The original Google Home has been out for over a year now and has seen multiple siblings — like the Mini — join it’s stable of Assistant-powered devices. But the original has not been refreshed or seen many added capabilities for that matter. Ninety7 hopes to add some flair to your Google Home by adding a unique battery base to provide your speaker the chance to go on the road and make it portable. Say hello to the LOFT portable battery base.
I love the design of the LOFT base. It’s subtle and fits with the modern look of the Google Home without getting in the way. If you had never seen the Home in person you would be hard pressed to see the difference. I have no doubt that I could show someone a stock photo of the Home, wait 10 minutes and show them another photo with the LOFT base, and they’d never see the change. Ninety7 made it very evident that one of their top goals was to make sure the Loft seamlessly integrates with the Home.
This is also noticeable in the way the base connects. You simply twist off the Google Home from the standard base cover and then top slide over the LOFT base. Magnets hold the battery base in place and the power input lines up perfectly to be powered or charged by the existing Google Home wall adapter. Naturally, the base adds a slight addition in height to accommodate the internal battery. The base is also available in three different colors: Carbon, Snow, and Copper.
Real World Use
Speaking of the battery, this thing is rock solid. The included documentation estimates the battery life at an average of 8 hours per charge, and I found this to be pretty accurate. I used the LOFT around the house, moving it from room to room while doing chores and it lasted through my entire day that started at 9am and ended at around 5pm. One thing I would like to see is some sort of notification that the battery is getting low. You have the 4 LEDs to display the battery life, but once you are on the final dot, you have no way of knowing it’s about to die. A simple tone alert like most Bluetooth headphones have would be nice to have incorporated into the LOFT.
Speaking of the LEDs and buttons, the small round one below the lights is a simple on and off switch. For the times that you don’t want to have the LOFT in use while mobile, you can turn it off to conserve power until the next use. This worked perfectly as intended and offered a nice way to carry the unit around to a buddy’s house without depleting the battery in transit.
Is It Worth It?
I really liked using the LOFT, but I have to admit that the use case for it seems limited. The Google Home isn’t 40lbs by any means, but it does weigh considerably more than small Bluetooth options that are popular in mobile audio. You are also limited by the network for the LOFT. Being outside of WiFi forces you to resort back to Bluetooth as your only connectivity option and you lose all the Assistant related fun. However, I do think any outdoors venue that still is within your WiFi range would be an awesome place for the LOFT.
Overall, Ninety7 has brought us a very nice solution to a niche problem. The LOFT battery base won’t be for everyone. Many will simply pass it up on the price versus the functionality. But for those of us that do want to take the original Google Home on the road, the LOFT presents a perfect companion battery pack.