The iconic French brand Devialet, well-known for its powerful and beautifully designed speakers, recently launched its first in-ear monitors, the Devialet Geminis. This True Wireless model is described as “a concentration of 15 years of acoustic engineering and proprietary technologies” to “revolutionize sound”. The Devialet Gemini IEMs feature customizable active noise reduction, up to 24 hours of non-stop playback, an IPX4 certification and a wide frequency response. Priced at €299, are the Devialet Gemini on their way to becoming the best noise cancelling IEMs?
Devialet Gemini: the brand
Devialet is a young French brand founded in 2007, but whose story began in the early 2000s. At the time, Pierre-Emmanuel Calmel decided to design a revolutionary amplifier in his spare time. He went with a hybrid design that he perfected to ideally combine the best of both worlds, namely the natural sound of analog amplifiers and the power and energy of digital technology. A first prototype was developed in 2006 and Devialet was officially launched a year later, on December 6, 2007. The brand’s first amplifier, the D-Premier, was officially released in May 2020. Lauded by the specialized press, this amplifier was awarded the What Hi-Fi 5-star label given to the best performing electronics by the famous British magazine.
The Devialet D-Premier is the French manufacturer’s first amplifier and stands out with its ultra-slim design, its 240W of power and its 24-bit/192kHz wireless streaming features.
After the success of the Devialet D-Premier, the brand gained a good reputation and launched the Expert Pro amplifier range with the 110, 170 and 240 models (each number corresponding to the power in watts of the amplifier). An update increased the power of the amplifiers, which became the Devialet Expert 140 Pro, Devialet Expert 220 Pro and Devialet Expert 250 Pro.
The enthusiasm generated by Devialet’s amplifiers led the brand to take on a new challenge, that of designing a high-end connected speaker combining design, power, exclusive technologies and acoustic performance. In 2015, this led to the creation of the Devialet Classic Phantom speaker, a model that is WiFi, Bluetooth aptX and AirPlay compatible and supports numerous online music services. It is powered by a 2000-watt hybrid ADH amplifier developed for the D-Premier. This super powerful speaker was then integrated into the Devialet Phantom Premier range, which also includes the Devialet Gold Phantom and the Devialet Gold Phantom Opéra de Paris.
Devialet rapidly completed its range of connected speakers by launching the Devialet Phantom Reactor range, which currently includes the Devialet Phantom Reactor 600, Devialet Phantom Reactor 900 and Devialet Phantom Reactor Opéra de Paris speakers. These speakers have the same design and technologies that contributed to the success of the Devialet Classic Phantom, this time in a more compact and less powerful format, although their peak power is 600 and 900 watts respectively.
After having earned a place in the living rooms of many enthusiasts, Devialet decided to put its expertise at the service of users on the move. As a result, the Devialet Gemini IEMs were created: True Wireless noise reduction models that compete directly with the best references on the market, such as the Apple AirPods Pro, Sony WF-1000XM3, Technics EAH-AZ70WE, Jabra Elite 85t and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.
Devialet Gemini: packaging & accessories
The Devialet Gemini True Wireless in-ear monitors come in a compact box with a scaled-down image of the IEMs and the brand’s exclusive technologies, such as proprietary active noise reduction and measurement of the listener’s ear shape. Once the top part of the package is lifted, the Devialet Gemini IEMs are revealed in their carrying case. They are accompanied by a quick start guide, a USB A to USB C cable for charging, as well as four pairs of silicone ear tips in different sizes (XS, S, M and L).
Devialet Gemini: presentation
Design & ergonomics
While the brand had accustomed us to futuristic and innovative design systems with its connected speakers and amplifiers, the Devialet Gemini IEMs adopt a more conventional, but tried and tested design. At first glance, they seem to be well made, with a structure based on the assembly of two polymer shells. The lower part has a beautifully soft matte coating and hugs the contours of the listener’s ear. The upper part of the Devialet Gemini monitors has curved lines, with a ring decorated with the logo of the brand that acts as a tactile control interface.
Each Devialet Gemini earbud weighs about 8g, which means you quickly forget about them once they’re in your ears. They are very comfortable and stay in place, even with sudden movements. This makes it possible to use the Devialet Gemini True Wireless in-ear monitors at the gym or outdoors when the weather isn’t good. They are IPX4 certified, which means they are resistant to splashes, sweat and dust.
