Benq TreVolo

A quirkily designed electrostatic-based Bluetooth speaker

Image: Hugh Threlfall

BenQ is a rather nice Taiwanese electronics maker; I went through a long period around the turn of the century of loving its JoyBook PC laptops. The TreVolo – its first home audio product – is a very useful portable Bluetooth speaker, and it’s a beauty.

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Its quirky design reminds me of those buildings in Taipei that look like weird ornaments on your grandmother’s mantelpiece. But the fold-out “wings” aren’t just odd for odd’s sake – they are electrostatic speaker panels, the wafer-thin type that makes for incredibly detailed top and middle sounds. This is, in fact, the only electrostatic-based Bluetooth speaker on the market.

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The TreVolo instantly sounds different – give it anything from vocals to piano concertos and it sounds haunting and sweet. But for bass, it’s not ideal; it has good bass panels, they just aren’t its raison d’être. It isn’t amazingly loud, either, which for desktop use is fine. Indeed, as I write, it’s perched at ear height and playing astonishing well – and quite loud enough. You can also use the TreVolo as a speakerphone, its built-in noise-cancelling microphone being spot on for noisy environments.

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