Devialet’s latest high-end earbuds are a joy to behold, with various revolutionary technologies working in step to deliver a level of immersive audio that can usually only be achieved from a full surround setup.
Straight out of the pack, the Gemini’s are easy to pair, just hold a button, and select them on your device’s Bluetooth. The charging case has a sliding lid – a minor innovation, but so handy for the numerous times you’ll only have one hand free to open the case. No more fiddling with annoying clasps.
Specs-wise, as you’d expect from a $500 pair of earbuds, these boast hybrid dual-microphones for making calls and blocking out noise, and a frequency response that ranges from 5Hz to 20kHz. They also have an IPX-4 rating, which means you don’t need to stress getting them wet.
Some of the tech-speak in Devialet’s own promotional material is quite poetic — “Devialet invented an acoustic architecture of cascading decompression chambers” — and although I cannot vouch for the veracity of this statement, I tested the earbuds out on lossless audio, as well as on a Bluetooth-enable low-end record player, and in both cases, the sound was warm, crisp and three-dimensional.
There are three levels of noise cancellation: low, high, and plane. To be honest, the ‘low’ setting was a bit disorientation, while the high and the plane were both pristine, but also indistinguishable, perhaps when we are finally allowed back on planes I will be able to notice them working in this very specific environment.
With the ‘natural hear through’ mode, the low ANC is rendered rather redundant, but it seems silly to nit pick about having too many options on a set of earbuds.
These earbuds also boast something called ‘ear active matching’, an algorithm which purports to “instantaneously captures the specific ear shape of the listener and automatically tailors the signal to the ear up to 10,000 times per second.” As previously noted, the sound is by far the best I’ve heard from a set of buds, and perhaps this ear-scanning technology is a huge factor here.
Regardless of what’s going on ‘under the hood’, it results in a rich, nuanced sound, truly immersive, with the subtleties and air for you’d expect from a true surround set up. The bass is unreal: deep rich audio that rumbles inside the caverns of my skull, without turning to distortion or mud.
The buds also sit rather unobtrusively, unlike competing models which are often bulky or uncomfortable after a few hours wedged in your ears. These buds, mercifully, don’t have any unnecessary architecture jutting out, either. Physical design is clearly not an afterthought here.
You’ll get 24 hours of playtime, with six with each charge. This is becoming more and more standard in even the lower-range earbuds, but considering all that’s going on here, it’s still rather impressive.