Electrostatic… Bluetooth?

Electrostatic speakers might not be the most obvious drivers to use in a Bluetooth speaker, but that’s exactly what BenQ has done with the eVolo.

Wait… BenQ? That BenQ?

Yep, that BenQ.

Perhaps best known for their excellent budget projectors, BenQ is jumping into a new product arena with the eVolo. It’s a semi-portable Bluetooth speaker that can also double as a desktop audio system. The fact that it uses electrostatic transducers is what’s especially notable.

Kind of like Oppo jumping into the headphone market with a serious pair of planar magnetic headphones, BenQ is aiming for the audiophile darling of electrostats. A bold move, that.

It’s too big to be portable the way a Jambox is, but at 2.6 pounds it’s easy enough to bring to where you’re going. Even better, the panels fold inwards, like elephant ears, so the whole thing is easier to tote around.

Despite electrostats being, typically, very power hungry. BenQ claims the eVolo has a 12 hour battery life.

The Bluetooth is version 4.1, and there’s aptX support (for what that’s worth). If you want to go the wired route, there’s also analog and USB (which you can connect to a computer, and it will play files up to 16bit/48k). There are mics with noise cancelling for speakerphone use.

BenQ claims “Quad-amplified design with a precision-matched woofer/radiator system for crisp, tight bass.” While electrostats can produce some fantastically realistic treble, small electrostats don’t produce a lot of bass. So for those all about the bass, there are two 2.5-inch woofers with two passive radiators. Not exactly what you’d find in a subwoofer, but there are some small Bluetooth speakers with drivers that size that produce a surprising amount of the low stuff. Each of the four amps (on for each driver) are 10-watts, Class D, and have DSP.

The eVolo ships in November for $300.