With the success of the original Echo, Amazon has released several variants of its Echo smart speakers with even more intriguing features. The Echo Dot, for example, offers users seamless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. However, one feature that may hinder it from being chosen over other speakers is the fact that users cannot operate it without it being plugged in.

Like older generations of the Amazon Echo smart speakers, the Amazon Echo Dot must always be connected to a power source or outlet to function; this is because it doesn’t have an internal battery backup. However, several third-party portable batteries are compatible with the Echo Dot.

In the remainder of this article, we’ll talk more about the Echo Dot and other Echo models that require cords to function, in addition to how you can still operate the devices without having to keep them plugged into a wall socket. 

Does the Echo Dot Need to Be Plugged In?

The Amazon Echo Dot is wired and must be continuously plugged into a power outlet for it to work.

Unlike the former Amazon Tap (discontinued), the Echo Dot does not have an internal battery, making it impossible to work without connecting its 15-watt power adapter to its Micro USB port and a power outlet.

Hardwired vs. Wireless Echo Devices

While older generations of the Echo smart speaker brand make use of cords to power on, newer generations are now cordless by coming with an internal battery that allows for portability and ease of use.

Amazon Echo ModelCord or Cordless?
Echo 1st and 2nd generationUses cord to connect to a power outlet.
Echo 3rd generationUses cord to connect to a power outlet.
Echo Dot (2nd & 3rd generation)Uses cord to connect to a power outlet.
Echo PlusUses cord to connect to a power outlet.
Echo SpotUses cord to connect to a power outlet.
Echo StudioUses cord to connect to a power outlet.
Echo ShowUses cord to connect to a power outlet.
Echo Input PortableCordless and comes with a 4800 mAh enclosed battery pack.

As you can see from the table above, the Amazon Echo Input Portable smart speaker is the only model that does not have to be plugged in, although it is currently unavailable for purchase in the US. Its rechargeable battery can be charged within 3.5 hours and offers users up to 11 hours of continuous playback time.

Does Alexa Have to Be Plugged in to Work?

Because the Echo Dot has to be plugged in to work, the same will apply for Alexa as well. None of the Echo Dot’s functions, including Alexa, will work without being plugged into a power socket.

However, plenty of third-party companies have come out with compatible battery packs for the Echo Dot so that you no longer have to rely on a hardwired system to enjoy your smart speaker.

Using Portable Batteries with the Echo Dot

The goal of any smart technology is to make life easier for its users, and this is no different for the Echo Dot. Still, with the need for portability and ease of use, users had to turn to battery bases and portable battery packs for support.

Today, third-party companies manufacture hundreds of battery bases and battery packs for the Echo Dot and other traditionally wired Echo devices, all offering one feature or the other. These portable battery packs make it easy for you to take your Echo Dot with you wherever you go without being constrained by power adapters and power outlets.

Is Using a Portable Battery with Echo Dot Safe?

Loyal users of the Echo Dot and other Echo devices on Reddit have confessed to the ease of using them with a portable battery pack. Not only is it safe to connect your Echo Dot to a portable battery pack for on-the-go juice, but you also don’t have to worry about bringing power cords or searching for a power outlet on your next trip.

Compatible Battery Packs and Bases for Echo Dot

Some popular battery packs and bases compatible with the Amazon Echo Dot includes:

  • GGMM D3 Echo Dot Battery Base – This battery pack is compatible with both the 2nd and 3rd generations of the Echo Dot. It also features a 5,200 mAh battery, which offers up to 8 hours of playback time. Just simply place the Echo Dot on the top of the base and press the power button.
  • i-Box Echo Dot Battery Base and Docking Station – Created to work perfectly with the Echo Dot 3rd generation speaker, the i-Box battery base offers more than just portable battery power. Once set up, the i-Box sports a powerful 12-watt stereo speaker with a subwoofer for additional sound quality. With a rechargeable 2-cell battery, you can enjoy up to 8 hours of music playback from a single charge.
  • Wasserstein Rechargeable Battery Base for Echo Dot – With a 7000 mAh battery capacity, the Wasserstein rechargeable battery base offers you up to 9 hours of music playback from a single charge. It also features a mini LED screen that shows the battery level. All you need to do is to attach a magnetic plate under your Echo Dot speaker before placing it on the base to allow it to fit securely.

Final Thoughts

While Amazon is beginning to adopt the cordless/battery-powered feature rather than the hardwired power connections standard with its smart speakers, the Echo Dot (2nd and 3rd gen) still offers several benefits in terms of sound quality.

More importantly, with the introduction of several third-party battery packs, you are guaranteed more sound and standby time, no matter where you decide to plug it up.

Users of the Echo models have also asked whether you can plug in an aux cord with the devices. To learn more, check out this article.