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New battery packs turn the Echo Dot and Google Home into portable speakers

New battery packs turn the Echo Dot and Google Home into portable speakers


But... why?

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Loft battery base
Image: Ninety7

The accessory company Ninety7 is continuing its quest to untether smart speakers from wall outlets with the introduction of new battery packs designed for the Echo Dot and Google Home.

First up is the Dox, which will sell for $39.95 (but is launching on sale for $29.95) and adds a rechargeable battery to the Dot that’s supposed to let Amazon’s tiny speaker run on its own for 10 hours. The downside is that slipping the Dot into the Dox increases its size substantially — the whole thing is about double the height and almost half an inch thicker too. I’m also not entirely sure what you’d use this for, since the Dot isn’t exactly stellar as a music speaker, and you could buy a better Bluetooth speaker for $40.

Dox battery base
Image: Ninety7

Bigger speakers, but you get a battery

Then there’s the Loft, which will sell for $49.95 (but is also on sale for $10 off) and adds a battery pack to the Google Home so that it doesn’t need to be plugged into a wall outlet. The Loft is estimated to get eight hours of battery life; and since Google’s product is designed to be a speaker, this whole thing makes a bit more sense, as it could let you take the Home into your backyard while you’re grilling, or whatever it is people do in backyards.

Like the Dox, the Loft makes the Google Home appreciably bigger. I don’t have exact specs on it, but the photos show a device that looks much larger. I suspect some of that is because Google carefully hid the Home’s size with a taper, whereas the Loft continues to flare outward.

The two new devices are Ninety7’s follow up to the Vaux, a battery pack for the Echo Dot that also included a built-in speaker. The Vaux only sells for $49, so potential Dox buyers may want to consider that instead if music if their primary interest.