AVNation Review: Vanco Spot for Dot

Supercharge Echo with room speakers

My home is slowly turning into a lab of sorts. We’ve recently purchased a home automation control system in order to review a new remote. That will come out shortly. While the control system process was happening a package from Vanco International showed up at the AVNation offices. The Vanco Spot for Dot along with Beale Street Audio ceiling speakers. After some discussion, and assurances to my wife, the system was installed.

Out of the box

Upon first glance the Spot for Dot (SFD) is a simple concept. It’s a mount for an Amazon Echo Dot. SFD provides audio to passive (not powered) speakers and gives a room the ability to take Echo audio and distribute to the room at a higher quality and volume than the installed speaker can deliver.

The process to get there is a bit more involved than what I thought. You are making a cable and electric run with the possibility of a second cable run. That one’s up to you and we’ll get there.

Power Up

The Spot for Dot requires power. That maybe should have been self-evident to me. It probably is to you. However, in my head I assumed we would just plug the Echo Dot into the wall and run the power cable down the wall. It would have been ugly, but that’s my vision. Fortunately the team at Vanco did not have my same limited imagination. In order to power the Dot and speakers you, or your licensed electrician, will run a 120 volt power line to the Spot for Dot. This is hardwired into the SFD. The SFD then powers the Echo Dot. The current iteration of SFD requires you to use either a generation 2 Echo Dot or an Echo Input. These are the devices with micro-USB connectors. Vanco will most likely release an upgrade kit for 3rd Generation Echo Dots or an entirely new Spot for Dot. At the time of this writing they do not have an “official word” on either. We opted for getting a Gen 2 Dot.

Spot for Dot installed
Spot for Dot installed

Let there be Audio

This isn’t a review for the Beale Street speakers. I have personally been a fan of these speakers for over five years. Let me just say, they sound really incredible when paired to the Spot for Dot system. Once the speakers were installed the cable run was made connecting the pair of Beale Street speakers to the SFD. Power and speaker connections. It was that simple. The sound was incredible, and the overall volume was more than enough for the 15 x 20 living room we installed them in.

The optional other cable run is an auxiliary connection you have the option of making. In some rooms that could be from the television or an MP3 connection. We choose not to add that connection.

In Short

If you, or your clients, are looking to upgrade the audio for their Echo ecosystem, the Vanco Spot for Dot is a great option. The SFD is also a good option for adding whole room audio to common spaces, kitchens, or living rooms. The fact that the current system doesn’t support Gen 3 Echo Dots is a drawback for me. We were able to work around that and you can as well. The Echo Input is a good option.

The entire install took me roughly four hours. Two of those hours were waiting while my electrician ran the power. Another hour was installing speakers and running speaker wire. The actual installing of the Spot for Dot itself was 30 minutes. I would recommend the Spot for Dot.

4 out of 5 stars

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