Portable speakers have been around for decades and one of the best advances in these devices has been the addition of Bluetooth technology. Now instead of needing to carry around cords or having docks for specific devices, audio can be transmitted wirelessly from any Bluetooth capable device such as a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Today we will look at one such speaker from a company called Turcom. They have recently released a rugged Bluetooth speaker called the AcoustoShock, a wireless speaker designed to be tough while advertised as providing premium sound quality that does not skimp on bass.
The Turcom AcoustoShock Bluetooth speaker includes an integrated microphone to allow hands-free conversations as well as the battery capable of providing eight hours of play back time. In addition these speakers are designed to withstand most any water exposure other than submersion.
Turcom ships the AcoustoShock Bluetooth Speaker in a cardboard box with a clear plastic window revealing the grill of the speaker in the front. On the back is an image of the speaker. The sides of the package list features of the device, while the bottom of the box has specifications of the AcoustoShock Bluetooth Speaker.
Inside the box we find the Bluetooth speaker, an AC adapter, an auxiliary cable, USB cable and a user manual.
The Turcom AcoustoShock Bluetooth Speaker measures 10″ x 3.8″ x 4.7″ and weighs 23 oz. It is colored black, grey and orange. The front of the speaker has a black speaker grill with an orange border. Around the perimeter of the speaker are two black rubber bumpers, which provides traction to keep the speaker from slipping and sliding along with some drop protection.
On top of the speaker we find five concave inset buttons for Bluetooth connection, previous track, play/pause/hands-free, next track, volume down and volume up. On the far left side is the NFC sensor; while to the right of these buttons is a Turcom printed logo.
The right side of the speaker has the power button with a built-in LED, below it is a waterproof door that protects an auxiliary audio port, DC input for the AC adapter and a USB connector for charging mobile devices. On the opposite side of the speaker is a carrying handle that is released by depressing the adjacent button.
Inside are two 15-Watt drivers that provide a 30-Watt output capable of 2.2 channel stereo sound. Powering the speaker is a 8000 mAh Lithium Ion battery which can be used as an as a power pack to charge external devices through the speaker’s USB port.
Specifications and Features
To start using the Turcom AcoustoShock Bluetooth Speaker press and hold the power button to turn it on; the blue and red LEDs should blink quickly indicating it is in standby mode and is ready for pairing.
At this point you can go into the Bluetooth menu on your computer, smart phone or tablet and select HR903 in the Bluetooth device list to pair the speaker. If your device is NFC capability simply turn on the speaker and enable NFC in Bluetooth settings on your phone, then lightly swipe your phone close to the NFC logo on top of the device. The indicator turns solid on the speaker once successfully paired. When turning on the Turcom AcoustoShock the device will remember the most recently connect Bluetooth device.
Now the Turcom AcoustoShock is ready to use for listening to music or making and receiving phone calls. To test out the speaker an iPhone 6S+, Amazon Fire Phone, and iPod Mini were used.
Controlling the speaker is simple using the buttons on top of the unit. The recessed buttons are totally sealed making them waterproof. These controls respond with minimal finger pressure and allow the user to control music playback or answer phone calls. In fact the buttons can be too responsive. Having the Bluetooth connection button on the top with the other common controls makes accidently loosing ones active Bluetooth connection more common.
When connecting a non-Bluetooth device to the Line In port the side LED changes to yellow. One drawback to listening through this input is that the speaker controls do not have control over the attached music device.
Acoustically the Turcom AcoustoShock does a fair job with music playback with plenty of volume. Since the trend with most modern headphones and speakers is being “bass heavy”, the AcoustoShock does not disappoint. Too some this speaker may provide
too much bass. Listening to heavy metal/hard rock music it has too much “bottom” for my taste while top 40 tracks sounded better. The AcoustoShock is able to playback music at loud volumes without distortion.
In general Bluetooth speakers never sound as good as their wired brethren and this noticeable with the Turcom AcoustoShock. Listening to the same song wirelessly streaming from the iPhone 6S+ sounded flatter than from the iPod Touch connected to the Line In port on the speaker.
Pressing the play/pause button answers/ends phone calls through the Turcom AcoustoShock. Phone calls through the AcoustoShock sounded clear and audible on my end while the person on the receiving end of my call agreed.
In terms of weather/water resistance, the Turcom AcoustoShock is rated IPX5 which means it is water resistant but not waterproof like the Altec Lansing Life Jacket which is IPX7 rated. This makes this speaker ideal for the beach, on a boat, poolside or on a camping trip, just make sure not to accidently submerge it.
The other key feature of the Turcom AcoustoShock is its ability act as an external battery. It can charge USB based devices such as a smartphones or tablets. Since it features an 8000 mAh battery it is capable of recharging most modern smartphones and giving some juice back to tablets. Obviously the speaker is too big to carry around as a spare battery but it works in a pinch as a charging station.
The Turcom AcoustoShock is a rugged Bluetooth speaker designed for exposure to the elements. It is solidly constructed and water resistant making it ideal for camping trips or by the water. However the main function of a speaker is sound reproduction and here is where the Turcom AcoustoShock comes up short. The soundstage is a little flat and probably too bass heavy for music other than top 40 and hip-hop. As a speakerphone and external battery the AcoustoShock does an excellent job with its built-in large capacity lithium battery.
If you are looking for an outdoor friendly speaker with plenty of bass then the AcoustoShock is an appealing option. Online it can be found in the sub $100 price range making it competitively priced for a weather resistant Bluetooth speaker.
+Easy to pair
+Includes NFC capability
+Long battery life
-Not water immersion capable
-Bass heavy sound
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Disclosure: This product was given to us for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review.
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