Devialet Phantom Reactor belts out big bass in a small speaker

The cut-down version of Devialet's high-end wireless speaker goes deep for about $1,000.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

After likening its first Phantom speaker to a bomb, Devialet has kept the explosion theme for its latest wireless music product -- the Phantom Reactor. Like its larger brethren, the Reactor is a highly pressurized capsule said to deliver stunningly deep bass.

Devialet representatives told me the shrunk-down Reactor was designed to bring the sound of the original Phantom to a more affordably priced speaker. While the Classic Phantom starts at $1,690, the new Reactor is available from $999. 

The Reactor is a quarter the size of its predecessor, measuring 8.6 inches long by 6.2 inches wide by 6.6 inches deep, or 219mm by 157mm by 168mm.

There are two versions of the Reactor. Here's what you can expect:

  • Phantom Reactor 600, 95 dB, 600W $999/£999 
  • Phantom Reactor 900, 98 dB, 900W $1,299/£1,290 
  • 18Hz - 21KHz frequency response
  • Class D amplifiers
  • Bluetooth , Spotify Connect, AirPlay , UPnP or through an analog or optical jack connection

We heard a brief demo of the Reactor and it had the big, clear sound we've heard from previous versions. However, while it also goes down pretty deep it didn't seem to have the bass control of the larger version. 

We listened to Daft Punk's Get Lucky and the bass guitar part wasn't as tight as we've heard before, sounding a bit flabby. Though the Reactor we saw wasn't a final production model, the representatives said there wasn't a way to control the EQ to reduce the amount of bass. 

As far as competition goes, there are plenty of hi-fi brands offering speakers in roughly that price range, such as the Naim Mu-So Qb , the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless and the McIntosh RS100. Devialet's main advantage in this crowded space is that it owns a series of stores and "immersive rooms" in prominent places (like Grand Central station in NYC) that allow people to hear the products directly.

The speaker will be available in the US and UK this month while Australian pricing and availability are yet to be confirmed. Expect it to cost around AU$2,000, though.

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