larger Phantoms offer a reference level alternative hi-fi system to many other paired wireless speaker choices.
Having lived with the Phantom speakers in our showroom for many, many months now we can help you select the right model for wherever you’ll be putting them – give us a call or e-mail us and we’ll be happy to discuss this with you.
What do they sound like?
Reactor 900 (£1290) and especially Reactor 900 (£990) come into a very busy part of the market where there are lots of wireless speakers to choose from. We’re in the very fortunate position to get to listen to a lot of these speakers in our showroom and elsewhere – after all, not everything we hear makes the cut and gets a place in our showroom – we’re very specific and picky about what we sell! Being so familar with whats out there gives us a unique perspective on how these speakers fit into the market, second only perhaps to the reviewers who get to listen to new speakers day in, day out.
We can say very confidently that the Reactor 600 is one of the best if not the best wireless speaker we have ever heard under £1000. Used on its own its a highly articulate speaker, with a very capable and wide frequency range that doesnt drop off sharply before delivering the punchyness and clarify the Phantom range has become well respected for (which again goes lower and even higher than many of its competitors). As we said at the start, these speakers aren’t bass heavy, but the bass they deliver is truly impressive given their size and fact they don’t distort and we cant feel any vibrations from the drivers through the main cabinets. Uniquely therefore, both the Reactor 600 and Reactor 900 models will fit into very compact spaces – on tables, sideboards, counters, etc, without taking up much space but while delivering a very “BIG” sound that we’ve only previously heard from a much bigger speaker. Of course Reactor 900 only improves on the sound and the additional power is clearly noticable, although it will depend on where you’re putting them and for many a single Reactor 600 will be enough.
You’re really getting two speakers in one with these though. While Reactor 600 and 900 can be used on their own and are impressive as single wireless speakers in their own right, delivering an uncannily big sound, they take on a different character in pairs and go from class-leading wireless speaker to high end stereo speaker set-up without fault. Whether placed on their matching Leg stands or not, putting two of these together creates a seamless soundstage that sounds beautifully natural with a range of music – and again while they arent bass heavy, its the “real” bass they deliver that makes them so truly impressive above anything else we’ve heard which is a similarly small size. We’ve read all the technical descriptions, but we’re still not quite sure how Devialet have achieved this..! Punchy yet agile, open soundstaging with height and depth as well as width and a musical presentation that that just sounds “right”.
So how does full size Phantom fit in..?
Going from the two Phantom Reactor models to the original white (full size) Phantom and Silver Phantom models, you can hear the extra size and scale that the larger models can deliver. While we expect many customers who bought full-size Phantom models from us over the past 2 years will invest in Reactor models for in other rooms, the larger models really are an entirely different proposition. Indeed we’ve sold full-size Phantoms singularly and they sound incredible but the vast majority of customers have bought these models in pairs for a stereo set-up to rival active stereo speakers and full hi-fi separates systems. They really are that good and the impressiveness of the full-size models only fully becomes apparent when you put them on matchine tree stands and sit down for a listen. Like the Reactor models, the depth of bass possible on these speakers makes a separate subwoofer seem oddly redundant (as we said they go lower than many subs – especially Gold Phantom) but its not just a party trick and initial impression.
We’ve lived with Phantom for long enough to know that while these speakers are impressive upfront, their range of musical abilities makes them easy to live with over time and they naturally become a “go to” choice for listening in our showroom as they deliver the goods without being in any way fatiguing – for a speaker with strong low end abilities to do this isnt an easy thing to achieve. Right upto Gold Phantom, these full size models are just as impressive with delicate music like vocals/guitars as they are with the latest pop/rock hits and the extra size helps with bass depth and scale. The clarity at the top end is just as impressive and the fluidity of the frequency range and how natural these speakers sound is quite special.
What music can I play on Phantom?
You can stream music from your smartphone or tablet. The latest models support Spotify connect, Airplay upto Airplay Lossless, UPnP and Bluetooth (A2D and AVRCP profiles, aptX, AAC, SBC audio codecs). Phantom Reactor is the same as the latest Phantom spec in this regard with the addition of a 3.5mm aux input for any non wireless devices. In short therefore, they can play pretty much anything you’d like to stream at them and if you dont use Spotify, you can still stream high res music via Apple Lossless or via the higher end Bluetooth codecs listed above. If you’re new to streaming music, we can show you how this works if you visit our showroom for a listen (don’t worry if you’re a complete beginner, we’ll talk you through it step by step and make it easy to understand – once you’re setup and familiar with streaming, it opens a world of music to you and is a pleasure to use).
So which model should I choose?
Ultimately thats upto you and thats why we have a showroom and 30 day money back guarantee. There are bigger and more powerful hi-fi speakers on the market that cost many times what the Phantoms cost, but to achieve what Devialet has from a compact speaker at this price point is remarkable and the popularity of the flagship Gold Phantom as our best seller to date shows customers have been impressed enough to push for this model and trade in what they have or go for 0% finance to order the model they really want.
At time of writing, the The Reactor 600 and 900 models have only just been released, stock has only just arrived and customers are collecting their speakers having placed deposits and waited over the past few weeks for first delivery. Initial interest suggests these will be hugely popular and we hope to have enough stock to satisfy demand over Christmas. The fact that Reactor 600 comes in under £1000 (and is a class leader at this level) makes it a unique proposition for many with the range now spanning between this option as a single speaker and £5k+ for the ultimate Gold Phantom pairing.
You can view the range on our website, and we’re open Monday to Saturday if you’d like to pop into our showroom for a listen. As per the above, you’re covered by our 30 day money back guarantee if you change your mind and we can also consider many older speakers and equipment in part exchange if you’d like to trade in your old kit with or without 0% finance for the balance. In other words, as a dedicated Phantom dealer, we’re here to help you find the right Phantom model for you and make ordering it as striaghtforward and easy as possible so you can take it home and start listening. For further info or to make an enquiry please call 0121 224 7300/7401 or e-mail us