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Devialet Mania Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Dec 05, 2022 at 07:32 am
Latest change: Writing modified Feb 17, 2023 at 01:42 pm
Devialet Mania Picture
7.3
Music
6.9
Videos/Movies
7.5
Podcasts
9.1
Voice Assistant
7.1
Outdoors

The Devialet Mania is the first portable Bluetooth speaker from the French hi-fi brand. It's a smart device with built-in support for Alexa and a handle melded into its sleek design to help you bring the device from room to room. When you're indoors, you can stream audio over Wi-Fi, and when you move outside, you can easily switch to Bluetooth. It even supports wireless charging, though you'll have to buy the Devialet Mania Station separately.

Our Verdict

7.3 Music

The Devialet Mania is decent for listening to music. Voices and lead instruments are reproduced with relative accuracy, though the lack of treble means that the overall sound is a bit boxy and dull at times. Still, you get a decent amount of rumble in the bass range for such a small speaker, which is handy if you love bass-centric genres like EDM and hip-hop. There are some bass and treble adjustments available through the Custom preset in the app.

Pros
  • Customization tools available.
  • Extended low-bass.
Cons
  • Doesn't get loud enough for large rooms.
  • Lacks some treble out-of-the-box.
6.9 Videos/Movies

The Devialet Mania isn't designed for watching videos and movies, but you can still pair a phone or a tablet to the speaker to enhance the audio in content if you wish. Unfortunately, its latency over Bluetooth is high, so there's a delay between the audio you hear and the video you see. To avoid lip-synching issues, you're better off watching videos over an Apple AirPlay 2 connection since the latency is much lower.

Pros
  • Low Apple AirPlay 2 latency.
  • Extended low-bass.
Cons
  • Doesn't get loud enough for large rooms.
  • Latency issues with Bluetooth.
7.5 Podcasts

The Devialet Mania is good for vocal-centric content like podcasts and audiobooks. Dialogue is reproduced with clarity right out of the box, and if you want to make voices sound more crisp in the mix, you can use its Voice dialogue enhancement preset. Its portable design makes it easy to bring with you from room to room, and you can even use Alexa to control it with your voice while you're cooking or folding laundry.

Pros
  • Customization tools available.
  • Voice assistant hears commands clearly in noisy settings.
Cons
  • Doesn't get loud enough for large rooms.
9.1 Voice Assistant

The Devialet Mania is an excellent choice for voice assistants. It has built-in Alexa support, so you don't need any additional devices to control your music with your voice. Alexa can hear your commands without issue, even if you're far away or in a noisy environment. You can also turn off the assistant through the companion app if you don't want it to listen to you.

Pros
  • Voice assistant hears commands clearly in noisy settings.
  • Mute feature available.
Cons
  • Doesn't get loud enough for large rooms.
7.1 Outdoors

The Devialet Mania is decent for outdoor use. It's a well-built speaker with a sturdy design that's rated IPX4 for water resistance, so it's protected against splashes of water. Plus, its built-in handle makes it easy to carry, and since it's battery-powered, you don't have to worry about keeping it plugged into an outlet. Since it supports Bluetooth, you can stream music from your phone to the bar with ease, too. That said, you can't submerge the speaker in water.

Pros
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance.
  • Built-in handle.
Cons
  • Doesn't get loud enough for large rooms.
  • Not rated for impact resistance.
  • 7.3 Music
  • 6.9 Videos/Movies
  • 7.5 Podcasts
  • 9.1 Voice Assistant
  • 7.1 Outdoors
  1. Updated Feb 17, 2023: Added a market comparison to the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge to the Portability box.
  2. Updated Jan 11, 2023: Updated the bar's firmware to version 1.2.4. Retesting its sound performance led to only subtle changes, but it did improve its Bluetooth latency somewhat.
  3. Updated Dec 05, 2022: Review published.
  4. Updated Dec 01, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

This speaker is available in two color variants: Deep Black and Light Gray. We tested the Deep Black version, and you can see the label here.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

This sleek smart Bluetooth speaker is the first from the manufacturer to offer a portable design—but it's the hefty price tag that makes it stand out from the competition. It has decent sound quality out-of-the-box and a few customization tools to help you switch up its sound; however, its short battery life is pretty disappointing, and you'll have to pay even more if you want to add on the wireless charging dock.

You can also check out our recommendations for the best portable Bluetooth speakers, the best smart speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers overall.

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move and the Devialet Mania are both portable Bluetooth speakers with smart capabilities, meaning that you can control their features with their built-in voice assistants. The Sonos is likely a better value for most users since it features a longer battery life and a more balanced sound out-of-the-box. It gets a bit louder, too, although there's some compression when you press it to max volume.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is a better value for most users compared to the Devialet Mania. Both speakers have portable designs, and they each offer built-in voice assistant support. However, the Bose's sound quality is better out-of-the-box, especially in the treble range. It has a better Bluetooth performance with lower latency for watching videos. Its battery life is a bit longer, although neither speaker offers exceptional performance in this regard.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge

The Devialet Mania and the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge are both very high-end speakers. They each have stylish designs and, depending on your preferences, you may like one more than the other. The Devialet is battery-operated, so it's much more portable, and its IPX4 rating for water resistance makes it more suitable for outdoor use. Unlike the Bowers & Wilkins, it has built-in voice assistant support.