At the end of the acoustic tube, the Devialet Gemini True Wireless IEMs feature a clip-on system for the eartips. To ensure the best fit for all ear types, the French manufacturer includes four pairs in different sizes: XS, S, M and L. The addition of an XS pair is good for those for whom the usual S size eartips are still too big. The tips are made from soft silicone that doesn’t exert pressure on the user’s ear canal, as can be the case with foam models. They also provide very convincing passive isolation, so that the active noise cancellation is not necessary in an environment with a little bit of noise, which in turn extends the battery life of the in-ear monitors. The battery life is reduced when the noise cancellation is being used due to the activation of microphones and processors that analyze ambient noise to reduce it.
However, like all in-ear monitors, it is essential to select your eartips carefully in order to enjoy effective isolation, optimal comfort and quality sound reproduction. Tips that are too small will allow external noise to filter through and impact sound reproduction: a lack of bass and detail, etc. Conversely, eartips that are too large can cause discomfort in the ear canal and alter the stability of the monitors. To address this issue, Devialet Gemini monitors can perform a series of measurements using the mobile application to determine in less than 5 seconds which tips are best suited to your ears. It couldn’t be easier!
Over the years, Devialet has become a specialist in exclusive acoustic technologies with multiple patents. The Devialet Gemini Bluetooth IEMs are no exception to this tradition. Each earpiece has a 10mm driver that provides a linear reproduction from 5Hz to 20kHz. They are placed in a unique acoustic architecture formed by two decompression chambers arranged in a chain to guarantee comfortable internal pressure at all times. The Devialet Gemini’s drivers are also coupled with Devialet Ear Active Matching technology which is capable of taking more than 10,000 measurements per second to analyze the shape of the listener’s ear and adjust the audio signal accordingly to ensure an optimal listening experience for each user.
Tactile control interface
In addition to its undeniable aesthetic qualities, the circle decorated with the brand name on the top of the Devialet Gemini IEMs also serves as a control interface. It is tactile, which means the earphone isn’t pushed into the ear canal with each command, as is the case with the many other True Wireless IEMs equipped with a button. Some monitors are even difficult to use because of this. The Devialet Geminis offer a very satisfying user experience. Simply touching this interface starts or stops the music playback. Pressing and holding activates the noise cancellation or the transparent mode. Finally, a double tap allows you to change track (next or previous) or activate the voice assistant. Assigning one of these two features is done from the in-ear monitors’ mobile app. Available free of charge for iOS and Android, it provides many other settings, as we will see when configuring the monitors.
Active noise cancellation
One of the Devialet Gemini in-ear headphones’ major strengths is their exclusive active noise cancellation system. This system uses two microphones coupled with dedicated digital filters to analyze and effectively eliminate unwanted noise. This system is also combined with Internal Delay Compensation technology to enhance the effectiveness of noise cancellation over a wider bandwidth. Three levels of noise reduction are available: low, high and plane. During our listening sessions, the noise cancellation proved to be particularly effective in blocking out surrounding noise and chatter. Activating it slightly enhances the bass and provides a slightly narrower soundstage, but the sound remains natural and coherent overall.
The Devialet Gemini in-ear monitors also feature a smart Transparency mode. When it is activated, the IEMs analyze the environment to eliminate unwanted noise while preserving voices. This makes it possible to listen to a conversation or to announcements in an airport without having to remove the Devialet Geminis. The Transparency mode can be set to two different levels, depending on the intensity of the voices you want to hear.
24-hour battery life
The Devialet Gemini IEMs incorporate a rechargeable battery in each earpiece that offers up to 6 hours of autonomy with the active noise cancellation activated and 8 hours when it is disabled. The Devialet Geminis come with a carrying case that also serves as a recharger. It has two recesses with an ingenious magnetic system that allow the monitors to automatically click into place to charge them. This box then offers up to 16 hours of additional battery life, bringing the total battery life of the Devialet Gemini to over 24 hours. It can be recharged using the included USB cable or simply by placing it on a Qi-certified wireless charger like the Anker PowerWave Base Pad.
Microphone, voice assistants
In addition to the microphones dedicated to noise reduction, the Devialet Gemini in-ear monitors feature microphones optimized for voice pickup in each earpiece. These microphones allow you to answer phone calls with great clarity. When you answer a call, the Devialet Gemini IEMs automatically adjust the noise cancellation level so that you can fully concentrate on the conversation.
The Devialet Gemini’s microphones can also be used to interact with voice assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant installed on the associated mobile device. To do this, it is first necessary to activate the feature in the Gemini’s mobile application. Then, simply double-tap the tactile interface to launch the assistant. It is then possible to control the music, adjust the volume, send a message to the person of your choice or answer any other request simply by asking. During our various tests of the Devialet Gemini IEMs, the activation of the Siri voice assistant proved to be very responsive. The assistant always perfectly understood our requests.
