It’s 6 a.m. and the alarm clock has just gone off. Time to haul my carcass out of bed and get ready for the daily grind. If only I wasn’t still in a veritable coma. The solution? Heavy metal in the shower!
In the pre-historic days of yore, the only way I might accomplish this was by screeching out Iron Maiden tunes (air guitar optional) through the power of my own vocal chords. But now the good folks at Kohler, being designers of very fine bathroom fixtures, are pushing the Moxie, a nifty two-in-one device that combines a shower head with a Bluetooth speaker. Simply unscrew your old head and screw in the Moxie fixture. It connects wirelessly with an iPod, iPhone or whatever Bluetooth-enabled device you pledge allegiance to. The shower head magnetically holds the conical speaker inside it, which can be removed and charged via USB port. From there, you let the music—and water—flow.
The wife loves the Moxie—I hear her singing Abba all the time—but I have some issues with it (least of which involve Swedish pop). For one, it’s a mono speaker, so it does lose a lot of sound, particularly background vocals, second guitars and the like. It also has no controls within the shower, so there’s no way to skip songs or adjust the volume without reaching out to the iPod lying on top of the toilet. And then there’s the price tag: At $230, the Moxie isn’t out of line with other Kohler products. However, the shower head itself is fairly generic with no adjustable settings. It seems you can have music in the shower or Kohler’s famous pulsating massager, but not both.
With those minuses in mind, I tried C2G’s Wireless Shower Speaker, which comes considerably cheaper at only $60 on Amazon.com. A cradle transmitter holds the iPod and beams music to a pair of speakers which hang from the shower head by a hook. It certainly sounds better than the Moxie, and comes with in-shower volume control and a Bass Boost option in case you like hip hop. Or Rush. On the downside, the Shower Speaker feels plasticky, like a Fisher Price toy, and the hook is unwieldy. All told, it’s pretty inelegant.
In the middle of the spectrum price-wise is Williams-Sonoma’s Bluetooth Speaker, available at the Apple store (but not at Williams-Sonoma, oddly) for $150. The attractive, chrome-plated puck comes with a number of input options including an auxiliary line-in and USB ports for connecting just about anything.
It’s not specifically geared for the bathroom—it can be used anywhere, really—which means it needs to sit on the toilet or some other shelf and still needs to be controlled by a sopping wet hand from within the shower. But of the three devices tested, it easily had the best sound, even at high volumes.
For my money, I’m going with the Williams-Sonoma speaker. When it comes to early-morning wailing guitar solos and screaming falsetto vocals, it’s got the others beat.