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Should you buy a battery base for your Google Home?

Best answer: You could buy a LOFT battery base for Google Home for $40, but you can buy a brand-new Google Assistant-powered speaker with a bigger speaker and portable battery for $5 more. Have two smart speakers for almost the same price of upgrading the one you already have!

Filling a niche with LOFT for Google Home

The second I saw the Google Home unveiled in 2016, I wanted one. I wanted to control my music hands-free in the shower with it. I wanted to use it in the backyard while I watched the sun set and sipped an ice-cold beverage, and technically I can. Just unplug and replug the Google Home from room to room and wait a minute for it to boot back up.

But that gets old fast, and accessory maker Ninety7 answered our prayed for a portable Google Home with the released the LOFT Portable Battery Base. Available in three colors, LOFT unshackles your Google Home from an outlet for up to 8 hours of portable playback and even uses your Google Home's original power cord to recharge its 4,200 mAh battery. It's simple, it's elegant, and when it launched, a $50 base for a $130 speaker seemed reasonable since it was the only way to bring Google Home beyond the 3 foot radius of its power cord.

It's not the only way anymore, though.

Go big and go Home with the Insignia Voice

Insignia and TicHome Mini

There are dozens of Google Assistant-powered smart speakers out there these days, including a half-dozen that have internal batteries for portable playback. The majority of these portable Google Assistant speakers have price ranges that rival or exceed the Google Home — like the $100 TicHome Mini (opens in new tab) pictured above — but Best Buy's in-house brand Insignia offers an affordable Google Assistant-powered speaker called the Insignia Voice. It's got a bigger speaker than Google Home, a big battery for up to 5 hours of portable playback, and a frosted LED clock display on the front that makes it perfect for nightstands and or home office desks.

Insignia Voice Size

And it's only $45, meaning for $5 more than the LOFT, you can buy a second Google Assistant speaker for your home.

The Insignia Voice is tall, dark, and steady, sitting on four rubberized feet. There's a deep carrying handle hidden underneath the back of the top touch-sensitive panel, and while it looks like a brick, this speaker is surprisingly light, making it easy for me to carry from the bedroom to the bathroom to the living room during my morning routine.

Powered by Google Assistant, you can use just about every command on this big boy as you would on Google's own Home-branded speakers. The Insignia Voice may not be as compact as the Google Home, but it's got a bigger sound at less than half the price, and with Google's alarms and customizable Scheduled routines, the Insignia Voice is the best alarm clock I've owned in years.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.