2022-Devialet Dione soundbar review: brilliant bass for an exorbitant price

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By the magnitude of its $2,400 value alone, the Devialet Dione soundbar comes with sky-high expectations. This ultra-premium Dolby Atmos bar is a solo performer: it doesn’t include a separate subwoofer, nor does Diavelet even promote such a factor. At 26.5 kilos and measuring almost 4 ft large, it’s a hulking piece of dwelling theater tools that’s significantly heavier than Sony’s HT-A7000 — not to mention one thing just like the Sonos Arc.

The commercial design is not like something you’ll discover on cabinets when searching extra mainstream choices at your native Finest Purchase. What number of soundbars have an orb molded into the center? Simply this one, I’d wager, and it’s not simply there for sci-fi aptitude: the orb serves as the middle audio channel on this 5.1.2 encompass sound system that features a complete of 17 drivers. Whether or not you place the Dione on a TV stand or mount it in opposition to the wall, the sphere might be bodily turned to face the viewer in both orientation. (The soundbar has gyroscopes to detect the way it’s positioned.)

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The Dione kicks out as much as 950 watts of amplification energy, with a claimed frequency response of 24Hz to 21kHz. That low finish is spectacular — the Sonos Arc only reaches around 47.6Hz — and made doable with the assistance of eight long-throw bass woofers constructed into the soundbar. Not solely is there no exterior subwoofer accessible for the Dione, however you can also’t purchase satellite tv for pc rear encompass audio system. “We don’t goal to outperform conventional multi-speaker setups however somewhat to supply a plug and play and wire-free resolution with Devialet’s state-of-the-art sound high quality,” the corporate says on its website.

Extra on sound later, however if you happen to assumed {that a} $2,400 soundbar would include a bodily distant management, you’d be unsuitable. As a substitute, you management the Dione with a smartphone app. Setup is all very Sonos-y: you open the app, get the soundbar in your Wi-Fi community, after which select which room it’s in. After that, you’ll be able to run a calibration to optimize the audio sign to your room’s particular dimension and acoustic traits. The Dione has built-in mics for this objective, so the calibration works throughout each iOS and Android. It certain can be good if Sonos had the same resolution for its soundbars as an alternative of relying on customers’ iPhones for TruePlay.

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Having to make use of an app to regulate a $2,400 soundbar is lower than supreme.

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There are just a few controls on the soundbar itself.

I don’t have any complaints about Devialet’s app, however for this a lot dough, there ought to actually be a distant included within the field as a secondary possibility, not less than. Why ought to I have to have my telephone shut at hand to get essentially the most from a $2,400 soundbar? That is a completely completely different value bracket than the one Sonos performs in, so the absence of a distant is felt extra. On the prime of the soundbar are touch-sensitive buttons for a lot of capabilities, however that requires strolling over to it. At the very least your TV distant can cowl primary quantity and mute instructions by HDMI-CEC.

Talking of HDMI, the Dione doesn’t provide any HDMI passthrough — one other head-scratcher contemplating the asking value. So that you get simply the one eARC port, plus optical and ethernet connections. The soundbar additionally helps Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Join, Bluetooth audio, or UPnP for taking part in again native community recordsdata. (The inclusion of AirPlay additionally permits you to arrange multi-room audio with Devialet’s Phantom audio system.)

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As you’ll be able to see, the Dione dwarfs smaller soundbars just like the Sonos Ray.

Although the soundbar lacks customized EQ sliders, it does provide devoted modes for varied varieties of leisure. Music mode sticks with easy stereo playback, however film mode is the place all of these drivers shine by with multichannel audio. The soundbar helps Dolby Atmos and different Dolby encompass codecs — although not DTS:X — and it’ll convert stereo (or mono) content material right into a encompass presentation. There are additionally spatial audio and voice modes if you happen to really feel like upping the immersion or need voices introduced much more ahead within the combine than regular.

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For those who wall mount the soundbar, you’ll be able to rotate the orb to face the correct course.

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The Dione has a modern, fabric-covered design.

Okay, then, so what does this $2,400 soundbar truly sound like? For films and TV reveals, it’s wonderful. However a single soundbar can’t defy physics irrespective of the value. The shortage of correct rear channel surrounds noticeably hurts the Dione’s capacity to completely pull you into the scene. Since this soundbar is so large, you’ll nonetheless really feel immersion from the entrance combine and its two up-firing audio system, however the rear results that usually put the expertise excessive simply aren’t very perceptible.

Bass, although, is the place the Devialet Dione is in a league of its personal. I’ve merely been blown away by the low-end capabilities of this single-unit soundbar. When watching The Grey Man on Netflix, the Dione masterfully dealt with the ability and growth of a high-action airplane sequence. In virtually every thing I sampled, the low-end growl blanketed the room in ways in which appeared not possible with no standalone sub on the ground. Even at loud volumes, there’s no distortion or indicators of the soundbar pushing itself overly onerous.

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I’ve the identical response each time I hear the Dione’s bass efficiency.

Frankly, at occasions, the bass is an excessive amount of and overwhelms different frequencies. That is actually the place a handbook EQ would assist out. (There’s a “night time mode” to slice off among the bass however no method to regulate it exterior of that.) More often than not, voices and dialogue got here by clearly, so I by no means felt the necessity to interact the soundbar’s voice mode. On the subject of low-end punch and presence, I don’t assume you’ll discover an equal to this from any all-in-one soundbar. However simply add a subwoofer to cheaper, competing soundbars, and so they’re instantly in the identical ballpark.

I wasn’t as dazzled or captivated by the Dione’s music replica. Perhaps I’m simply too used to listening to data (or Sonos tracks) on fastidiously spaced shelf audio system as a result of, even at $2,400, I nonetheless observed a few of these tonal traits and imperfections which can be all the time current when listening to tunes on a soundbar. The output isn’t as full-bodied or enveloping as I’d need, and there’s much less total heat in comparison with common audio system. It’s not dangerous by any stretch: the Dione unsurprisingly makes a greater music speaker than most low-end soundbars, nevertheless it wasn’t head and shoulders above my less expensive Sonos Arc. It’s a cinematic powerhouse however not fairly the identical showcase for music.

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You possibly can’t assist however have a look at the orb. You’re drawn to it.

This isn’t a mass-market soundbar. It’s not for anybody who plans so as to add onto or step by step improve their dwelling theater audio system as a long-term ardour venture. The Dione is a luxurious purchase for individuals flush with money who need minimal litter and one thing that sounds great all by its lonesome. They’ll seemingly pair it with an enormous OLED or Mini LED TV, run the room calibration, after which by no means fear about tinkering with settings once more. In that respect, Devialet doesn’t face a lot direct competitors exterior of Sennheiser’s Ambeo, which might be replaced in the not-too-distant future.

However even when I used to be floored by the Dione’s bass response, it’s prohibitively costly for a lot of customers, and so they’d be higher off with extra reasonably priced (however nonetheless high-performing) soundbars from Sonos, Samsung, Vizio, and different manufacturers. The most important purpose is that these multi-component techniques can ship the full-on, enthralling encompass sound expertise that Devialet doesn’t fairly nail. No single soundbar may, to be truthful. However I additionally by no means thought that any all-in-one soundbar would be capable to produce bass like this. It’s good when assumptions exit the window. Add some satellite tv for pc audio system and user-adjustable EQ to this formulation, and the Dione 2 may very well be one thing very particular — and extra worthy of its luxurious price ticket.

Images by Chris Welch / The Verge

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