If Amazon’s recent spate of smart home product launches is anything to go by, it appears that the company wants to fill every niche possible. As part of that strategy, the company today announced the Amazon Echo Input Portable. Yet another smart speaker, this one is for moments when you would want to carry along your music with you.
At its heart, the Echo Input Portable has more in common with an Echo Dot than the Echo Input. While the latter is designed to add Alexa smarts to your existing speaker system, the Echo Input Portable lacks any form of line-out capabilities. You can, however, use Bluetooth to pair it with larger speaker systems (provided that you’ve got Wi-Fi access too).
With a battery rated at 4,800mAh, Amazon claims that the speaker should last a cool 10 hours on a single charge. Elsewhere, you will find dedicated volume control buttons along the front edge as well as an LED strip to indicate battery levels. Over on the top, you’ll find the standard microphone mute button and a dedicated button to invoke Alexa.
The Echo Input Portable does a remarkable job at outputting room-filling sound.
We got a chance to spend a few minutes with the Echo Input Portable and found audio output to be on par with the latest generation of the Echo Dot. In fact, the downward-firing speaker does a remarkable job of creating room-filling sound with a satisfying amount of bass. Not something you expect from a speaker of this size.
However, I’m a bit skeptical about the product positioning since it really cannot be used at all when out and about. The lack of a line-input jack and the inability to use it as a Bluetooth speaker without Wi-Fi completely rules out using the Echo Input Portable as something you might also use when out without a stable internet connection.
The Echo Input Portable is exclusive to India, at least at launch, and you can pre-book yours starting today over at Amazon.in. The speaker is priced at Rs. 4,999 (~$70) which is a significant step-up over the Echo Dot priced at Rs. 2,999 (~$42). Are you willing to pay the premium for the sake of an on-the-go smart speaker? Let us know in the comments section.