Technology has evolved quite a lot in the past few years and nowadays we are able to use a variety of devices in ways we wouldn’t even imagine. That’s exactly what you should expect when it comes to shower speakers.
Finding good speakers that you can use while showering was quite the issue a few years ago. But in the past few years more and more companies have started to create such products. And now you can find an overflow of shower speakers, which means it can be hard to find the best one for you.
That’s why we created this buying guide, so you can easily figure out what shower speakers suit your needs the most and whether you should buy those or not.
Here is an infographic that sums up this article:
What Is a Shower Speaker?
A shower speaker is a small device whose purpose is to offer you high quality music as you shower. The speaker needs to be waterproof, as you are using it in the shower and obviously that means it will be exposed to water more often than not.
Thankfully, a shower speaker is small in size, although you can find some larger models as well. The idea is to make sure that you buy your shower speaker based on your needs, requirements and budget.
You can find a plethora of shower speakers on the market, varying in size, colors and many other features.
At the end of the day it all comes down to the performance, whether the unit is waterproof or not and any other features that might be important for you in a situation like this.
Differences Between a Shower Speaker and an Outdoor Speaker
Most people won’t really care about the difference and just buy shower speakers to use outdoors. But the reality is that we are talking about two different situations and use cases here.
If you want to use the shower speakers, then you most likely need them indoors and they have to deal with lots of steam and water. Outdoor speakers also need to handle water, but that comes in the form of weather issues, rain and so on.
Outdoor speakers need to be weather resistant, they need a higher power input and they are also designed to provide very specific outdoor bass reproduction. They tend to have omnidirectional sound, whereas shower speakers are spreading sound all over the place, and that really means a lot.
Plus, the design differs too. Shower speakers can have all sorts of colors, but the outdoor units are required to blend into the outdoors, so they have special sizes, shapes and colors. That’s a great thing, but then again it shows that you are unable to use shower speakers outdoors and the other way around.
These are two different product categories, so make sure that you use shower speakers only indoors, and you will be fine.
Things to Look at Before Buying
One of the most challenging things when it comes to shower speakers is that every person wants something different. There are models for everyone, true, but when it comes to buying this type of speakers it can be very easy to misunderstand what you need and not acquire the stuff you want right from the start. Which is why focusing on a great experience and identifying what you need the most is a crucial aspect of the entire process.
What you have to realize with shower speakers is that each one of their features will matter. Some people want a certain size, others want affordability, others need a variety of colors. As long as you know what you want and how to get the best results out of this, you will be fine.
If you want to buy shower speakers, then you can imagine these might end up wet at times. That’s why they need to have water resistance features. Most shower speakers are bringing water resistance, but the issue here comes from what type of resistance they provide. This is measured via an IPX rating. The IP stands for Ingress Protection and X stands for the protection level.
There are multiple protection levels from 0 to 8, with 8 being the best one as you can imagine. Ideally your shower speakers need to have at least the IPX4 level that will provide some basic water resistance. But if you really want the top of the line water resistance, everything over IPX7 will be waterproof. So that’s definitely the type of thing that you want to focus on when you buy shower speakers.
To put things in perspective, the IPX7 speakers can be submerged for up to 1 meter around 30 minutes and they will still work. IPX8 might be preferred, but in that case you will pay a premium and you won’t take a bath with your speakers, so IPX7 will be the best and more affordable option. If you just want some slight water resistance and a lower price, IPX4-7 will be sufficient. Yet you should go up to IPX7 if you’re looking to use the unit in the long run.
The Sound Quality of a Shower Speaker
When you want to buy shower speakers, one of the most important aspects that you have to focus on is definitely the overall sound quality. You really want to make sure that you focus on getting the best possible experience, and improving the sound quality will certainly help a lot.
The output power is very important as a factor here. Most people will notice units with 5W as an output, some go even up to 10W. The more output power a unit like this has, the more expensive it will be. And that’s definitely the type of thing that you need to keep in mind. Finding the right balance between output power and pricing is the sweet spot when it comes to buying a shower speaker.
