The Amazon Tap is the latest addition to the Alexa product family and shares some similarities with the original Amazon Echo. However, this speaker is not just simply a redesign of the Echo, but something that will appeal to both fans and those unfamiliar with the range. If you are looking for a speaker that simply plays audio then you don’t really need something like the Tap, but if you want your audio gadgets to be as feature packed as possible you will love what this one has to offer.
The Tap features dual stereo speakers which, thanks to the Dolby processing, provides excellent audio quality. The omni-directional audio also means everyone around the speaker can enjoy the music, not just the ones directly in front of it. The dual stereo speakers offer crystal clear sound quality and great tone, which should please any audiophile. I have heard portable speakers with a better bass response than the Tap, but this is a minor quibble considering its portable size. For better bass you would really need to invest in a bigger speaker.
As nice as the Echo was, it had to be connected to a plug at all times, which meant it wasn’t that portable. The Tap on the other hand is completely portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go. The nine hours of battery life it offers is also more than enough for any listening session or party. It can also be used while it is charging.
The design of the Tap is simple, but very intuitive and it is something that you won’t feel embarrassed about taking with you to public places. All the playback controls are easily accessible from the top of the device and the “Talk” button is located on the front. On the back you’ll find the power button as well as the micro-USB port, headphone jack and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth button. It is lightweight and compact enough to carry with ease, but you can also purchase an optional carrying case if you want to attach it to your backpack. However, I discovered that attaching it to the case prevents you from using the charging cradle, which is a bit of a hassle.
Anyone who has ever wished that their portable speakers were a little bit smarter will love the Tap. Thanks to the amount of streaming services that are available online, there is little reason to fill the storage space of your devices with music. Instead, most people opt for Prime Music, Pandora, TuneIn, Spotify, iHeartRadio and other services for all their audio needs. The Tap is able to stream from all of these services and more when connected to Wi-Fi, giving you access to almost unlimited music. It even features voice recognition thanks to Alexa, so all you have to do is tap the microphone button and ask for whatever it is you want to hear!
I know that some people consider the need to tap a button in order to use the voice function as a hassle, but it does conserve battery power and cuts back on confusion. After all, you don’t want your speaker to suddenly start playing different music or ordering a pizza because it overhears the conversations of people passing by! The voice recognition is actually pretty good, although this could be because you have to be close to the speaker to press the button.
Pros and Cons
The Tap is probably one of the most feature packed portable speakers on the market and for all its pros there are very few cons.
Amazon Tap Pros
- Battery life of up to nine hours
- Use your voice to select music from a variety of streaming services
- Can connect to the internet to play music, read news, and much more
- Bluetooth for streaming music from connected device
- Constantly improved with new features
- Is portable enough to take anywhere and lightweight enough to do so comfortably
- Very easy to set up
- Great Bluetooth range
Amazon Tap Cons
- You have to physically tap a button to make use of the voice features
- Some of the connected services that you are able to use on the Tap requires a subscription fee
- You can’t use the charging cradle when the optional carry case is attached to the Tap
The Amazon Tap offers functions and features that go far beyond what is possible from an ordinary portable speaker. Of course, if all you need is a speaker then you can get something for cheaper, but if you want something that is useful for more than just playing music you can’t go wrong with the Tap. If you really have to have voice activation then the Amazon Echo is a better option, provided you are willing to sacrifice portability. To get the most out of the Tap you also ideally need an Amazon Prime account, but other than that it is a stellar product.