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BenQ treVolo Electrostatic Bluetooth Speaker Preview

BenQ treVolo in Silver

BenQ treVolo in Silver


  • Product Name: treVolo
  • Manufacturer: BenQ
  • Review Date: December 29, 2014 11:30
  • MSRP: $299
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Dimensions  - 6.9 x 5.3 x 3.1 inches (Closed)
  • Weight  - 2.6 lbs
  • Colors - Black and Silver
  • Anodized aluminum casing with black mesh electrostatic panels
  • Integrated noise-canceling microphone enables you to sound crystal clear on your phone. 
  • Rechargeable battery with up to 12 hours of continuous play
  • LED battery status indicator – blue/green/red
  • Input Connections
    • Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX support up to 30 feet
    • Micro USB Digital Audio connections
    • 3.5mm analog connection
    • Analog line out for audio pass through 

BenQ has long been known as a quality brand when it comes to projectors. We've tested a number of their models and have always walked away impressed. When we saw that BenQ had a new product to show off at CES 2015, we thought we'd be looking at another projector. Imagine our surprise when it turned out to be a portable Bluetooth speaker - an electrostatic one at that.

Small, portable speakers are all the rage these days. Everyone seems to be offering them. We can't remember the last time we walked into a friend's home and they didn't have some sort of wireless speaker somewhere. The convenience of these small speakers can't be exaggerated. Connecting wirelessly from your phone, tablet, or computer is the pinnacle of convenience. Add to that a rechargeable battery and you have a speaker that is convenient around the house and on the go.

With new Bluetooth speakers constantly coming to the market, it's imperative that a new offering has something that makes it unique. BenQ has done this with the addition of electrostatic drivers.

treVolo Front-black

Right at home on the set of any sci-fi movie - especially if it flies and shoots lasers

First, let's talk about the basics. The treVolo has the Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX streaming. This allows CD-quality wireless streaming from your compatible devices. The battery promises up to 12 hours of continuous play. In terms of physical connectivity, the treVolo boasts a micro-USB port and 3.5mm input, and an analog line out for audio pass through (also 3.5mm). The unit is 6.9 by 5.3 by 3.1 inches with the speakers closed (and 13.7 inches across with the speakers out by our calculations) and 2.6 pounds. It has an integrated mic with noise canceling for receiving calls. The treVolo sports an anodized aluminum enclosure with black mesh electrostatic panels.

The electrostatic panels are what make the treVolo so unique. First, the design is sure to catch the eye of those that know nothing about electrostats. The panels swing out revealing the ultra-thin driver. Electrostats are a true di-pole design meaning there will be sound coming from both the front and the back of the panel. Electrostatic drivers operate by moving an extremely light and thin diaphram with magnets. The entire panel is the driver. Because of their low mass, electrostatic drivers are known for clarity. They are also known to be highly directional and very difficult to get bass from. To learn more, check out AV Rant's interview with David Janszen, one of the foremost experts on electrostatic drivers. To augment the electrostats, BenQ has added two woofers and two passive radiators to the small box. The treVolo has four amplifiers to provide the needed juice.

treVolo side

Looks cools from any angle - also, looks a bit like an indoor antenna

In addition, BenQ has equipped the treVolo with three different listening modes - Pure, Warm, and Vivid (names they seemed to have taken from their projectors). Pure allows for the most accurate sound, Warm rolls off the highs and boosts the bass, and Vivid seems to be a midrange boost mode. BenQ describes Vivid as:

Subtly emphasizes lead instruments such as vocals, guitars, horns and strings. Brings out more detail in vocal harmonies, massed strings and complex multi-tracked recordings.

We imagine this might be one of the best sounding portable speakers ever to hit the market. The only problems we anticipate are the fragility of the electrostatic wings and off-axis response. We are anxious to get a hold of a review sample to give you a full report. At $299, the treVolo looks like a very interesting product for BenQ.

For more information, please visit info.benq.us/benqtrevolo.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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