Kohler Moxie Showerhead review: Alexa is a good shower caddy

moxi-showerhead-30

The Kohler Moxie Showerhead wants to add music to your morning routine. It combines a waterproof, battery-powered Bluetooth speaker and an otherwise ordinary showerhead — don’t expect to turn on the water with an app or change the temperature with your voice. The speaker has Amazon’s assistant Alexa built-in to respond to voice commands and it attaches to the shower with magnets. 

You can easily pull it free and use it as a smart speaker in any room of the house, or snap it in place if you’re tired of singing in the shower and would rather have your shower sing to you. The showerhead itself is relatively easy to install, but it lacks ordinary niceties such as options for different spray modes. 

Like

  • Sounds great for its size
  • Easily attaches and detaches from the shower
  • Mics are responsive and Alexa responds to a variety of commands

Don’t Like

  • No alternate spray settings
  • App doesn’t help you troubleshoot and regularly loses connection
  • More expensive than buying a similar smart speaker and shower head separately

The Moxie is also expensive. The Alexa enabled version I tested is $260 with a matte black finish. Other finishes cost as little as $240 and a Bluetooth-only version drops as low as $180. All of those prices are steep, but the speaker itself helps make up for it. It’s a good battery-powered smart speaker, and there aren’t many of those, plus it sounds great for its size. All of that makes the Kohler Moxie Showerhead worthy of consideration if you want a smart shower. But watch out for a sale. (International prices aren’t available but $240 converts to about £170 or AU$300.)

Setting up your shower

As long as you have a wrench, you can install the Kohler showerhead itself in a matter of minutes. You’ll find written directions in the box, but you essentially just need to apply some of the included plumbers’ tape, then screw the showerhead onto your faucet after removing the showerhead you have in place. 

The written directions and Kohler Konnect app walk you through setting up the speaker and activating Alexa. I wish the app included a little more assistance. If you need to troubleshoot the connection, the app links to a PDF of those written instructions instead of working through the problem with you. 


Now playing:
Watch this:

The Kohler Moxie Showerhead uses Alexa to make mornings…



5:08

Nevertheless, once you create a Kohler account, link to your Amazon account and use the app to connect your speaker to Wi-Fi, you’re done. The speaker will populate in your Alexa app so you can control it from there. You can also connect your phone via Bluetooth to play music.

You can buy the Kohler Moxie Showerhead now from the company’s site or use the site to find a dealer in your area. All of the models are rated IPX7 waterproof. We tested a model with an economical 1.75 gallon per minute flow, but you can also get Moxie with a 2.5 gpm flow. It’s available in matte black, brushed nickel and polished chrome. Prices range from $239 to $259 for the Alexa models and $179 to $199 for the Bluetooth-only versions. 

Charging your smart shower

Once it’s set up, you can turn your Moxie on and issue any number of voice commands. Alexa offers a robust set of features at this point and the Moxie’s mics will hear your commands reliably. You can play music, ask trivia questions, check your calendar, control your smart home and more, all with your voice. 

kohler-moxie-0439

James Martin/HDOT

The speaker itself has buttons for controlling the volume, muting the mic and powering it on or off. Kohler claims the battery is good for up to 9 hours of playback. That seems accurate after anecdotal testing. You can turn it on with a press when you wake up in the morning and then leave it after you’re done with your morning routine — it’ll shut itself off after a few minutes of inactivity and be ready to go the next day. With this routine, you’ll be able to leave it in place for a few days between charges. 

I wasn’t a fan of the charger. It doesn’t include a plug, just a micro USB-to-USB cable, so I had to dig out a spare to connect to a wall outlet. The cable connects to a caddy with two small receptors. You need to line those up with the matching ones on the bottom of the speaker as you rest it in place. I wish it snapped in as neatly as it rests in the showerhead instead of making you fiddle for the right alignment. A white light will blink as it charges and turn green when it’s done. 

Sound off

While I’m nitpicking, you can switch from “shower” mode to “normal” mode on the speaker by holding the up and down volume buttons for a second. According to Kohler, the former is tuned specifically for the reverberation in the bathroom, but there’s no great way to see which mode it is in without checking the Kohler Konnect app, and the app has trouble holding connection to the speaker. To my ear, the normal sound is a little louder and more omnidirectional.

Both modes sounded great when I listened to music. Kohler teamed with established speaker company Harman Kardon on the hardware and it shows. I listened to rock, classical and acoustic tracks and Moxie kept the sound clean and full even at max volume. That top volume is also louder than I would have expected. 

It’s still a small, battery-powered smart speaker, so don’t expect a booming stereo, but it outclassed the similarly sized $50 Echo Dot and was closer than I expected to the full-sized $100 Amazon Echo

amazon-echo-dot-and-dot-with-clock-2

Moxie’s sound quality outclasses the new Echo Dot. 


Chris Monroe/HDOT

The sound quality helped me genuinely enjoy the testing process. At one point, I put on the atmospheric soundtrack to Hollow Knight, one of my favorite video games, and it made my morning routine feel magical. Because it’s portable and so easy to attach and detach from the shower, I even brought it with me as I fixed breakfast and started my day. 

Again, there aren’t many good, battery-powered smart speakers and I got a kick out of the convenience of the portability. Plus, I don’t have a lot of shelf space in my bathroom, so I liked being able to just snap it back into the shower when I was done. 

Coming clean

The showerhead itself didn’t impress me as much as the speaker. It hits a fine middle ground between a gentle rainfall shower and an intense massage stream, but you can’t adjust to any other spray setting. That’s not an advanced feature; almost every shower I tested for HDOT’s list of best showerheads has at least one alternate spray mode. 

Kohler’s one setting is intense and has enough coverage that it will be fine for most, but I’d have preferred a wider and gentler stream as my default, and Kohler doesn’t offer the means to adjust its spray. 

The verdict

Even though the Kohler Moxie Showerhead’s main feature is kind of a gimmick, the quality of the speaker itself won me over. No, you don’t need a smart speaker embedded in your shower fixture, but it’s nice to have if you’re looking for an upgrade. Plus, since you’re just buying a showerhead and a speaker, it’s significantly less than full installation smart showers with water control, like the one from Moen than can easily cross the $2,000 mark.

The showerhead itself isn’t as impressive since it doesn’t offer any alternate spray patterns, and the price isn’t as attractive when compared an ordinary showerhead and a separate smart speaker. The $260 model I tested would cost significantly more than buying a competent $60 showerhead and a full-sized $100 Amazon Echo, let alone the $50 Dot. Ampere also has an upcoming Bluetooth shower that only costs $100 (and that one’s powered by water). 

Nevertheless, the battery-powered smart speaker is good and the shower itself is competent, so if you like the idea of a smart shower than can add music to your morning routine, I recommend the Kohler Moxie showerhead, especially if you can find a bargain. 

Related Posts