BenQ treVolo Wireless Portable Electrostatic Bluetooth Speaker - JAMES KERRIDGE Review


Sony EMI Publishing Composer

When I unboxed the BenQ treVolo, I knew immediately that there was a different personality about this unit. The design and form of the speaker connection and the smooth metal housing really made me feel like I was holding something substantial.
The electrostatic wing design of the unit is unique and interesting. But I was quite curious about the tone because this was the first time I had seen an electrostatic speaker on any portable unit.
Of course, as I do with all new speakers, I decided to audition a few of my favorite albums on it to get a feel for how it handles sound and different genres of music. To do this, I always use stand-by albums that I’ve been listening to my whole life. First among these would be “Dark Side of the Moon,” by Pink Floyd.
Because my father came from London, I grew up listening to lots of British rock at home. For that genre, many audiophiles consider “Dark Side of the Moon” to be among the best analogue recordings from the classic rock era. From start to finish, the treVolo delivered great playback of this classic album.
It had balanced frequencies, but I noticed in particular that the midrange frequencies that are so signature in British rock, really came through nicely and represented the genre very accurately.
As a guitarist, I’m always noticing the guitar’s subtle nuances on recordings, and I’m aware of the details as they get played back on different systems. And I’m happy to say, David Gilmour’s guitar solos on the tracks Time, and Money, sounded amazing on the BenQ treVolo.
The second album I decided to demo on the BenQ treVolo was a jazz record by Miles Davis, called “Relaxin'.” This album is perfect for when you want to sit back, relax, and really fall in love with jazz.
The signature timbre of Miles's trumpet was crystal clear from the first song, “If I Were a Bell,” and the tone of his horn is easily distinguishable on the treVolo as one of the most classic voices in Jazz. The BenQ treVolo is really well suited for jazz playback at home.
Lastly, I wanted to get a feel for how current pop vocals would sound on the treVolo. So I put on some Maroon 5 because their catalog of hits represents current American pop genre, and their production is top-of-the-line for what the recording industry can produce for modern pop artists today.
Their latest single called “This Summer’s Gonna to Hurt…” showcases the song’s clear vocals, deep drums, and pulsing base. The playback of Maroon 5 on the treVolo tells me that this system can also handle the low frequencies with its central woofers, while remaining balanced by focusing the mids and high frequencies for vocal playback through the electrostatic wing speakers.
This separation of speakers based on frequency is key to the unit design, and allows for real sonic separation to be audible in the listening experience. The BenQ treVolo seamlessly fits together all the instruments of the band into a wide stereo field, and highlights the vocal in the upper middle frequencies. There was almost no distortion rate or muddiness, even at higher volumes.
As a composer and a producer, I always listen closely for the blend of instruments in a song mix. Is there space? Is there depth? Is there dimension? How do the frequencies and timbre of each instrument combine to mix melody and harmony, and become great recordings? These ideas are at the heart of any top grade recording and music production.
I was happy to find out that the BenQ treVolo handles these elements flawlessly, based on a wide variety of playback, while covering the different music genres in my collection.
I must say, I am deeply satisfied with the playback performance of the BenQ treVolo and it gave great performances of my favorite albums! Whether I’m in the mood for acoustic, jazz, vocals, or strings, the treVolo speaker clarity translates over a wide variety of genres.