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BenQ treVolo Electrostatic Bluetooth speaker review – sound is all around

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Getting a big sound out of a small speaker is one of the biggest achievements in audio and that’s exactly what BenQ has done with the new treVolo portable Bluetooth Electrostatic speaker.

BenQ has a lot going on under the hood here including a quad-amplified design and precisely tuned speakers to produce impressive sound.

On the design side, the treVolo really delivers. Let’s face it – it’s hard to do something different with a speaker but BenQ has managed to think outside the square.

For a start, the front of the device has circles cut out of a metal panel with a speaker grille underneath with each of the circles having a polished gold edge that catches the light nicely.

trevolo2

The theme continues on top with circular buttons for volume, play/pause and phone control.

Now when you get the treVolo out of the box it’s about the size of an external hard drive – and also a similar shape.

But on the sides of the chassis are electrostatic panels that swing open like a pair of wings.

The BenQ treVolo before the electrostatic panels are unfolded
The BenQ treVolo before the electrostatic panels are unfolded

These panels have electrostatic diaphragms to help radiate the sound forward and backwards and around the room.

A conventional speaker projects the sound forward but the BenQ treVolo manages to use almost all of its surfaces for bi-directional sound.

This means the quality of the sound will be equal no matter where you’re sitting in relation to the speaker.

And the electrostatic panels in the open position
And the electrostatic panels in the open position

Speaking about the quality of the sound, treVolo produces excellent audio with a lot of crisp detail at the top end and mid-range and a satisfying bass level.

We would have been happier to hear a more solid bass response but the treVolo still punches above its weight. We would have also liked to see more music controls on the top panel to navigate your songs a little easier. For that you’ll need to go back to your smartphone.

And the fact that we could sit the speaker in the middle of the room and enjoy equal sound quality no matter where we sat in the room adds to the device’s credentials.

The top panel controls
The top panel controls

Also onboard is aptX Transmission which maintains the high audio quality when streamed from your device over Bluetooth.

There’s also the BenQ audio app for Android and iOS that gives the listener even more control over their music.

You can set the sound mode to pure, warm or vivid, check the battery level and access your own music on your device by song, album or artist. But whenever we chose Artist the app on our iPhone 6 Plus crashed each time.

And of you get a call while listening to your music, the treVolo can also act as a speakerphone and, once you’ve finished, the music resumes exactly where it left off.

It’s also possible to connect devices with a cable through the Line In port and also through a microUSB cable.

There’s also a Line Out feature so you can connect it to your larger stereo system and turn the device into a Bluetooth receiver.

The rear ports
The rear ports

When connected you can then stream your music wirelessly from your smartphone to the treVolo which will then play it through your larger stereo system.

The BenQ treVolo speaker has a rechargeable battery onboard that can run for up to 12 hours on a full charge.

VERDICT

The BenQ treVolo ticks the boxes in terms of design and sound quality and will please even the fussiest listeners.

BenQ treVolo

Price: $399