Turcom HR-903 Portable Speaker Review: Huge Sound, Portable Package

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Turcom HR-903 Portable Speaker Review: Huge Sound, Portable Package

When it comes to gaming, it's hard to get by without great sound. It's possible, sure, but with so many games depending on voice acting and the right background music to heighten the mood, playing without sound is almost a good way to miss out. So the right headphones, or the right speakers, become a very big part of the package. Is the Turcom HR-903 portable speaker system the right speaker? Our friends at the Max Borges Agency sent one out for review, and the answer is, in the right situation, yes.

The Turcom HR-903 speaker system offers two means of connectivity: a wired connection for those who want to use such things--it's an easy connection to any headphone jack--or a Bluetooth connection for those able and willing to go wireless. It offers 30 watts of sound output on the back of two drives and two active subwoofers, and can run for seven hours on one charge. It uses 2.2 channel stereo output, and comes with a built-in microphone to answer calls when using it with a smartphone. It even boasts a USB output, making it able to charge a phone or tablet while out. In perhaps the most clever feature, there's a small square button on the side that, when pressed, causes part of the casing to pop out to serve as a handle. It's rated IPX-5 for waterproofing--it can actually stay outside during a rain storm with little incident--and is also dust and shock proof. Amazon's got them right now for $129.99.

Durability with this unit got a first hand test. When I got it, something had quite clearly happened in shipping, as part of the box arrived looking as though it had been pinched by a giant's fingers. Yet there was clearly no cosmetic damage to the unit itself, and the unit played like anything. However, there were some unusual issues in the playback that are worth noting, and why I gave such a wishy-washy answer to how the system would work for sound previously.

Running it through Pieces of a Dream's "Acquainted With the Night" and Bruce McKenzie's "Chillin" suggested a system way too bass-heavy for its own good. Even through simple sax and guitar, the bass undertones were loud, clear, and had some unusual reverb action going. I thought this was odd, but chalked it up to any of multiple factors. A switch to Slicey's "Dead Silence (Dubstep Remix)" proved the system capable of keeping up with some serious style and speed changes in rapid fashion, and finalizing it with Lordi's "Hard Rock Hallelujah" showed it could certainly handle volume extremes. Used in conjunction with an MP3 player, however, many of those odd bass distortions were gone, suggesting that maybe it's an issue of a wired connection and a laptop.

Speaking of volume extremes, this thing's got some staggering output. I could actually hear Cherry Poppin' Daddies' "Zoot Suit Riot" from about 40 feet away through two closed doors and a set of noise-cancellation headphones that turn a lawn mower engine into a noise quiet enough to hear Dickens audiobooks over from a distance of three feet. Then when asked to play said Dickens--"The Mystery of Edwin Drood," specifically--it did a fantastic job of that, with the voice and choral tones blending wonderfully.

So in the end, how well does this work out? If you need music or sound spread out over a large area in short order and your access to electricity is limited, man, will this ever do the job. This thing is the musical equivalent of a fireworks factory going off. If you want something for finer operations, for romantic mood-setting on the beach, you may want to consider something else. This device seems to be all about raw power in every potential use case.

It's potent, it's loud, it's not even terribly pricey, and it will absorb just about everything from shipping damage to heavy rain without incident. It's the Turcom HR-903, and it's going to blow your next outdoor gathering away.

Pros: Extreme power, incredible durability, incredible portability

Cons: Less than useful in extremely fine operations

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