The Devialet Gemini costs £279, but aside from the three patented innovations, there isn’t much about its basic features that makes it stand out from competitors with similar price tags. The Bluetooth 5.0-enabled earbuds support the SBC, AAC, and aptX codecs and function wirelessly.
However, they fall short of Bowers & Wilkins and Sony alternatives since they do not support more sophisticated codecs like aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, and LDAC. The Gemini, however, show Devialet’s great sense of design and are very attractive objects. They are nevertheless appealing despite not having an appearance that is nearly as bizarre as the French manufacturer’s Phantom line of wireless speakers, which wouldn’t look out of place tooting around in a Star Wars movie.
The buds are lozenge-shaped, and the bottom half of their exterior surface is covered in circular touchpads bearing the company’s emblem. The black housing of the buds contrasts wonderfully with the other half of the case, which is a reflective silvery grey. The charging case is one of the biggest available, measuring 58 x 74 x 31mm (WDH), but it can be topped up wirelessly and is well-designed, with a sliding lid that is simply pushed open by placing your thumb on a rough grip. The case gives the buds three full charges, and with ANC turned on, they can last up to six hours between charges. You could get up to 24 hours of playback in all, which isn’t bad.
One battery status LED, located on the front of the case, flashes green when there is more than 50% battery life left, orange when there is less than 50% battery life left, and red when there is dangerously little battery life left. The same LED patterns on the charging case will indicate you how much power the earbuds still have, but for the most part, I chose to use the Gemini app to get a more precise estimate. A small pressable button located below the LED activates pairing mode for the earbuds when it is held down for a few seconds.
Devialet Gemini review: Design
The Gemini’s peculiar appearance is due to how non-Devialet they are. The Gemini don’t appear particularly impressive considering the firm is primarily renowned for its curved, helmet-shaped speakers and chrome-finished amplifiers.
That does not imply that they are uninteresting to look at. The huge oval shape of the earbud housing was chosen primarily to preserve a strong noise-isolating presence. However, the part that faces outwardly has a distinctive metal alloy sheen and is stamped with the Devialet brand. It’s a strange mash-up, and the Gemini would unquestionably look different if Devialet had been going for a different aesthetic. The Gemini’s peculiar appearance is due to how non-Devialet they are. The Gemini don’t appear particularly impressive considering the firm is primarily renowned for its curved, helmet-shaped speakers and chrome-finished amplifiers.
That does not imply that they are uninteresting to look at. The huge oval shape of the earbud housing was chosen primarily to preserve a strong noise-isolating presence. However, the part that faces outwardly has a distinctive metal alloy sheen and is stamped with the Devialet brand. It’s a strange mash-up, and the Gemini would unquestionably look different if Devialet had been going for a different aesthetic.
Devialet Gemini review: Features
Although the Devialet Gemini app is attractive, it isn’t as fully equipped as some class-leading earbuds at this price point. Your earphones are shown on the home screen, along with their battery life and options for noise cancellation, neutral, and transparency. When you select “Cancellation,” you are offered the choices of “low,” “high,” and “plane.” Devialet deserves praise for its great level of effective noise suppression at this point.
In order to maintain optimal interior pressure at all times without compromising noise attenuation, the company’s innovative unique Pressure Balance Architecture uses “cascading decompression chambers inside the device.” Furthermore, to prevent outside noise from entering the system, each chamber is covered with a specially designed acoustic mesh.
This offers considerable improvements in noise cancellation when combined with Devialet’s brand-new proprietary internal delay compensation algorithm, which aims to account for the internal hold-up produced by a noise cancellation loop. Whatever the company has done to make it possible, using the “plane” on a busy street with multiple buses and cars passing by results in a nearly silent experience without any uncomfortable vacuum or wind tunnel effects.
Similar to this, whether we choose the transparency mode in either low or high, undesired noise is filtered in, at varying volumes, but never with the addition of brightness or harshness to our music, a problem some in-ears can have. A six-band equaliser tab with six presets or the opportunity to create your own is located in the top right corner of the home screen under the equaliser tab.
