Review: iShower 2 Bluetooth speaker
iDevices is a company that doesn't believe in fixing what isn't broken, at least if the iShower 2, its latest iteration of its water-resistant shower speaker, is any indication. The Bluetooth device is nearly identical to the original iShower with just a few upgrades. Gizmag spent part of the northern summer with the latest version to see if it enables the ideal shower singing experience.
According to iDevices, iShower 2 adds a speakerphone function, extended battery life and better sound quality to the original iShower from 2012. We're led to wonder how often people really take or make calls from typically echoey showers, but we can at least vouch that it works as advertised with passable sound quality on calls.
Sound quality for music and podcasts is also on par with other shower systems like the Splash Tunes Pro that can easily fill a bathroom and cut through the sound of running water in the shower. The iShower 2, which measures 4 by 6 inches (10 x 15 cm), also gets bonus points for versatility, as it can easily be detached from an included adhesive shower tile mount and setup at the pool or elsewhere thanks to a handy kickstand.
The ability to remember, connect to and control five different Bluetooth-enabled devices is a nice feature, but the setup is a bit cumbersome and not the most intuitive. You may want to keep a copy of the manual handy or invest some time in getting to know the selection, pairing and connection process to avoid spending lots of frustrating time in your bathroom fooling with the iShower's several buttons just to play a few songs during your ten-minute shower.
The iShower 2 claims to get 25 hours of listening time out of each set of three AA batteries, a significant improvement over the 15-hour rating of the original model. We've put at least 15 hours of listening time on our iShower 2 review unit and the original set of batteries is still going strong. Still, we'd probably prefer the ease of a USB-rechargeable unit over the replaceable battery design, even if it meant sacrificing a few hours of life per charge.
One of the more impressive specs on the iShower 2 is its range of 200 feet (61 meters), which can be considerably less when obstructed by multiple walls or other barriers, but remains more than 5 times better than the range of many other Bluetooth speakers. In fact, when we tested it outside with a mostly clear line of sight, we found the range well exceeded 200 feet.
Overall, with a price of $99.95, the iShower 2 costs more than other quality shower speaker options but still represents a good value amid the much wider world of Bluetooth audio offerings when its impressive range, battery life, water resistance and versatility are taken into account.
In a sense, iDevices has the marketing a little backwards with the iShower. Rather than thinking of it as a shower stereo that's also portable, it's more of a nice, mid-level tabletop Bluetooth speaker that's also water-resistant and comes with an extra shower mount.
Either way, the company seems to have made the right move by not fixing what isn't broken.
Product page: iDevices