I will never forget that one time I was having a good summer morning, hopped in the shower, sang the entire discography of Beyoncé’s 4, and exited the bathroom to a living room full of my brother’s friends commenting on my mini-concert. Yikes. Sometimes it’s hard to hear how loud you’re getting when the sound of the pouring water washes your own ears out.
If you’ve been through a similar situation, don’t feel embarrassed. Kohler wants to encourage this sort of behavior with the Moxie ($199, but you can find it online for $150), a showerhead with a Bluetooth speaker attachment so you can make it rain music. The speaker portion of the Moxie can also be used independent of the showerhead, allowing you to take the device around the house even when the shower is done. Let’s dive in for a closer look.
Look and feel
Kohler is one of the top designer plumbing brands, so it should come as no surprise that the Moxie is a good-looking showerhead. It’s got a round, white finish with a slot in the middle where the magnetic speaker pops right in. No screwing or holding buttons to release and attach the speaker. Sixty nozzles surround the outer ring of the showerhead, giving you a full spray effect without getting the speaker significantly wet.
The 1.5W speaker also has a sleek white finish to match the showerhead. The body is made of silicone to help minimize slippage. Although it is designed to be used both in and out of the bathroom, the curvature of the speaker means it rolls around a bit when you place it on a flat surface. That said, we don’t expect many people will use the speaker outside the shower (there are too many good, affordable options out there already). It is cool, however, that you can take that podcast you were listening to in the shower with you back to the dressing room.
To install the Moxie, simply line your shower faucet with some sealing tape then screw in the showerhead. Use a wrench to give it that extra tightening, turn on the water to check if there are any leakage. If not, then you are good to go.
While you’re installing the showerhead, leave the speaker portion charging via USB. The device will start blinking once connected, and stop when the battery is full. When you are ready to use it, hold Moxie’s power button until a blue light appears. Once powered, use your smartphone’s Bluetooth setting to scan for the Moxie, pair the two devices, and now you’re set to shower in sound. For our review, we used both the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S4 and it paired both times without a hitch.
Getting a karaoke playlist on Spotify ready, we popped in the Moxie into the showerhead and left the music on for the duration of the shower. The directness of the speaker being right above your head helps the Moxie deliver sound in the most clear way possible, even with the water noise surrounding the speaker. At about 3/4 of the way to full volume, this setting was loud enough to combat the shower sound without distortion.
Despite its size, the Moxie produced excellent audio for both music and radio, allowing you to still understand the context of the content rather than just listen to the beats for white noise. Just be aware that when you turn your water off at the end of the shower, the speaker volume naturally booms louder since the shower’s no longer competing with it. You’ll want to leave your phone nearby on the sink for a quick access to lowering the noise.
Showerhead-wise, the 60 nozzles around the Moxie also helped to provide a nice water pressure that offered good coverage, but it’s by no means comparable to ones that have different spray patterns. The force seems just right – not too soft, but enough to give your muscles a light massage. Don’t buy this device expect therapeutic effects, unless music is your remedy.
Unlike most shower radios that are designed to be installed right on the shower wall, you won’t be able to adjust the volume or skip songs during the shower … unless you want to risk slipping your phone into the water. There is no built-in buttons on the Moxie for you to do this either, so it’s a compromise made in exchange for its minimalistic design.
Speaking of buttons, as we’ve mentioned, the Moxie only has one button on its entire body: The power button. This means that when you are done with your shower and leaving for the day, if you forget to push that glowing blue light, the Moxie will stay on until the battery runs dry. If you remember to turn the Moxie off, a full charge will last approximately seven hours of playtime. Leave it running all day long and you’re looking at about three days’ worth of showering before it’s back to just the watery white noise. In the next models of Moxies, Kohler should look into auto-deactivation when the speaker realize it has been on standby for more than 10 minutes.
We tested the Moxie in a small New York apartment and the range seems to work well. Kohler says the Moxie is capable of receiving Bluetooth data from up to 32 feet away. This means that, if your unsuspecting roommate or partner is taking too long in the shower (and not using the speaker), you can blast them with some Rick Astley to move them along. Yes, this is hilarious. As with most Bluetooth speakers, a phone call will interrupt the music until the call goes to voicemail. And, no, you’re not allowed to answer the phone in the shower. That’s both weird and unnecessary.
Should you buy it?
The Kohler Moxie isn’t the best showerhead we’ve used or the best Bluetooth speaker, but it’s way better than a traditional shower radio and a legitimately cool gadget for people who like catching up with the news, weather, or traffic (or are particularly big fans of Beyoncé’s 4) while in the shower.
At $150, the Kohler Moxie’s not a bad investment for a good-looking showerhead combined with a decent speaker to boot. You wouldn’t let most 2-for-1 deals slip by, so why not think about the Moxie in the same regard? The Moxie is available today online and in retail stores.