Do you know how a speaker works? Or do you just sit back and listen to the sound coming from a box or tube? The physics behind moving air in regulated patterns is fascinating. (Oh, and by the way, all of those space movies and TV shows are breaking the laws of physics since space is airless and sound waves cannot travel through a vacuum – that explosion you hear in the movies? That’s Hollywood at its finest! But I digress.) A majority of speakers on the market today use this process of a flexible dome or cone vibrating and moving air to produce sound. But there are some other speakers, like the BenQ treVolo S, that employ a newer and different type of technology to produce rich, crisp, and clear sound. It’s an electrostatic speaker. How does it work? And more importantly, how does it sound? Read on for more! (*Disclosure below)
Before I dive into my review of the BenQ treVolo S electrostatic speaker, let’s do a quick explainer on how traditional speakers (electromagnetic) and electrostatic speakers work. First, let’s talk about electromagnetic speakers. The concept is fairly simple. There are 3 fundamental parts to an electromagnetic speaker: the cone, the coil, and the magnet. The cone is on the front of the speaker which consists of fabric or paper or a flexible material. You can think of the cone as a type of drum. The outer part of the cone is essentially fixed to the full speaker, making it immobile. And the inner part (more at the center) is attached to an iron coil which, in turn, is in front of a magnet. The magnet is attached to the back of the speaker, also immobile. So, the only part that moves is the inner part of the cone that has the iron coil.