Bath Radio: Review & Recommendations

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Welcome to our big Badradio Test 2020, where we present you all the bathroom radios we have tested in detail. We have put together detailed background information for you and also added a summary of the customer reviews on the net.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best bathroom radio for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a bathroom radio.

The most important facts in brief

  • Bathroom radios allow you to listen to music even in the bathroom. We show you here three different types of these devices adapted to the bathroom environment.
  • A basic distinction is made between the classic bathroom radio, the shower radio and the flush-mounted radio. All three forms are available in different versions and different designs.
  • The classic bathroom radio is a radio that is also suitable for use in damp rooms. Flush-mounted radios are particularly suitable for you if you have little space but do not want to do without music with good sound. Shower radios are usually waterproof and can therefore even be taken directly into the cabin.

Badradio Test: Favourites of the editorial staff

  • The best bathroom radio with preset station buttons
  • The best bathroom radio with integrated flashlight
  • The best small flush-mounted bathroom radio
  • The best ready-to-install flush-mounted bathroom radio
  • The best bathroom radio in cute squeaky duck design
  • The best splash-proof bathroom radio

The best bathroom radio with preset station buttons

With its well-finished functionalist design in white, the Sony ICFS80.CE7 shower radio is not a real eye-catcher, despite a slight retro touch. However, this is not the case with the shower radios, as their small size means that they are not the centre of attention in the bathroom and can be easily stored in the drawer. The radio has a small LCD display with clock display and a rubber suspension strap.

The Philips AE2330 shower radio is powered by three size C R14 batteries and promises a battery life of up to 100 hours when used. The Sony ICFS80.CE7 shower radio is splash-proof and has the reception mode FM/ MW.

Due to its water protection, the shower radios can also be taken into the shower cabin or near the bathroom. This can be very practical for you if you shower mainly in the shower cubicle, as the radio is then in your immediate vicinity and the background noise does not have such a strong influence.

The best bathroom radio with integrated flashlight

The Sangean H201 shower radio is relatively large for its kind, measuring 23.5 x 5.6 x 14 cm and weighing 866 g. In concrete terms, this means that the product is very suitable for you if you don’t have that much space available, as its small size allows you to store it in a cupboard or shower cubicle.

With its functionalist design in white, the Sangean H201 shower radio is not a real eye-catcher.  However, this is not the main focus of the shower radios, as their small size means that they are not the centre of attention in the bathroom and can be easily stored in the drawer. The radio has an illuminated display with clock display measuring 85 x 36 mm, on which the battery charge level is also indicated.

The Sangean H201 shower radio is powered by two UM-1 size “D” batteries. The radio can also be powered by a mains plug, but this is not supplied with the product and must be purchased by the customer.

The best small flush-mounted bathroom radio

As with all devices of this type, the Gira 228403 flush-mounted radio requires just the size of a socket outlet cover, measuring 9 x 8 x 8 cm. These dimensions do not yet include frames, loudspeakers or expandable extra functions, as these can be combined according to personal preference. In concrete terms this means that the product is very suitable for you if you don’t have so much space available.

The Gira 228403 flush-mounted radio impresses with its elegant appearance and is available in pure white glossy or black glass look with the additional frames and speakers, in the respective colour. The appearance of this radio fits in wonderfully with that of a bathroom, as these are usually furnished in white tiles and the pure white glossy of the flush-mounted radio complements it perfectly.

The best ready-to-install flush-mounted bathroom radio

The PEHA D 20.485.02 is a flush-mounted radio with the dimensions 15.5 x 5 x 8.3 cm. The radio needs two in-wall sockets, because it is sent with a loudspeaker.¬†Basically, a flush-mounted radio like this one is suitable for you if you have little space available and a slightly larger budget. If you don’t have a big budget and still want a space-saving product, we recommend a shower radio

The PEHA D 20.485.02 flush-mounted radio focuses on a simple appearance compared to its competitors and is available in pure white, aluminium or anthracite with the additional frames and speakers, in the respective colour.

The look of this radio fits in perfectly with that of a bathroom, since most of them are furnished in white tiles and the pure white glossy finish of the flush-mounted radio complements it perfectly. The radio can be installed both horizontally and vertically thanks to its rotating screen. It also has an illuminated display with adjustable brightness.