Then there’s also the number of speakers that a unit can have. The thing to notice is that most of the shower speakers on the market tend to have a single, large speaker. But there are some that use multiple speakers, which is why they have a better sound quality in general. The more speakers you have on such a unit, the more expensive it will be, so that’s definitely something to take into consideration with this kind of stuff.
You should also check and see if the shower speaker comes with a passive radiator inside. Having a passive radiator is a good idea because it will bring in a much better bass sound.
That will make quite the difference from an audio standpoint, and you should always make sure that you get this type of feature if possible.
But if bass is not really your thing and you are ok with just the stereo aspect of the unit, then that will be just as fine. The idea is to know what you are getting into and what you can expect here. If you tackle it correctly, the results will be amazing and you will also be very happy with the experience every time.
What we recommend you to do here is to test out all the shower speakers you are interested in locally, even if you plan to buy online. Testing out and seeing how they sound can really make quite the difference and it will give you the results you would expect. It’s definitely a great way for you to figure out what speakers are more suitable to your own requirements, and then you can just go from there and see what works for you in this situation.
It’s a good idea to identify where you want to place the shower speaker as well if it will be close to you or not. If it’s close, then you don’t really need a lot of power. And that’s how you also get to save a lot of money too. You should focus on the features you need and not on anything else, as you will overpay for stuff that you barely use.
And don’t forget: don’t listen to the music too loudly!
Bluetooth or Wi-Fi?
Most shower speakers tend to be Bluetooth-based, because they offer a very good connectivity with your phone, tablet, iPod or whatver music source you use. And since your phone will be the primary source of music here, you will need to make sure the shower speaker supports the latest Bluetooth version. Bluetooth 4 or 5 should be the best options here, so keep that in mind when you buy the shower speaker.
On top of that, the Bluetooth range is just as important. Usually that will be 10-20 feet, sometimes more depending on the product. Which means you need to make some measurements and actively figure out how much space you need or anything else like that. If you do it right, it will be worth it, so you should definitely take it into consideration.
Wi-Fi units are easier to pick, because they just have Wi-Fi support and that’s it. You will get a very good set of results this way, and you just rely on the internet connection at home. All you need to do is to make sure that your bathroom actually has a really good internet connection. The problem with Wi-Fi only shower speakers is that you won’t really be able to use them outside your home unless you create a hotspot with your phone.
That’s why Bluetooth is a better option if you want to take them out with you as well (though Bluetooth has some limitations). But if you want to use the shower speaker only at home, then it makes sense to go Wi-Fi as well.
Battery Life and Charging Time
The battery life is super important for shower speakers, so you want to make sure that you get a unit with as much battery life as possible. Battery life varies, some units last only for 6 hours, others will go for 10 hours and up. You really need to vary things and try out a variety of different options when it comes to battery. The overall battery life of a unit is hard to measure in a store, so you need to rely on the manufacturer words. Although you should try to check as many reviews as possible, as that will give you a good insight into how dependable and reliable a shower speaker will actually be.
The more autonomy you can get from that unit, the better it will be. Obviously things like this tend to differ from one model to the other, but you can expect at least 6-7 hours of battery life. If you can get more, you should totally do that. No one wants to charge their shower speaker very often, so having the extra autonomy does help a lot.
Charging time is also important. Not a lot of shower speakers are using USB type C for faster charging, so they rely on Micro USB connectivity. The problem for this is that charging times can be quite long, usually 3-6 hours. That’s why you may want to charge the shower speaker during the night, as you get the best experience this way. We recommend you to avoid units with a really long charging time unless they have other features you want.
Normally every shower speaker will come with a USB cable for charging. This should be a mandatory procedure however you may see some units without such a thing. It can happen, that’s why you need to pay a lot of attention to what models you buy and where you are buying those from. If you buy the shower speaker from a reputable seller, you should get a complete package.
Choosing the Right Style for your Shower Speaker
This is where you have a whole lot of options. Most people will focus on finding the shower speaker that matches their home décor. Doing that is not that hard, as there are shower speakers with just about any colors out there. The right aesthetic can really make quite the difference, and that’s exactly what you want to keep in mind here.
