CES always makes a home for some of the more out-there tech, and CES 2021 going all-digital hasn’t stopped that trend at all.
The Ampere Shower Power is a perfect example. This is a Bluetooth speaker designed not just to be used in the shower, but to be affixed to the shower — it clamps in place just above the showerhead, and the flow of water recharges its battery.
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Since a fully-charged battery apparently provides 14 hours of playback, it’s hard to see how you’d ever run dry, unless you used the Shower Power as a regular bathroom speaker but only took baths.
And, while installing a hydropower device might sound like a serious piece of plumbing work, Ampere maintains that most people can install it themselves in under a minute. It’s built to fit over most kinds of fixed and detachable showerheads, with the rushing water spinning an impeller connected to a small generator.
The Shower Power Kickstarter page, where the project has already been fully funded, describes the speaker’s "360-degree immersive and bold sound." In terms of performance it could be like the Kohler Moxie, another Bluetooth speaker-in-a-showerhead which was introduced at CES 2020 and is just now going on sale for $120. However, that speaker needs to be recharged via USB.
There are also a circular set of controls on top of the speaker, though a waterproof remote will be included should you want to play some tunes from the comfort of your toilet seat.
"While we've been developing this idea for more than two years now, we couldn't think of a better time to launch it," said Ampere CEO Reid Covington. "After a quarantine-fuelled year, we're consuming more content on our speakers — like podcasts, audiobooks and music — than ever before. And on top of that, we're spending even more time at home because of the pandemic. We think that it will be a great fit for audiophiles or avid podcast listeners."
At the moment, the only way to pre-order the Shower Power ahead of its May release is to order it through Kickstarter or its Indiegogo page, where a basic model costs $79 and the LED-equipped Shower Power Shine is $128. Paying into crowdfunding schemes can be risky, but Ampere is an established company and the Shower Power is fully funded already, so it hopefully won’t be a total wash.
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James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.