Devialet Gemini review: Connectivity and controls
The Bluetooth earbuds are simple to pair with my iPhone. Simple touch controls let you start and stop music with a single tap on either earbud. Double tapping on the right advances you one track, while double tapping on the left takes you back one track. Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and transparency modes can be switched by pressing either bud for a long time.
The size of the buds is a drawback in my opinion, especially when they start to come out. There isn’t much room for manoeuvre when I try to push them back in, so I usually have to pause my music. The best course of action is to make sure the earbuds are securely in place before playing any music.
Since there is no room to swipe or add physical buttons, the buds cannot regulate volume either. Only the Gemini app provides access to further options, which include volume adjustment, sound equalisation, and a scroll between ANC, neutral, and transparency. Through the app, you can also activate Siri or Google Assistant.
Devialet Gemini review: Sound Quality
AptX Bluetooth is more than capable of transferring some lovely high-resolution audio files to the Devialet. Some of what the Gemini can achieve is fairly astounding, especially with a MQA-powered Tidal Masters file of Sons of Kemet’s Pick Up Your Burning Cross on board. Some, however, aren’t quite as outstanding.
Since the “positives” column is presumably a little longer, it seems appropriate to start there. The Gemini exhibit genuine control and resolution despite the fact that this is a rather frantic, multi-layered recording that appears to be performed by players who are all actively battling with one another. On a stage that is very crowded and filled with activity, they manage to give each musician some space while confidently describing the “start” and “stop” of particular notes. Despite giving each recording component its own space, the Devialet nonetheless manages to deliver a sense of organic connectivity. It’s even more amazing when you consider that the Gemini by no means describes the biggest soundstage.
The percussive sounds feel robust and purposeful at the top of the frequency range, but there is a pleasing lack of hardness or grit in these treble sounds. On the other hand, the bass has a rich texture, is deep, and has great straight edges into and out of notes and hits without any overhang. The middle is similarly thorough, well-organized, and persuasive between those points.
The same song gives the Gemini the chance to demonstrate some outstanding dynamic potency, both in terms of the “quiet/loud/louder yet” characteristics and the more subtle harmonic dynamics that jazz recordings frequently feature. They are very skilled with rhythms, and when a recording becomes restrained and quiet, they remove extraneous noises from the mix.
Devialet Gemini review: Noise cancellation and ambient listening
The active noise suppression on the Devialet leaves a good impression. The ANC itself does a fantastic job of cancelling out high and low frequencies in the background, even though the physical hardware design doesn’t provide a stable, noise-isolating fit for extended periods of time.
Three ANC settings are available in total: low, high, and plane. Although I couldn’t identify any difference between the latter two, the outcome kept the experience immersive. On the other end of the spectrum, the low and high transparency settings emphasise the noises in your immediate environment without a discernible hiss from the microphones. All things considered, Gemini are a strong contender in this space, matching the Apple AirPods Pro and MW08s and providing you with a flexible listening experience that is useful no matter what you are doing.
Devialet Gemini review: Battery life
According to Devialet, the earphones can be charged for six hours per charge and the case can be charged for 18 hours. With 60% volume, we were able to easily get 7 hours of battery life while running. With podcasts, Zoom meetings, and music streaming services, we could easily go through 3–4 days of usage in the real world. We thought the Qi wireless charging case was a handy item to have.
Devialet Gemini review: Price and availability
For $299 / £279, Devialet Gemini active noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds are currently on sale you can buy this product from amazon. That comes to about $390 in AU, with Australian pricing to be determined. That is roughly comparable to other genuine wireless in-ear headphones from specialised brands. We’re not accustomed to Devialet items being priced so affordably. For instance, the company’s most recent Phantom I speaker costs $3,200, £2,790, or $5,490.
Due to some incredibly odd selections, Devialet has made it quite difficult for me to like the Gemini earphones. These are just not suitable for everyday use due to their uncomfortable bulky case, unusual earbud design, which makes them uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and iffy call quality as a result of such design.
This is a real shame, as if the excellent audio quality and effective noise suppression weren’t present, I would be giving these headphones a much higher rating. Before that hefty price tag is justified, Devialet needs to go back to the drawing board and address these issues.