Some people go the other way around, they choose a shower speaker that has a contrasting color so it can be different and unique, a standout piece. And then there are the funny speaker units with a clever, yet fun design.
There are bunny-like shower speakers, emoji speakers and so on. The possibilities are limitless here. You want a good shower speaker that will attach to the tiles with great ease and which is very easy to maneuver and use.
Other features like the ones in this article will come in to play, but the design and color variation will always be an important aspect. You can get a neutral-tone unit, or you can go the colorful route. That’s what you want to achieve, and the ROI itself will be great in the end.
Then there’s also the fact that you should invest in a portable, brightly colored model for safety reasons. If the shower speaker stands out, it’s a lot easier to locate and that means not having to worry about accidents or leaving it behind after you finish showering. It makes a lot of sense to put safety first, and that’s definitely the type of approach that you want to consider here.
Mounting Options: Suction Cup, Mounting Brackets, Carabiner Clip?
When it comes to mounting options, these are a bit different because each one comes with its pros and cons. The suction cup option is very popular because it doesn’t involve major work, and you can easily place it anywhere you want, then remove it. However, the problem with a suction cup is that the unit might end up being a bit unstable. And when that happens, the unit can fall in your tub or even on the tiles and break. It’s definitely not the most secure mounting approach, but it can work for some people.
Mounting brackets are a bit better because you will have a dedicated bracket for mounting and that brings in a little bit more security. That doesn’t make it perfect, but it’s a lot more secure when compared to a suction cup. And then there’s the carabiner clip that allows you to hang the shower speaker from the shower rod. This might not be a high-tech approach, but it works great and you definitely have to give it a shot if you can.
If you choose the mounting bracket approach, remember that some of them may require you to drill a hole through the wall. It’s up to you if you want to do that or not. Ideally, you want to avoid this, as there are other options that can still give you a great shower speaker experience without any major revamps like this one.
Portability is important when it comes to buying a shower speaker. Yes, it might be waterproof and suitable for the shower, but you may also want to use it within your home if possible. That’s the type of approach you need to consider, and if it’s possible to use the unit within your home it will be a major plus.
When it comes to size, it’s up to your own needs. Some people are very focused on getting a small speaker, others want a larger one. From a portability standpoint, you should go for the smaller units, although they might have less performance. So when you choose smaller units, keep in mind that you might be doing an output trade-off here. Not all small units have low wattage, some of them are still very powerful.
The overall size of that product will also translate into a certain weight as well. If the product itself is not very large, then you can expect it to be lightweight as well. But if you see that the unit is actually large, it might be heavy.
The ideal option when it comes to portability is buying a small and light shower speaker that you can take around with you. Usually, these units will also be the easiest ones to mount, so try to take that into account for the best experience and results.
A Built-in Mic for Hands-Free Phone Calls
If you want to use your smartphone hands-free, you may want to go with shower speakers that have a built-in mic. This is obviously not a mandatory feature, but as always it’s good to have and lots of people are bound to find it very helpful and convenient. That being said, having a powerful mic installed on your speaker does make quite the difference if you want to talk on the phone with people. This means you can easily use the unit outside your bathroom, which adds more value to the experience.
Whether you need this type of feature or not, that’s up to you, but it’s definitely one of those must-haves that some people have in their list. If you don’t really care about a built-in mic, then you can easily skip that and you will still be just fine no matter the situation.
Radio or Not?
Considering that you are using this in your shower, you may want to not rely on your phone for music
all the time. So if you can get any type of radio support that would be amazing. Of course, this type of feature is useful only if you really use the radio. If not, then it won’t really provide that much benefit, and you can ignore it. Still, you never really know when and how you may need to use the radio feature on your shower speaker, so if you can buy one with such a feature you should totally do it. Just make sure it won’t overcharge you a lot because it has such an additional feature. It will be worthwhile nevertheless, and that’s the most important thing to keep in mind in the end.
