I Can’t Believe I Actually Like the Alexa Shower Speaker

I Can’t Believe I Actually Like the Alexa Shower Speaker
Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

I’m well aware that inviting Alexa — and therefore Amazon — into my shower is probably not-so-smart. Nevertheless, I love shower karaoke and my bathroom Bluetooth speakers weren’t cutting it. Some fell down off the tile wall because of their weak suction cups. Others sounded muffled because of the shower curtain. So it was in this exasperated state that I installed the Kohler Moxie Showerhead + Wireless Speaker.

Initially, I was nervous about installation because I’m the last person who should be doing any sort of home improvement project remotely related to pipes. So when I say installing this thing is so easy that even a disaster-prone klutz can do it, you should believe me. All you have to do is unscrew your current showerhead and screw this one on. That’s it! Pairing the device to your phone is also easy — it’s the same process as pairing any other Bluetooth speaker, though you can also go through the Kohler Konnect app. (I didn’t find the app itself added much to the experience.)

The speaker’s sound quality was also pretty good, which in retrospect shouldn’t have been super surprising as it’s the result of a partnership with Harman Kardon. It wasn’t as good as, say, my Sonos Move, but all my music sounded great because it was in the shower with me and I never had to worry about it falling off the wall. My old shower speaker of choice was the UE Wonderboom 2 and while it was simple to use, I had to crank the volume fairly high to clearly hear my music over the water. It also required me to waddle out of the shower, dripping water everywhere, to rifle through my phone’s playlist if I wanted to skip a track. I’ve also tried using the HomePod as my bathroom speaker and more often than not, my voice is too muffled for Siri to correctly hear my requests.

I didn’t have that problem with the Moxie.

Kohler Moxie Showerhead + Wireless Speaker

WHAT IS IT?

A showerhead with a smart Alexa-enabled wireless speaker

PRICE

$US200 ($258)

LIKE

Good sound quality. Easy to install. Alexa in the shower is surprisingly convenient.

NO LIKE

Buttons hard to reach. Little pricey as showerheads and smart speakers can be bought for less than $US100 ($129) each.

Once I enabled Amazon Alexa, it was very easy to ask Alexa to play a certain artist or playlist. Sometimes it struggled with less common names — I’ve yet to find a digital assistant that identifies Mitski correctly 100% of the time — but for the most part, Alexa got the job done. It was also nice that I could ask what events were on my calendar or opt for a little news update. That said, I do occasionally feel weird that perhaps some Amazon stooge is listening to me in the shower. On those days, even though I find Alexa convenient, I opt to connect to my phone manually. However, if it creeps you out entirely, know you can use this speaker without ever having to enable Alexa at all.

My one major gripe is that the power, mute, and volume buttons are not the easiest to use. The Moxie is designed in such a way that the squarish speaker component attaches magnetically in the centre of an outer, ring-shaped showerhead. The control buttons are on the sides of the speaker, but when attached to the showerhead, they’re both hard to see and reach — especially if you’re short and have bad vision like me. Technically, you can pop the speaker out as it’s got an IPX7 water resistance rating, but I instinctually never wanted to do that once the shower was already running. (You never know!)

Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

Another frustrating thing was battery life. I often forgot to turn off the speaker when I was done. While it does shut off automatically after a while, I got the sense my forgetfulness really ate into the estimated 9-hour battery life. More than a few times, my husband and I came to the shower ready to jam only to find the speaker was dead. (This, however, could easily not be an issue if you’re more diligent about turning the speaker off and checking battery levels.) The Moxie comes with a small charging cradle, which is easy enough to use but sort of annoying in a small bathroom if you don’t have enough counter or cabinet space to store it.

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Design-wise, the Moxie is sleek and inoffensive. Our review unit was the black version, which didn’t necessarily fit our bathroom’s decor, but I didn’t mind so much as it actually improved our water flow. Our old showerhead was…old and leaky and the Moxie felt as close to a rainfall showerhead as I was going to get outside of a fancy hotel stay. One thing to note, however, is if you want a shower head that gives you multiple spray modes, this ain’t it.

At $US200 ($258), this is the priciest showerhead that I, a cheapskate, have ever used. If all you’re looking for is better water pressure or something with a longer reach, you can find far more affordable options at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Likewise, you can find a ton of waterproof Bluetooth shower speakers in the $50-70 range.

It’s very easy to both upgrade your showerhead and get a decent shower speaker for under $150. But if you’re willing to splurge just a little bit, or can split the cost with roommates/a significant other? The Kohler Moxie is actually a convenient way to get a nicer showerhead and a good quality shower speaker in one easily installed package.