If portability is the one thing that you have been missing from Echo speakers, there is good news. Amazon has gone wireless with its latest Echo Input portable speaker that comes with an in-built 4,800mAh battery. This means, there’s no longer the need to keep this Echo speaker plugged in at all times.
Amazon Echo Input portable, just like Echo Dot, has four microphones and a cylindrical design. The Echo Input portable though, is slightly taller as it packs a battery inside. It continues with a plastic body with a fabric cover that looks minimalistic and premium. It is slightly on the heavier side at around 500 g, but that shouldn’t bother most users as it is comparable to most portable speakers out there.
On top of the device are buttons to switch on/off the microphone and an Action button to wake Alexa manually placed on either sides of an LED light. The on/off button as well as volume control keys are placed on the front along with four LED lights to indicate the battery status. However, I did miss the familiar Alexa ring, which Amazon has ditched on this speaker.
The highlight is of course that this Echo speaker can be carried anywhere with you, but how long does the battery last before you need to plug it in to charge again? Well, Amazon promises ten hours and it did last a close nine for me with it being continuously active for the entire period. It takes close to four hours to get fully charged.
In terms of functionality, you can get the Echo Input portable to do everything the Alexa-powered Echo Dot is capable of. This includes setting reminders, listening to songs, news, control connected devices, and more. The device charges using a micro USB port at the back.
Unfortunately there is no 3.5mm headset jack so there is no option to daisy chain with other units. But unless you are someone who parties often or is fond of loud music, chances are you will barely miss this feature. This also means that you will need to rely on Bluetooth to stream music from your smartphone, which did not seem to me like a big trade-off for portability.
Amazon Alexa Echo Input portable will not disappoint when it comes to sound quality. It is loud, clear and works well in say a mid-sized bedroom. However, those with large rooms might struggle a bit. Even at higher volumes, the sound quality seems balanced, which is great. Thanks to four microphones, the device can hear commands from the other end of the room as well, which is great.
When my brother got his first Echo speaker, which was the Echo Dot (3rd gen), he was a bit disappointed to find out that it had to be kept plugged in for usage. And he was quite surprised when I showed him this next-generation portable device. Though we did not carry it around that much, knowing that the option is there is a good feeling. Amazon Echo Input portable has been exclusively launched for India and is a tad more expensive than the Dot (3rd gen), but people who want the convenience of a portable speaker with in-built smart voice assistant can definitely consider this at Rs 4,999 (introductory price).