We're barreling down toward summer, and you're probably preparing all sorts of fun, outdoor activities with your friends and family right now. You've got the pool toys inflated, the barbecue oiled up, and your most comfortable pair of hiking shoes reside in the spot where your snow boots once were. Now all that's left is to secure yourself some outdoor music for every occasion, and you'll be good to go. That's why we're excited to introduce you to our new favorite outdoor Bluetooth speaker, the Turcom AcoustoShock.
On the surface
We weren't sure what to expect when the AcoustoShock showed up for test. The design is a utilitarian, rugged rectangle, nothing terribly exciting, but also fitting for what the speaker is trying to achieve. It certainly conveys a loud message of "take me everywhere!" from the moment you lay eyes on it. We were also surprised when we accidentally bumped an unassuming button on the side of the speaker and an extendable handle cheerfully popped up to provide the perfect way to carry it from place to place.
The AcoustoShock is a Bluetooth speaker that is dustproof, shockproof, and IPX5 water-resistant -- the latter of which means that you can't submerge it, but it's able to withstand a serious dousing akin to that of a spray from a hose or a heavy rainstorm. This makes the AcoustoShock a great companion for camping, barbecues, picnics, trips to the beach, or just hanging out poolside at home. Feel free to let kids take it outside to play without having to worry about it being dropped or left out in the rain.
We'll start with the best feature of the AcoustoShock: the sound quality. Considering we hadn't tested out a Turcom product yet, we weren't sure what to expect, but thankfully it blew us away with the quality. Even though this is a wireless, portable speaker, the sound quality is fantastic. Even at higher volumes, there's almost no distortion, and the bass is wonderfully warm and rumbly, the way good bass should be. The midrange is flushed out nicely, and we were pleased as punch to find out that the treble range didn't sound tinny or hollow.
For being such a small speaker, the AcoustoShock has some serious heft to it. It isn't cumbersome to carry; far from it -- it just feels a lot more sturdy in our hands, which gives us a bit of peace of mind compared to some of the other "outdoor" speakers we've tested. If you're concerned that you might accidentally buy a flimsy model of speaker that can't hold up to your adventurous lifestyle, we think you might want to seriously consider purchasing the AcoustoShock.
As far as battery life goes, there's an internal 8,000mAh battery that can give you up to seven hours of music, provided you're not blasting it. We got a little under seven hours of play time from a full charge, which we think is respectable. Sure, it's not as much as you'll get from the Braven Balance, but at the same time you're getting overall better sound quality.
Potentially the strangest perk we found was that this is one of the only wireless speakers that we've tested where you might actually want to use it as a hands-free microphone/speaker for taking calls. It's not perfect by any means, and the call quality isn't crystal clear, but for once everything isn't a garbled mess. It's a small perk, yes, but it's still one worth mentioning.
Honestly, our complaints about the AcoustoShock are minimal, and some of them are more a matter of personal preference than anything else. The AcoustoShock's basic control buttons (such as volume and track skipping) lack any tactile feedback, and instead are more akin to the touch screen of a smartphone. Obviously, if you're playing sound, you'll be able to tell if you're pressing the volume switches, but if you're fumbling around trying to find the buttons without looking, you may accidentally skip a track like we have. We do, however, understand that fewer moving parts helps keep the system both dustproof, as well as shockproof.
The other complaint is that this speaker doesn't get quite as loud as we were anticipating. That isn't to say that it's quiet. It does get loud, and probably sufficiently so for most uses. It's just that it doesn't seem like it's as loud as it could be. If you're looking for a portable speaker that is going to fill a large area with sound, you might want to go with the Scosche BoomBottle+, but we still think the overall sound quality of the AcoustoShock edges out the BoomBottle+, even if only slightly.
Where we stand:
We started this review not knowing much about Turcom, and knowing even less about the AcoustoShock, but what it boils down to is that we enjoy using the AcoustoShock. It's sturdy, outdoor-proof, and sounds good, so we're happy to say that we're giving it two thumbs up. If you want your own AcoustoShock, you can make your way over to Amazon, where they're currently retailing for just under $130 -- though it is worth noting that they're currently on back order until July 25.
Who should snag an AcoustoShock speaker: If you're looking for a great, all-around indoor/outdoor Bluetooth speaker, this is our new favorite.
Who doesn't need an AcoustoShock speaker: If you need something that will play for days, snag yourself a Braven Balance instead for the same price.