The Amazon Echo Dot is a smart little device. But, sometimes, I wish I could take it upstairs with me. How much better would it be to have it in the dining room and play music at a decent volume?
Well, this is where the Ninety7 Vaux comes in handy.
I have an Amazon Echo Dot and I find really useful, but there will be occasions where it is found slightly lacking.
I would much prefer more portability, being able to take it from the living room and in to the kitchen so you can listen to music whilst cooking and control your music by voice. You could have Alexa wake you up in the morning and then take the Dot downstairs to read you the news during breakfast.
The Ninety7 Vaux not only equips the Dot with more volume, but offers more.
Ninety7 Vaux design - Ninety7 Vaux Review
The Ninety7 Vaux is a battery-powered wireless speaker with a built-in cradle for the second-generation Echo Dot. It is a quite chunky, slightly flattened cylinder with a fabric-like surround. It comes in two colours both white and black designs to match both types of Echo Dots. The speaker stands at 163mm tall with a diameter of 106mm, making it shorter than a regular Echo.
There is a flap at the rear that allows you to adjust the cable when attaching or detaching the Dot.
Below this is a power button that also acts as a status indicator.
Theere is also a microUSB port for charging, and a 3.5mm input jack allowing you to plug in your phone or other audio device.
Ninety7 Vaux performance - Ninety7 Vaux Review
The Vaux looks nice enough sat on a shelf but, on closer inspection, it might be found lacking when compared to more expensive alternatives.
This is pretty easy, the speaker is charged using the microUSB port but it doesn't come with a USB cable or wall plug, although these are provided with the Dot. Place the Dot in to the top of the Vaux and attach the cables to your Amazon puck. Press the power button on the Vaux and that's it. The power button also acts a status indicator. It shows orange when charging, blue when it’s on and then it will flash blue when the battery is low.
Around and about
Decent Wi-Fi coverage is a must as the Echo Dot doesn’t automatically switch between Wi-Fi networks as you move around.
When you plug something else in to the speaker it overrides the cable plugged in to your Dot. This means you will no longer be able to hear Alexa when you have other devices plugged in, which is a little inconvenient.
The Ninety7 Vaux’s sound quality was quite impressive the audio is clear, the treble is good and the mid-range is nice and clear. The low-end is also well presented I think that the Ninety7 Vaux is great for an all-round speaker.
The Ninety7 Vaux is loud, but push your Dot past 50% volume and things start getting a little distorted. That said, half volume is more than you would normally need anyway.
Don't forget to turn your Dot down after listening to music, as it is easy to forget the amount of volume Alexa will throw out .
Compared to the fully blown Amazon Echo, the Ninety7 Vaux is not as refined, although it does seem to be louder with more bass. The 360-degree sound of the big echo is superior and the Ninety7 Vaux doesn't really offer that all round sound capability.
At 25% volume the Ninety7 Vaux batttery easily lasts over six-hour when streaming music. However, remember that it is also powering the Echo’s processing and Wi-Fi connectivity, you can’t just leave it unplugged for days at a time.
Conclusion - Ninety7 Vaux Review
Although it is the same price as the Amazon Dot, it does really improve the whole experience and beats having to buy more Amazon Dots to place around your home.