Just about one year ago, French audio company Devialet debuted the Phantom, a bulbous mass of a wireless speaker that had enough power to hit volumes of up to 105db. Today, the company is one-upping itself with the new Gold Phantom, which has twice the power of the Phantom Silver and eight times the output of the standard Phantom.
The Gold Phantom has the same shape and design as last year’s models (now with 22k gold plating on its sides), but inside it has a new titanium tweeter and new hybrid amp that puts out 4,500 watts of power. Devialet says that the new speaker is capable of hitting 108db, which requires twice as much power to produce as 105db. At those volumes, OSHA recommends less than an hour of exposure per day before hearing loss starts. If you're really crazy, you can link up to eight Gold Phantoms together for a true wall of sound.
Of course, you don’t need to turn up the volume all the way (nor should you) to appreciate the Gold’s power. At lower volumes, the Gold has a presence and range that exceed lesser speakers, and it excels in mid-range tones. It also has the ability to replicate high frequencies without distortion. The Gold is capable of reproducing low frequencies, but its small woofers don’t provide the thump of a larger, dedicated subwoofer.
The Gold Phantom works with Devialet’s own app or via Bluetooth or Spotify Connect. The company says that it plans to add more wireless technologies to the platform in the future.
Devialet’s goal is to use the Phantom line as a showcase for its technologies, which it plans to incorporate into other disciplines, such as mobile devices and automobiles. But the Gold Phantom, like the standard model and the Silver, is a very real device that you’ll be able to buy this summer, provided you’re willing to part with $2,990 and some of your hearing ability, of course.
Correction, 8:15PM ET, June 28th, 2016: An earlier version of this article stated that 108db is twice as loud as 105db. That is incorrect, 108db takes twice as much power to reach as 105db, but it is not twice as loud. The article has been corrected and we regret the error.