Amazon Tap - Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker
|With Deal:||$79.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Just tap and ask for music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Enable hands-free mode to control music and more from a distance.
- Uses the Alexa Voice Service when connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot to play music, read the news, provide weather reports, and even order a pizza
- Provides up to 9 hours of continuous playback (up to 8 hours when in hands-free mode), Charging Cradle included
- Streams all your music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet
- Delivers crisp sound powered by Dolby, with dual stereo speakers that provide 360º omni-directional audio
- Always getting smarter and adding new features and skills
Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled speaker that gives you rich, full-range sound. Just tap the microphone button or enable hands free mode and ask for music, hear news, search for information, order a pizza, and more with the Alexa Voice Service.
Discover and enjoy music, all in one place with Amazon Music-just tap the microphone button and ask for your favorite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you. Listen to any song with Amazon Music Unlimited. Learn more
Stream directly over Wi-Fi from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more. You can also connect via Bluetooth to your music-including iTunes. When on the go, streaming music is just as easy using your phone or other mobile device’s hotspot.
Dual stereo speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response. Amazon Tap provides 360° omni-directional audio. Small and easy to travel with, you can enjoy great music and Alexa wherever you are. Watch video
When connected to Wi-Fi you can access Alexa, a cloud-based voice service that is always getting smarter. Just tap the microphone button and ask to hear news, set a timer, or get the weather. Explore more things to try with Alexa.
Skills offer additional capabilities like ordering a pizza from Domino's, requesting a ride from Uber, or tracking your fitness with Fitbit. Discover and enable skills.
Whether you’re heading to a party or pedaling to the park, Amazon Tap’s compact size makes it easy to move around. And at just over a pound, it’s perfectly portable. Just throw it in your backpack or, with the optional carrying sling, clip it to your bag and get going.
A single battery charge provides up to 9 hours of continuous playback to keep you entertained—wherever you are. The included Charging Cradle makes recharging effortless, even while listening. And when Amazon Tap’s battery is low Alexa will say “Just so you know, the battery is currently low.”
The optional Amazon Tap Sling protects against bumps and drops. Sling lets you pop your own color while listening to your personalized playlist. Available in six colors—ranging from classic to vibrant.
|Price||$129.99 $79.99||$99.95 $69.99||$199.99 $134.99|
|Wi-Fi Music Streaming||Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio||No||No|
|Works with mobile hotspots||Yes||No||No|
|Includes charging cradle||Yes||No||No|
|Alexa Voice Service||Yes||No||No|
Top customer reviews
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Well, here I am, a year late to the game and I can now proudly say that I own both an Echo and this new little Tap! Can I just say that I am OBSESSED with all things Echo and Alexa. These are devices that you may not realize how much you'll use it until you've given them a try.
I have been spending the last few years getting our home automated. I currently use a combination of Smartthings, IFTTT and Logitech Harmony to control the home. Alexa fits right into the middle of all that and gives us the ability to control our home via voice. For me, this is the killer feature. I can integrate all three parts of our home control right into Echo/Tap and make our house even smarter with very minimal setup.
With Echo you have to trigger Alexa to listen by using a wake word (Alexa, Amazon, Echo) but with the Tap, you just push the button on the front of the device and give the command you want accomplished:
"Turn on Watch TV" - my family room TV is turned on
"Turn on Night" - all of my evening lights are turned on in the house as darkness settles in
"Turn off Night" - all lights are turned off as we head to bed
"Turn on Morning" - the kitchen light is turned on and so is the TV as I stumble down to start brewing my coffee
"Ask Automatic what my fuel level is" - the gas level in my car is checked and reported
"Add Milk to the grocery list" - adds milk to the shopping list and then IFTTT takes over and sends it to my Grocery list on my iPhone
"Trigger I'm Hot" - my thermostat is changed to a cooler temperature
These are just a few of the things we ask of Alexa on a daily basis. The only learning curve has been in learning exactly how to phrase questions in such a way that Alexa knows what we are asking her to answer or do.