The best bathroom radio in cute squeaky duck design

The Karcher DR 14 shower radio is a small, handy radio measuring 14 x 13.5 x 9.5 cm and weighing 290 g. In concrete terms, this means that the product is very suitable for you if you don’t have so much space available, as its small size means it can be stored in a cupboard or shower cubicle.

With its unusual design in a squeaky duck look, the Karcher DR 14 shower radio is a real eye-catcher. The radio is available in the colours yellow and white/pink. Its funny design makes it a real highlight in your bathroom.

The best splash-proof bathroom radio

The AEG DR 4135 shower radio has a handy size, measuring 5.5 x 8.2 x 24 cm. With a weight of 249 g, the device is also ideal to take with you on vacation or when travelling. In concrete terms, this means that the product is very suitable for you if you don’t have so much space available, as the small size makes it ideal for stowing in a cupboard or shower cubicle.

With its functionalist design in white, the AEG DR 4135 shower radio is not an eye-catcher. However, this is not the main focus of the shower radios either, as their small size means that they are not the focal point of bathroom furnishings and can also be easily stored in the drawer.

Guide: Questions to consider before you buy a bathroom radio

What exactly do I need a bathroom radio for? I can put any portable radio in the bathroom?

In theory, yes. Practically only up to a certain level of humidity. Commercially available radios are only intended for use in rooms with normal room temperature and therefore normal humidity.
In the bathroom, where there is regularly water vapour in the air due to showers and baths, your normal radio, which is not suitable for use in damp rooms, can be damaged. Therefore, there are specially designed devices that you can put in the bathroom or even take with you in the shower, depending on the type.

What features should my bathroom radio have?

You should think in advance what you expect from listening to music in the bathroom. Do you simply want to be able to receive radio programmes or listen to your favourite songs at any time? How do you want the controls to work and how close to the water do you want to place your radio?
A modern bathroom radio can offer the following:

Bluetooth
Clock display
W-LAN
USB connection
AUX connection
Motion detector
iPhone iPod docking station
Remote control
CD player

Depending on the type, the range of equipment can vary, but the normal bathroom radio has the greatest integrated range of equipment. The flush-mounted radio comes in second place, where special equipment is usually not integrated, but the radio can be expanded with it.

In last place is the shower radio. Since this device is waterproof, this limits the variety of equipment, so these devices usually only contain one or two items from the list. Which features are more important for you is of course up to you to decide. But keep in mind that more features will also increase the price.

What types of reception are there and how do they differ?

VHF
FM stands for ultra-short wave and is a method of listening to radio that was developed 91 years ago. This method was established in Germany 65 years ago and has always been by far the most widespread reception method among German radios.

Advantages

Broadly developed network
Reduced power consumption of the end devices
Greater transmitter range
Small but selected radio programme

Disadvantages

Only 10 – 40 channels per region
Sound quality (noise or interference depending on the reception quality)
Radio network is exhausted, therefore hardly any new stations

Although it was planned by the EU to completely discontinue analogue radio and switch to digital broadcasting in the form of DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), this was not carried out. The Germans still listen to FM radio for the most part.

DAB+

DAB+ stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting and is the successor to DAB. DAB was developed in the EU from 1987 to 2000 and was to replace FM. This attempt failed and DAB was gradually switched off in Germany in 2011 and replaced by DAB+. The further developed DAB+ allows more stations, a higher range and more reception reliability than its predecessor.

Advantages

Noise free reception
Better sound quality
Space for many stations
Better sound than FM
Information such as music titles etc. is also sent

Disadvantages

Development of transmitter networks very slow
Regions have partly only public service channels
Greater power consumption of the end devices
Quantity of channels not always the same Quality

Internetradio

Internet radio is also called web radio and is the method of listening to radio over the Internet. The method is called streaming audio and it is similar in principle to other streaming services, only without the picture.

Advantages

More than 10,000 Internet radio stations
Receivable worldwide
Sound quality up to CD quality possible
Webcasts available on demand
Information such as music titles etc. is also sent

Disadvantages

Broadband Internet access required
Sound quality depends on the Internet connection
Quantity of channels not always the same Quality
Maximum number of simultaneous receivers limited by bandwidth

The great advantage of Internet radio over other types is that it no longer requires a classic radio set, but only an Internet-compatible terminal. However, there are now also radios that specialise in this type and offer more than the usual radio functions.

All advantages and disadvantages refer to a comparison under the same circumstances and should therefore not be used as a single criterion, as there may be differences depending on the device and region.

