Packed With Power

This French speaker makes large home entertainment systems look obsolete.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

This French speaker makes large home entertainment systems look obsolete.

My Reading Room

A sonic warhead. That’s all that needs to be said about the rather unintimidating Devialet Gold Phantom. Sure, the 22K gold plating and off -kilter design hint at its pedigree. But, as speaker buffs know, size matters in the sound system arena, and the oblong, watermelon-sized Phantom looks like a flyweight.

Hence the ensuing obliteration of that preconception, and possibly your eardrums, if one is careless with the 4,500W, titanium tweeter-equipped bombshell. That’s power enough to fill five tennis courts with quality sound. It’s certainly sufficient to inundate any living room with high-fidelity notes, the bassiest of which you’ll feel through the skin rather than the ears, thanks to the Phantom’s intense sound pressure. And it does it all wirelessly, so there’ll be no unsightly tangle of cabling outside of one power cord.

But don’t take it from us; many men of taste have been won over by Devialet’s speakers, which are developed and built solely in France. LVMH boss Bernard Arnault famously threw his weight behind the company after a live demonstration of its earlier inventions, and design mogul Karl Lagerfeld scooped up more than a dozen Phantoms soon after.

Jay Z’s joined the latest round of funding, which totalled $154 million. Could we be looking at the next Apple in sound products?

Hear it for yourself; the Devialet Phantom Gold is on display at Tangs Orchard Level 1, and retails at $4,490.