If you’re an Amazon Echo owner who got a little sad a few weeks ago when the company unveiled Tap, its portable version of the popular Bluetooth speaker/voice assistant, not to worry. Instead of shelling out $130 for the Tap, Mission Cables wants to sell you the Battery Base for $50.
Mission Cables, which makes accessories for Roku and Chromecast, thinks Echo owners want to unleash Alexa from their kitchen counters and bring the speaker along to the garage, garden, and patio. The Battery Base fits over the bottom of the Echo, sort of like a beer cozy, and powers the device for six hours. That means you can unplug your Echo and take it to any of the aforementioned locations and play music (via Bluetooth) or ask Alexa for gardening tips (provided there’s still a Wi-Fi or hot spot connection). Afterwards, you’ll need to recharge the Battery Base for 90 minutes before using it again.
If the Echo is your only Bluetooth speaker, we can understand why you’d want to take it with you sometimes, like if you’re hanging with friends on your patio. And if your Wi-Fi extends that far, then you’ll still be able to take advantage of all the Alexa features, like ordering a pizza, tracking your Amazon package, or finding a flight on Kayak. But if you’re hauling the whole speaker on an excursion and aren’t tethering it to your phone, then you can find some pretty great Bluetooth speakers for less than or a bit more than the price of the Battery Base (and definitely less than the Tap). Of course, they won’t answer you back when you ask for more cowbell, but what can you do?