Echo Dot In The Car? Sure!

Many Echo owners wish they could bring Alexa into the car with them, and pretty much as soon the Dot and Tap were announced those inquiring minds started to wonder if their wish had been granted by one of these devices at last. Well, in terms of Amazon’s intended uses for Dot and Tap, the answer is no. Of course you can take the Tap into the car but since it’s not a hands-free device, using it in the car won’t be easy and may even be dangerous.

But…

 

Workaround

 

Dot + Charging Bluetooth Speaker = Portable, Always-On / Always-Listening Echo
Both of today’s workarounds come from the /r/amazonecho subreddit.

First up, reddit user codeRoman was asking a month ago whether or not the Dot could be combined with a JBL Charge speaker, which includes a USB charging port for providing power or a charge to other devices, to turn the Dot into a portable, wireless Echo. All the portability of the Tap, with the always-on / always-listening, hands-free aspects of the Echo.

So codeRoman got the Dot, attached it to one end of the (cylindrical – see picture below) JBL Charge with large rubber bands, connected it to the JBL Charge via Bluetooth, and presto! A portable Echo!

 

 

I can’t share codeRoman’s pictures here without permission, but you can see the pictures and full description here, on reddit.

 

Dot Hits The Road
Reddit user jsabo took things a few steps further. This brief video (shared publicly on YouTube) explains what jsabo did and how it works.

 

 

In the comments on the video jsabo says, “Set the Dot to use my Karma Go MiFi, then hooked it up to the stereo over Bluetooth- works great!”

Much greater detail is shared in jsabo’s reddit post, where he runs down the how-to as well as the pros and cons of his solution.

The primary gotcha seems to be data consumption so no matter how you do it, it’s probably not wise to use Dot or Tap away from your home or office unless you’ve got an unlimited data plan.

And of course, if you’re using either device in the car you should be prepared for weak or lost data connections from time to time: your service provider may not have a strong signal all along the route, and geographic obstacles or a crowded network can also contribute to weakened or dropped connections.

 

That’s the great thing about early adopters: they love to tinker!

 

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If you’re looking for a less costly or more rugged / water resistant option than the JBL Charge, consider the SINOBAND® S400 Waterproof, Dustproof and Shockproof Portable Stereo Power Bank Bluetooth Speaker. Currently (as of 4/7/16) rated 4.5/5 stars across 94 reviews and priced at $49.99.

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