Devialet revolution or devolution!?

This for sure won’t let me win any beauty contest or wide spread popularity, but it needs to be written and put up in the cloud. I’ve been asked numerous times to lay down my conclusion and experiences with Devialet and I’ll try to sum it up here. I’ve written few of first impression while ago, but since the introduction of new devices its fair to write up. 

Yes, Devialet managed to pull something special. All in one lifestyle high-tech audio package that address the luxurious and futuristic aesthetic demands (mine included) from the broad consumer market. It is still the most stylish and best looking all-in-one system ever created. I’m signing it without any second guessing. 

Now, the most important thing… The sound!? Believe me, I’ve ran my 100 miles of hard sweating in order to love and like the Devialet. For what it represents in terms of functionality and all-in- one box solution, I’m smitten. For what it was supposed to bring in high-end audio sound quality terms and norms - I’m not. Devialet clearly follows the contemporary path pursued lately by quite a few high-end audio companies. And that is the sound of so called excellence in transparency and resolution. 

Despite the ADC hybrid technology and all the whistles and high praises, Devialet still sounds like a derivate of Class D. More ironed, refined, but still. It brings out the feeling of virtual linearity, that is being explained as ultimate natural transparency, judging by the descriptions all over the medias. Well… music in its true natural form and tone doesn’t sound like this. It is vibrant, colourful and that`s something Devialet simply cannot reflect.

Before the thunderous strikes of “creative” energy is being released towards me: yes I’ve tried it and listened to it in many setups. And yes, also under my own system`s conditions. As much as I’ve tried to bow down to my inner excitement, the actual results always left me in some strange stage of lingering questions. 

Devialet in a sense, revolutionised audio and changed many people`s lives. I can understand the simplification and appreciate the absence of cable clutter and multiple gear stack. Its great and it can work for some. What I cannot understand is the constant industry pushing and high praising of Devialet from the fellow high-end media representatives. Is the marketing coin really so sweet? In my fully sober, lucid state I cannot proclaim Devialet as a fully fledged high-end audio component. It`s not. It can be the latest and the greatest high-tech lifestyle audio music centre in its best industrial design form. Yet, taking the nerve to call it the replacement for the complete high-end audio system is kind of… very wrong for me to sign under. 

I’m a digital geek and hipster with hands on daily grasp of everything new and highest tech. I’m the one that grew up during the digital audio revolution and followed and tried almost everything. Including earliest machines. Still… the time has not come and up to this point no one has managed to fill up the shoes so big. This is a big venture to accomplish which demands more then clever packaging and marketing, like many companies these days are trying to prove. 

So, to save mine and your time, the conclusion is clear from my side of the bench. In my view the Devialet is great in what it achieved in one chassis and this with easiness and unseen elegancy. But, call it a true high-end system solution is not something I could do. No matter how much I tried to embrace it or implement it, it always stayed in the realms of hi-fi without crossing the shores of true high-end. Perhaps the reason for positioning the Devialet on the right plane is disagreeing of the avid borderline between hi-fi and high-end. And this is something, that needs to be addressed by the industry as soon as possible for the benefit of all.

By the end of the day many people will be and are happy with the choice. But in the critical world of high-end audio, I strongly feel that the lines should be drawn and references clearly stated.