I ended up with a pair of Devialet Gold Phantoms ($2999 each on Amazon), long story for another post.
These are not better than my 1981 Meridian M1 active speakers or even the 1989 Meridian DPS D600 but are a tiny fraction of the size. The features are knock your socks off. The volume levels hit 108db rock concert wall of speakers level for something not even a boot high. At that level the D600 distort and the M1 switch out to protect you from the threshold of pain (it is real as the bass just starts to vibrate your stomach and last meal then bang silence).
They are clear and controlled from a whisper to the top volume settings. Even after many hours listing the initial good impression remains. The fact that you can connect over bluetooth, wi-fi or direct RJ45 Ethernet cable and use IOS, Android, Mac or PC to control it or from anyone at the same time - your choice. But ...
The Devialet Phantoms don’t even show you when they are powered and the software is the pits. Features that should never have got through bug testing. After a month’s use and getting used to the computer controlling them the PC application refuses to load. Bug one on the laptop – will not take scaled fonts and on a 3840x2160 11” screen you can’t click on the options and at the normal 200% font scale the menu misses out letters leaving blank spaces. Bug two – you can’t click on a network drive to select a music file, only a local drive. Bug three – you can’t play a movie on a big screen (which my desktop is set up to do). There are of course ways around most problems and ultimately the Devialets might prove their worth but the interface and control has to be easier to understand and not by hiding what it is doing from the user. Bug four - if you set up Bluetooth connections then selecting the optical input from the TV or media computer Spark will randomly deselect and return to Bluetooth.
Even so, you might want to listen to what is undoubtedly the world’s best Bluetooth speaker. Get a pair and Dialog or if you can wangle the control of five for a full surround sound system. Five speakers pumping up at 4500 watts each and you would not need central heating in an Alaskan winter. You might also get the use of an empty warehouse – a guy has to turn up the volume. The neighbours two blocks away would be grateful you not doing it from your home.
When the app (Spark) has the bugs removed it would be really nice.
Reason not to buy, other than said app, watch your electricity bill rise. They run hot, very hot and even with no signal do not power down to stand-by. B&W PV1 can do this. They take a moment to switch back on from standby but use next to nothing in power when there is no signal. Not so the Phantom Gold.