I purchased my first Amazon Echo when it was first released. Since then I have added a few Echo Dots, and the Alexa ecosystem has become central to my homes smart functionality. The Echo Dot, however, has a small, crappy speaker. Thanks to the $49.95 VAUX Speaker for Echo Dot, however, that is no longer the case.
The VAUX Speaker for Echo Dot only works with the 2nd generation Amazon Echo Dot. Because I only had 1st generation Dots at home, that meant that, for this review, I had to go out and purchase an additional Echo Dot. I don’t mind, however. The 2nd generation Echo Dot and the VAUX Speaker for Echo Dot are an awesome combination.
The VAUX takes your Echo Dot from this…
The VAUX Speaker for Echo Dot comes in either black or white and adds a few key functions to the Echo Dot.
With VAUX, you get the same great Dot experience plus better sound, no cords, and a smart, beautiful design.
First, it turns the Echo Dot into an impressive speaker. Yes, the sound it puts out is impressive and, in my opinion, actually, exceeds the Amazon Echo. That alone would not be a reason to purchase the VAUX Speaker for Echo Dot, however. After all, one can easily connect an Echo Dot to a decent speaker via Bluetooth or by using the 3.5mm input on the device. (That’s what we have done in the living room. The Echo Dot that lives there is paired with the awesome Audioengine B2. (Read my review.)
Elevate the Dot: Same Dot. Better everything else.
The second, and more compelling reason to consider getting the VAUX Speaker for Echo Dot is the fact that it turns your Echo Dot into a battery-powered smart speaker. With music playing you get up to six hours of portable music. You’ll get even more if you don’t have music playing.
Plug, Play. Enjoy. Simply place your Dot into the top of VAUX, plug-in internal connectors, and you’re good to go.
To use the VAUX Speaker for Echo Dot, you simply drop the Echo Dot into the indentation at the top.
Then you plug in the two cables that sit hidden beneath a rubber door on the rear of the speaker.
Beneath the rubber door sits a power button, a 3.5mm Aux Input for times when you want to use the speaker with a physical audio source, and a microUSB input for charging the device. It is notable that the VAUX Speaker for Echo Dot does not ship with a wall adapter and cable but instead requires you to use the ones that come with the Echo Dot. It is a reasonable decision since it helps keep the price down while preventing you from having an extra cable and wall adapter that will never be used.
When it is one, the power button glows blue.
When you turn on the VAUX using its power button, it will also turn on the Echo Dot and give you all the features that make the Echo Dot so great. When an audio source is connected using the 3.5mm input the Echo Dot functionality is turned off. It comes back as soon as you unplug the alternative audio source.
As the company explains:
VAUX is the first battery-powered speaker designed specifically to house the Amazon Echo Dot. Its cordless portability, enhanced audio quality and beautiful modern aesthetic let’s you enjoy VAUX anywhere in your home environment.
VAUX has a premium, battery-powered speaker that enriches audio quality and offers a richer user experience. Plug your mobile device or tablet into the built-in 3.5mm jack, and instantly turn VAUX into a portable sound system.
Now, one might wonder why someone would choose to get the VAUX and an Amazon Echo when the Echo Tap now offers always-on functionality now. (The Tap originally required you to physically “tap” the button to activate it.) The main reason comes down to price. The Echo Tap is $129.99. The Echo Dot is $49.99. That means when the Dot is paired with the VAUX it is $30 less than the Tap. Additionally, the Echo Dot works with the Amazon Voice Remote while the Tap does not. Add in the fact that, according to the company the VAUX sounds as good or better than the Tap — I don’t have a Tap for comparison — and this is a smart way to go! (That noted, I would be remiss not to make a note of the fact that the Tap gets up to three hours more play time per charge.)
In all, I’m pretty impressed with the VAUX. I think it sounds great and takes the Echo Dot to new places thanks to its large sound and portability. I especially love the fact that it provides voice control over my music. This is coming in rather handy when I am outside in the pool! Some may prefer the sound and design of the Echo Tap but, at $30 less than the Tap, it is a great option and one worthy of consideration. Check it out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Meshes perfectly with the second generation Echo Dot; Echo Dot works with the Amazon Voice Remote; Keeps all the functionality of the Echo Dot Gen2 while adding portability and far better sound
What Needs Improvement: Doesn’t come with its own wall adapter and cable, so you have to use the ones included with the Echo Dot