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AI / Alexa / Amazon

Does the Recent Alexa Tap Voice Activation Update Make it an Echo Replacement?

We’re a Dot, Echo, Tap family – meaning we own all three devices. Obviously, the biggest difference between the Dot and the Echo and Tap is the speaker. The Dot has a minimal speaker which is great for voice interaction, but not great for playing music in a large room. However, you can pair it with a Bluetooth speaker or connect to the audio port. The Echo is the monster in the room, providing a 2.5 inch woofer and 2.0 inch tweeter for deep bass, crisp high notes, and very ample sound levels. The Tap, while it provides a great speaker all its own (dual 1.5 inch drivers and dual passive radiators for bass extension), was not originally released as a voice-activated device like the other two. The Tap matched its name – you had to “tap” a button to make Alexa listen to you.

A recent firmware update for the Tap has brought voice-activation to the mobile Alexa device. Does this mean the Tap could replace the Echo as the standard device?

I’ve been testing the Tap since the update and while the sound isn’t quite as good as the Echo (though the difference is almost undistinguishable), it is a very good replacement. And, considering that the Tap is about $50 cheaper than the Echo, the price difference alone makes it a great choice. Also, consider that the Echo is meant as a stationary device (though you can make both the Echo and the Dot portable – read about that HERE) and the Tap is a mobile device that supports Wi-Fi hotspots, and it’s almost a no brainer decision.

The Tap is available from Amazon for $129: Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

The Echo is available from Amazon for $179: Amazon Echo

At $49, the Dot is still a great choice, too: All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

So, the bottom line here is that if you want an Alexa device that has a solid, built-in speaker system and is also portable, the Tap is hard to pass up. Is the Tap a good Echo replacement? I say, ‘Yes.’


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A community professional, keynoter, and evangelist who has driven social media and marketing strategies, editorial successes, delivered customer successes and built some of the largest and longest-running online communities. Rod has created, managed and grown small, medium, and mega-sized conferences; run entire editorial teams to deliver record traffic and market leadership; as product manager, directed the success of hundreds of product releases; supported sales and marketing to ensure customer success; developed, run and sold businesses; written thousands of technical articles, white papers, case studies, and technical documentation; hosted and delivered hundreds of attendance shattering webinars and virtual tradeshows; and delivered keynote speeches and sessions at a wide variety of events including conferences, webinars, events, and user groups.

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