There is rarely a moment when I’m not listening to some form of music. My Spotify Wrapped revealed that in 2022 I streamed more than 593 hours of music, and that doesn’t account for all the YouTube synthwave playlists I use as background music while working. And as strange as it may sound, one of my favorite places to enjoy music is in the shower.
Until a few weeks back I was making do by placing my iPhone 12 on the side of the sink and cranking the volume to max in order to hear it over the sound of rushing water. An imperfect solution at best, not to mention smartphone speakers on full blast do not typically provide the most desirable audio experience. So, on an impulse, I decided to purchase a cheap Bluetooth speaker specifically for use in the shower.
I already owned two very good Bluetooth speakers — a UE Boom 2 and a Tribit StormBox Micro 2 — and both of these claim to be waterproof, so I technically didn’t need to purchase a new device for this purpose. But as I wanted to take a speaker directly into the shower, I decided I’d rather take a chance on a cheaper device that I’d feel less attachment to in the case of a waterlogged breakage.
I ultimately settled on the Lenrue F9 Bluetooth speaker, and after a few sessions of use, I’m pleasantly surprised with the pocket-sized music player. Granted, it’s unlikely to ever make our roundup of the best Bluetooth speakers, but for $25 it’s doing exactly what I need and doing it surprisingly well.
Lenrue F9 Bluetooth Speaker: $25 @ Amazon
The Lenrue F9 Bluetooth Speaker is a solid micro-sized audio device. It's rated IPX7 waterproof, making it perfect for use in the shower. Plus, it offers a suction cup for attaching to bathroom titles, RGB LED lighting, a in-built microphone and surprisingly decent audio quality. At just $25 it's a versatile speaker that can handle testing conditions.
A shower speaker was a smart buy
The best thing about the Lenrue F9 is that it appears to have been designed with the shower in mind. As mentioned, I already owned a pair of Bluetooth speakers, but neither of them includes a suction cup that allows the speaker to be mounted to a glass shower door, as the Lenrue F9 does.
The silicone suction cup allows the speaker to be within arm's reach when I want to increase the volume or skip through tracks. And switching songs is super simple thanks to physical buttons located on either side of the unit. But the Lenrue F9 has also got an in-built mic that can activate an AI assistant such as Siri if you’d rather cycle through playlists without pawing at the speaker with soapy hands.
The RGB LED lights is another feature that while far from necessary, add a novelty factor to the speaker that I’ve found particularly amusing. The speaker also includes a silicon loop and strap, which could be used to attach it to bike handlebars or a backpack. While much of its Amazon listing page focuses on its suitability for use in the shower, it’s definitely a versatile little speaker that you could take just about anywhere.
I’ve also been pleased with the overall audio quality of the Lenrue F9. The sound definitely suffers from some noticeable distortion, enough that any serious audiophile will want to look at alternatives, but considering its $25 price tag, it’s hard to fault the overall listening experience.
However, I don’t see myself taking it beyond the bathroom. I already have the small-but-mighty Tribit Micro StormBox 2 for outdoor listening, and it offers the same level of portability but with strong sound to boot. Nevertheless, the Lenrue F9 is serving its intended purpose better than I expected and I'm pretty pleased with my spur of the moment purchase. .
Now my only concern is how much my water bill is going to increase seeing as my average showering time has probably tripled over the couple of weeks!