Meet Devialet Dione, the new loudspeaker from high quality loudspeaker manufacturer Devialet. With this new product, the company is entering a new market: home theater sound systems. The Devialet Dione is an all-in-one soundbar compatible with Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 and costs $2,400 (€2,190).
“We are at the top of the market, but we have a product that is an all-in-one audio system,” the CEO of Devialet told me. This means you shouldn’t be comparing the Dion to an average soundbar.
For example, if you’re trying to find an equivalent unit in the Sonos lineup, Labouchard says you should compare the Devialet speakers to a Sonos Arc soundbar that’s paired with two Sonos One speakers, and the Sonos Sub is gone. And this package is currently worth over $2,000.
“The technological achievement is that we were able to pack everything into one device. This means we had to install 17 speakers, which is unheard of,” Labouchard said.
The company set up a test room in their Paris office and I was able to listen to Devialet Dione through the big TV. We tried volume in the first few scenes of Mad Max: Fury Road. We also listened to music.
And yes, the speaker sounds great. It produces breathtaking sound and makes you feel like you’re not in front of a TV, but in a movie theater.
This is not a complete review. I’m not a sound pro, so I don’t know how the Devialet soundbar sounds compared to today’s top soundbars. I would recommend listening to Devialet Dione in a store before buying.
“You’ll find 12 speakers in the Sennheiser soundbar. We installed 17 speakers. It’s not magical enough, but if you can add five more speakers in there, you can hear it,” Labouchard said.
The device itself is a compact soundbar. It weighs 12 kg and is quite tall – 1.2 meters. You should consider such a speaker if you already have a huge 55-inch TV.
In terms of design, it’s a bit more modest than previous Devialet speakers. Devialet’s signature egg-shaped design has been replaced with more traditional polygons with sharp edges and corners.
The only thing that stands out is the small circle in the center of the device. There is a speaker in this area and it rotates. For example, if you want to mount the soundbar on the wall, you can rotate the sphere so that it always faces you.
Inside the device are 17 individual speakers: nine full-range speakers and eight rectangular subwoofers. These subwoofers are designed to soundbar specifications. Again, what sets the Devialet Dion apart is that you don’t need a separate subwoofer (or satellite speakers).
The device also has its own digital-to-analog converter. In fact, Devialet Dione uses the same system on a chip that you can find on the company’s flagship products, the Phantom product line. Devialet has several patents on this particular chip and promises sound without background noise, without saturation and without distortion.
And if you’re playing a movie that doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, Devialet Dione can “upscale” the audio signal to 5.1.2 audio. It also has a Live Balance feature that allows you to listen to dialogue.
When it comes to connectivity, connect the Devialet Dione to your TV with an HDMI cable that supports eARC and CEC. You can also use the soundbar as a standalone speaker to listen to music.
Devialet Dione connects to your local network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0 and uses the same Devialet app. You don’t need to use an app to play music because you can use Spotify Connect or AirPlay 2.
Not just for audiophiles
The company believes there is a market opportunity for Devialet Dione as streaming services have been releasing blockbusters on their services since day one. “We realized it was taking over the market,” Labouchard said.
“Our typical customer is someone with a 55-inch or larger TV. And they want the sound quality to be as good as the picture quality. It’s a little different from the typical Devialet customer who listens to a lot of music.”
If a company wants to achieve its business goals within 12 months, Devialet Dione must represent 20% of the company’s income. And whenever a startup launches a new product, it can rely on its dense network of retail outlets. There are currently 1,900 Devialet outlets worldwide.
Although the company hasn’t talked about a funding round since Serie A in 2015, Devialet has raised another €70 million in two rounds. The latest funding round was a €50 million round in January 2020 with the company’s existing investors.
Today Devialet launched Devialet Dione in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Pre-orders for other markets also started today.