Devialet today announced the Dione, a $2,400 Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 soundbar with built-in subwoofers and a central “ORB” speaker that can rotate depending on the soundbar’s installed position (via Gizmodo). The French audio company calls it the “ultimate all-in-one soundbar” since it completely forgoes satellite speakers in favor of a virtual surround solution and has built-in subwoofers.
Crammed into the three-inch-thick profile of the Dione are 17 drivers: eight of them serving as the subwoofers, another eight for full-range audio, and a center driver inside the rotatable orb. The Dione also houses a gyroscope that will automatically correct the sound orientation whether you mount the soundbar or lay it flat — no need to make that adjustment via its mobile app.
One thing that is not automatic is the orb itself. To aim the central speaker in the correct direction, you’ll need to manually rotate the orb with your hand. Yes, as futuristic as it looks, the orb is not motorized, which is a bummer since soundbars like the Vizio Elevate have motors to redirect audio. Besides reorienting the center speaker, the orb serves as a visual distinction that matches Devialet’s other products, like its bulbous Phantom speakers.
The Dione’s main claim to fame is its proprietary chipset technology with features like the energy-saving ADH (Analog Digital Hybrid) amplifier chip included in the company’s Phantom speakers. The new soundbar adds a “Space” feature that can upscale stereo sound into virtual 5.1.2 audio channels and includes ADE (Advanced Dimensional Experience), which enhances the 3D immersion effect using audio beamforming.
Port-wise, the Dione has one HDMI 2.1 eARC port (with CEC), Ethernet, optical, and AC power input on the bottom. The soundbar is also equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi and can stream audio using AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect.
The Dione’s price point pits it against other premium soundbars, including the $2,499.95 Sennheiser Ambeo — which carries a much more recognizable name and supports Chromecast, unlike Devialet’s offering. The Amebo is also getting a software update to match the Dione’s AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect features, plus Tidal support. On paper, though, the Dione soundbar has four more drivers than the Ambeo and can be had for about $100 less.