If your main speaker is an Amazon Echo (4th gen) or Echo Dot (4th gen), then maybe you've wished that could take it away from where you normally have it tethered to the wall and still listen. Or maybe you haven't, but you're wondering about it now. Either way, have we got the new product for you: Amazon has just announced new Battery Bases for the new Echo models, providing them with up to 5 hours of portable playing power.
Made by the company Mission Cables under the 'Made for Amazon' scheme, the Battery Bases are exactly what they sound like – bases that you dock your Echo onto, freeing them from the need for a plug. You can then use them around the house or garden wherever you like, with full Echo features as long as they're still on the Wi-Fi – or you can take them further afield and connect to play music over Bluetooth.
They look precarious, but promise to hold your Echo firmly in place – the Echo Dot version has a cradle, while the full-size Echo version has a 'Securemount' that screws into the Echo's base. It also promises to charge the battery directly from the Echo, conveniently, and then pushes power back the other way once you unplug.
So far, they seem to only be available at Amazon UK – it costs £29.99 for the Echo Dot version (opens in new tab) or £39.99 for the big Echo version (opens in new tab). Adding that to the cost of your Echo is pretty good value, as long as you didn't pay full price – you did get them cheap from our guide to the best Amazon Echo deals, right?
The end result is massively less sleek than the best Bluetooth speakers, no question – and there's obviously no waterproofing or drop protection, like the soon-to-arrive Sonos Roam. Five hours of playtime is not especially impressive, and taking an Echo down the park is probably too far – the equivalent of being that person snapping pictures on an iPad.
But if you use your Echo as your main sound entertainment option – telling it what music and radio stations to play – this looks like a nice cheap upgrade so you can have all that convenience with you in the garden.