Gadgets: Music in the shower

  • Article by: Wire services
  • Updated: February 23, 2013 - 5:00 PM
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Kohler’s Moxie shower head.

Kohler Moxie, $200,www.kohler.com

 

Kohler has brought a whole new meaning to “streaming audio.”

The company, which makes bathroom fixtures, has introduced a shower head with a built-in wireless speaker system called the Moxie.

Although it might seem simple to put a speaker in a shower head, there were a number of design challenges. The speaker displaces a lot of spray nozzles, and Kohler had to maintain a 2.5-gallon-a-minute water flow through a normal-size shower head. It accomplished the task by carefully sizing and re-aiming nozzles to provide a good dousing.

Kohler also had to ensure that the small speaker and amplifier could be removed for charging. It used a strong magnet to mount the cone-shaped module so it can be plucked easily from the shower head.

The shower head itself, which lists for $200, is plastic with a silicone face to make it easier to remove calcium deposits. The mounting hardware is chromed brass. The company says to expect up to seven hours of play time.

In a test, the shower head provided a strong, steady stream, and the sound quality was good for such a tiny speaker in a poor acoustical environment. Those hard tile surfaces create an echo, which improves the sound of your singing in the shower but degrades the music.

 

 

Some extra power for iPhone 5 owners

Juice Pack Helium, $80, www.mophie.com

 

Battery life has been a common complaint of iPhone 5 owners.

The accessory maker Mophie claims to be the first to address the problem with a battery case, which is called the Juice Pack Helium.

The Helium is a plastic case with an integrated lithium-ion battery, and it is light, at under 3 ounces. And while it adds a bit of bulk — almost a third of an inch — it’s still easy to slide in a pocket.

The case holds a 1500 mAh battery that can almost double talk time. The case snaps over the phone. There are cutouts for the buttons, speaker and camera — some buttons are recessed such that it’s not easy for thick fingers to reach them, and anything other than a slim straight headphone plug won’t work.

NEW YORK TIMES

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