Devialet Gemini: key specifications
- Type: closed-back
- Coupling: in-ear
- 10mm drivers
- Double compression chamber
- Active noise cancellation with three modes: low, high and plane
- Ear Active Matching technology
- Internal Delay Compensation technology
- Hands free function
- Control app
- Compatible with Siri and Google Assistant
- Frequency response: 5Hz to 20kHz
- THD: < 0.1%
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Codecs: SBC, AAC and aptX
- Bandwidth: 2.4GHz
- Range: approx. 10m
- Battery life: up to 24h (6h + 16h with the case)
- Monitor battery charging time: 1.5 hours
- Case battery charging time: 3.5 hours
- Battery charging method: USB-C cable or Qi-certified wireless charger base
- Charging and transport case
- USB-C charging cable
- 4 pairs of silicone tips (XS, S, M and L)
- Monitor dimensions: 33 x 18 x 15mm
- Monitor weight: 8g
- Case dimensions: 78 x 54 x 28mm
- Case weight: 76g
Devialet Gemini: configuration
For our review, we paired the Devialet Gemini in-ear monitors with an iOS smartphone and tablet. The first pairing is very easy and quick. Just open the Devialet Gemini case and press and hold the button on the front for 2 seconds until a white LED flashes. Then go to the Bluetooth settings of the source to select “Devialet Gemini” and finalize the pairing. The IEMs are then directly operational, but it is possible to complete and finalize the configuration in the Devialet Gemini app for further customization. The app also allows you to adjust the modes according to your preferences, modify the attribution of the IEM’s controls (the double-tap, for example), and carry out measurements to find the best tips for your ear shape. Once the setup is done, all that’s left to do is to put the IEMs in your ears. Playback then starts automatically and is paused when you remove one of the monitors.
Devialet Gemini: impressions and listening sessions
The Devialet Geminis gave us the French brand’s signature sound, with abyssal bass. With The Weeknd’s track Blinding Lights, the lows were incredibly dynamic, lively and powerful for a pair of IEMs. The Geminis tend to be rather showy in the lower end of the spectrum, which is great for bassheads as this is a rare quality for in-ear monitors.
The Devialet Gemini monitors’ generosity in the lows is not to the detriment of the other frequency ranges, which were well reproduced. With In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins, the sound was well balanced, with a fairly rich and clear midrange, with enough weight to compensate for the emphasis on the lows. The percussion instruments were rendered naturally without any harshness. The singer’s voice also benefited from a natural tone, but sometimes seemed to be overpowered by the other registers, especially when the midrange was at its peak. This is partly due to the relatively narrow soundstage delivered by the Devialet Gemini IEMs when the noise reduction is activated.
Devialet Gemini vs AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro: sold for €279, the Apple AirPods Pro earbuds are the Cupertino firm’s noise-cancelling models. They have an IPX4 certification, 24 hours of battery life with the charging case, a tactile control interface and are compatible with the Siri voice assistant. However, these IEMs need to be used in the Apple ecosystem to enjoy all their features. The Devialet Geminis are therefore more versatile and provide a better fit, making them a more ideal solution for sports activities. The Devialet monitors also have the advantage when it comes to sound, with more powerful and deeper bass and an overall more pleasant reproduction.
Devialet Gemini vs Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: priced at €279, these Bose IEMs benefit from the American manufacturer’s time-tested active noise reduction technologies. The brand is a leader in the design of noise-cancelling headphones for pilots, but also for mobile users with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds’ noise cancellation is therefore a step above that of the Devialet Geminis, especially when the environment is very noisy. It is also more easily customizable thanks to its 11 different levels. However, the Devialet Gemini IEMs come out on top when it comes to the sound, with deeper and more powerful lows as well as a more natural and accurate reproduction overall.
Devialet Gemini: conclusion
With the Devialet Gemini IEMs, the French manufacturer wanted to revolutionize sound. To a certain degree, the brand was successful, as the Devialet Geminis provide the most powerful and deepest bass ever encountered with True Wireless in-ear headphones. Their success is also due in part to the Devialet Gemini IEMs’ many exclusive technologies, especially the measurements of the user’s ear shape to automatically select the most suitable pair of tips and adjust the restitution. For these reasons, we recommend the Devialet Geminis for users looking for user-friendly monitors with powerful bass.
What we liked:
- The powerful and deep bass
- The easy configuration
- The automatic music playback and pause
- The Ear Active Matching technology
- The design
What we would have liked:
- A wider soundstage