Showering has progressed from a purely practical experience — that of getting clean — to an act that involves luxury and fun, making the shower a retreat. Many showers have multiple showerheads, digital controls and all kinds of bells and whistles. Shower toys and accessories have evolved beyond the rubber duck to waterproof shower radios to sing along with or to listen to the morning traffic reports; others keep radios on their bathroom counters to catch up on their favorite show and news while preparing for the day.
Kohler, Wis.-based Kohler Co. has taken that love of music to a new level by introducing the Moxie showerhead, which integrates a speaker with Bluetooth technology. “We pay attention to a lot of trends in the bathroom and also what is going on outside it,” says Leslie Bronson, Kohler’s product manager for Moxie. “It’s hard to open a publication lately without seeing a new product that will sync with your phone or MP3 player. We thought bringing that into the shower would be another way to bring music into your life.”
The removable Bluetooth speaker docks into the middle of the showerhead via powerful magnets in the speaker and the showerhead for optimum security. “It’s a very nice feel when you dock it, and it’s a very elegant sensation because it’s so smooth from the silicone coating,” Bronson says.
The speaker has an IPX4 waterproof rating, which means it can handle rain and splashing water but should not be immersed.
The showerhead syncs with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and MP3 players and streams music directly to the shower. The speaker pod can be removed and enjoyed anywhere — a lithium-ion battery provides about seven hours of playtime, and the speaker is rechargeable via a USB cord. The on/off button is incorporated into the speaker capsule’s design and includes a light that changes color to indicate when the speaker is paired and when the battery needs to be charged.
Although most showerheads have silicone nozzles, the nozzles stick out beyond the plastic-coated showerhead face. Kohler coated the entire face of the Moxie showerhead, as well as the 60 angled nozzles, with silicone so the spray nozzles don’t stick out. Silicone repels various materials, which makes it easy to clean and clear away mineral buildup.
Designers will appreciate the proximity of the speaker to the spray, ensuring the two sounds don’t work against each other. The speaker uses 1.5 watts at 1 kilohertz and has less than 1 percent sound distortion. “That translates to mean it’s a very crisp, clear sound,” Bronson explains. “That less than 1 percent distortion is key when you’re listening to talk radio or different kinds of music. You’re really going to hear good quality sound versus other products that might have 5 percent or greater distortion.”