BenQ - better known for their projectors and monitors – has made a splash with the treVolo, their first Bluetooth speaker. While a bit late to the scene, the treVolo offers a first for the market: Electrostatic drivers. Audiophiles and critics alike praise the technology for producing large amounts of sound and audio clarity from a thin, flat surface. In the past, these drivers were reserved for multi-thousand dollar sound systems but the release of the treVolo makes this technology accessible to everyone for a fraction of the price.
At 6.9 x 3.1 x 5.3 inches and weighing 2.6 pounds the treVolo is portable, but critics add it isn't something you can slip into your pockets. The central core of the speaker houses the two 2.5-inch woofers while the pièce de résistance – the electrostatic panels – folds out from the sides. Covering the electrostats is a plastic screen for protection, which experts describe as "somewhat flimsy" though they add the overall build quality is fairly solid. On top of the device are the control buttons: power, play/pause, listen mode and volume. As a portable device, it is equipped with a built-in battery that lasted experts around 12 hours though the times varied depending on the volume level they used.
The electrostatic panels aren't just for their aesthetics. They are known to deliver crisp and clear audio and the treVolo delivers the same quality in a small package. Digital Trends sings its praises stating, "The treVolo is capable of delivering some absolutely gorgeous moments of sonic brilliance…with crystalline detail." Even at lower frequencies critics were able to get relatively good reproduction though they did experience some distortion with during heavy bass moments. The biggest flaw they noticed was its low volume, which was especially surprising considering its four active drivers. Critics traced the origin of this to the digital signal processing (DPS) limiter, which would adjust the volume of the music to keep the drivers from distorting. This often led to what critics describe as a pumping effect throughout the song.
Critics can't give the BenQ treVolo an overwhelming recommendation due to the DSP and weak bass. However, PC Mag states, "the treVolo is worth a listen if you value clarity above all else." Geek Beat adds, "…nothing competes with the BenQ treVolo in terms of sound quality, good looks or coolness factor."