Like many households here in the UK, or in fact all over the world now, we have an Amazon Echo… hey it’s the future, it’s… like talking to your house …and it answers back.
Our Echo sits in our kitchen and now has replaced our radio, our kitchen timers, our entertainment – in fact, a multitude of tasks (I’m sure my little boy does nothing more but ask Alexa about questions that concern poo).
But like a number of people, no doubt we only purchased the Echo Dot. Let’s be honest, who was going to drop that substantial amount of money on something you didn’t know if you would like or not, or would fit into your lifestyle. But now we love it, and to be honest, wish we’d bought the full size Echo.
Here is where the Vaux speaker steps up to the plate.
- Portability: makes Echo portable with 6 hours battery life
- Loud Audio
- Crisp Treble
- Easy Setup
- Weak Bass
- Distortion at max volume
- Voice not always recognised
The Vaux Speaker measures in at 6.4 x 4.2-inch and fits the Echo Dot perfectly in the top docking tray. The Vaux speaker has a plain aesthetic look. It’s wrapped in fabric with plastic end caps, but it doesn’t look cheap. It’s is available in carbon (black) or ash (white) to match your Amazon Echo. Around the back and underneath a silicone cover is an L-shaped micro USB and a 3.5mm plug. Below these is the On/Off button and further micro-USB and 3.5mm plugs.
Setup couldn’t easier. Simply plug the micro-USB cable and 3.5-mm audio cable into the Dot; then drop the Dot into the top of the Vaux speaker. Once slotted in, you’ll soon forget it’s a separate device. The Vaux doesn’t even come with a power supply – you use the one that came with your Dot. The speaker has a power button and a 3.5-mm auxiliary input for external audio sources, and that’s it: all the controls are done in the normal Echo way through voice commands.
The Vaux Speaker vastly improves the sound of the Dot, turning it into a more pleasant listening experience. Alexa is much easier to understand, and music sounds fuller than it did previously. That said, the audio is not as good as that from the full-size Amamzon Echo. Although it does get very loud, (I measured it at 90 decibels) I did find some distortion at full volume.
Ninety7, the manufactures of the Vaux, state you can get 6 hours of playback on a full charge, and I was able to listen for 5.5 hours without getting a low-battery warning. That’s not as long as the Amazon Tap’s nearly 9-hour endurance, but it’s still pretty good. If you’re using the battery, be sure to turn off the unit when you’re done, or it will quickly drain the remaining power.
The Vaux is currently available from Amazon.co.uk for £49.99,(which is surprising really, I didn’t think Amazon would stock this direct competitor)
I’ve got to say I love it. It has turned our Echo Dot into a full-size Amazon Echo equivalent for two thirds of the price of the full-sized Echo unit.
Yes, it could have a bit more bass, and it does distort at maximum volume. But take it from me, the maximum volume is really loud, and you’ll soon forget that these are two separate devices as they mould into one. That one unit brings the added functionality of a battery backup, giving you over 5 hours of playback, and making your full sized Amazon Echo-equivalent fully portable.