Amazon’s lineup of voice-controllable speakers is growing. Earlier today, the online retailing giant unveiled two new options to join the popular Echo – the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap.
Amazon is marketing the Echo Dot as a device that can be attached to your existing speakers.
The Dot can be described as a much shorter version of the Echo. While it features a built-in speaker, it can also connect to other speakers with an included 3.5mm audio cable or via Bluetooth.
It also features the same far-field voice recognition capability as its big brother. Users can connect to a number of different music services like iHeartRadio, Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, and others. You can also easily control smart home devices like the Philips Hue, WeMo, and others, with a simple voice command.
It will retail for $89.99 and hit the market on Thursday, March 31. Interestingly, for now, you can only order it by requesting one on an Echo or Amazon Fire TV. You’ll need to say “Alexa, order an Echo Dot” to place an order.
The Amazon Tap is a portable speaker with a built-in battery.
The Tap is the first portable speaker in the lineup. The built-in battery can provide up to 9 hours of music playback on a single charge.
It can connect to any available Wi-Fi network, or portable hotspot, to provide the same voice-controllable features. Unlike the Echo or Echo Dot, you’ll actually need to tap the device for it to accept a voice command.
Along with Bluetooth capability to connect to your iOS device, it also offers Dolby and stereo sound.
You can preorder the Tap now directly from Amazon. It costs $129.99 and will be available later this month as well. Amazon will also be offering an optional Tap sling in six different colors that acts as a case while also providing a clip to attach the speaker to a bag.
Better than Siri?
I’ve been using the $179.99 Echo in my house since last summer and have really been impressed. The voice control is simple and easy and everyone at my house enjoys trying to play their music first.
Add in the wide-ranging home automation control, and Amazon’s system is extremely simple and currently much more useful than Apple’s own Siri and HomeKit.
Both the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap look to be well-designed and provide a less expensive way for users to enter the ecosystem.
Keep a look out as we plan to review both devices as soon as they hit the market.