French audio manufacturer Devialet is not yet a household brand in the United States because it is best recognized for its Phantom series of wireless speakers. The brand is famed for sounding excellent but cost well over $1,000 each.
Devialet has collaborated with a multinational firm Safran to develop a new customized speaker system, Euphony, that can be made specifically into the headrests of an aeroplane seat. This will, in theory, provide each passenger with their personal sound system.
However, it is unclear how private each passenger’s system will truly be. As if the factors that make flying an unpleasant experience weren’t long enough, this innovation is yet another addition to the list.
It will be difficult to convince customers of the value of purchasing such a product when competitors such as Google and Amazon are producing relatively affordable wireless smart speakers. They are doing it in an effort to corner the market on smart assistants.
Recently, Devialet has begun to extend its product lineup by releasing a novel-looking all-in-one sound bar called the Dione, and a set of wireless earbuds called the Gemini. Both of these new products are priced similarly to the company’s previous offerings.
The most recent effort made by the corporation to attract new customers does not include the sale of a product that customers can actually purchase. But rather a service that customers may be able to try out if they are ready to spend more money on a trip.
According to the sources, Devialet has teamed with Safran. Safran is a firm that develops a wide variety of products, including landing gear, toilets, and even air-to-surface missiles.
Additionally, the firm has a department known as Safran Seats, which is devoted to producing a wide range of seats for passenger aircraft. This includes those used in business class and private first-class cabins.
The overall concept is to eliminate the need for passengers to use headphones while enjoying the in-flight show. This ensures that pronouncements from the crew and pilots may be readily heard and not drowned out.
Seats that create a private surround in-seat sound experience are not a novel concept. But luxury systems such as the Flexound Pulse employ a mix of high walls around each chair and vibrating soundboards and drivers integrated into the cushions to prevent sound leaking between seats.
In business or first class, where seats are packed closely together, there is a good chance that passengers will hear at least a little bit of what their fellow passengers are trying to listen to, and vice versa.
When the Euphony system begins appearing in flights next year, we’ll likely have more motivation than ever to pay for a set of excellent ANC headphones. As much as we’d want to avoid wearing headphones for the duration of an entire trip.
Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.