Outside of the home automation aspect, Tap brings a lot to the table. It's a battery powered bluetooth speaker with instant access* to your Amazon and Prime music libraries, Spotify, I Heart Radio and Pandora. You can even use Tunein to access podcasts and other audio. You can have Alexa read you books from your Kindle library or even play your Audible books for you. You can customize your interests and get an instant news briefing, a rundown on the weather or traffic, add some things to your grocery or To-Do lists, check on your calendar or even have Alexa tell you some jokes to get you laughing. I have found the sound quality to be quite good and up-to-par with most quality portable bluetooth speakers.
Because Amazon has opened the API developers are creating fun little apps called Skills that you can integrate right into Alexa and expand upon what she is able to do. One of the skills I've installed include an app that is called Cat Facts. When I ask Alexa to open Cat Facts she tells me an interesting fact about cats. Another is called The Wayne Investigation, it's a "chose-your-own-adventure mystery" game where you are brought right into Superman's world and get to help solve a mystery. There's even a skill for Fitbit users to link their Fitbit to Echo and have Alexa give you a rundown on how your day is going. The integration possibilities are endless.
One of my favorite uses is trying to find the "Easter Eggs" hidden inside Alexa, ask her things like "Alexa, define Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock" or "Alexa, what is the meaning of life" and you may enjoy the answers. I know my geeky family sure did. If you want an easy list of the Easter Eggs check out the AmazonEcho sub at Reddit. They're all listed there and constantly updated.
We use our Tap as an addition to our Echo and as a device that will be taken on the road with us when we travel. While some complain that pushing a button to invoke Alexa makes this device not as useable as an Echo or a Dot, I feel that it fits the needs we have as a secondary device nicely. You can't beat the portability. The fact that this device is battery powered and can go for 9 hours of usage before needing to be charged is what makes it a great addition to the Echo family. As the warmer weather approaches, I'm already envisioning all of the ways we'll be incorporating the Tap into our activities. It's nice to know that we won't have to leave the convenience of Alexa and her all-knowing powers behind just because we've left the house.
I think Amazon has hit it out of the ballpark again with this device..
*Please note: you MUST have Tap connected to the internet (via Wifi or Hotspot) to invoke the Alexa commands. If you are offline the device will simply function as a bluetooth speaker.
Since the lack of hands-free operation was the one major shortcoming of the Tap, this wonderful little device has now gotten a whole lot better. One thing to keep in mind, though, especially if you use your Tap on battery power: The hands-free mode will drain the battery more quickly, because it requires the microphone to be on at all times. But since you can easily toggle between hands-free or regular tap mode using the Alexa app, you can pick and choose how you want to use your Tap for maximum battery life and convenience.
I admit that I was a little skeptical when Amazon first introduced its Echo device. But I decided to buy one anyway, thinking that if I didn't like it I could easily sell it. After all, back in the early days of the Echo it was in very high demand. So the financial risk associated with trying it was minimal. Today, as an avid music listener who loves to cook, I'm thrilled that I decided to give the Echo a try.
I had wanted a device that I could stream music with in the kitchen, and the Echo’s hands-free voice control made it very appealing. But how would it sound?? That question was quickly answered as soon as I set up and started using my Echo. The fact is, I was absolutely blown away by how great it sounded; and how well it worked.
I grew very used to the many features of the Echo, but I wanted to take them with me when I left the kitchen. And as wonderful as the Echo is, it’s not very portable. There’s this little thing called a plug that has to remain in the wall in order for it to work.
Enter the new Amazon Tap.
The biggest reason I was so excited when Amazon announced the new Tap was because of its portability. With a rechargeable battery that offers up to 9 hours of playback, along with its compact size, the Tap is made to be taken places. I can now carry all of the fabulous features that I have on my Echo into other rooms of my house, the backyard, the patio, the garage, or even places away from home.
I mentioned before that I listen to a lot of music, and I happily pay a small annual fee to store all of my music in Amazon’s Cloud. As a result, I can take my entire music collection anywhere I go, and it’s available to play at the touch of a button. (Yes, you have to push a button on the Tap before you can tell it your instructions, but that’s a very small price to pay for total portability.)
