In our line of work, we come across plenty of Bluetooth speakers and all of them have more or less one thing in common — they’re portable. So, when the good people down at Renor asked if they could send me a product for review, I sort of expected to fall in line with some of the other ‘portable’ speakers that I had come across. Now, having reviewed audio equipment from the early 2010s, I sort of expected a start-up brand to launch a product that falls in line with, well, for lack of a better word, a start-up brand.
My friend, the Renor BT PowerCab is by no means that. This speaker is as imposing as it is gorgeous and as soon as I unboxed it, I was in awe. This was unlike any Bluetooth speaker there is and that’s saying quite a lot since I found the JBL Boombox to be our current all-in-one king.
A closer look at the brand left me pretty intrigued as Renor is said to be made up by a team of engineers, designers and musicians who have worked closely together to create this one heck of a speaker. And as the brand’s tagline of “At Renor, sound quality is our highest priority” goes, I could wait to plug it in and listen to my favourite tunes.
The entire process is buttery smooth which leaves me with an experience that’s long-lasting. Read on to know why this bad boy is worth each and every single rupee it costs.
Pictures just don’t do it justice! No matter how many images you see of the Renor BT PowerCab, nothing will prepare you for the sheer size it has on offer. The speaker is heavy as it is beautiful and the designers here spent a good bit crafting this speaker to excellence. From the clothed mesh front to the Renor logo and from the rectangular facia right down to the controls on top; everything is styled to perfection.
Rarely do we find a speaker priced this competitively to check all the right boxes when it comes to design. For those of you who know a thing or two about amplifiers, the Renor branding here appears to be a shout-out to the Fender logo on its range of guitars or amplifiers. While we don’t suppose that Renor copied Fender when it comes to the design of the logo; we have to admit that the Renor branding does ooze sophistication.
The mesh covering on the front is made of some thick cloth which can easily be cleaned. However, due to this design decision, you can’t see the drivers underneath. Also, there isn’t any way to open the meshing as well — not that many would even want to. Renor claims that they have used heavy-duty components to ensure a crystal-clear signal path is brought to the speaker and we have to agree with this. The BT PowerCab is fitted with an 8-inch driver, a 1-inch precision tweeter and dual ports; all of which are front-facing and hidden behind the meshing.
The top is where all the controls are located and they are neatly tucked away in an open bay, a similar design that Marshall has used on its Kilburn speaker. Over here you’ll find the on/off switch, the volume knob, a tiny Bluetooth pairing button and an AUX port for pairing with a smartphone or TV or whatever else you fancy. The number of knobs isn’t as wide-reaching as the ones found on the Kilburn; but hey, if it gets the job done, who’s complaining. To the bottom, there are four rubberised legs which keep it slightly elevated. This is advertised as a floor speaker for dance studios or homes; however, I preferred it to be propped up on a table for a more directional sound experience.
Lastly, although the Renor BT PowerCab is a Bluetooth speaker, it is sadly not a portable one and needs to be connected to a power outlet for it works. This is by no means a deal-breaker; but rather, just a feature of the speaker.
The Renor BT PowerCab performs as well as it looks and it comes with aptX for that fine, almost lossless sound. You can reap the benefits of this if you happen to have an Android handset as many of the latest models come loaded with it.
In terms of audio quality, the BT PowerCab blew away our expectations as it had a great sense of space that’s coupled with some stellar, powerful bass and shimmering highs. As mentioned earlier, there is no need for additional knobs for bass or highs as the default sound signature provides you with enough of depth on its own.
The speaker has a frequency response of 36.5Hz to 20,000Hz which mean that extra extension on the lows provides bass-heavy tracks to supersede all expectations with its impressive power. The low-end can quite literally be felt when you place your hand in front of the speaker and this shows how much air the PowerCab is actually moving.
Also, the volume on the speakers works independently. So, even if you crank up the volume to the max on your smartphone or television, you can increase it still further with the volume knob. This is a feature that should definitely be used in many more speakers and audio devices.
The Renor BT PowerCab comes with an MRP of Rs 25,000 but is sold for as low as Rs 14,999. This price alone makes it worth it. However, when you pair this price with its design, power and performance, you get a speaker that not just defies expectations but also bests most other well-known brands which are priced significantly higher.
So, who is this product meant for? The Renor BT PowerCab is meant for a small dance studio, a home or for anyone who wants to experience great bass-heavy audio without breaking the bank.