Since introducing an Echo Dot to my house, my opinion of Alexa has been changed for good. This little speaker has a ton of functionality, it can play music, answer questions, make jokes, and integrates with almost every smart device I own.
The Echo Dot is much smaller than the Echo speaker and looks like a typical Bluetooth speaker that you can take down the park. But don’t be fooled, this is not a portable speaker.
Does the Echo Dot need to be plugged in? Yes, the Echo Dot does need to be plugged in all the time because it does not have an internal battery. However, there are several third-party battery bases designed for the Echo Dot which allow you to use the third-generation Echo Dot without it being plugged into the mains.
The battery cases I recommend for your Echo Dot are the D3 and D3+. These are only suitable for the 3rd generation devices. Keep reading for more information on these.
Why Does the Echo Dot Need to Be Plugged in All the Time?
The Echo Dot is essentially a smaller version of the Amazon Echo with a less powerful speaker. It is designed to be used in your home because it requires WiFi to access Alexa.
Although it does have Bluetooth, it is not portable because it needs to be powered by the included mains power adaptor.
How to Use Echo Dot Without It Being Plugged In
If you’re hoping to use the Echo Dot without it being plugged in, then you’re in luck. Someone spotted that this mini smart speaker would be a perfect portable speaker for use in the garden, down the park, or for taking on holiday.
There are now a variety of third-party bases that have a built-in battery pack to keep the Echo Dot powered on the move. Here are some that I recommend:
D3 Battery Base
The best battery base for an Echo Dot is the D3, it has a 5200 mAh lithium-ion battery which should last around 6 hours with your Echo Dot at 50% volume.
The case has been designed to perfectly fit the third-generation speaker and weighs just 80g making it very portable.
D3+ Battery Base
The D3+ is similar to the D3 in design, however, it has a larger 10,000mAh battery capacity which should last for 12 hours with your Echo Dot at 50% volume.
The D3+ is much heavier than the D3 at 280g and is also sized only for the third-generation speaker.
Remember, you will need a Wi-Fi connection in order to access Alexa, you can either connect your Echo Dot to a mobile hotspot or you can use the Bluetooth connection or AUX input to play music via your phone.
If you have the older first-generation or second-generation Echo Dot, you can use a standard USB to Micro USB cable and a battery charger.
At the time of writing (2021), there isn’t a battery base for the fourth generation Echo Dot as this has a brand-new shape and won’t fit in the above bases.
Is It Safe to Use Portable Batteries with the Echo Dot?
Yes, plugging your Echo Dot into a compatible battery base or portable charger is perfectly safe. It’s also very convenient as you don’t have to worry about excess cables.
If the battery pack does not specifically say whether or not it is suitable for an Echo Dot, you should check that the amperage (amps) output is equal to or greater than your Echo Dot. Depending upon which generation you have, the amperage will be between 1.4-1.8amps.
Can You Use a Battery Pack with the Echo Dot?
If you have a battery pack for charging your phone on the move, you might be wondering whether it can be used to power your Amazon Echo.
The first and second generation of Echo Dot have a micro-USB power cable, so if you own one of these devices you can indeed power it via a portable battery pack.
However, chances are that you’ve got a third or fourth-generation Echo Dot. Unfortunately, Amazon phased out the micro-USB power cable in favour of a dedicated plug so it’s not possible to use a battery pack with these unless it’s been specifically designed for the device like the D3 and D3+ mentioned earlier.
Are There Any Portable Echo Speakers?
At the time of writing, there is no portable Echo speaker available from Amazon, at least not in the UK.
This isn’t for a lack of trying; Amazon launched the Echo Tap back in 2016 which was one of the earlier Echo devices. However, you could not use a wake word to speak with Alexa on the device, so it ended up being discontinued after some of the other Echo devices took off.
More recently, Amazon has had another go at creating a portable Echo speaker with the Echo Input Portable. This has a built-in 4800mAh battery that can provide 10 hours of continuous music on a single charge. The device has Bluetooth and WiFi, however, it’s currently only available in India with no sign of when it might launch in the UK.