Your experience and recommendations re Phantom I 108 DB (pair)

Hi,I am using Roon since years and I am considering getting a pair of Phantom I 108 DB (each on a tree stand), connected by ethernet cable. I have a very solid home network (up to 10GB/s…), Aruba wifi 6, Rock on Nuc etc. This is to replace the very reliable and easy to setup Sonos Play 5s in the living room, with the family members familiar using Roon. Now the question: what is your experience with the Phantom Is? Is the pairing of the Phantom’s natively possible? How (I don’t want to do it via Airplay)? Which firmware revision are you using, is it any stable? Keen to get your insights on quality, reliability, ease of use…

I’m quite happy with my Phantom I 108’s. I upgraded from an older version, and the new ones have been much better. That said, there are lots of people who seem to have issues with their configurations. My own experience has only seen intermittent problems in weird extremes (e.g. when streaming live radio via a very inconsistent internet connection to grouped endpoints).

They support Roon as a native endpoint, so it’s easy to configure. You can also use Airplay, but it’s obviously not the highest quality way to connect the Phantoms.

I have had my Phantom Golds for about four years now after taking advantage of an offer to upgrade my original ‘Classic’ Phantoms in October 2017.

Unlike the first pair these have proven largely reliable over the years connected via Wi-Fi to my Roon core running on a sonicTransporter and playing a mixture of local files from my NAS (CD rips and hi rez downloads) and streaming Qobuz. My network is extremely robust, which may have helped me avoid some of the problems others have reported, hard to know.

I have installed all the firmware updates pretty much on release and as I say compared to many others here I have had a relatively smooth ride. The final puzzle piece fell into place for me when Devialet finally released RAAT support. I had some minor issues with the early firmware releases but nothing like the real nightmares you can read about over on Devialet Chat.

I strongly suspect (based only on circumstantial evidence) that one of the keys to happiness with Phantoms is to get units of the same hardware generation. Check the serial numbers on purchase and try to get as close together as possible but under no circumstances differing in the first 3 characters which are the year (codified as a letter) and week of manufacture. The rationale is that units manufactured the same week should reasonably be of the same hardware generation and should therefore behave consistently.

Yes, there have been occasional bumps in the road, but I weigh that against the constantly (if slowly) evolving firmware and improving functionality. And yes, Devialet ownership can be frustrating at times and their communications and support sometimes belie the luxury image their marketing works so hard to create. But my Phantoms still sound as good as the day I bought them and on balance I would say I am happy with my purchase.

I currently have (more or less) the system you’re considering: a pair of Phantom I 108 DB speakers connected via Ethernet and playing through Roon. Although some of the older Phantoms (I had a pair of Classics before upgrading) were occasionally unreliable with various firmware versions, the newer ones have been rock-solid in my experience. With the current speakers, I don’t think we’ve had a single hiccup in six months. And setting them up with Roon couldn’t be easier: after the speakers are configured and on your network, just add them as native (i.e., RAAT) audio devices in Roon.

The new Phantom remotes are also great and work well with Roon.