Devialet has earned its reputation with both the high-end audiophile world and the lifestyle consumer market. Over the last decade the company has grown from nothing to one of the biggest audio brands in the world.
But how did they do it? The answer is quite simple. They are masters of getting great audiophile sound out of packages that shouldn’t produce such a sound. Just look at their slim line Expert amplifiers which look unlike anything else in your local hi-fi showroom. Then there’s the Phantom range of wireless speakers. Again, very unique, but the real selling point of Phantom is the sound. I can’t count how many times I have demonstrated Phantom and the customer is blown away by the bass and detail that comes out of such a relatively small speaker.
Devialet have always achieved this sound quality through innovation. As they like to tell us, they create more technology patents than almost any other audio company. One of the key technologies that Devialet developed was the ADH (Analog Digital Hybrid) which allowed them to produce the refinement and linearity of Class A amplification with the power and compactness of Class D (Digital). This is the core reason they have always got the incredible sound from small packages.
When developing Gemini it is clear that Devialet have stuck to their longstanding principles. There are many wireless earphones on the market, Devialet needed to use innovation to set them apart from the rest.
Thus Gemini is filled with newly developed features including EAM (Ear Active Matching), IDC (Internal Delay Compensation) and PBA (Pressure Balanced Architecture). Which we will discuss later.
Upon opening Gemini, I was very pleased with the feel and quality of the product. They come in a small but durable charging case. The lid has a very satisfying slide to it, to open and reveal the earphones which are held in place magnetically.
The earphones visually are nothing extraordinary with a simple teardrop style cabinet emblazoned with the Devialet logo. I do really enjoy how if turned on their side, they look like a mini Phantom. They look like a high quality pair of in-ears.
4 sets of eartips are supplied (XS/S/M/L) making it very easy to get comfortable. The Devialet Gemini app only needs 5 seconds to recommend which size will fit your ears best. The earbuds themselves are only 6g in weight.
The battery life is good but not remarkable. The headphones keep 6 hours of playback and the case holds 24 hours worth. It has a USB-C charging port and is also able to charge on wireless charging devices.
Ear Active Matching is an algorithm derived by Devialet to read how the earbud is positioned in each individual’s ear. It does this by measuring the sound leakage and automatically tailors the signal to the ear up to 10,000 times per second. By understanding the exact location of the earphone within the ear, Gemini is able to adapt the sound to give the best listening experience possible.
The Internal Delay Compensation (IDC) technology is designed to improve the noise cancellation feature of the earphones. Noise cancelling is achieved by little microphones listening to outside noise and create sound that is exactly opposite to that sound wave to cancel it out. However, aligning this soundwave with that from the earphones is very difficult. The IDC algorithm was developed to ensure the delay which happens with most noise cancelling headphones is compensated for and managed.
Inside the Gemini is a series of cascading decompression chambers that ensure ideal pressure inside your ear. Each chamber is coated with custom acoustic mesh that proactively stops external noise from entering the system, ensuring effective Active Noise Cancellation. This is what they call the PBA (Pressure Balanced Architecture). I found that even before turning noise cancellation on they were effectively blocking out a lot of noise.
On the side of the buds are capacitive touch buttons. These can be programmed to do a number of things including play/pause, skip forwards / backwards, answer call and adjust noise cancelling. Google Assistant and Siri are both available.
As you would expect from a Devialet product, sound where Gemini really shines. They have managed to transfer the ‘Phantom’ sound signature to Gemini. The bass is deep and controlled and the range is fantastic up to the crisp highs. I first listened to ‘Death Defying Acts’ by Angus & Julia Stone. The most impressive thing I found was how natural the vocals sounded. The deep bass wasn’t overwhelming and really added depth to the whole sound. It’s a very complimentary sound, the bass, lower mid, upper mid and highs work well together but keep their individuality. The soundstage isn’t the widest I have ever heard but this is not really what in-ear listening is about. It is a more intimate experience and you can really listen for the minute details.
I next wanted to test them with a favourite track of mine for Phantom demos – ‘Limit To Your Love’ by James Blake. This was very impressive. It has very low bass sections which were excellent. Gemini was able to get down low and it felt like a deep rumble inside my head. I have not heard this from in-ear headphones before. I have heard deep bass but not as controlled and textured as this.
Another great feature of these headphones, which is something we haven’t had in a Devialet product is their 6-point equaliser. This means you can adjust the sound to your particular taste using the Gemini app.
The noise cancelling is very good, there are three settings (low, high and plane). While it is a small difference between the settings, I found that all 3 gave impressive results. I personally felt the headphones really shone whilst in the noise cancelling mode. It is clear they were designed to be used primarily with the noise cancelling on. The quietness really shows off the dynamics in the sound.
If you want to hear your surroundings more clearly, there is a transparency mode. This works well, ideal
Devialet has done extremely well to make Gemini feel like part of their range. The sound signature is there from Phantom. Their reputation for innovation has been maintained and helped create something that is able to stand alone in the busy in-ear headphone market. If you are looking for noise-cancelling in-ears that deliver engaging and immersive sound, this might well be the choice for you.