The Vaux Speaker for the Amazon Echo Dot is a powerful, well-designed, and versatile accessory. For existing 2nd generation Echo Dot owners, this is a must-buy and an easy way to expand your Dot’s functionality.
Made by Ninety7 Inc., the Vaux, pronounced “vox”, is the first battery-powered speaker designed to hold the Amazon Echo Dot. This claim only applies to the 2nd generation Dot though. The first generation Dot may technically work with the Vaux, but its dimensions are too large for it to fit into the top of the Vaux as easily as the 2nd generation Dot does.
The Vaux comes in a nicely designed box with a sexy photo of the Vaux and Dot merged on the front. Inside you will find the Vaux and a very simple quick start guide.
Because the Vaux is not a stand alone device, if you don’t already own one, you’ll need an Echo Dot.
Purchasing a Vaux and Echo Dot together costs about $30 less than purchasing an Amazon Tap. If you do go the Tap route, that extra $30 provides slightly better sound quality, significantly better battery life, and Bluetooth connectivity. So, purchasing a Vaux makes the most sense if you already have an Echo Dot and you want to increase its effectiveness.
To use the Vaux, first unplug your Echo Dot. Spin the Vaux around and pull back the silicone cover on the back. There you’ll see a micro-USB connector and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Drop your Dot into the top of the Vaux and align the connectors with the open space.
Once the Dot is seated correctly plug in the micro-usb and 3.5mm connectors into Dot and close the cover.
The last step is to plug your existing Dot power cord into the back of the Vaux to power the whole unit.
On the back of the Vaux, you’ll find the power button. Press it briefly to start up the device. When you first power on the Vaux it will make a loud audible “pop” sound. According to the manufacturer, this is a normal part of the start-up procedure.
Charging the Vaux from empty takes about five or six hours. If the Vaux is being used as it is charging, it will take about eight to twelve hours.
The LED light on the back of the Vaux stays illuminated while powered on. The colors of the LED indicate the Vaux’s status: Amber: Not powered on, but charging. Green: Not powered on, but fully charged. Blue: Powered on. Blue/Amber flashing: Battery power low.
The manufacturer indicates that the Vaux’s battery should give you around of six hours of playback depending on usage and volume level. This claim was consistent with my testing; at medium to full volume, I got a little less than six hours of playback. At higher volumes, I found that the sound quality degrades quite a bit. Although, the sound quality of the Vaux is still much better than the Dot’s internal speakers.
Be aware that the Vaux is not water-proof or water-resistant, and was designed to be used indoors primarily. It fits right on my shelf and has the same aesthetic as Amazon Echo.
The Vaux also has an auxiliary 3.5mm jack on the back which allows you to use the Vaux has a portable speaker for another music source. Be aware though, when the auxiliary jack is in use, it will override the Dot audio and functionality. Unplugging your device from the auxiliary jack returns the Dot functionality.
I enjoy using the Vaux and being able to grab my Vaux/Dot and bring it into other rooms of my apartment without having to invest in another Amazon device is terrific. It would be cool if the whole unit sat inside a charging dock or cradle to make it easier to grab and go. But, I think, wisely, the lack of a cradle was a decision made to keep the cost of the unit low.
The Vaux comes in two colors, Carbon (Black) and Ash (White).
- Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Dimensions: 4.2 x 4.2 x 6.4 inches
- Batteries:5000 mAh Internal rechargeable lithium ion
- Colors: Black/Carbon and White/Ash
- Speakers: Two active 52mm drivers, one passive 90mm x 50mm radiator
- Ports: 3.5mm Aux Input, Micro-USB Charging Port