I was hopeful that the Tap’s sound would be as good or better than the Echo’s, and I was not disappointed. With its dual stereo speakers and 360-degree omni-directional audio—with Dolby—the Tap sounds AMAZING! Trust me: I’m pretty fussy when it comes to how my music sounds and I am blown away by what I hear coming from the Tap. I own a Bose wireless Bluetooth speaker that I’ve used for streaming music and I can honestly say that prefer the sound of the Tap. Some people may think the Tap doesn't have enough bass response, but I think the overall tone is just right.
What makes the Tap even more impressive is its compact size. This thing is a cylinder that’s only 6” tall and 2-1/2” in diameter. And it’s loaded with dynamic sound and a boatload of voice-controlled features. With Tap, I can play music from my library, Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, IHeartRadio, Spotify, and other sources. I can ask it to tell me the news, the weather, or the score of my favorite sports team’s game. I can ask it what the status of its battery is. I can even use it to order a pizza or control my WiFi thermostat (I have the Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat 1F86U-42WF for Smart Home, Works with Alexa). It really is an amazing device. It even functions as a Bluetooth speaker for streaming music from any Bluetooth-enabled device.
As expected, the build of the Tap is top-notch. Amazon has certainly become a quality device maker, and the Tap shows off that fact beautifully. Its design is simple and intuitive. The Talk button is easily accessible on the front of the unit and the playback controls—Play/Pause, Previous/Next, and Volume Up/Down—are right on top. In addition to the microphone, there are also five LED indicator lights on top, and they pleasingly light up as necessary to show that the Tap is responding. The Power button, a 3.5mm audio input, Micro-USB port, and WiFi/Bluetooth button reside on the back of the unit. (Note: There is no headphone jack, which is a bit surprising for a portable device.) The bottom of the Tap is non-slip rubber, and the top is smoother rubber. The sides are covered with a fabric mesh.
Setup of the Tap is virtually effortless. The device went from its impressive packaging to being up and running in about 3 or 4 minutes. The Alexa iOS app really is fantastic and makes setup a breeze. (I wish more makers of WiFi-enabled devices would learn a thing or two from Amazon in this regard.)
My only concern about the Tap is a relatively small one: I’m just not sure how well it will hold up over time. If I’m going to be carrying this little baby around everywhere I go, I’m hoping that it will withstand minor bumps or drops. I did order an Amazon Tap Sling Cover - Black for it, and I think that will help keep it safe. But the one big drawback of the sling cover is that the Tap won’t fit into the charging cradle while it’s in the sling. You can still charge the Tap by using the Micro-USB connection in the back, but the convenience of the charging cradle is lost. And that’s a shame, because the charging cradle is a nice, simple way to charge the device. I wish Amazon could’ve thought of a way to protect the Tap while allowing you to use the charging cradle, too. (Also, maybe supplying an optional lanyard would've been nice.) One more thought: I wonder a bit about the lifespan of the battery. After all, I don't think it's replaceable.
All in all, I couldn’t be much happier with the Amazon Tap. It really is the Echo’s little sister, and it gives me all the functionality of the Echo with one big bonus: total portability. Some people might be put off by having to push the Talk button in order to communicate with the Tap, but like I said before: That’s a very small price to pay in exchange for being 100 percent cord-free. At the introductory price of $129.99, the Amazon Tap is an incredible bargain. It’s one of the coolest technological devices I’ve ever owned. As great as the Echo is, in my mind the Tap is even better. Alexa, I’m in love all over again.
UPDATE Re: Durability (4/13/16): A few minutes ago, one of my cats knocked my Tap off of a table in the living room. The Tap, which was streaming music from the cloud, fell about three feet, directly onto a hardwood floor. I have to say, I was more than a little bit worried. But the Tap kept right on playing and there is absolutely no damage to it at all. And my Tap is totally naked (I do not use the protective Sling with it). This makes me feel pretty good about the overall durability of the Tap. :)
UPDATE (5/3/16): I still love the Tap, but there's one thing I've found very annoying. I've been using it on my bedside table of late to play music while I'm falling asleep. Unfortunately, the Tap's power button is lit up by a very bright LED, and it stays lit while music is playing. If my head is close to the table next to my bed--and it frequently is, because I sleep on my side--the light is a distraction. So I've had to move the Tap down to the floor to get the light away from my face. I wish they would've chosen a more muted light for the power button. Or maybe provided an option to dim or turn off the light completely.
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