IKEA just made the ultimate super-cheap Bluetooth speaker for epic showers

IKEA Vappeby Bluetooth speaker in yellow, hung in a shower
The IKEA Vappeby Bluetooth speaker – just don't mistake it for the soap (Image credit: IKEA)

Inexpensive flat-pack furniture and quality hi-fi products may seem strange bedfellows, but IKEA has been wowing us for some time in the audio sector – just check out its record player collab with Swedish House Mafia, its Sonos-certified Symfonisk Table Lamp Speaker (which also comes in a floor-standing version) and its Picture Frame with Wi-Fi Speaker for starters. 

So what now – a music-streaming kettle? A solid-state amplifier-slash-egg-poacher? No. IKEA has added to its entry-level Vappeby lineup with a tiny Bluetooth speaker – and if it looks like a soap on a rope, that's because it was designed primarily for the shower. The best bit? It's priced at just $15 (which will be around £12 or AU$22 when it launches globally in April), and it's available now in the US

The Vappeby portable Bluetooth speaker is silicone-coated to achieve an IP67 water- and dustproof rating – it can actually be submerged in water up to 3 feet / 1m deep and survive for 30 minutes – and measures just three inches square and two inches deep. 

It's available in yellow, red or black (yellow is my personal favorite), and if you buy a second you can create a stereo pair. You could even put another hook in the shower for it… 

Perhaps most surprising is the claimed 80 hours of battery life at 50% volume though. That figure tramples all over its closest competition (arguably the dinky Tribit Stormbox Micro 2, which is excellent for the money but boasts only 12 hours), not to mention the best Bluetooth speakers on the market – yes, including the best waterproof speakers of 2023

Analysis: epic battery life in the shower, check. But can it deliver epic sound? There's the rub… 

IKEA Vappeby portable Bluetooth speaker in Black, soaked in water and drying on a white towel

That thing really is soaking – and it seems fine (Image credit: IKEA)

If, like TechRadar's chief sub-editor, your idea of an 'epic shower' would be (and I quote), "standing under an Icelandic waterfall while a live opera company performs Ride of the Valkyries", this speaker likely won't interest you. 

But if by 'epic' we simply mean 'long', (epic hangover, anyone?) this little speaker's 80-hour battery will see you through dozens of such showers before it needs a recharge. And that's not to be sniffed at. 

The IKEA Vappeby portable Bluetooth speaker does not come bundled with a USB-C charger; but come on, we've all got one of those in 2023 haven't we?

As an audio-lover, the rub is always the sound quality. I see no point in purchasing something, however cheap, if I find the sound quality to be actively wearing, bloated, woolly, tinny or annoying. That said, I really want to hear this speaker. I want it to be one of the best Bluetooth speakers on the scene – but I'll have to reserve judgement for now. 

That said, for this money and with this stamina, I predict a stonking great hit… 

Becky Scarrott
Senior Audio Staff Writer

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.