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One of the loudest Bluetooth speakers I've tested is also one of the most affordable

If you just want big sound and don't obsess over high-quality audio, the Treblab HD77 is a durable Bluetooth speaker that's right up your alley.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Treblab HD77 portable speaker.

The Treblab HD77 is small but mighty.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Treblab HD77 Bluetooth speaker is available on Amazon for $69 ($59 if you're an Amazon Prime member.)
  • It has big sound from a small package, and is durable enough to take a beating.
  • Sound is very mid-range-y and lacks much in the way of bass.

I can be a bit of an audio snob. I like what I like, and there's no getting around it. The thing is, I've spent enough time working on incredibly expensive sound systems to know what good audio sounds like. I've also had the pleasure of curating my own setup of audio equipment that brings brilliant life to all my favorite music.

At the same time, I also understand that not only is everyone's taste different, but not everyone cares about audiophile-grade equipment. I also realize that convenience often wins out. 

Also: One of the loudest Bluetooth speakers I've tested is not made by Bose or Klipsch

I had to remind myself of that when I first connected the Treblab HD77 portable speaker to my Pixel 8 Pro and played "Analog Kid" by Rush. The sound was filled with the typical overbearing midrange I generally associate with inexpensive speakers. Although that sound didn't change (nor was there any way to EQ it with an app), I quickly realized that there was another compelling reason why this speaker might be of value. I'll explain in a bit.

View at Amazon

Treblab HD77 Bluetooth speaker tech specs

  • 30 Watts (25 Watts RMS)
  • Frequency response: 80Hz - 20kHz
  • Shockproof, dustproof, IPX6 waterproof, and impact-resistant
  • Connects via Bluetooth (5.0) or with the supplied 3.5 mm cable
  • Built-in mics for phone calls
  • 20 hours of battery life on full charge
  • TWS Mode to connect 2 speakers for stereo sound
  • Includes carabiner and strap
  • LED lights for ambiance
  • On device music controls
  • Dimensions - 7.3 x 3 x 3 in
  • Price: $69 on Amazon

My experience

I've become accustomed to Bluetooth speakers that are not only overflowing with features (such as custom EQ via apps) but also sound capable of rivaling bookshelf speakers costing considerably more. So when I first connected the HD77 to my phone and pressed play on my go-to test song, I was taken aback by how tinny the sound was. 

Also: This wireless portable speaker delivers gloriously smooth sound without much distortion

It was almost as though Treblab opted for an inverted sound curve with the bass and treble below the mids. That's great for spoken word (such as podcasts and audiobooks) and phone calls, but not so much for music.

I was about to put the kibosh on the review until I realized two things: This little speaker can get pretty loud. Although it can't reach the volume of, say, the JBL Xtreme 4, given its petite size, but the level of sound it can produce is impressive.

The next issue that caused me to rethink my opinion is that this device can also handle calls (with a Bluetooth connection to your phone) quite well. During my testing, the caller on the other end could hear me just fine, but I had a bit of trouble hearing them. Fortunately, I was able to pump up the volume on my Pixel 8 Pro, solving the problem. Once that was taken care of, the HD77 made for a great hands-free call device.

As far as the sound is concerned, if you're a fan of bass, this speaker is going to be a bit of a disappointment. Given that its low end is 80Hz, it's not capable of dishing out much at the bottom. You'll barely hear kick drums and you certainly won't feel them. Bass guitar on most tracks is also lacking much punch but it is present. 

Also: One of the most immersive speakers I've ever heard is not made by Sonos or JBL

But this is a $69 dollar speaker that is targeted towards people on the go. Take this speaker on a hike, camping, or to a picnic and it'll serve you quite well. 

ZDNET's buying advice

I was initially disappointed by the sound the HD77 produced, but given its size and price, it was silly of me to think it would be capable of standing up to speakers costing twice the price. If you aren't concerned with high fidelity and care more about loudness, toughness, portability, battery life, and using your Bluetooth speaker for calls, the Treblab HD77 is a gem. And at $69, you can't go wrong.

Just don't expect much in the way of separation and you'll enjoy this speaker for what it is: a portable device that can (like Jerry Garcia) take a licking and keep on picking.

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