If the shower speaker has a radio, a dedicated screen will be a very good idea. You should also consider the frequency ranges that the unit can actually acquire. Will it support only FM, AM audio and so on? Every detail is important in a situation like this and it will make a major difference. That’s why we recommend you to study what shower speakers with the radio are on the market, and then compare their feature list. It will make it easier to figure out what model suits your needs the most, and then you can go from there for the best outcome.
Alexa or Google Home Pairing
While Alexa and Google Home pairing might not be a mandatory feature, it’s definitely the type of extra that everyone wants. Being able to connect to the internet through the shower speaker and listen to the radio, enjoy some music or just have fun for a change can really make all the difference.
Ideally, you want the shower speaker you buy to have this type of feature if you need it. In case you are not interested in any type of voice commands, then you can ignore it. But it’s definitely the type of feature some people will need. Think about it and the use you can get, and then you go from there. It’s going to be well worth the investment.
In regards to pricing, it all comes down to your budget. You will find shower speakers at $100 or more, or you can find some at $10. The best thing you can do here is to think about the feature set and what expectations you have from that unit. Once you know what you really want and what price point those features will rack up to, you can start looking at the models and see what design you like, etc.
Some of the pivotal aspects when you choose a shower speaker would be the overall battery life, the sizes provided as well as the overall portability that you can get.
You also need to make sure that the mounting system is something that suits your current setup in the bathroom. Try to stay within a reasonable budget, but if you want that extra feature and you really have use for it, then go ahead and invest the extra money on this unit. It will certainly be worth it.
Most inexpensive shower speakers will not really share their audible frequency because it’s not the best. However, you may want to keep an eye out for this type of feature too. What that means is going for the frequencies around 20hz to 20khz. If you get something even better, that would be amazing. But this should be one of those things that make the difference when it comes to sound quality. This set of audible frequencies will help make the overall experience better, and that’s something to keep in mind.
Some shower speakers have their own accessories, especially when it comes to installing them. Others are barebones and they come only with a charger.
When you want to buy this type of product, you really have to figure out what you are getting into and what you can expect from it.
The best thing that you can do is to purchase accessories that are reliable, dependable and also very professional. More often than not you won’t need any accessories, and those that are required tend to be included within the product packaging.
Can You Plug the Shower Speaker to the Wall?
It sounds like a strange thing to ask yourself but the reality is that having a shower speaker that plugs to the wall when it plays songs really makes a difference. This way you don’t have to worry about battery life, which is usually the main concern for a lot of people.
However, having it plugged into the wall when there’s water floating around might be dangerous, so you either have to keep the unit away from you (and thus the shower speaker needs more output power), or you rely on the waterproofing provided by the product. This can be unsafe, so using the battery is a much better option. But higher-quality shower speakers do allow you to playback songs while charging on the wall, so that’s something you may want to pursue.
Easy to Clean
Every shower speaker you buy should be easy to clean. Most models are, but there are also some that will be really hard to clean, and that’s something that you need to think about.
Cleanliness is important, as these units can accumulate mold and all kinds of bacteria from the bathroom.
Cleaning the shower speaker is a necessity and while it doesn’t seem like much at first, it will end up hosting all types of viruses and bacteria in the long run. And that’s certainly something that you want to avoid.
Will You Get a Wireless Remote or Not?
Some shower speakers come with their own wireless remote that allows you to change the music if you want to. Not all units have this type of feature as you imagine, but it’s certainly the type of thing that helps you immensely.
We recommend you to go with a wireless remote option in case you want to use the shower speaker outside your bathroom too, be it outdoors or within your home. If you just want to keep it inside the bathroom, then you don’t really need a remote in the first place.
Picking the right shower speaker for you is all about value, convenience, and quality. You really have to figure out what option suits your needs the most and ensure that you get the best value for money. At the end of the day, checking the specs and making sure that the style is right will always be a good idea.
Of course, sound quality, battery life, and any additional features will be nice to have too. Create a list with all the features you need, then go shopping and you will have no problem finding the right model to suit your requirements.