Senior Editor and Researcher
Shower radios are the ultimate way to take your daily hygiene routine to the next level. After all, who doesn’t love singing along to their favorite tunes while scrubbing away the day’s stresses?
While you could always turn up the volume on your radio system or smartphone outside of the bathroom, it’s so much more convenient to have a water-resistant system right there with you.
With a shower radio, you don’t have to worry about jumping out of the tub mid-clean to change the station or reduce the volume. You can control your listening experience without moving more than a few inches.
Shower radios are so popular some companies have even begun building radio technology directly into smart cubicles and tub systems.
But you don’t have to redesign your bathroom to enjoy music while you bathe. Read on for our complete guide to shower radios.
What Is a Shower Radio? Can You Have a Radio in the Bathroom?
First, let’s get the basics out of the way.
However, while you should usually avoid getting the average bathroom radio too wet, shower radios are built to withstand a lot more moisture.
Some include suction cups to attach them straight to the bathroom wall, while others can hang from your tap or shower head.
Shower radios also have a few other distinctive features. They typically aren’t mains operated but rely on batteries instead (for safety reasons). They also usually offer speakers for audio, rather than headphone jacks, to prevent water from accessing the inner mechanisms.
Common Shower Radio Features
While the exact features of your shower radio will depend on several factors, including the manufacturer you choose, and your budget, there are some standard features.
For instance, your shower radio might include the following:
- A built-in clock for keeping track of time
- Weather alert antennas or broadcasts
- Station presets for finding your favorite channel
- High-level waterproofing
- AM, FM, and DAB channels
- Bluetooth speakers
- Built-in microphones
- Easy-to-use controls and screens
Most of these devices are relatively compact, so that they won’t take up too much space in your shower cubicle or tub.
What’s the Best Way to Listen to Music in the Shower?
Shower radios are probably the most convenient way to listen to music in the bathroom. However, there are other options out there.
If you have a waterproof radio, typically used for hiking, backpacking, and camping, you could also use it in your bathroom.
Other options for listening to music in the shower include:
- Bathroom radios: Bathroom radios, as mentioned above, are designed with a decent level of waterproofing, so they’re suitable for use in areas with a lot of moisture. However, they can be bulkier than shower radios and may require access to mains power.
- Bluetooth speakers: Some Bluetooth speakers are designed specifically for shower settings and may have many of the same features as shower radios, such as suction cups and waterproofing. However, you’ll need another device to stream music to your speaker, such as a different radio, stereo system, or smartphone.
- Integrated radios: As mentioned above, some innovative companies have started to build music systems into smart showers. Even bathroom manufacturers can build waterproof televisions into your wall to keep you entertained while you’re in the tub.
Of course, you can always consider simply turning the volume up on another music system outside of your bathroom if you’re worried about getting your devices wet.
Is a Shower Radio Waterproof? Radio Waterproofing
While shower radios can include many unique features, the most important thing most shoppers look for is waterproofing.
Notably, while almost every radio advertised as a shower radio will be at least partially water-resistant, only some devices will be waterproof.
When shopping for the best shower radio, pay attention to the product’s Ingress Protection or IP rating. This rating set by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) defines exactly how resistant a product is to water.
The higher the number next to the IPX label, the better the waterproofing.
Most of the best shower radios will have a rating of at least IPX4 or above. Here’s what that means:
- IPX4: Resistant to water splashes from any direction
- IPX5: Resistant to low-pressure, sustained water sprays
- IPX6: Suitable for withstanding high pressure from a nozzle
- IPX7: Capable of immersion for up to 30 minutes in water
What to Look for in a Shower Radio
Excellent waterproofing will likely be the first thing you look for when searching for the ideal shower radio. Still, there are other factors to consider too.
If you’re struggling to choose the best shower radio, here are some points to think about.
The Type of Radio Frequency
Shower radios can accommodate various radio frequencies, from standard AM/FM channels to more modern options like DAB and DAB+.
Some products can include NOAA radio frequencies for weather alerts and emergency broadcasts.
If you want to find the right station quickly, look for a radio with an auto-scanning feature to help you track down frequencies.
You can also choose a radio with preset buttons to save your stations to jump to them instantly in the future.
Sound Quality and Volume
Many shower radios are more for fun than an authentic audiophile experience. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find radios with excellent audio quality.
It’s worth checking out the speakers in your radio to see whether they support high-definition audio without static.
You’ll also need to ensure your shower radio can achieve a relatively high volume. Even if you’d like to listen to music discreetly, it can be hard to hear tunes over the sound of pouring water.
Some options will allow you to adjust your volume to higher decibels. There are also models which will enable you to adjust audio presets, changing things like bass and treble.
If you want to go beyond standard AM, FM, and DAB connections for your in-shower musical experience, it’s worth looking at connectivity options.
Many shower radios and waterproof systems have Bluetooth connectivity to stream music directly from your phone or other devices.
Ensure you check the type of Bluetooth supported and your device’s wireless range.
You could also consider using a product with a Wi-Fi connection to link your radio directly to the internet.
Some Wi-Fi-enabled solutions allow you to browse through channels directly from the radio, so you don’t have to jump out of the shower to fetch your smartphone or laptop.
A good battery life is valuable for a shower radio, as it ensures you won’t have to remember to recharge it every time you want to wash your hair.
Many models offer around 10 hours of playback on a single charge, and some come with replaceable batteries if you forget to recharge.
A handful of waterproof radios might feature more eco-friendly charging options, such as solar panels.
Shower radios need to handle much more than just constant exposure to water. They’ll also be subject to sudden changes in temperature and the occasional bump from time to time.
That’s why finding a durable solution to withstand anything is so important.
Most shower radios will have a protective casing, which helps keep dust and moisture out. These casings can also help to protect the sensitive materials within your shower radio safe if you accidentally drop your device.
As mentioned above, shower radios can also include extra features to make your listening experience more relaxing and convenient.
An auto-scanning system could be ideal for avoiding fiddling with a tuner when you shower.
You could also look for features like a built-in microphone for making hands-free calls or a clock to track your time in the shower.
Some products come with additional accessories, such as mounting brackets and power adapters, which can also contribute to overall ease of use.
Start Singing in the Shower with the Right Shower Radio
Shower radios might not be a particularly new concept in the technological world.
However, they’re still a fun, practical, and convenient tool for many consumers.
A shower radio is an excellent investment if you want to make your hygiene routine a little more exciting or ensure you never miss out on your favorite radio shows.
Hopefully, the guide above will give you everything you need to know to make the right choice for your bathroom.