A special alternative: the hybrid device

These offer different combinations of reception modes (FM/DAB+; FM/DAB+/Internet radio; FM/Internet radio; DAB+/Internet radio). However, the hybrid devices differ significantly in price from conventional radios and usually cost more.

You are covered for this in any case, should there still be EU-wide changes in radio reception and you can also integrate the new radio into your home network at any time if it is Internet-compatible.

How much does a bathroom radio cost?

You should be clear beforehand how much you want to spend on the bathroom radio. Here we show you an overview so that you can estimate approximately how much you will have to invest. Depending on the type, device and equipment, the prices can of course still vary considerably.

The in-wall radio is definitely the most expensive type. This is due to the numerous equipment options and extensions. Shower radios start at 10 Euros and up, but in this price range they should also be viewed critically, because they like to save on sound quality.

The normal bathroom radio is on average in the medium price range. But keep in mind that, depending on the quality, a very good bathroom radio can sometimes be more expensive than a cheap in-wall radio.

More details about the types below under “Decision”.

Where can I buy a radio for the bathroom?

You can buy bathroom radios in well-stocked specialist shops as well as in many department stores, electrical stores and sometimes also in supermarkets. In recent years, however, bathroom radios have increasingly been sold over the Internet, where the choice is greater and prices are often lower.
According to our research, most bathroom radios in Germany are currently sold online through the following shops:

amazon.com
ebay.com
otto.com
real.com
tchibo.com
mediamarkt.com
saturn.com

All bathroom radios that we present to you on our site have a link to at least one of these shops, so that you can immediately strike if you have found a device that suits you.

How does the installation of a flush-mounted radio work?

Unlike the bathroom radios that you just put where you want and the shower radios that you can take with you into the cabin, the use of a flush-mounted radio takes some time. The installation sounds complicated, but it is done in four simple steps. All you need is a screwdriver and a little craftsmanship.

If you are unsure, we recommend that you ask a specialist for advice. This will prevent you from unintentionally changing anything on the power outlet and it might not be connected anymore.

Step

You go to the fuse box and flip the switch for the bathroom or the main switch. This step is absolutely essential. Even electricians won’t work on the house’s electrical system before that.

Step

You remove the screw that is in the middle of the socket and then remove the cover. You should then see a metal ring, which you also remove and disconnect from the power cables.

Step

Now you should read the instructions for use of your product, as you now have to use the in-wall radio and this may differ slightly from device to device.

Step

After you have connected the device, put the cover back on and you are ready to use your power outlet radio. Your device may also offer the possibility to connect it to the light switch or a motion detector. But this process varies from product to product.

Decision: What types of bathroom radios are there and which one is right for you?

Basically one can distinguish between three different types of bathroom radios:

  • Classic bathroom radio
  • Flush-mounted radio
  • Shower radio

Each of these types has different characteristics, each of which has individual advantages and disadvantages.

Depending on which features you value most, a different type of bathroom radio will work best for you. In the following section, we will help you determine which type of radio is best for you.

What distinguishes the classic bathroom radio and what advantages and disadvantages does it have?

The special advantages of the “normal” bathroom radio are the different designs. Visually, such a device looks great. If you have enough space to have it always visible, you should attach importance to the design.

This type of radio is suitable for wet rooms. This is the main difference to normal radios. You can also take them into the bathroom, but they can get damaged if they are exposed to water vapours over a longer period of time.

Therefore, be careful with products that are advertised as “bathroom radios” and check whether they can really cope well with this humid environment.

Advantages

Integrated CD player
Available in many designs
Good sound quality
Mobility (dependent on power supply)

Disadvantages

Not waterproof
Many end devices turn out to be dazzlers

Your favourite CD should not be missing when taking a bath? Then you should take a closer look at the classic bathroom radios, because many have an integrated CD player.

Both in terms of price and sound quality, these radios are in the middle class. In contrast to the radio that is not suitable for use in damp rooms, you can also simply take your bathroom radio with you into other rooms – provided it runs on rechargeable batteries or batteries.

But be careful: this type of radio can withstand the bath fumes well, but of course it must not come into contact with a larger amount of water than any other electronic device.

What distinguishes a flush-mounted radio and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The special advantage of a flush-mounted radio is its small space requirement. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy music with good sound with minimal space consumption. The built-in radio is usually attached to a flush-mounted box. This is the part of the socket that is built into the wall.

