sound of the future
Quentin Sannié of Devialet wants to revolutionize listening to music. His masterpiece is a loudspeaker whose sound is brilliant to the tiniest nuances.
INTERVIEW MORITZ AUE
France was represented at the Venice Biennale last year with a sound installation that filled the entire national pavilion with music. The artist Xavier Veilhan had decided to collaborate with the technology pioneer Devialet and its surprisingly compact sound system – a speaker the size of a shoe box. “Phantom,” itself a kind of futuristic work of art and up to 4,500 watts strong, opens the door to a new world of sound experience with Devialet. CEO Quentin Sannié has big plans.
Monsieur Sannié, instead of looking like a loudspeaker, “phantom” at first glance looks more like a piece of furniture – or, if the side woofers pulsate, like a living creature breathing. What is the design about?
Based on the acoustic principle of the pulsating sphere according to Harry F. Olson, »Phantom« optimizes the formation of sound waves and their propagation: evenly and in all directions, for a perfectly balanced sound image in every listening position. More than 80 specialists in aerodynamics, automotive engineering, acoustics and mechanics have devised the system. Design and technology should challenge each other for the best performance. The result is the simple and bold design of our product with its iconic profile.
How does the patented Analog Digital Hybrid Technology (ADH) affect the sound?
It provides the signal and amplifies it ideally, without distortion or background noise. Above all, with “Phantom” we wanted to emphasize the spectacular miniaturization that our technology makes possible, and compete against the best high-end products in the audio market. However, ADH technology is also advancing in other areas such as signal processing and conversion.
You often talk about your vision to develop sound systems for cars.
The fact that we bring the sound of Devialet into the car is part of the “phantom” revolution and our technological breakthrough into the lives of many people. As a first step in this direction, we introduced our audio system for “Symbioz”, the electric demo vehicle of the Renault Group, last year. We are committed to putting our technologies and know-how at the service of targeted innovation.
Which music do you personally listen to?
I like every genre as long as the artist’s intentions remain true, but especially music that inspires and touches you, that tells you real human stories. Just like the blues, which arose out of the slaves’ work vocals on the cotton plantations of the American southern states. Our chance to work with Devialet in the music scene is tied to the mission of perfectly reproducing every signal, including the artist’s most intimate concern. Only those who hear the details hear the truth.