Amazon Echo devices are one of the most popular options for smart speakers, selling better than any other (Google Assistant equipped speakers a close second). It helps that a good portion of the world knows what Amazon is and shops there frequently.
Of course, in order to take advantage of it, it typically has to be indoors and within range of a Wi-Fi source. Not exactly something you can bring with you on the go. I can’t say how many people have thought to themselves that they wanted to do such a thing just yet, but by default you are limited to being close to a plug. That is until the company Ninety7 came along and made it possible.
Our first exposure to them was centered around their VAUX speaker that turns the smaller Amazon Dot portable via a built-in battery and also boasted enhanced sound. Now, they have delivered a solution for the Amazon Echo 2.0 (second generation model) called the “Sky Tote“. It doesn’t enhance the sound any as is makes use of the original speaker, but it cuts the cord with a 8800mAh battery, allowing you to take it anywhere.
Anywhere where there is a Wi-Fi signal of course. You still have to have internet to make use of Alexa (the digital assistant), but there are some ways around that as well. For example, you can connect the Echo speaker to operate via Bluetooth through the phone (where it mostly becomes a fancy Bluetooth speaker) or you can use your smartphone to broadcast Wi-Fi by acting as a mobile hotspot (if your phone and service supports this at least).
The Sky Tote is pretty simple in design where it really justs mimics the design of the original speaker. You have to take the Echo out of it’s factory sleeve and pop the little rubber piece out on the bottom (they give you a small guitar pick as a tool for this). The rubber piece allows a third party solution to provide power instead of its own power cable. You then slide the naked echo into the Sky Tote and it should snap right into place (magnets). At this point you are finished outside of charging it, and it looks a lot like the speaker in its original sleeve, only taller due to the battery consuming a portion of the bottom section.
It has a hole on the back that reveals the 3.5mm analog connection for connecting the Echo to a wired device with without having to remove it. There is also a strap so you can easily carry it around with. Below the hole there is a power button that enables the battery (it is no different from a normal power bank outside of its shape and design being fitted specifically to one purpose), and an input for power where you can recharge the battery with or keep it wired until you need to take it on the go again in the future. It fully supports the original cable that came with the Echo so no extra cords are needed.
It promises up to 8 hours of play depending on various things like volume (like any portable speaker) and has four small LED lights that shows you the current level of charge.
Honestly, there isn’t much more to talk about. The Sky Tote does exactly what it says it does. It doesn’t come with anything else as there is nothing else to come with, and it doesn’t seem to fail when it comes to battery life. Alexa works just as great as it would inside, assuming you have provided yourself with a Wi-Fi connect (as mentioned earlier).
The price is higher than the VAUX ($59.99 vs $42.99) despite it not providing as much as the VAUX. That appears to be the only thing the affected the score for us. A perfect 10 product would more than likely fall around the $24.99-$29.99 range, but I am sure they have to pay for some of the R&D that went behind making it.
It has a design that keeps to the Echo’s original sleeve and doesn’t take up a lot of space. It works well for what it is supposed to do and provides you with hours of Echo usage on the go. Just in case you wanted to know if it was going to rain while you were out on a picnic (if the clouds don’t already get that point across). Great for listening to your favorite streaming service by the pool or at the park. It’s a little pricey being it is only providing a solution for battery and nothing else, but it at least delivers.
|Buy from Amazon|
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.