The Amazon line of Echo speakers, known for their far-field voice recognition, didn’t really deliver when the Amazon Tap was first released. Unlike other Echo smart speakers, the Amazon Tap has a push-able button on the front to activate voice control. This bypasses the step of making the smart voice assistant come alive with the wake-word ‘Alexa’ – but really, how useful is that?
The Amazon Tap costs less than the original Echo speaker and because of its convenient charging port it’s a lot more portable than most other Echo smart speakers. Recent updates to the Alexa application have made some massive improvements in the device but when the speaker was first released last year, it received a fair share of criticism for tech critics and Amazon customers.
Amazon Tap Review
Design & Body
The Amazon Tap is quite similar in design to the original Echo smart speaker. It has the same vertical, cylindrical body but it’s shorter in height compared to its predecessor. The speaker sleeve surrounds the entirety of the device so we’d naturally expect a better sound experience (we’ll get on that a little later).
The Amazon Tap measures 6.24 x 2.6 inches and weighs only a pound which makes the device extremely portable. The speaker also has other buttons except for the microphone one. The volume buttons and play/pause button sit on the top while a series of five LED lights are placed on the top edge. The lights glow when the voice assistant feature is activated with the Tap button.
The Tap also has a 3.5 mm AUX cord to connect to larger speakers, a microUSB port and Bluetooth sync buttons.
Is Amazon Tap Really Portable?
The smart speaker, as mentioned before, is small in size and weight making it easy to carry around. One major plus point of this wireless smart home speaker is that it is battery operated with an easy charging port at the base so you could keep it with you wherever, whenever.
Although the Tap was invented as a portable smart speaker, it’s still used by most customers in their homes. The newer Echo smart speakers like the Echo Dot and the Echo Spot are much smaller in size and even easier to carry around making the Tap not really a portable solution.
When it comes to sound, the Echo smart speakers aren’t always the top option. If you really want to experience music at its finest, the Apple HomePod (smart speaker) or a simple stereo speaker like Sonos One will give much better sound quality than the Echo line of devices.
The Amazon Tap has Dolby speakers integrated within it but it still gives a pretty average audio quality. You could, however, connect the speaker to larger stereo speakers or other Bluetooth speakers via the AUX cable or Bluetooth.
When the speaker first came out, it was unfortunately not as smart as its siblings. The smart controls had to be manually turned on by pressing the microphone button in the front. This made the Amazon Tap a lot less useful than other Echo speakers since the far-field voice recognition by Alexa didn’t exist.
Fast forward to February 2017, the speaker received a major update and now users of the device can activate a hands-free mode to make the speaker come alive with voice recognition and the wake word ‘Alexa’.
With this latest update, it performs smart functions nearly the same way as other speakers. Now you can ask Alexa to play your favorite music simply by singing voice commands to it. The music streaming platforms Amazon supports are Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Spotify and TuneIn amongst others. Amazon’s smart voice assistant can also be used to read out the latest news updates or tell you about the weather forecast. Alexa can also sync with sport channels to update you of the latest game scores easily.
With Alexa, you can also send and receive text messages and make calls. The Tap can also be used to order food online from fast food chains or book a taxi from an app like Uber.
As the Echo speakers are known for their incredible control over smart home controls, the Amazon Tap works in a similar way and can become a master of your smart home. You can even use it to manage your smart TV, your smart lights and your smart locks easily.
Amazon Tap Review – Is It Worth It?
With a lower price tag than most other Echo speakers and great new updates, the Amazon Tap is a good option to start your smart home experience with. It might have not been the most recommended option a year ago but with the latest updates to the Alexa app, it has become a good option to consider.