ShowerTunes: How I took a shower with the cast of 'Fringe'

Crave's Amanda Kooser takes a shower curtain with built-in speakers for a hands-on tub test.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
Placing iPad in ShowerTunes pocket
Take your tablet into the shower without getting it wet. Amanda Kooser/CNET

I confess. I'm binge-watching "Fringe." Sometimes, I even set my Netflix-playing iPad up on a stand on the bathroom counter, far enough away from the falling water to avoid damage, so I can watch the show while I shower. But this setup means means I can't hear it, so I turn on the closed-captioning and read the dialog in between dunking my face under the water. This is absurd, so I'm trying something new.

That something new is ShowerTunes, a shower curtain with a built-in speaker system and waterproof pockets for tablets and phones. It's also absurd, but it's much more functional than my previous setup. Now, there is nothing in this universe (or any alternate universe) to stop me from mercilessly bingeing my merry way through the final season.

ShowerTunes batteries
Prepping the speakers with batteries. (Click to enlarge.) Amanda Kooser/CNET

Installing the shower curtain is no different than any regular curtain, except that I have to feed three AA batteries into one of the speakers. Cables run from the speakers in the corners into a zippered pocket accessed from the outside of the curtain. You open it up, hook the cable into the audio-out port, place the device with the display facing the clear plastic window into the tub, and turn on a small switch.

Once you're in the shower, you can control your device through the window and choose whether to scrub with Spock, wash with Whedon, or bathe with Batman.

The sound quality is a little bit tinny and a little bit muffled at the same time, but I wasn't expecting an audiophile experience from a $40 shower curtain. The waterproof device pocket is located at about waist-level, which makes it slightly awkward for viewing, but also means you can use it while laying down and taking a bath. It's a compromise.

ShowerTunes isn't just for music and movies. You can also hook your phone up and take a call while the artificial rains fall down all around you.

There I was, singing loudly along to Marty Robbins cowboy songs, when I received an incoming call from my fiance. I answered it by swiping my phone through the clear window. We chatted for a bit, though he complained about the background noise coming from my end. He did agree that I could probably have passed the sounds off as being in a busy mall or out in a rainstorm. Still, I wouldn't recommend taking business calls while you're naked and dealing with shampoo running into your eyes.

All in all, ShowerTunes is an amusing experience, though it's much more a novelty than a serious home entertainment system. If you can overlook the audio quality shortcomings, you might enjoy living out the fantasy of scrubbing down with your favorite TV stars in the shower with you.

Singing along in the shower just got easier. Amanda Kooser/CNET