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Circuit Breaker

This portable battery base makes the new Echo look like a giant mug

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Ninety7 Sky Image: Ninety7

Amazon’s Echo is designed to sit and stay inside your home, but accessory companies keep transforming them into portable speakers (just in case you want that). Today, we’re getting a battery pack for the redesigned Echo. Ninety7 has made battery bases for the Google Home and Echo Dot, but this is its first one for the updated Echo that was released last October.

The design is kind of wonderful: it’s a giant sleeve with a handle on it that adds so much height that it gets closer in size to the original Echo than to the trimmed-down newer model. It also looks kind of like a novelty mug.

Ninety7 named this battery base “Sky,” and it says it’ll get about eight hours of battery life on a single charge. It charges using the Echo’s existing power cable, but it sounds like you’ll have to remove a piece from the back of the Echo to get started, so you’ll probably want to keep it locked in the base once it’s installed. The battery base is available to preorder today with units expected to ship in early June. They’ll sell for $59.95 but are discounted by $10 until they start shipping.

I think the whole idea behind transforming the Echo into a portable speaker seems kind of weird and inconvenient. You’re supposed to plug the speaker in somewhere and leave it there, and this removes that simplicity. But I get where the desire is coming from: you’ve already bought a smart speaker, so why not get more use out of it? These bases aren’t weatherproof, but they ought to be fine if you’re just bringing them out to play some music in the backyard.