In the 15th years of its existence, the Parisian sound technology company Devialet has established itself as a supplier of the “slightly unusual”. In fact, it is no higher than moving into the “very unusual”.
Just consider its Phantom wireless speaker. It’s packed with innovative technologies, it sounds good … but the most remarkable thing is how unique its industrial design is. If you ever find yourself in the market for a wireless speaker that looks like it’s trying to remember how to fly, Devialet has a product for you.
With Dione, the company has brought some of its predictably unpredictable design to one of the most stable and predictable product categories in the party: the soundbar. With Dione, Devialet intends to deliver the performance of a Dolby Atmos spatial surround sound system from a single enclosure – although of course it is a soundbar that has received the Devialet design treatment.
On the outside, Dione is a fairly significant unit (8.8 cm high, 120 cm wide, 16.5 cm deep, so it must come with an equally large television if it is not to look a bit overgrown. It can be mounted on a shelf or on the wall.If it is the former, keep in mind that a height of 8.8 cm can be problematic if your TV is sitting low on its feet, if it is the latter, consider the weight of the soundbar at 12 kg, before you decide to mount it to a drywall partition.
Dione’s great visual design feature is the ORB (whose capital letters are solely Devialet’s idea). ORB is a dedicated center speaker channel and can be rotated manually according to the soundbar’s orientation – Dione is equipped with gyroscopes so that its other speaker drivers understand their responsibilities, no matter which way the soundbar turns.
Physically, this ORB looks as if it is made of such a super-dense material that it sinks into the surface of the soundbar itself. In practice, it makes Dione look both characteristically and helplessly taller than it otherwise would be.
As is predictable with Devialet products, there are quite a few big numbers associated with Dione. Some 950 watts of power, for example. A total of 17 speaker drivers (nine full-tone aluminum cones and eight low-frequency aluminum bass units), arranged to recreate a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos spatial surround sound layout. A digital-to-analog converter embedded in the “Devialet Intelligence” processor that operates at a chunky 24-bit / 96-kHz resolution. An alleged frequency response of (a super-low) 24 Hz to (an ear-piercing) 21 kHz. A maximum sound level of 101 db at 1 meter (which is roughly ‘revolving motorcycle’ territory).
On the back of the case, Dione houses a digital optical input, Ethernet connector and eARC HDMI input. The lack of HDMI streaming is unfortunate, even if it is predictable – after all, who is spending that kind of money on a soundbar without an up-to-the-minute TV to keep up with? Its wireless connection runs on dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect. And it’s also UPnP compliant if you have content stored on a shared local area network.