This may sound complicated at first sight, but with little craftsmanship and a screwdriver it can be done in a few minutes. You can read more about this in the “Guide” above under the point “How does the installation of a flush-mounted radio work”.¬†Alternatively, any electrician can do it for you.

Most devices are operated by a touch display or remote control.

Built-in radios offer you the possibility to install a simple network to the light switch or a motion detector. So you can turn on the light and music automatically when you enter your bathroom.

You can completely do without cables here. The only visible parts of a socket radio are

Advantages

Comfort through extras
No visible cables
Convinces through sound quality
Extendable with further different features

Disadvantages

The most expensive bathroom radio
Installation necessary
No mobility

The flush-mounted radios offer the possibility to be connected to external speakers, which you can mount on the ceiling for example. This can improve the sound quality considerably and is a clear advantage over other bathroom radios.

Depending on the model, the in-wall radio may have a docking station, connections for external devices or an alarm function. Because of the many possibilities this type of radio is also the most expensive. Prices here start at around 60 to 70 euros. But if you want to use all the features, you are well served for the money.

It is also important here: With the in-wall radio you can only listen to music in the respective room. It is not possible to take it with you, you would need speakers in other rooms, which you connect to the radio. These are then already advanced “gimmicks”.

What distinguishes a shower radio and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The special advantage of a shower radio is that it is splash-proof. This gives you the possibility to take your music enjoyment under or at least close to the shower.

The shower radio is usually a small bathroom radio and should be at least splash-proof, if possible even waterproof. They come in a wide variety of forms and the equipment can also vary from product to product.

Most shower radios are suspended or fitted with a suction cup and are suitable for installation at head height in the bathroom or under the shower.

Advantages

Battery/ rechargeable battery operation
Mobility
Unusual designs

Disadvantages

Poorer sound quality than the other types
No mains operation

Due to the battery/accumulator operation the shower radio can also be used outside the bathroom. The shower radio is also ideal to take with you due to its compact size, so you don’t have to miss out on music when travelling or on holiday and can test which other stations are available there.

Shower radios are available in really many different shapes and colours. Especially models in squeaky duck design or in forn of other animals are ideal for children and can make the “bath ritual” for the parents easier.

A disadvantage compared to the other species is usually the sound quality. However, since there is usually background noise in the bathroom, you may not notice sound differences so clearly. Even with children this will not be such a big criterion.

Don’t forget that a shower radio is – of course – only powered by batteries or rechargeable batteries. A cable would be out of place here, so mains operation is not possible and you should always pay attention to the charge indicator and have batteries to hand.

Purchase criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and rate bathroom radios

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and rate bathroom radios. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular device is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Size of the bathroom radio
  • Type of reception
  • Water protection
  • Volume
  • Sound
  • Gestaltung
  • Comfortable extra functions
  • Power supply

In the following paragraphs you can read what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Size of the bathroom radio

The most space-saving option is a flush-mounted radio or shower radio that you can mount on or in the wall. The usual bathroom radios take up much more space because you have to put them down. But they are usually a real eye-catcher.

The flush-mounted radios require an area about the size of a socket with a light switch. Shower radios are relatively handy with a size of about 3.5 x 5 x 13 cm to 14.5 x 8 x 24 cm. The “normal” bathroom radio is the largest type, measuring up to around 25 x 17.5 x 16 cm.

A large bathroom radio is usually accompanied by a more beautiful sound than a smaller device.

Type of reception

Find out what the reception strength of the different types of reception in your bathroom is before you buy the radio, as the sound quality and station selection are variable. The reception modes of the different bathroom radios, as presented above under “Guide”, play an important role and are essential for the selection of the radio.

The products we have selected all feature FM reception. This is by far the most widespread reception mode in Germany and therefore offers the widest selection of products. DAB+ and the Internet are also included.

Water protection

Depending on the model, water protection differs, there are fundamental differences between the three radio types, so a different type is suitable for each location.

For the “normal” bathroom radio, it is sufficient if it is suitable for damp rooms, as these devices should not be exposed to direct contact with water anyway. Usually, the classic radio is placed on a shelf or on the floor if there is a lack of space.

The flush-mounted radios have no water protection whatsoever, but generally do not need it either, as they are not exposed to water and are located on a socket holder at a distance from the bathtub.

