By: Aaron Lai
July 29, 2016
"Where did you get the cash for that stun gun?" asked Karen, "I thought you were gonna use the surplus to buy bullet proof vests." Davis replied, "I saved a little money by buying bullet resistant vests." "Bullet resistant? Have you ever slept in a water resistant tent? You get plenty wet." This conversation comes from my favorite Canadian show called Corner Gas, in an episode where the two police officers are talking about Davis' curious spending. Unfortunately, Karen's words are mostly true, as products rated as "resistant" are generally not as durable, in comparison to the "-proof" items. If you had the option to choose between a bullet proof vest and a bullet resistant vest, you probably would take the former in an instant. However, there are times where a "resistant" item is good enough, especially when the product is not necessarily going to be fully exposed to the elements. For example, a waterproof four-piece suit might be nice, but you can probably get away with a water resistant one. This is because a suit is not supposed to be worn outside in the rain, besides the special cases like James Bond's suits. Today's review is for the Turcom AcoustoShock HR-903, a water resistant Bluetooth speaker with an IPX5 rating to protect the speaker from water sprays. Full water proofing in this case may actually be detrimental to other features of the speaker, such as sound, as it may muffle the audio output. So I have to ask: Did Turcom strike a balance between water resistance and audio quality? Thankfully this is our job to find out, so let us begin!
Today's review unit of the Turcom AcoustoShock HR-903 arrived from San Diego, California, USA, traveling with the FedEx guys. Our unit took a while to get to our APH Networks offices in Calgary, AB, and we almost forgot it was coming when it did arrive. Thankfully everything looks to be in okay condition, with very few dents or scratches externally. Turcom tape also rounds out all the edges, so we know no one else opened the box to look inside. As such, I grabbed my nearest pair of scissors and hacked this packing box open.
The retail box itself is a pretty standard look, with a plastic window on the front to show off the speaker inside the box. The rest of the container is pretty standard, with the company's logo and the product name listed on the bottom. Interestingly enough, the box calls this the HR-903, while the website calls it the TS-903. For consistency, however, we will stick with the box naming convention, but the two names refer to the same product. Five small icons also are displayed on the bottom, and this refers to the features of the Turcom AcoustoShock HR-903. Otherwise, there is not much else to speak of, so we can move on to opening up the box.
Before we do so, we have pulled up the specifications from the manufacturer's site, for your perusal:
- Bluetooth Version: 4.0
- IPX5 rated. Water-Resistant, Dust-proof, Shock-proof
- Battery: Rechargeable 8000mAh Lithium-Ion
- Package Contents: Power cord, Micro USB and auxiliary cable
- Dimensions: 10" x 3.8" x 4.7"
- Weight: 58.5 oz.
- Retractable handle for easy carrying
- 2.2 Channel Stereo Sound with 30 Watt output
Out of the box, we have the Turcom AcoustoShock HR-903 held in a large black foam cutout. Otherwise, besides the speaker, we have a smaller white cardboard box holding a few accessories. This includes a micro USB cable, and a male 3.5mm to 3.5mm auxiliary cable for direct connection, both measuring approximately 1m in length. Oddly enough, we also have a huge power brick, which charges the device. This is the first portable Bluetooth speaker I have seen not charged by USB power, but as this is also larger than the rest, it is understandable. The power cable measures about 1.75m in length. There is a small pamphlet holding all the operation information. It is printed with quite tiny font, but you can find a PDF of it on Turcom's website, so this is not a huge deal. Let us now turn our attention to the AcoustoShock HR-903 itself.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis