There are a lot of shower and bathroom radios available on the market, but most of them have quite a lot of negative reviews. This is often due to either poor build quality or poor reception, which is a common problem since the shower isn’t the ideal place to get good radio reception.
Fortunately, there are a few high-quality shower radios available in the UK. We’ve picked out some of the best models on the market in 2019. Skip down to read our reviews, or read on for some more information to help you choose the right shower radio.
About shower radios
A shower radio is a radio that has been specially designed to be water resistant so it can be used in the shower. Shower radios often have a hanging strap which you can use to hang them from the shower.
Others have a suction cup which lets you attach them to the shower wall. For safety reasons, shower radios are battery powered and usually lack a headphone jack, since water and wires don’t mix well.
Are shower radios actually waterproof?
Shower radios are water resistant, but technically speaking, most of them aren’t waterproof. The definition of waterproof according to Merriam Webster is “impervious to water”, which would mean you could completely submerge the radio in water without it doing any damage.
Most shower radios aren’t quite that tough—they can withstand being splashed by water but you shouldn’t overdo it. Most shower radios have an IP code of IPX4, which means they are resistant to the “splashing of water”.
However, there are several fully waterproof shower speakers on the market, which have IPX7 ratings, meaning you can submerge them in water.
Are shower radios safe?
Yes, if the radio you’re buying is a genuine shower radio it should be perfectly safe. You should only use a water-resistant radio in the shower—not a regular radio. In particular, you should never use a radio with headphones near water. Shower radios don’t have headphone jacks, as this could electrocute you.
Features to look for in a shower radio
Shower radios are often simple FM radios with a single speaker and limited features, though they can have more advanced features such as Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a good feature to have as it means you can listen to any kind of audio from your phone while you’re in the shower, so instead of being limited to the radio you can also listen to MP3s, podcasts and so on.
Here’s an overview of some of the features you might want to look for in a shower radio:
- Bluetooth: This lets you stream audio from your phone through the radio’s speaker.
- DAB: DAB gives you a greater choice of stations but will result in a shorter battery life.
- At least IPX4 water resistance: This means the radio will withstand being splashed by water in any direction.
- Clock/timer: This is useful if you’re on a tight schedule.
- Suction cup: Some radios and shower speakers can be stuck to a shower wall or bathroom tiles using a suction cup on the back of the unit.
- Hanging strap: Some radios can be hung over a shower head or other convenient place, so it will be at eye level and you won’t step on it while showering.
Best Shower Radios in the UK (2019)
Here are our 5 favourite shower radios on the market in 2019.
1. Sony ICF-S80 Splash Proof Shower Radio
The Sony ICF-S80 is a dependable AM/FM shower radio that you can also use around the house. It comes in an elegant white design. While it doesn’t offer DAB or Bluetooth, it boasts a long battery life of up to 100 hours.
- AM/FM Radio
- IPX4 splash-proof rating
- Battery life of up to 100 hours
- Auto Power Off function
- Saves 5 preset stations
- Strap holes so you can easily hang it on your shower
- 12-hour clock
Dimensions: 16 x 14 x 8 cm
Weight: 798 g
- Can be hung on a shower or stood on its own
- Volume goes quite loud
- Long battery life
- Features a clock
- Good reception
- No DAB radio – just AM/FM
- No Bluetooth
This radio is more expensive than some of the other FM shower radios on the market, but it’s a high-quality product with good reception. It’s a very reliable radio that will provide you with weeks of battery life and will look great in your bathroom.
Take care not to place it directly under running water as it is only designed to be splash-proof.
2. BassPal Shower Speaker
This product is designed primarily as a Bluetooth speaker for the shower rather than a radio, but is also has a built-in FM radio.
Unlike most of the other products reviewed here, the BassPal Shower Speaker is fully waterproof, not just water resistant. You can submerge it in water for 30 minutes without damaging it. This makes it good for listening to in the shower and bath.
- FM radio
- Waterproof (IPX7 rating)
- Suction cup
- Floats in the bath
- LED lights (can be switched off)
- Built-in rechargeable battery (charges with a micro USB charging cable)
- Built-in microphone for hands-free calls via Bluetooth
Dimensions: 8.2 x 8.2 x 6.5 cm
Weight: 299 g
- Easy to pair with a Bluetooth device
- Fully waterproof
- Features Bluetooth
- Nice LED lights
- Decent sound quality given its size
- Takes a long time to charge up (about 3 hours)
- Not designed primarily as a radio
If you listen to lots of music, radio or podcasts on your phone, the BassPal Shower Speaker is a good choice. It will let you listen to music in the shower or bath without risking getting your phone wet. It offers reasonably good sound quality and value for money.
3. John Lewis Spectrum Digital Shower Radio
The Spectrum Shower Radio from John Lewis is a stylish product with a useful strap for hanging it in the shower.
The Spectrum Shower Radio offers FM as well as DAB, so it gives you more choice of stations than an FM-only radio. It uses a rechargeable built-in battery which lasts for up to 12 hours.
- FM/DAB radio
- Rechargeable battery
- IPX4 water resistance
- Carrying/hanging handle
- 3-watt speaker
- Headphone jack
- Good reception
- Light and easy to carry
- Decent sound quality
- Difficult and fiddly to turn on and off
- Shorter battery life on than an FM
If you’d like DAB radio in addition to FM, the Spectrum Shower Radio is a great alternative to the Sony ICF-S80 Splash Proof Shower Radio reviewed above. The battery life is shorter, but you’ll have more stations to listen to.
This radio is a good choice for listening to around the house and in the garden, not just in the bathroom.
4. Vtin Shower Speaker
This product is a Bluetooth shower speaker rather than a radio, but it does feature an FM radio as well. The Vtin Shower Speaker is quite a versatile product that you can use to stream music, take hands-free calls and listen to FM stations.
- Bluetooth 4.0
- FM radio
- IPX4 water resistance
- Suction cup for attaching to a shower wall
- Microphone for hands-free calls
- Up to 8 hours of battery life
Dimensions: 10.2 cm x 10.2 cm x 7.6 cm
Weight: 259 g
- Connects to Bluetooth easily
- Decent FM reception
- Small and compact
- Time isn’t displayed when listening to the radio
- Doesn’t remember last radio station listened to
- Default volume is very loud
This product is designed more as a Bluetooth speaker than a radio, and if you just want to listen to the radio it’s not ideal. It doesn’t remember the last station you listened to, so you need to save a preset or tune the radio in each time you turn it on.
However, it offers good value for money and features Bluetooth, which is a big plus.
5. Roberts Radio Splash
The Roberts Splash offers DAB radio and Bluetooth, so it’s quite a versatile product.
If you just look at pictures, you might expect the Roberts Splash to be a pocket radio, but it’s actually much bigger than you might expect at 20 cm tall. It also weighs 680 grams, so it’s fairly heavy.
- FM/DAB/DAB+ radio
- Takes 2 x D batteries
- Saves 8 preset stations
- Wire antenna
Dimensions: 20 x 11 x 7 cm
Weight: 680 g
- Lots of features, including DAB and Bluetooth
- Good sound quality
- Good reception
- Large and bulky
- Takes D batteries, which aren’t very convenient
This is one of the few shower radios available with good sound quality, DAB and Bluetooth. However, it’s big and bulky, with a dated design. It would be nice if it was slimmer and more modern-looking.
If we had to pick just one of these radios to recommend it would be the Sony ICF-S80 because although it’s only an AM/FM radio and doesn’t have DAB, it’s a well-designed product with a long battery life (useful if you keep it in the shower). It’s also designed primarily as a radio rather than having the radio added as an afterthought.
If you listen to a lot of music on your phone though, the BassPal Shower Speaker is a better choice, as it will let you listen to audio from your phone using Bluetooth.
For some more products to consider, see our roundup of the best radios for the bathroom.