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TREBLAB HD-Max Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Apr 13, 2022 at 12:19 pm
TREBLAB HD-Max Picture
6.2
Music
5.6
Videos/Movies
7.1
Podcasts
2.6
Voice Assistant
6.8
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The TREBLAB HD-Max is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a similar design to the TREBLAB HD77 and the JBL Xtreme 3. It's well-built with an IPX6 rating for water resistance that certifies it for protection against direct contact with water for up to three minutes, so you can take it outdoors with you without needing to worry about it getting a bit wet. It comes with a removable carrying strap that has a built-in bottle opener, so you can enjoy drinks with friends while you're playing your favorite songs. Its long-lasting battery life also makes it great for long listening sessions spent outdoors. It comes with three sound modes: 'Indoor,' Outdoor,' and 'Bass Boost.' With its 'Indoor' preset selected, the stereo speaker has some boom in its bass range, and its somewhat balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. That said, it lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like hip-hop, and there isn't a graphic EQ to tweak its sound to your liking.

Our Verdict

6.2 Music

The TREBLAB HD-Max is passable for music. With its 'Indoor' preset selected, this stereo speaker has some boom in the bass range, and its mid-range is somewhat balanced, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. However, it still lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble typically present in bass-heavy music like hip-hop or EDM. Unfortunately, aside from its presets, there aren't more robust sound customization features like a graphic EQ to tweak its sound to your liking. It also has middling directivity, resulting in a narrow and directional-sounding soundstage.

Pros
  • EQ presets.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Lacks low-bass.
5.6 Videos/Movies

The TREBLAB HD-Max is middling for watching videos and movies. While its Bluetooth latency with iOS devices is too high for watching videos without syncing issues, it performs better with Android devices. However, some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary. With its 'Indoor' mode enabled, it also lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. While the HD-Max can get loud, there's some compression present at max volume that degrades the quality of your audio as you increase its volume.

Pros
  • EQ presets.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • High latency with iOS devices.
  • Narrow soundstage.
7.1 Podcasts

The TREBLAB HD-Max is decent for podcasts. It's pretty portable, so you can easily move your audiobook or podcast from room to room. With its 'Indoor' preset enabled, it has a somewhat balanced mid-range that ensures voices and dialogue reproduce clearly and accurately in the mix. That said, higher-pitched voices sound both dull and harsh at times due to the recessed low-treble range, and there isn't a graphic EQ you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It also has middling directivity, so you can't hear your audio as clearly from all angles.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Excellent portability.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Compression present at max volume.
2.6 Voice Assistant

The TREBLAB HD-Max doesn't support voice assistants.

6.8 Outdoors

The TREBLAB HD-Max is alright for outdoor use. It's rated IPX6 for water resistance, meaning it's certified for protection against direct contact with water for up to three minutes, so you don't have to worry about it getting a bit wet from some light rain when taking it outdoors with you. It can get loud enough to fill a large space with sound, and its long-lasting battery life is great for long listening sessions spent outdoors. Unfortunately, with its 'Indoors' preset enabled, it lacks a thumpy low-bass, and there aren't more comprehensive sound customization features like a graphic EQ to adjust its sound to your liking. The manufacturer says you can use its 'Outdoor' mode to boost its treble and its 'Bass Boost' mode to bump up its bass.

Pros
  • Excellent portability.
  • IPX6 rating for water resistance.
  • Long-lasting battery life.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Compression present at max volume.
  • 6.2 Music
  • 5.6 Videos/Movies
  • 7.1 Podcasts
  • 2.6 Voice Assistant
  • 6.8 Outdoors
  1. Updated Apr 13, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Apr 08, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The TREBLAB HD-Max is a medium-sized portable speaker with a similar design to the TREBLAB HD77, though it's larger and doesn't come with any RGB light rings. It comes with hooks you can use to clip its strap to make the speaker easier to carry. Also, like the JBL Xtreme 3, its strap comes with a built-in bottle opener, which is handy when you want to enjoy music and drinks with friends.

