Echo Dot took the holiday shopping season by storm last year and with good reason. It delivered Amazon’s popular Alexa Voice Service to more consumers for just $50. The compact package, quality design and breadth of features made it the must-have gift of 2016. While Alexa has made its way to other devices in 2017, Amazon’s official line of products has been slow to be adopted by third-party accessory makers.
Today, Ninety7 out of Palo Alto has made its VAUX add-on available to the public. The “first” battery-powered speaker designed for Amazon Echo Dot. Aside from adding a portable power source, this new product also delivers a built-in speaker for $30 less than the list price of the comparable Tap Bluetooth Speaker. For Echo fanatics, this add-on might be the must-have accessory of 2017…
VAUX wraps your Echo Dot in a larger plastic tube that houses the speaker and battery. The $49 accessory adds 6-8 hours of runtime on a full charge, which is perfect for a day at the beach or afternoon by the pool.
One of the biggest draws of Echo Dot is that it has always-on Alexa functionality. VAUX also has a built-in 3.5mm input, which is perfect for connecting other devices for Echo Dot as well.
This isn’t the first battery that we’ve seen hit the market for Amazon’s tiny device. Fremo’s Evo came out late last year but only adds a portable power supply. It lacks any speaker features that VAUX brings to the table. On the flipside, it costs just $33.
Ultimately, the focus of VAUX is to make Echo Dot a full-featured device for less than comparable products on the market today. Ninety7 CEO Kevin Brennan explains further:
“VAUX elevates the Dot from gadget to indispensable home companion and allows for a different look than what is currently available in the Amazon family… VAUX improves communication with Alexa and, with enhanced portability, puts her within speaking distance, anywhere in the home. VAUX unleashes the potential of the Dot.”
VAUX was originally announced a few months back, but missed its original ship date. It is available for purchase today for $49. At launch, it is only compatible with the second generation Echo Dot. While VAUX is a unique product that is first to market with this dual functionality, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Amazon blend this type of functionality into the next generation of its entry-level Alexa device.