With the popularity of the Amazon Echo Spot and Google Home Mini, it can feel as though smart speakers are getting smaller all the time – but that doesn't mean they are getting any more portable.
If you've ever bemoaned the fact that you have to keep your smart speaker plugged in at all times, you'll be pleased to know that British tech company I-box has announced the launch of five new portable docks that enable cordless operation of the Amazon Echo (2nd Gen), Echo Dot, Echo Spot and the Google Home Mini.
- Read our Amazon Echo Spot review
- Amazon Echo vs Google Home: which is the smart speaker for you?
- Read our Amazon Echo Show review
Perhaps most interesting of the new devices is the I-box Vault, which allows you to use the Echo Spot on the move for up to eight hours. The Vault also promises to improve the sound of the mini screen-equipped smart speaker with 12W speakers and a bass radiator built into the dock.
Making the Echo Spot portable also has the added bonus of allowing you to wander around your home as you make video calls, as well as letting you stream music and listen to radio stations outside – so long as you're within Wi-Fi range.
As well as the Vault, I-box have also launched the I-box Run and the I-box Release, which work with the latest Amazon Echo Dot. While the Run simply acts as a portable battery base for the Echo Dot, the Release adds 12W stereo speakers and a passive bass radiator, just like the I-box Vault.
Both the Run and the Release have a USB charging port, whereas only the Release features an auxiliary audio input to give you another connectivity option when it comes to playing your music.
Release your smart speaker
If the larger Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) is your smart speaker of choice, the I-box Surge is the battery base for you; like the Vault, it offers 8 hours of mains-free playback for your Echo.
What if you prefer Google? You'll be pleased to know that i-box has also announced the I-box Move, which provides eight hours of portable battery life for your Google Home Mini, giving you access to Google Assistant's smarts on the go.
All five of the new docks come with a USB charging port, which means they can double up as an emergency source of battery for a depleted smartphone – handy if you frequently commute long distances.
The Release, Surge and Vault are available now priced $77.99 (£59.99 / around AU$110), $49.99 (£39.99 / around $75) and $79.99 (£59.99 / around AU$110) , respectively.
The Move and Run will both be available on March 30 for £39.99, with US and Australian pricing to be confirmed.
Although I-box is a UK company, the battery bases are available to buy through Amazon or the I-box website (opens in new tab), which ships internationally.