The original Amazon Echo is still a great product. By making it mobile, though, it becomes even better.

Let's say you're one of those "normal" people who has only a single Amazon Echo. And the original one at that. It's a good-enough speaker for music, but it's shackled to the wall, because the thing still needs a power source.

Not exactly the sort of thing I'd want to drag outside onto the deck on a regular basis, especially with a cord running to the wall, right?

So that brings me to this — a "portable battery case" from Mission Cables. It's more base than case, actually, and it's simple enough in concept, and very well executed.

Here's how it works:

Step 1: Unplug your Echo. Step 2: Plug your Echo into the rubber-bottomed base, taking care to tuck the cable underneath. Step 3: Plug your Echo cable into the back of the battery base.

And that's it. There's a power button on the front, flanked by a low-battery light on the left and a charging indicator on the right. There's a small battery tucked inside that promises up to 6 hours of playback.

That this base doesn't make the Echo any taller — and has a strong rubber coating — is key.

The battery is key, of course, but so too is the design of this thing. The Echo already is a tall speaker, prone to getting knocked over if you're not careful. This battery base (seriously, I'm not going to call it a "case") adds very little overall height, and the bottom is smartly rubberized to keep the whole obelisk in place. The Echo fits snugly inside, and I've not worried about anything falling over or otherwise feeling hanky.

I haven't actually taken out the Echo since I first put it in. There's no real reason to. The base doesn't really affect the overall design of the thing (not that it was a looker to begin with) and actually sort of makes me think of the business end of a rocket for some reason. I could do without the LEDs on the front — because if there's anything I'd love to cut down on in my life it's lights shining at me from all angles. But otherwise it's simple and effective.

Not bad for $50.

See at Amazon

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