If you’ve already invested a lot of money in an indoor portable speaker, you’ve probably caught yourself babying it. It doesn’t go outside, and you would never allow it to fall — on purpose, anyway. But wouldn’t you like to have one that you could take everywhere without worry?
A speaker that could get dirty or wet — or even be dropped — without you watching your money swirl down a virtual toilet? The thing is, if you’ve already sunk a lot of money into a high-dollar indoor speaker, you’d probably hesitate before putting much more money into a second speaker that could weather everyday outdoor use, especially if you wanted one that sounded good.
Well, that’s why the Turcom AcoustoShock is so great. It has a big sound; it’s shock resistant, it’s water-resistant, and best of all — it’s under $100.
Nothing about the AcoustoShock package — certainly not its size or weight — lets on that it’s inexpensive.
The AcoustoShock measures 10″ long x 4.7″ tall by 3.75″ deep, and it weighs a hefty three pounds, 10.7 ounces. The exterior is covered in a black, heavy rubberized coating with a tread design. The front speaker grill is metal, and there is an orange frame around the grill that help to break up all of the black. Inside the speaker are two drivers which produce a total of 30 Watts, and dual speakers which produce 2.2 channel stereo sound. There are also two rectangular, passive sub-woofers.
The speaker is IPX5 rated water-resistant, dust-proof, and shock-proof. It uses Bluetooth 4.0, which helps conserve the built-in 8000mAh battery — which can also be accessed via USB cable to top off the charge on your phone. The AcoustoShock has 2.2 Channel Stereo Sound with 30 Watt output and a retractable handle for easy carrying. The speaker is rated for 7 hours of playtime, which seems about right. Obviously that number will go down a bit if you use the speaker to top off your mobile device.
On the top, there are the following buttons: Bluetooth connection, previous track, play/pause/hands-free calling, next track, volume down, and volume up. These buttons are super sensitive, almost capacitive in the speed that they will work with the lightest touch; it was a nice surprise, as I thought they would need a bit more pressure. And yes — that’s an NFC logo you see on the left. If you have an NFC-enabled device, you can lightly swipe your phone across the NFC logo to pair them. The indicator will turn solid ON when the device and speaker have successfully paired. Turcom says that this will work with “most smartphones with NFC running Android 4.1 “Jellybean” and later” (obviously iPhone users are left out of that option).
The bottom has information about the input (18V=2A), output (5V=2.1A), and max output (30W).
On the left side, there’s a button that pushes out the retractable handle.
Here’s a shot of the extended handle; you just push it back in when you are done.
The business end is on the right side; here you’ll find the power button (the first time you turn it on, it will blink blue and red looking for a device to pair to). There’s a water-resistant rubber plug covering the labeled ports underneath.
Flipped up, you see the AUX IN port, the DC charging port, and the USB Out port for charging your mobile device while streaming music.
I wasn’t expecting much when I turned the AccoustoShock; for all I knew it was a weighted ruggedized case with wimpy speakers inside! But from the first song played (Twenty One Pilots “Stressed Out”), though the entire Imagine Dragons Smoke + Mirrors album, and then through a non-ending mishmash of rap, pop, rock, and spoken word, the speaker held its own. Treble notes are extremely clear (vocals sound excellent!), but bass notes can bottom out if you have your device’s music player equalized for a heavier sound and the volume is all the way up. If you run into this, you can either turn the volume down or lower the bass heaviness a bit, and that will work it out. The speaker is surprisingly loud; it can easily fill a large room with sound, and when outdoors it can hold its own in a party setting; the key is to not turn the volume all the way up because doing so will cause it to distort.
The Turcom AcoustoShock genuinely surprised me; to get such big sound from such a fairly priced speaker with the bonus of it being able to withstand the elements? That’s pretty sweet. If this had been a blind listening session, I would have never guessed that all of the sound produced was coming from such an inexpensive speaker. The fact that the AcoustoShock can act as a hands-free speaker phone because it has an integrated digital microphone is just the icing on the cake.
The Turcom AcoustoShock Wireless and Shock-Resistant Speaker retails for $89.99, and it is available at TurcomUSA, Amazon, Overstock, and Sears
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Rugged, IPX5 rated water-resistant, dust-proof, and shock-proof; Big sound from a larger portable speaker; perfect for parties, picnics, and other outdoor activities; Buttons on top are very responsive — a mere touch will activate them; Can be used as a speakerphone
What Needs Improvement: Bass bottoms out a bit when the volume is up on a bass-heavy song