Still looking for a Christmas present for that special someone who already has everything? Here’s a good one, and it’s something they’re guaranteed not to have.
The Moxie from Kohler is a combination shower head and music streaming device, an invention that would border on genius if it weren’t so simple. The gadget is basically comprised of two parts: a shower head that screws on in place of the one you’ve already got and a wireless speaker that fits inside the head and is held there by magnets. The speaker then connects to any devices you’ve got, like an iPod or smartphone, via Bluetooth, so you can play music in the shower.
I’ve been using the Moxie for the past week and I’m really digging it. I like to rock out in the shower and had previously been doing so with my iPad, which sat dutifully on the nearby toilet. But the tablet has tiny little speakers and, if you love volume like I do, it just wasn’t doing the job very well.
The Moxie solves this problem since it sits right above your head, with no decrease in volume even when you’re washing your hair. Indeed, the speaker is quite loud regardless—I often leave it on after finishing with the shower, since I can hear it well throughout the whole top floor of my house. And, even though it’s loud, there’s no distortion of sound.
The speaker is removable so that you can charge it up via the micro-USB slot on its side. Kohler says it has seven hours of battery life. I haven’t taken that many showers yet, but it has delivered up a week’s worth of them so far with no recharge needed.
The Moxie does have some downsides. For one, it’s a mono speaker, so it does lose a bunch of sound. While the quality of what’s there is good, the speaker does largely drop or mute things like rhythm guitars and background vocals. It’s good enough for casual listeners—hey, this is the shower, remember?—but it’s also an audiophile’s worst nightmare.
The speaker module also doesn’t have any buttons, which means you can’t skip songs or adjust the volume directly from within the shower. But hey, unless you’re in there for a really long time, that shouldn’t really matter.
The shower head itself is also pretty good—I didn’t notice any difference in pressure or spray from my old one—but it does only have one setting. Showerers who like to vary between a weak wide spray and a concentrated fire hose probably won’t like the Moxie.
Put those two issues together and the gizmo feels a bit overpriced at $231 (in Canada), especially when there are cheaper alternatives like the $99 iShower—a speaker that sticks to the shower wall. With luck, future iterations will feature multiple spray settings and stereo sound, but for the time being, the Moxie is still pretty nifty. And it’s certainly better than an iPad on the toilet.