Secret shower singers rejoice: a new water-powered Bluetooth speaker from Ampere could streamline your morning routine.
Shower Power’s main difference from earlier water-powered speaker Hyquadio is that the device is actually two pieces; there’s an attachment for your shower head that intercepts your water flow to power a hydroelectric generator, and a detachable Bluetooth speaker. Ampere also offers more options for controlling its speaker, with physical playback controls on the device and a battery-powered remote if the speaker is out of reach.
A note on crowdfunding:
Crowdfunding is a chaotic field by nature: companies looking for funding tend to make big promises. According to a study run by Kickstarter in 2015, roughly 1 in 10 “successful” products that reach their funding goals fail to actually deliver rewards. Of the ones that do deliver, delays, missed deadlines, or overpromised ideas mean that there’s often disappointment in store for those products that do get done.
The best defense is to use your best judgment. Ask yourself: does the product look legitimate? Is the company making outlandish claims? Is there a working prototype? Does the company mention existing plans to manufacture and ship finished products? Has it completed a Kickstarter before?
And remember: you’re not necessarily buying a product when you back it on a crowdfunding site.
When the speaker is attached and water is flowing, its 2500mAh battery should offer over 80 hours of playback at max volume. Detached or with water off, that number shrinks to around 17 hours at max volume.
You might expect the speaker to be powered indefinitely with water, but Ampere explains that due to the size of Shower Power’s impeller (the component rotated by water) it’s only able to meet the demands of the speaker’s battery indefinitely at around 60-70 percent volume.
Along with battery life, we’ll also need to test Shower Power’s audio performance. The device is advertised as having immersive sound and deep bass, but I’d expect it to sound differently depending on where you place it. Since shower heads come in as many varieties as showers, that could create a wide range of possible sounds.
Standalone water-proof speakers can also easily play music in your shower, but unlike Shower Power they’d have to be removed every time you need to charge them. Shower Power never has to leave your shower if you don’t want it to; its advantage is that it never requires you to remember a cable.
The Shower Power with removable speaker. Image: Ampere
For interested shower vocalists and podcast devotees, Shower Power launches today on Kickstarter for $49.95, with pre-orders to follow on Ampere’s site on November 15th and fulfillment slated for December.