French audio brand Devialet’s Phantom I is already a celebrated wireless speaker with side-firing bass reflex ports and subtle color variants. Fittingly, two eminent artists have been summoned to give this iconic speaker a stunning new vibe for the Chinese Year of the Dragon, a festivity that marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Dubbed the Phantom I 108 dB by Yang Bao & Wa Liu, after the designers behind the new gold and red colored speaker, this lustrous take on the Devialet flagship creates a nice, visible amalgamation of physical and analog connections. To be available in limited edition between 23 January 2024 and 23 April 2024 (or until the stock lasts) this speaker also dubbed ANIMAL impresses with its “colors and textures reference the dragon of our cultural imagination” designer Wa Liu says.
On the back of the hand-crafted speaker come the 22.5-carat gold leaf accents complemented by the red strokes. This artistic element replicates the rippling motion of the dragon’s movement. It’s more of a musical instrument that seems to have a personality of its own. According to Bao the play of light and shadows helps it cryptically blend into the surroundings. Another good reason it has a deliberate sculptural design to evoke a subtle presence.
The limited-edition Phantom I, justifies the symbol of the dragon with its intimidating presence as opposed to the Western counterpart. In a way, it mixes nature and music, power and serenity all in one go. Creating this version takes around two weeks which explains the attention to detail put in the making. As the artists explain, ‘We obviously work on a number of units at the same time.’ To this end, two gilders showcase their craft, brushing hammered gold leaf onto the surface of the Phantom, juxtaposing it with the thin lines of red lacquer. The intricate design is not only a visual combination of gold leaf and red lacquer, but the lacquer itself requires three painstaking layers of application!
No wonder the Phantom I 108 dB by Yang Bao & Wa Liu will set you back a mind-numbing $6,700 a piece.