The shower radio is the type that has the greatest water protection. It is at least splash-proof, some models are even waterproof. This makes them ideal for use near the bathtub or in the shower cubicle.

Did you know that when we sing in the shower we boost our immune system?
In a research of the University of Frankfurt it was found out that after singing (and even after listening to pure music) the stress hormone cortisol decreases. At the same time, the immunoglobulin A level increases, which causes a strengthening of the immune system.

Volume

Since background noise in a bathroom is caused by showers or other activities, the volume plays a decisive role.

A shower radio has on average the lowest volume, as it is a small, handy device, but this is well compensated for by the immediate proximity.

The classic bathroom radio may be louder than the shower radio, but it cannot be in close proximity to the water. This means that a greater volume is necessary, and the background noise can also predominate.

Flush-mounted radios are the loudest, as they also offer additional speakers that can be placed on the ceiling and provide a loud stereo sound with good sound.

Sound

Those who value music enjoyment on their bathroom radio should pay particular attention to the sound quality of the end devices. However, bathroom radios will not usually match the sound quality of your hi-fi music system in the living room.

The shower radio is usually the type with the lowest sound quality, here the same problem occurs as with the volume. Manufacturers are limited in terms of volume and sound quality of end devices, due to the small size of the device and speakers.

The classic bathroom radio can vary from low to medium sound quality and is therefore in the middle of the three types. Of course, in the end, the quality of the end device plays the decisive role, so a high-quality shower radio can be superior to a low-quality bathroom radio in terms of sound quality.

Gestaltung

Especially with bathroom radios, which you don’t put back in a cupboard after each use, design plays an important role. The design is primarily divided into two elements:

  • Colour
  • Formular

The usual color for bathroom radios is white, but if you prefer a different shade, you can get certain bathroom radios in black, silver or yellow.

As far as the shape of the bathroom radio is concerned, you basically have the choice between a modern design, an animal shape (more for children) or models with a retro look.

If you decide to use a flush-mounted radio, the above mentioned forms do not apply. The flush-mounted radio consists of an elegant socket cover that serves as a control surface. Boxes can be purchased to match the colour and appearance of the control surface.

Comfortable extra functions

Each of the three types of radio offers you different extra features that you should consider when making a purchase.

Especially the flush-mounted radios in the upper price segment shine with some features such as USB connection, docking stations for Iphone or Ipod or a Bluetooth function, through which external devices can be connected to the radio. Connecting a flush-mounted radio to a light switch or a motion detector can provide further convenience.

The shower radios also offer advantages such as suction cups, cord and brackets for fixing in the shower cubicle. Some classic bathroom radios can score points with the extra function of a CD player.

Power supply

Each of the three types offers you different power supply options, which can significantly influence your purchasing decision.

The flush-mounted radios always require an outlet, as these types of radios are attached to the outlet bracket with a connection to the mains. This has the advantage of not having to buy annoying batteries or charge the battery before use.

As a rule, shower radios never have a mains connection as this could be dangerous in direct contact with water. They run on either batteries or rechargeable batteries. The advantage is of course the flexibility. You can install a shower radio at exactly the height where the volume is optimal for you.

The classic bathroom radios offer the most power supply alternatives. They are available both with battery / rechargeable battery operation and with a mains connection. If your bathroom is big enough, you should have no problem even with an extra cable.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about bathroom radio

Are waterproof bathroom radios really waterproof?

Waterproof does not necessarily mean waterproof. Devices that are not suitable for all environmental conditions are divided into protection types and protection classes. Only the protection class of the product is relevant for us, as this refers to water protection.

The degree of protection is classified with IP XXXX (International Protection Code) and refers by four numbers to its respective degree of protection and its characteristics. A further distinction is made with regard to the words “waterproof” and “waterproof”.

Waterproof are appliances that don’t mind splashing water, but if they slip into the bathtub, they will be broken immediately. Waterproof products must also be able to withstand such “accidents […]

Waterproof means not waterproof. Find out exactly what protection the bathroom radio offers against water before you buy.

Depending on where the “XXXX” is a number, this indicates different degrees of protection:

If the 1st or 2nd digit is not important for the marking, it is replaced by an X. The second digit is the digit relevant for water protection. Here you can see the possible code numbers for this:

Many end devices prove to be waterproof or splash-proof and have no IP code. So check carefully whether these devices live up to their promise.

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