Amazon sells four (five if you count the new “Look”) versions of the Amazon Echo. Three of them, the Echo, the Echo Tap and the Echo Dot are really geared towards obeying your voice commands and playing music. The Echo and Tap have decent built-in speakers, but the Echo Dot is really an Echo with a much smaller speaker. Of course this means that Dot can be sold at a much more attractive $49 price point (currently on sale for $39) and that makes it a no brainer for people look to add Alexa to other rooms. Yes the Dot does have a speaker, but this speaker is really not great for music playback. While you can attach any speaker via the AUX out jack or Bluetooth, it means that it will take up more space having two devices instead of one. Luckily there is a really good speaker that has been designed to be a perfect match for the Echo Dot.
The VAUX is a perfect match to your Echo Dot
I have two of the Amazon Echos and the built-in speaker of the full-size echo is decent for music playback. It won’t rock the house like the newly announced Apple Homepod, but it’s good enough for personal music enjoyment in most situations. Since I have a full-size Echo, I could really compare the VAUX speaker to it. The VAUX is designed to house your Amazon Echo Dot and supply power to it. Not only is it a hardwired speaker for your Echo Dot, but it also has a built-in battery that once it’s charged can playback music for hours without being plugged into the wall. No Amazon Echo offers that capability. This is good for taking your Echo Dot out onto a deck/patio (as long as you’re still within range of your WiFi network).
Connecting the VAUX was pretty straight forward. Just flip down the back door and connect the built-in power and audio cables, then close the door and connect your Echo Dot’s power cable to the back of the Vaux. You can power it on immediately and use it while the battery is charging. Once the battery is charged you can disconnect the power cable and use it wirelessly whenever you need to.
How does it sound?
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an audiophile. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound I got from it. It was as good if not better than my full-size Echo. The VAUX makes for a great personal speaker and perfect add on to an Echo Dot. It won’t rival speakers costing more, but it will definitely hold its own for speakers in the same price range. There’s also an AUX in port on the back of the VAUX speaker to use it with other devices.
The Bottom Line
For the additional $49 in price this puts it right at the same price as an Amazon Echo Tap. However, the advantage with going with the Echo Dot + VAUX combination you still get handsfree operation. The Tap requires you to “tap” the button every time you want to use it unlike using the “Alexa” wake word with the Dot. I have a few Echo Dot’s around the house for home automation use and news. However, if there is a location that I need better sound I would definitely add a VAUX speaker.