Jay Z’s Roc Nation label is among a large group of investors that have thrown money at a Paris-based audio hardware startup – all in the name of superior sound.
The company Devialet has raised a total of $106 million in funding toward its nearly decade-long effort to improve digital sound quality, reports Variety.
Joining Roc Nation among the pool of investors are Chinese electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn, Renault, Sharp and Playground Global, the venture capital company founded by Andy Rubin, the inventor of Google’s Android mobile operating system.
In 2010, Devialet produced its first product, a very pricey amplifier that promised audiophiles pristine sound.
“There is no distortion, no noise,” said Devialet co-founder Quentin Sannié.
Devialet also built a speaker based on that technology, which sells for a staggering $2000 at Apple stores and elsewhere. “It’s not a cheap product,” admitted Sannié. “It’s luxury experience.”
However, the speaker is based on custom-designed chipsets that could potentially power much less expensive products, including TV sets, mobile phones and car stereo systems. “It could be an affordable technology,” said Sannié.
Devialet is now getting ready to license these chipsets to partners, which will likely include investors like Sharp and Foxconn. Sannié said that consumers may be able to buy first products powered by his company’s technology as early as next September.
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(Photo Source: AP)