Inexpensive flat-pack furniture and high-end hi-fi might seem odd bedfellows, but IKEA has been wowing us in audio for a while — just look at its turntable collaboration with Swedish House Mafia, its Sonos-certified Symfonisk Table Lamp Speaker ( which is also available in a standing version) and its photo frame with Wi-Fi speaker for starters.
Now what – a music streaming kettle? A solid state amplifier slash egg poacher? No. IKEA has added a tiny Bluetooth speaker to its entry-level Vappeby line — and if it looks like a bar of soap on a rope, that’s because it’s designed primarily for the shower. The best piece? Priced at just $15 (which will be around $12 or $22 when it launches globally in April) and is available now in the US (opens in a new tab).
Silicone-coated to achieve IP67 water and dust resistance ratings – it can actually be submerged in up to 3ft / 1m of water and survive for 30 minutes – the Vappeby portable bluetooth speaker 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 one you can create a stereo pair. You could even stick another hook in the shower for this…
Most surprising, however, is the claimed battery life of 80 hours at 50% volume. That number tramples the closest competitors (arguably the tiny Tribit Stormbox Micro 2, which is excellent for the money but only lasts 12 hours), not to mention the best Bluetooth speakers on the market – yes, including the best waterproof ones Speaker of the Year 2023.
Analysis: Epic battery life in the shower, check. But can it deliver epic sound? There’s the catch…
Thing is really soaked — and it seems fine (Image credit: IKEA)
If, like TechRadar’s editor-in-chief, your idea of an “epic shower” was (and I’m quoting) “standing under an Icelandic waterfall while a live opera company performs Ride of the Valkyries,” this speaker probably won’t interest you.
But if by ‘epic’ we mean simply ‘long’ (epic hangover, anyone?), this little speaker’s 80-hour battery will get you through dozens of such chills before it needs a charge. And that’s not to be sneezed at.
The IKEA Vappeby Portable Bluetooth Speaker does not come with a USB-C charger; But come on, we all have one like this in 2023, right?
As an audio lover, sound quality is always the issue. I see no point in buying something, however cheap, if I find the sound quality to be actively taxing, bloated, woolly, tinny, or annoying. That means me Really want to hear this speaker. I’d like it to be one of the best Bluetooth speakers on the scene – but I’ll have to reserve judgment for now.
That said, for this money and with this staying power, I’m predicting a great hit…