8.8
Design
Portability
Volume
300 in³ (4,920 cm³)
Weight
5.7 lbs (2.6 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The TREBLAB HD-Max has excellent portability. Though it's larger than the TREBLAB HD77, this battery-powered speaker is still fairly lightweight and comes with a removable carrying strap to help bring it along with you when on the go. You can hold it in one hand, though it's a bit less comfortable if you have smaller hands.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Great
Water Resistance
Waterproof (IPx6)
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Yes (IK rating unspecified)
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The TREBLAB HD-Max has great build quality. Like the TREBLAB HD77, the speaker feels solid and sturdy. It has an IPX6 rating for water resistance, certifying it for protection against direct contact with water for up to three minutes. It means you can take it outside with you without needing to worry about it getting a bit wet. There's a sealable flap underneath the speaker to protect its inputs, and like the JBL Xtreme 3, it has hooks built into its sides near its control buttons to clip its removable carrying strap.

7.8
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Decent
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
Yes (Physical)
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The TREBLAB HD-Max has a very good selection of decently easy-to-use, texturized controls. You can use the power button to switch between its wireless and AUX modes and to connect the speaker to another compatible speaker when you want to create a stereo pair. You can also press and hold its volume buttons to skip your tracks or backtrack. You can use its play/pause button to answer and decline phone calls as well as redial the last phone number on your call log. Double-pressing it switches between its three presets: Outdoor, Indoor, and Bass Boost. It's best not to double-press the button too fast since you can unintentionally pause the speaker instead.

Similarly to the TREBLAB HD77, the HD-Max emits audible chimes to inform you when it's on/off, once it's reached max volume, when it gets connected or disconnected from a paired device, and when its battery is low. Its battery indicator lights flash blue when you turn the speaker on and red when you turn it off. You can also quickly press the power button to check the speaker's battery level when it's turned off. When the speaker's 'Indoor' mode is enabled, the light between its power and volume button lights solid blue. For 'Outdoor Mode', it flashes twice, and for 'Bass Boost' mode, it flashes three times. You can see a video of the light flashing for its 'Outdoor' mode here.

Design
In The Box

  • TREBLAB HD-Max speaker
  • User manual
  • TREBLAB sticker
  • 3.5mm AUX cable
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Carrying strap
  • Cable tie

Sound
6.1
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.46
Std. Err.
3.33 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
88.5 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.7 kHz

The TREBLAB HD-Max's frequency response accuracy is passable. Though the overemphasis in the high-bass range provides its sound profile with some boom, it lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble typically present in bass-heavy music like hip-hop or EDM. Its mid-range is somewhat balanced, so vocals and lead instruments reproduce clearly and accurately in the mix. However, higher-pitched vocals and instruments sound alternately dull and harsh due to the recessed low-treble. Unfortunately, aside from its three presets, 'Indoor', 'Outdoor', and 'Bass Boost', there aren't more robust sound customization features like a graphic EQ to adjust its sound to your liking. The manufacturer says you can use its 'Outdoor' mode to boost its treble and its 'Bass Boost' mode to bump up its bass.

Note: The TREBLAB HD-Max was tested horizontally, with its 'Indoor' preset enabled.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
6.6
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
6.25 dB
Stereo
Yes

The TREBLAB HD-Max's soundstage performance is fair. It can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, meaning you can distinguish between its left and right channels. You can also connect it to another compatible speaker to create a stereo pair. It has disappointing directivity, resulting in a soundstage that's perceived as narrow and directional. The overemphasis in the treble range also results in an uneven-sounding soundstage.

Note: The test results represent the most recent version of the TREBLAB HD-Max, that supports Bluetooth 5.0. If you own the older version of this speaker that supports Bluetooth 4.2, you can’t connect it with the newer model to create a stereo pair.

7.0
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
93.2 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.22 dB

The TREBLAB HD-Max has decent dynamics. It can get pretty loud and can easily fill a large room with sound. That said, there's quite a bit of compression present at max volume that degrades the quality of your audio as you bump up the speaker's volume.

