I found a way to take my Amazon Echo Dot wherever I go.
Even better, the solution improves the speaker quality dramatically, making the Echo Dot on a par with the far more expensive Amazon Echo.
First, some back story. I'd been looking for a new gadget that allowed me to take an Amazon Echo anywhere, like to the back yard, or around the house, where I didn't have a power outlet. At first I thought the Amazon Tap, a small portable speaker with Alexa built-in, would be the solution. The microphone isn't great, though, and it's quite expensive at $130.
That's when a friend tipped me off to the $50 Vaux Cordless Home Speaker. It allows you to drop the Echo Dot right into the top, quickly transforming it into an impressive and portable speaker with up to six hours of battery life.
This is the Vaux Cordless Home Speaker
You just drop the Echo Dot in the top
Then plug in a microUSB cable and the headphone jack. A rubber flap hides the wires.
Your Echo Dot will power right on, using the battery inside of the Vaux speaker. If you play music, you'll notice a drastic improvement in bass and sound quality. It easily fills a room with sound.
There's another 3.5mm headphone jack if you want to plug a phone in, and it charges using the same Echo Dot microUSB cable. One gripe: It's kind of a pain to unplug these when you want to remove the Echo Dot.
You'll get full access to your Echo Dot controls on top of the speaker. You can still say "Hey Alexa" to wake it up whenever you want.
The tricky part is keeping it connected if you're somewhere without Wi-Fi, like on the beach. I recommend using your smartphone as a hotspot — you can do this in settings if you have the feature enabled on your wireless plan — and connecting to it directly.
For $50 the Vaux is a no-brainer for anyone who wants to move the Echo Dot around the house without having to unplug it. Since it doesn't lose any features, you can still use it to call other Echo units (unlike the Amazon Tap speaker), control your smart home and more. If you catch the Echo Dot on a sale, the total comes in at about $85, making this probably a better choice than even the $179 full-sized Echo.
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