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Devialet goes mad for portable sound with the Mania smart speaker

Devialet has announced its first portable smart speaker in the Mania, which has ambitions of combining stereo sound, smart assistance and luxury design in a compact, easy-to-carry form.

You may know Devialet for its gaga Phantom speakers, but the company is looking to outdo its previous achievements by miniaturising its technology into a compact, portable form. The result is the Mania, a speaker that can disperse sound at all angles so wherever you sit you’re getting the same experience.

It is filled with Devialet’s own proprietary tech that includes ASC (Active Stereo Calibration). This uses the speaker’s four microphones to adapt the audio to suit its surroundings. This isn’t quite Sonos Trueplay but something slightly different, detecting where the speaker is sitting and determining whether it can play sound in 360-degrees or in a stereo configuration. For example, place it near a wall and the two full-range speakers at the rear will reinforce the speakers at the front. Place it on a table without obstructions and it’ll play sound from all its speakers.

There’s also Devialet’s SAM (Speaker Active Matching) technology that synchronises the performance of the amplifiers and speakers for the optimal performance. Devialet claims the Mania can go as low as 30Hz with the bass frequencies, and up to 20kHz to cover a wide frequency range for sound.

DEVIALET Mania black version

Visually, imagine the Mania as a small bowling with a handle and you’re not far off. It’s 170mm tall and weighs 2.3kg with a stiff handle for transport, wrapped in a woven fabric that comes in black or grey finishes. There’s also a Paris Opéra edition that’s embellished with 24-cara moongold and includes a docking station for charging. The charger is not packaged with the other finishes, and can be purchased for £69 / $80.

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect are all supported, with ten hours of battery life and a rating of IPX4 to protect it from splashes of water. Amazon Alexa is also built-in for those who want smart assistance, with set-up possible through the Devialet app, of which you can control the speaker as well as with the Phantom Remote.

The Devialet Mania isn’t cheap, but in a similar way as the Naim Mu-so Qb opened up the small premium wireless speaker market, the Mania looks to achieve something similar in the portable market.

Prices start at £690 / $790 / CAD$1100 / AUD$1400. In the UK it will be available to buy from Harrods and Selfridges, as well as from the Devialet website. 

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