Amazon Echo Studio

The Amazon Echo Studio is likely a better value for most in comparison with the Devialet Mania. They're both smart speakers with built-in Alexa, though the Amazon speaker adds a built-in Zigbee hub so you can control other smart home devices with the speaker. It's designed for home use, meaning you don't have to worry about a battery; however, it's not as suitable for outdoor use as the battery-powered Devialet. The Devialet's voice assistant performs better in noisy environments, too.

Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST

The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is better for most uses than the Devialet Mania. Both speakers have built-in Alexa support, and while the Devialet does better in noisy environments, both perform pretty well. The Ultimate Ears' battery life is longer, it gets louder, and it has a graphic EQ, meaning you can customize it across the range.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

It's a stylish speaker with a unique design. Its small size fits easily into your home decor, and the built-in carrying handle makes it easy to transport from room to room. Plus, the chrome finish adds a sleek feel. Underneath the speaker, there's a charging panel that links to a Devialet Mania Station, which you can purchase separately if you prefer wireless charging.

9.2
Design
Portability
Volume
279 inยณ (4,569 cmยณ)
Weight
5.1 lbs (2.3 kg)
Power Source
AC & Battery
One-Hand Carry
Yes

It's a portable speaker since it's battery-operated, and you don't have to keep it plugged into an outlet to use it. There's also a built-in handle to help you carry it. However, the handle isn't flexible, which limits your grip. It's rather heavy, too. If you prefer a wired-only home speaker, check out the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge.

7.3
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Great
Water Resistance
Water-resistant (IPx4)
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The speaker has a solid design, and the fabric that covers most of the unit is tight, so it won't rip easily. Plus, it's rated IPX4 for water resistance, certifying it for protection against splashed water.

6.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
No
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The controls are located on both sides of the speaker, and they're very easy to use. You can play/pause your audio, adjust the volume, activate Bluetooth pairing, and turn the speaker on and off. The Devialet button lets you check the battery status, which is handy, and you can double-press it to activate Alexa. Keep in mind that the microphone toggle switch disables the voice assistant as well as the real-time room calibration, so if you just want to switch off the voice assistant, you're better off using the app.

Design
In The Box

  • Manuals
  • Devialet Mania speaker
  • USB-C to USB-C charge cable
  • Wall plug adapter
  • Two-prong attachment for adapter
  • Bag (for speaker)

Sound
6.8
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.19
Std. Err.
4.31 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
51.1 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.5 kHz

Its frequency response accuracy is fair. You can turn on its room correction feature called Active Stereo Calibration in the app, which automatically adjusts the speaker's output based on your room's unique acoustics. Voices and lead instruments are reproduced with clarity, and there's an extended rumble in the bass to bring genres like EDM and hip-hop to life. However, the lack of treble adds a dull, boxy quality to the sound overall. You can always adjust its bass and treble in the Devialet app. While we retested the speaker's sound with firmware version 1.2.4, it didn't bring a noticeable difference in the results.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
9.2
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
1.53 dB
Stereo
Yes

The speaker's soundstage is fantastic. Its 360-degree design lends itself well to playing stereo content with a wide and immersive-feeling soundstage.

7.2
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
87.4 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.43 dB

The speaker gets loud enough to fill an average-sized living room or bedroom with sound. However, it struggles to fill larger, more open spaces. As you crank up the volume, there's a bit of compression, especially in the bass range.

Active Features
5.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
4.2 hrs
Charge Time
2.3 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C
Battery Powered
Yes

The speaker's advertised to have a battery life of ten hours, but in our tests, it only lasted a little over four hours. This isn't ideal if you plan to enjoy longer listening sessions, especially since it takes a bit of time to fully recharge. Still, there are some tools on hand to help conserve power, and if the speaker isn't plugging into an outlet and doesn't receive an audio signal for 90 minutes, it turns off automatically.

10
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
Built-in (Wi-Fi Only)
Google Assistant
No
Speakerphone
No
Siri
No
Voice Assistant
Yes
Voice Activation
Yes
Microphone Mute
Yes
Far-Field Performance
Excellent
Ambient Noise Performance
Excellent

It has built-in support for Amazon Alexa. As a result, you can control it using your voice. The speaker has no issues understanding your commands, even if you're far away or in a noisy environment. You can always mute the microphone if you don't want it to hear you, but remember to do this through the Devialet app if you don't want to turn off the real-time room calibration.

4.4
Active Features
App
App Name
Devialet
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Bass/Treble
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No

The Devialet app gives you access to three audio settings: Flat, Custom, and Voice. The Custom setting lets you adjust the bass and the treble, meaning you can make the speaker sound more to your liking. You can't pair it with other speakers for stereo pairing; however, you can use Apple AirPlay 2 to stream audio to several compatible devices at once, like Devialet Mania and Phantom II.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

There's just a USB-C port for charging the device.

7.2
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
184 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
171 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

This speaker is Bluetooth-compatible, meaning you can stream audio from your mobile devices over a wireless connection. While updating the speaker to firmware version 1.2.4 improves latency a bit, it's still high overall, so the audio you hear is out of sync with the video you see on the screen. It's especially noticeable with lip-synching content.

8.0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
Wi-Fi 5
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
2.4GHz & 5GHz
Wi-Fi
Yes
Apple AirPlay
Yes
AirPlay Latency
71 ms
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

The speaker's latency is much better over Apple AirPlay 2. This connection is a much better choice for watching videos and movies, as you don't notice a delay or any lip-synching issues. Unfortunately, Android users can't take advantage of this feature.