Devialet Gemini II review: 5 things to know
Luxurious looks, stunning sound - the devil's in the Devialet...
There's no shortage of noise-cancelling earphones to try and grab your attention right now, so if you want to stand out from a rather crowded crowd, then you need to do something a little different.
Enter the Devialet Gemini II. These are Devialet's premium earphones that aim to deliver both on sound and build quality.
These are, after all, noise-cancelling earphones from the makers of the spectacular Devialet Phantom, a speaker that looks straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey and is one of the most powerful around.
I've been using the Devialet Gemini II for a few weeks now - here are 5 things to know...
1. Design is desirable, discrete
Devialet is an audio company that prides itself on design and the second generation of Gemini looks smarter - and smaller - compared to the first.
The ear buds themselves are now smaller than the previous iteration (there's been a 40% reduction in size), and curvier too, which means they rest in the ear that little bit better.
Those expecting Devialet's normal visual flourishes will be disappointed here. Granted, they look stylish but these are not ear buds that have been designed to stand out. They are, instead, both desirable and discrete.
There are some nice flourishes - the new case fits better in the pocket and we prefer the flip top to the previous slider version.
Also, I like the Devialet logo on each side of the ear buds which stands out nicely, whether you opt for a white or black colour.
The lozenge shape is sleek, too, and those who want a little bit of opulence can opt for the Opéra de Paris special edition, which comes complete with 24-carat moon gold plating on both the ear buds and the case.
2. Setup is simple
It took seconds to set up the Devialet Gemini II, thanks to Google Fast Pair. Bluetooth 5.2 is on board so you can have these setup on multiple devices, while switching between devices is easy.
You can download the Devialet app for more sound control. It is in here where you can change the amount of ANC you want. It is also here where you can switch around the touch buttons to your liking.
When it came to the touch controls, they were hit and miss for us. When they worked, they did so brilliantly - there is only a certain part of the ear bud that's touch, though, and that meant we did do more fumbling than normal to get them to work.
There are also audio presets in the app, with six to choose from depending on your listening preferences. You can also play around with the EQ yourself as well.
3. The tech inside is impressive
Devialet has packed an impressive amount of tech into these diddy ear buds. As mentioned, there's Adaptive Noise Cancellation (up to 40dB), Active Wind Reduction - which can really be noticed when you are making voice calls - and a 10mm titanium coated driver to power the music.
They aren't waterproof, but you do get an IPX4 moisture-resistance rating and the earphones are compatible with SBC, AAC, and aptX codecs.
4. Performance is punchy
I was expecting great things from the Devialet Gemini IIs, given the company's sound heritage, and they delivered. Sound was as punchy as it comes, backed by some of the best ANC I have user in a pair of in-ears.
The warm synths of Trust Your Feet by James Holden were delivered through a delicious wall of sound, thanks to the Gemini II, and when the bass kicks in it felt like a thump to the chest.
Irreversible Entanglements' Sunshine was a jazz-tinge masterclass in sound. The shivering percussion sounded immense while the sad sax sauntered throughout the track. Again, when the bass hit, it was with a thump.
My Girls My Girls by The Kills was propulsive, with Alison Mosshart's fantastic voice soaring above the drums and guitar - given this song has sounded a little muddied on rival headphones, I was impressed.
There's a massive soundstage with the Gemini IIs which is surprising, given their size. I did feel they were tuned more to the bass end, but if this isn't how you like to hear your music then you can go into the settings in the app and rectify this. It was just the right sound for this reviewer, though.
The three variations on ANC worked well for me - I am a stickler on having ANC on full whack, though, and I mostly kept it on this setting as it really did drown out most of the unwanted sounds for me, whether I was on my commute or just walking around.
5. Battery could be better
Devialet has added wireless charging to these earbuds, which is a nice touch, but I was hoping for more than the 5 hours' playback on a single charge. I get that ANC is a battery sapper but there are plenty of earphones out there that last for longer.
Saying that, you do get some 22 hours' charge in the case and that's how most people will use these earbuds - keeping them charged up in the case, then charging the case where and when needed.
Devialet Gemini II: Final Verdict
Devialet has made some important improvements with its Devialet Gemini II ear buds. Reducing the size of the things, improving the case and tweaking the audio have made these into a very compelling pair of ear buds.
The noise cancelling on board is fantastic and these more than compete with the crowd when it comes to audio quality.
While the price is premium, there is a lot to admire about what Devialet has delivered here.
- Need something to listen to? Then head to our best rock albums list.