Active Features
8.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
22.4 hrs
Charge Time
4.9 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C

The TREBLAB HD-Max's battery performance is great. It lasted over 22 hours from a single charge, which is great for long listening sessions. However, battery performance varies depending on your usage habits and selected volume level. There's a power-saving feature that turns the speaker off following 10 minutes of inactivity.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Siri
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No
Far-Field Performance
No Assistant
Ambient Noise Performance
No Assistant
0
Active Features
App
App Name
No App
iOS
No
Android
No
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No
Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
Yes
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
Yes

The TREBLAB HD-Max comes with an AUX port you can use to wire your devices to it. The speaker can also act as a power bank for your devices via its USB output.

7.2
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
199 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
156 ms
Bluetooth Range
328.1 ft (100.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

The TREBLAB HD-Max has decent Bluetooth connectivity. It has an outstanding range, so your paired device stays connected to the speaker even when you aren't close by. Its latency with iOS devices is too high for watching videos and causes syncing issues between the visuals you see and the audio you hear. It performs better with Android devices, though some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The TREBLAB HD-Max comes in one color variant: Black; you can see its label here.

If you come across any other variants of this speaker, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Note: The manufacturer released an updated version of The TREBLAB HD-Max that supports Bluetooth 5.0 and advertises an improved microphone performance and battery consumption. The test results in this review represent the latest version of this speaker. The older version supported Bluetooth 4.2.

Compared To Other Speakers

The TREBLAB HD-Max is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a similar design to the TREBLAB HD77, though it's much larger and doesn't come with RGB lights. Like the JBL Xtreme 3, it comes with hooks built into the speaker to attach its carrying strap when you want to bring it along with you on the go. The strap also comes with a built-in bottle opener, which is handy for when you're enjoying music and drinks with friends. It's well-built, and its long-lasting battery life of over 22 hours is great for long sessions spent outdoors. It lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM or hip-hop. While it comes with EQ presets, it also lacks a graphic EQ to customize its sound to your liking.

See our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best portable Bluetooth speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers for bass.

JBL Xtreme 3

The JBL Xtreme 3 is a slightly better speaker than the TREBLAB HD-Max overall, though they're similar. The JBL has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box and can produce a more extended low-bass than the TREBLAB. It comes with a graphic EQ to customize its sound to your liking. It's better-built and can also be paired with up to two devices at once, which is handy when you need to quickly switch between audio sources. The TREBLAB can get slightly louder with slightly less compression at max volume. It also has a much longer-lasting battery life, making it better suited for long listening sessions.

JBL Charge 5

The JBL Charge 5 is a slightly better speaker than the TREBLAB HD-Max overall, though they perform similarly. The JBL's sound profile is better-balanced out of the box, and it can produce a more extended low-bass. It comes with a graphic EQ to customize its sound to your liking, and it has better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage. It's also smaller and better built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. The TREBLAB can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. It can get louder than the JBL, and it has a longer-lasting battery life that's better suited for long listening sessions. It also comes with an AUX port you can use to wire your devices to the speaker.

Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a better speaker than the TREBLAB HD-Max overall. The Ultimate Ears offers a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than the TREBLAB. You can customize its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app, and it can get louder with significantly less compression present at max volume. It also has better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage. The TREBLAB is smaller and lighter, making it more portable. Its rated IPX6 for water resistance, certifying it for protection from direct contact with water for up to three minutes. Its removable strap also comes with a built-in bottle opener.

TREBLAB HD77

The TREBLAB HD77 and the TREBLAB HD-Max are similar speakers, though they have different strengths. The HD77 is smaller and easier to bring along with you on the go. It can produce a slightly more extended low-bass than the HD-Max and offers a much wider-sounding soundstage. The HD-Max is a larger portable speaker that can get louder with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It also has a longer-lasting battery life and lower Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices. Some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

Anker Soundcore Motion+

The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is more versatile than the TREBLAB HD-Max overall. The Anker is smaller and lighter, making it more portable. It can produce a more extended low-bass than the TREBLAB, and offers a wider-sounding soundstage. It also comes with a  companion app that features a graphic EQ and presets to customize its sound to your liking. It supports voice assistants through your smartphone too, though its performance isn't very good. That said, the TREBLAB offers a longer-lasting battery life of over 22 hours, making it better for multiple long listening sessions. You can use its USB output to use the speaker as a power bank to charge your devices. It also comes with a removable carrying strap with a built-in bottle opener which is handy when enjoying music and drinks with friends.

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