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Lifewire / Danny Chadwick
Clear, crisp audio
Easy to set up
Suction cup stays in place well
Doesn’t come with a wall adapter
Button controls take some getting used to
If you want a basic, affordable shower speaker that reliably sticks to the wall and delivers clear audio, the iFox iF012 is the model to buy.
With the iFox iF012 Bluetooth Shower Speaker, you know exactly what to expect when you first see it. And it delivers. This speaker is seamless to set up and use, the controls are straightforward for the most part, and it has outstanding battery life. Plus, the suction cup sticks to any flat surface and stays there.
The sound quality is good, and while it doesn’t produce that thumping bass some people might like, this is to be expected at the sub-$40 price point.
Out of the box, this Bluetooth shower speaker resembles an oversized hockey puck attached to a suction cup. It’s shiny, sleek, and black so it should match the decor of any bathroom you place it in.
Its simple five-button control panel only takes a few minutes to learn. There is a bit of confusion when it comes to skipping back and forth between songs and controlling the volume since you do both with the same buttons. Just remember that it’s press once to skip, and lean (press and hold) to change the volume.
You should also note that skipping songs and changing the volume are the only controls you get. You can’t switch between albums or playlists, and there are no voice controls that let you call Siri or another virtual assistant.
The iFox iF012 also allows you to take phone calls. If a call comes through and you’re in the shower, simply press the phone button on the bottom of the control panel and you’re on speakerphone. When we tested this feature, the person calling in assumed we were using the handset and couldn’t hear a difference. Unfortunately, you can’t make outgoing calls with it.
When you put this speaker somewhere, you can expect it to stay there.
The Bluetooth range of this device is the bare minimum according to Bluetooth Core Specifications: 33 feet. But for a device like this, that’s plenty. It means you can leave your phone outside the bathroom while you shower, or you can pair the speaker to a computer or other Bluetooth-enabled media player in a nearby room.
iFox Creations goes out of its way to make sure you know that this is a waterproof and not just a splash-proof device. We tested this by submerging it in a bathtub full of water and holding it under for three minutes. It still worked flawlessly afterward.
The suction cup fastens this speaker to any flat, smooth surface: shower walls, windows, end tables, etc. Once you put it up, you tend to forget about the suction cup—we had our test unit attached to a shower wall for three days and it never moved, slid, or fell off. When you put this speaker somewhere, you can expect it to stay there.
According to iFox Creations’ website, this shower speaker has an eight-hour battery life, which is decent, but not what we experienced when we tested ours. Our iFox iF012 had a partially-charged battery when we received it, and it played music for about three hours before dying. We charged it overnight, then let it play for about 22 hours before it ran out of power.
One nice thing we noticed is that when you power it on, it automatically connects to the last device it was paired with. So, if you want to listen to music from the same device every time you shower, you won’t have to re-pair it every day. Just know that if you’re already playing music on your paired device, when you press the power button it will automatically start playing on the speaker. If you don’t want this, make sure to manually unpair your device from the speaker when you’re done.
Don’t expect any booming bass or stereo sound—it’s just too small to be that powerful.
Another nicety is that when you plug in headphones to a paired device, the speaker disconnects and allows the headphones to take over.
The speaker comes with a USB charging cable that you can plug into any USB socket. It does not come with a wall adapter, and while that’s not a huge deal, it’s worth noting if you don’t have extra USB adapters lying around.
It takes a maximum of five minutes to get this Bluetooth shower speaker up and running. Most of that time is spent reading the user manual. In short, stick it to the wall, turn it on, pair it with your phone and you’re done. Some people may stumble if they’re not familiar with Bluetooth pairing, but outside of that, it’s very straightforward.
When we tested this device, it took about four seconds to pair with an iPhone. When it’s powered on and not connected to another device, it’s discoverable as “My Speaker F012.”
The sound quality was as good as can be expected from this type of device. Vocals are clear and true to the recording, and the music is crisp so you can hear the details in your favorite songs. The sound is full, and you can adjust the volume low enough for background music or loud enough to drown out your voice as you terribly sing along to your favorite rock song.
However, don’t expect any booming bass or stereo sound. It’s just too small to be that powerful.
There is one technical thing to keep in mind when it comes to volume. The volume of your sound is partially dependent on the volume settings of the device the speaker is paired to. If you turn up the speaker volume all the way and still aren’t getting the levels you want, check to see if you can turn the volume up on your phone.
The iFox iF012 Bluetooth Shower Speaker retails for $29.99. That’s a fair price for what you get out of this device. If you can find it for cheaper than that, buy two.
We tested the iFox iF012 side-by-side with the Polk BOOM Swimmer Duo. The Polk retails for $59.99 but generally sells for around the same price as the iFox.
You can do a few more things with the Swimmer Duo—it has more bass response and allows you to physically connect other devices to it via an AUX jack. The iFox only connects via Bluetooth.
But the biggest difference between them is what they’re designed to do. The iFox iF012 is a shower speaker by design. The Swimmer Duo can be used in the shower, but it’s meant to be taken anywhere and everywhere. Leaving it in the shower full time seems like a waste.
If you’re after portability and power, go with the Swimmer Duo. If you strictly want a shower speaker, then get the iFox.
A straightforward shower speaker with the perfect balance of power, features, and price.
It’s hard to point to something wrong with the iFox iF012. It overperforms in terms of battery life, and delivers quality sound (though it’s not exactly a rock concert). The only minor quibble we have with it is the lack of dedicated control buttons for volume and track skipping.