Annexe Knowledgebase

Bathroom speakers guide for your annexe

Their lack of regular power sockets and water hazards aplenty means annexe bathrooms haven’t always been the easiest place to enjoy your favourite tracks. But thanks to developments in wireless tech and speaker quality, you can up the tempo of your daily ablutions. And by streaming from services such as Spotify or Deezer, the options are virtually endless.

How can I get the best sound quality in my bathroom?
If you’d rather soak in silence that listen to poor-quality sound, consider linking your bathroom to a home music system. Waterproof speakers are wired to an audio player and amplifier outside the bathroom – music can be controlled via a wall panel. Automation systems are available, with options to control your bathroom lighting from the same panel as your music to really set the mood. Alternatively, a waterproof remote control, can be used.

All bathroom electrics must conform to strict safety regulations – a qualified electrician should always carry out the installation and can advise you on what is and isn’t possible in your particular space.

Is there a cheaper option?
Bluetooth speakers that stream music from a smartphone or tablet are our retro-fit friend. For safe bathroom use, they’re powered by waterproof low-voltage transformers connected to the mains. The most common are in-ceiling speakers and those in mirrors and cabinets. Bluetooth devices usually have at least a 10-metre range, so you can leave your phone or tablet outside the bathroom, safe from water, and the music will continue to play.

What choices do I have if I don’t want to rewire?
Go for a portable solution. There are plenty of waterproof Bluetooth speakers available and the humble shower radio, now with vastly improved DAB quality, is always an option. Try UE’s fully waterproof speakers, which can survive a dunking in the bath and will still play music while it’s floating. Or Kohler’s Moxie showerhead, which hosts a wireless speaker that pairs to Bluetooth-enabled devices, delivering audio overhead.

Also, check out portable wi-fi speakers, like Denon’s Heos 1 HS2. WiFi has a greater range than Bluetooth, and your listening won’t be interrupted by calls or text alerts.

What’s the best way to control a bathroom speaker safely?
To change tracks in the bathroom without fear of dropping your phone in the bath, go for a waterproof handset when you next upgrade. This year sees a whole host of launches from the likes of Sony, Samsung and Apple, using the latest nano-coating protection.

What is an IP rating?
IP stands for Ingress Protection, and any source of music in the bathroom needs 
it. The last digit given indicates the water protection, 8 being the highest. Look for at least IP67 or IPX7, covering immersion – IP65 or IPX5, means splashproof. In-ceiling speakers not located above a bath or shower only need to be moisture proof so IP44 is sufficient.