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Vaux High Performance Portable Speaker Dock For Amazon Echo Dot

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 30 - 2017

My Dot got louder and can move around.

 
Sometimes we get sent items for review that have nothing to do with gaming. I don’t mind this so much, it can be nice to cast a critical eye over something that doesn’t involve shooting aliens or jumping from one platform to the next. However, I really do like the idea of creating a link to gaming in some way or another, no matter how tenuous. With that in mind, this review is about a portable speaker with a very specific purpose. How am I gonna do this?

 
vaux1

 
I love my technology and it may come as no surprise to hear that I have two Echo Dots in my house. They are wonderful little things that make me feel so much better about talking to myself, all while providing the latest news, weather reports, the occasional joke and important stuff like the distance to the moon. They also play music through a variety of services. The only downside to this is that the Echo Dot is fitted with a particularly puny speaker, especially when compared to the full price Amazon Echo.

 
So this is where Ninety7 come in with their Vaux High Performance Portable Speaker Dock for Amazon Echo Dot. As I said, it has a very specific purpose.

 
Out of the box, the speaker dock is like a cylindrical speaker with a circular indent in the top. It is into this indent that the owner will drop their Echo Dot, leaving the Dot sitting flush and looking like it was always there. On the back of the speaker, there is a plastic panel which can be opened to reveal connectors for both the power and the audio out sockets on the Dot. Simply drop the Dot in, open the door and connect these two cable and then close the door and you are almost ready to go. Beneath the door there is a micro USB socket, into which the user can plug the cable that was previously powering their Echo Dot, so no extra cable are needed. There is also a power button which lights up, and an audio-in socket for connecting other devices.

 
Once all connected up, the speaker works wonderfully. The sound produced with the speaker is beautifully clear, whether listening to music or asking Alexa to recite Pi. Sure, it is not going to excite any audiophiles out there, and to be honest a little more bass would have been nice. But for the purposes of the Echo, it is really nice and fills the room. Even on the higher volumes, the sound remains crisp. One downside is that the lowest volume is still quite full on, so those who like having the Dot guide them into the land of Nod may struggle a little with the speaker. But the reality is that the volume level and audio quality is such a vast improvement over the pathetic Dot speaker, that you can’t help but be impressed.

 
vaux2

 
However, giving Alexa a louder voice is not the only function of this great little speaker. The speaker hub also contains rechargeable batteries, making the whole Echo Dot experience portable. This means that owners of the Vaux speaker can take the Echo Dot experience anywhere that their WiFi allows. Enjoy some tunes in the garden, listen to the news while tinkering in the garage, have a deep and meaningful conversation with Alexa from the comfort of a bubble bath. Ninety7 suggest that the battery will give up to six hours of average use without any cables, which is perfectly reasonable given that the batteries are also powering the Echo Dot.

 
But how do I make this about gaming? Well, it turns out that the Vaux speaker dock solves a problem that I didn’t realise I had. My previous set up would involve connecting the Echo Dot to my Bluetooth soundbar when listening to music, which worked wonderfully for the most part. However, when I wanted to do some gaming, which I do with alarming regularity, the sound from my games required the Bluetooth soundbar, and so the Echo Dot would be silenced, or at least reduced to a whisper that I wouldn’t be able to hear over the sound of screeching tyres or screaming Zombies.

 
With the Vaux portable speaker dock for Echo Dot, I can now enjoy all that the Dot has to offer while I play my games with gleeful abandon. I don’t need to choose between the sound of my game or listening to music, they can both be banging out at the same time. I don’t need to pick up my phone to find the latest news during a mammoth gaming session, I can just ask Alexa. Hell, I don’t even need to get up and look out of the window to see what the weather is like in the real world. Actually, now that I think about it, I may never have to leave the sofa again as I can even order pizza through the Echo Dot. All I have to do now is train the dog to answer the door and tip the pizza delivery guy.

 
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At the end of the day, the Vaux High Performance Portable Speaker Dock for Amazon Echo Dot expands the functionality of an already impressive piece of tech. Sure, the full size Echo could solve some of the problems with the Dot, or there is even other tech out there that could presumably offer the same type of thing. But I already had an Echo Dot, and with the Vaux speaker it is now louder, portable and more independent. It has also improved my gaming experience, albeit indirectly. If you own an Echo Dot, the Vaux Speaker Dock is a great option for making it better, and as it can be found between £50 and £60, you can’t even complain about the price.

 

 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 



 

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