My expectations of the Devialet Dione had been sky excessive when the soundbar arrived at my doorstep. It got here in a field that was virtually too heavy to hold round.
Crammed inside the big unit – the 1.2-metre soundbar spans the size of my 65-inch Samsung TV – are 9 full-range aluminium drivers and eight aluminium long-throw subwoofers. They’re pushed by customized energy amplifiers pushing out a formidable 950 watts RMS.
Devialet, for these unfamiliar, is the French hi-fi home identified to audiophiles for its Skilled Professional amplifiers, which look pretty much as good as they sound when driving massive audio system. They value upwards of S$7,000 for the entry-level stuff.
So, you possibly can say I used to be fairly amped after I plugged within the Dione soundbar for a fast hear on the identical Friday night it arrived. Heck, for S$3,790, when another nice soundbars value lower than half that, it’d higher be good!
Right here, sadly, I’ve to say it’s a little bit of a combined bag. Let’s begin with the nice, which is the audio presentation, the place Devialet does impress.
Thanks maybe to its measurement or its tuning, the Dione is ready to challenge audio onto a large subject. In different phrases, a big imaginary sound stage appears to be in entrance of you, giving the phantasm of a dwell efficiency. Sound isn’t caught on the audio system.
The curious wanting orb on the entrance, little question, provides to this. You may manually rotate this centre speaker by hand however I used to be pleased with the unique route after I positioned it on a console desk beneath my TV. The sound appeared simply above the soundbar, on the TV stage, which is correct.
After I point out projection, I imply that the sound isn’t squeezed right into a small a part of the frontal house dealing with you. As a substitute, with a observe like David Bowie’s Sound and Imaginative and prescient, for instance, you possibly can hear the devices clearly on both aspect of a large sound subject.
Vocals usually fare nicely, too. Diana Krall’s Lady within the Different Room was introduced with good focus, by no means missing in emotion. The identical for Beck’s The Golden Age, which options the singer with an acoustic guitar.
Apparently, some tracks listed as Dolby Atmos on Tidal play very nicely on the Dione. A remastered model of Louis Armstrong’s What a Fantastic World performs with much more air and house than the common, previous model.
To make sure, the Dione does higher than different soundbars by way of the wideness of its presentation, so even when you have a big residence or home, it could possibly simply fill the house.
What it doesn’t do as nicely, as with most soundbars, is while you get extra complicated tracks with a number of devices or overlaying audio tracks or sources. With these, the Dione typically finally ends up a little bit veiled and missing in definition.
Play Damien Rice’s Elephant observe, for instance, and also you’d benefit from the vocals within the opening a part of the observe. As soon as issues get busy with quick drums, an electrical guitar and an accompanying feminine vocal within the background, the varied parts come throughout a little bit congested and muddled up.
In some tracks, you’d additionally want for extra transparency and element. Taking part in some Large Assault tracks, like Paradise Circus and Angel, I needed the Dione might provide a bit extra readability and tightness.
Don’t get me fallacious: Soundbars typically are restricted by measurement and good music playback is one thing that’s demanding.
You want stable amplifiers together with audio system that sport large-enough drivers to fill a room with nice sound. Drawback is, the Dione is priced like a conventional hi-fi setup with separate parts.
I additionally have to level out that Devialet wants a bit extra work on the cell app. It comes with 4 modes – music, motion pictures, voice and spatial – however you lack a extra succesful equaliser to carefully customise the sound.
Hopefully, the corporate can embody this in future updates, although I perceive from the Devialet of us it isn’t that straightforward to do that for a very good 17 audio system.
What I believe Devialet ought to have completed is built-in Tidal Join. The streaming service is well-liked with many customers for its hi-fi-quality tracks, however the Devialet app tells you to play the tracks in your cellphone and stream it to the Dione through Bluetooth.
To its credit score and to my shock, Bluetooth is definitely greater than satisfactory. Sure, with the respectable sound projection I discussed earlier.
Sadly, you possibly can’t say the identical for the Dione’s Spotify Join choice – tracks lacked sufficient element or precision right here and the lower-quality compression from the service appears to be laid naked. I’d keep away from this until the music is only for the background.
Okay, what concerning the soundbar’s efficiency in motion pictures? Right here, thankfully, the Dione performs as you’d count on, with wonderful sound results and a scale that’s spectacular.
I fired up the seaside scene in Roma on Netflix, and the waves crashing about because the digicam follows the characters into the ocean are so actual and immersive it’s not laborious to really feel such as you’re within the scene.
I additionally performed a number of motion scenes from Sicario: Day of the Soldado, and one specific scene confirmed how efficient the Dione is in these conditions.
As your standpoint moved out and in of a Humvee that was pinged with bullets, you hear alternatively the muffled sounds contained in the automobile in addition to the sharp whizz of bullets flying round when the digicam strikes outdoors. The Dione is adroit at dealing with these swift transitions.
I additionally appreciated the way in which the soundbar dealt with the soundtrack. A lot of the motion film is full of pressure, from scenes the place a personality is confronted with hazard to 1 the place violence appears inevitable. Right here, the accompanying music builds up steadily and clearly, with out being too dense and overwhelming a scene.
Lastly, I additionally watched the current The Batman film and sure, the Dione does the film justice, significantly with the (many) scenes with in depth exposition. Consider the one the place the Penguin stares on the Batman slowly however menacingly strolling in direction of him within the rain.
One other factor I like right here is the clear dialogue that doesn’t get misplaced within the loud explosions, gunfire and different sound results. I think the centre speaker is crucial to this.
I’ve to notice that my previous Samsung TV solely supported the essential Audio Return Channel (ARC), so it was unable to ship the Dolby Atmos audio out to the soundbar. I solely had stereo output – which was upmixed by the soundbar – however the expertise was already excellent.
The Dione additionally helps eARC, which helps you to stream full high-quality audio tracks – together with with Atmos – out of your TV’s streaming app onto the audio system for a extra immersive expertise. So, when you have a extra trendy TV, Devialet will handle issues.
To make sure, the Dione exhibits how far soundbars have come – it’s a great distance from the skinny sounding blocks you used to put beneath your TV out of comfort over a multi-speaker setup.
On the subject of motion pictures, it provides a wi-fi and straightforward approach to get pleasure from immersive audio. The dimensions it provides is nicely forward of different soundbars, making it a fantastic companion for film lovers who don’t need the difficulty of a multi-speaker setup.
Even for music, it isn’t all that dangerous, contemplating the constraints of soundbars. Nevertheless, when you have ever owned a pair of stereo bookshelf audio system, you may not be that simply contended, until you might be de-kitting and need to make issues easier in your lounge.
What can be laborious to swallow is the excessive worth. Although Devialet’s high quality is clear in some features, similar to its massive sound presentation, there are areas the place you assume a nearly-S$4,000 soundbar ought to have in-built, just like the Tidal service.
In case you can overlook a few of these points and have that amount of cash to spend on a soundbar, then the Devialet Dione could also be price a hear.
Simply be sure that to take a look at different choices just like the Sonos Arc or the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 – they every value lower than half of the Dione.