Today’s review is the Sandberg Shower Bluetooth Speaker, a self-explanatory product. We’ve looked at a few Sandberg products over the last few months and we’ve been impressed with the quality both visually and performance wise, above all the price tags have separated them from the rest.
The product in question has just hit the market and has an MSRP of just over £20. Not everyone will admit it I’m sure but come on, we all love to sing the shower right?
►Bluetooth specification: 3.0+EDR
►Bluetooth profiles: A2DP and AVRCP
►Operating distance: 10 metres
►Bluetooth frequency range: 2.4 GHz-2.4835 GHz
►Speaker output: 3W
►Frequency response: 100 Hz – 20 KHz
►Working time: Up to 6 hours
►Battery: 3.7V 400 mAh lithium
►Charging time: About 3 hours
►Charging input: USB DC 5V
►Can work and charge simultaneously
►IP grade: IPx4
Sandberg Shower Bluetooth Speaker Review- Closer Look
The product arrived in a small and simple box. The clear windowed section on the front allows us to see a glimpse of the product. At the time of writing the speaker is only available in white which is a very neutral and accepted colour. To appeal to a larger target audience perhaps some more vibrant colours would be welcome, particularly for younger children and teens, maybe even a pink option?
While the reverse side of the box would first appear to information heavy, it’s actually nothing more than a very brief product description in a range of languages. The speaker’s main specification are listed on the base of the box. Most of which are self-explanatory but I’m pleased to see an operating time of up to 6 hours. Meaning charges shouldn’t be that frequent
The overall size is about 100mm by 100mm and about 40mm thick, The Speaker has lots of slants and curves, not only does this aid with the products look but will surely be logical in the case of forcing water to run off the main body. The controls are located in the centre of the area. Sandberg has chosen to colour this black, in an attempt to make this section more visible I would guess. The material used is a soft rubber and each key press feels responsive. Each button is clearly visible, going around in clockwise motion we have power, Volume up/Next track. Answer call, volume down/ previous track and in the centre a pause button. A pin size hole is present for the inbuilt mic. It’s a nice addition to the product, imagine the scenario you’re in the shower singing your heart out you receive a call, no problem!
As mentioned above the product claims Up to 6 hours’ usage and at some point, it’ll require a charge, because of the product nature being near a water source this is covered over with a simple peel back rubber cover. I must stress at this point that the speaker carries an Ip rating of IPX4, it is not intended to be submerged at any point.
A clean and simple design all around and turning our attention to the base, the application method is a large suction cup, the extra size will aid with stability, while the product is almost weightless it’s better to have more surface for additional grip. The speaker grill is on the underside of the product which is logical of course, we don’t want any water in this area, I have some concerns about how this might affect general quality though, having the audio playing directly to the surface it’s attached too, rather than the conventional towards the ear.
*UNBOXING AND PERFORMANCE VIDEO*
Sandberg Shower Bluetooth Speaker Review -Testing and Observations
I can’t stress enough that audio testing is a difficult area to write about, the simple truth is that the following is my opinion only. There is no logical, meaningful or repeatable test method for such a product. We test these types of products with a variety of genres and in this instance, we shall examine the mic quality too.
I began with a selection of audio from pop to rock, even and some classic! The Sandberg Shower Bluetooth Speaker performed fairly throughout. It was apparent almost instantly that the maximum volume might be lacking for some. Personally, the max was enough for me but I think a little bit more power would be more desirable for some users. You need to factor in the sound of running water too, which of course will dampening the output. It’s always song dependant of course but bass levels seem to be on the strong side and vocal clarity was slightly dull on occasion.
This could be down to the design of course. If you took your desktop speakers and turned them away from you, that’s the sort of effect the product produces. It took some time to adjust to the difference in sound emission.
Moving through other genres my feeling stayed the same, in general, the audio is good but there’s always a sense that sounds a little bit odd. Should you expect anything else from a product that is essentially a novelty item? Of course not, why would you want pitch-perfect orchestra quality sound for the shower! Moving onto the inbuilt mic for speakerphone functionality, I must confess I didn’t expect it to be so clear. I performed multiple calls and with each, the feedback was positive.
The real issue I have with the product is the large suction cup that holds the speaker in place. I assumed the main body of the product would slide or twist off the suction cup when it needed a charge. On my sample, I was not able to remove it all, even with an excessive force so that points scored for reliability and build quality. The sole reason I assumed it would come apart is that as that as fish owner, my aquarium has a pump,heaters and each is held with a similar suction cup. I know from experience that removing and refitting these time and time again causes them to fail. I’m not suggesting it will happen on the first day, week or month. It’s a slow process but this is a specialist piece here on the product, and replacing it is not a case of visiting a local hardware store. Perhaps I’m being critical but I have concerns about this part of the product lifecycle.