Ninety7 Sky Tote Portable Battery Base review: Take your second-gen Amazon Echo anywhere

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Amazon’s decision to design its second-generation Amazon Echo smart speaker with a removable sleeve makes the device customizable. But there’s a hidden feature I wasn’t aware of until I installed Ninety7’s Sky Tote Portable Battery Base: a set of electrical contacts tucked behind a rubber plug on the bottom of the speaker. These contacts enable the Echo 2 to draw power directly from the Sky Tote’s large battery, which is charged in turn by the AC adapter that comes with the Echo 2.

Operating your Echo 2 on battery power allows you to take the smart speaker with you into any room in your home or even into the yard if your Wi-Fi network is strong enough to reach there. That’s a much less expensive alternative to putting an Echo in every room for smart home control, or investing in a multi-room audio system so you can listen to music everywhere. You can also take a battery-powered Echo 2 on picnics and camping trips if you create a mobile hotspot with your smartphone. Ninety7 says you can expect to get eight hours of battery life, a claim I didn’t attempt to validate, but continuously playing music on the speaker is likely to reduce that time.

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