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Amazon Tap - Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

 
Amazon Tap - Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Amazon Tap - Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker
From Amazon

Price: $129.99 Details

Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

8 new or used available from $109.39

Average customer review:
( stars, based on 6459 reviews)

Product Description

Just tap and ask for music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn 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 Streams all your music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet Delivers crisp sound powered by Dolby, with dual stereo speakers that provide 360 omni-directional audio Provides up to 9 hours of playback Always getting smarter and adding new features and skills Includes Charging Cradle


Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #95 in Amazon Home
  • Color: BLACK
  • Brand: Amazon
  • Model: PW3840KL
  • Released on: 2016-06-08
  • Dimensions: 6.30" h x 2.60" w x 2.60" l, 1.10 pounds
  • Battery type: Lithium-Cobalt

Features

  • 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

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

3803 of 4029 people found the following review helpful.
5The Echo's Little Sister Is AMAZING!!
By Deanokat
IMPORTANT UPDATE (3/8/17): As you read my original review, please be aware that Amazon announced in early February (2017) a new firmware update that allows Amazon Tap owners to enable a hands-free option! By going into "Settings" in the Alexa app, you can now choose the hands-free option and have your Tap respond to voice commands without touching it, just like the Echo and Echo Dot! This is a fabulous development and something Tap owners have been hoping for. Thank you, Amazon!

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.

420 of 443 people found the following review helpful.
5Tap = Alexa on the go!
By Heather A
It was just a few weeks ago that I was bemoaning the fact that I did not scoop up an Echo back when they were being released last year. Not only could it be had at nearly half off the current price, but it came with a voice remote and we could have had a year longer using this amazing device...

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.

2293 of 2467 people found the following review helpful.
5Amazon Tap Review - Best Bluetooth Speaker in its Category?
By Quentin Moore
[[VIDEOID:bfd0e906f495dc8424bac54a13cbf377]]The Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth speaker that can be controlled with your voice. You can instruct it to play music, order products and services, control home automation products and connected devices, plus a whole lot more.

It contains a button activated microphone for listening to your verbal commands. It also has Dolby stereo speakers for playing music. The Amazon Tap is basically the portable version of the popular Amazon Echo that was released last year.

I’ve been testing the Tap for several days now. Here’s what I think so far:

### What I Like ###

I find that the Tap understands my verbal commands accurately. This could be due to the fact that, since it’s button activated, I’m always very close to the device when I speak to it. Nevertheless, it’s nice that Tap understands me the first time. This was my experience with the Amazon Echo as well.

The audio is surprisingly good for such a small device. I test portable speakers all the time and I’d say the Amazon Tap is as good as or better than the speakers in its price range. Don't expect Bose type sound or deep bass levels, however.

No other portable speaker device offers voice control and Wi-Fi streaming. Thus the Amazon Tap offers a tremendous amount of value over similarly priced portable speakers. This is especially true if you already have Amazon Prime and Prime Music.

It supports many great services. Like the Amazon Echo that came before it, the Amazon Tap supports popular music services such as Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.

Battery life has been good so far. I used it off and on for a couple days without charging it. I’ll post an update once I have come closer to testing the limits of the battery life. So far so good, however.

### What I Don’t Like ###

No Voice Activation: As the name implies, you activate the Amazon Tap by “tapping” the microphone button. I can see why the device should work this way when you are on the go. After all, you don’t want random people in the public talking to your Tap, ordering pizza, requesting a Uber driver, or ordering groceries. I also suspect the battery will last longer if the Tap isn’t always listening for your voice. I just wish voice activation was available when the Tap is on its charging cradle. Alternatively, if I could activate the Tap with a Bluetooth headset or other Bluetooth accessory, that would be cool too.

Amazon Tap doesn't offer the best sound money can buy. By Bluetooth speaker standards, the Taps audio is fine. However, the bass level is uninspiring and audio can become distorted at high volumes. Thus, if you prefer having the best portable Bluetooth speaker in terms of audio quality, the Tap should not be your first choice. I’d love to see a premium version of the Tap with better audio. Perhaps Amazon can create the Amazon Tap Boombox! Perhaps a Boombox docking station?!?!?

The Amazon Tap Sling cover is not a good accessory. The Sling accessory is called a cover even though it doesn't cover much. You can't charge the Tap when the Sling is on and attaching and removing the Sling is difficult. This makes the Sling pretty much unusable. This is not exactly a disadvantage of the Amazon Tap but I think it's worth noting.

### Bottom Line ###

If you are in the market for a portable Bluetooth speaker that does a whole lot more than just play music, the Amazon Tap is the best choice available. It provides good sound relative to its price range, good battery life, and the unique ability to accept voice commands. It also has the advantage of Wi-Fi music streaming from your iTunes collection as well as from popular music services like Spotify and Pandora. The Tap's audio is at least on par with speakers in its class, yet, it has functionality not available in any other portable speaker.

If you already have Amazon Prime, the Tap has another advantage over similar devices. Your Tap will have instant access to a large library of music via Prime music.

While I think the Tap is great at what it’s supposed to do, the lack of voice activation will probably surprise and disappoint many people. This is especially true if they have used the Amazon Echo. If you want the ability to talk to your speaker without touching it, you should get the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot instead. I ordered the Echo Dot and will post a review after I test it.

>> Do I recommend the Amazon Tap? <<

Yes, but only to people who are shopping for something that is more a portable speaker with the Echo feature than a portable Echo with voice activated control. The nice thing is, once you start streaming music to the Tap, you probably won't want to talk to the device for a while anyway. Thus is may not too much a hassle to walk over to the device rather than speak to it from a distance.

For the most part, I plan to use my Tap for playing music from Prime Music and from Spotify. I will mostly use the device at the pool, when I’m washing my car, at the dog park, and during my next vacation (in the hotel room and at the beach). We'll see if I keep it or if I re-gift it.

### Suggested Improvements ###

- The Amazon Echo can be activated with your voice only. The Amazon Tap can only be activate by tapping the microphone button.
- The Amazon Tap has a rechargeable battery and is portable. The Amazon Echo relies on external power (i.e. a power outlet).
- The Amazon Echo has better sound quality than the Amazon Tap. For the best audio, however, you should get an Echo Dot plus a pair of nice speakers.

### Q&A ###

Q: What’s the difference between the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Tap?

The two main differences between the Amazon Echo vs the Amazon Tap are:
- The Amazon Echo can be activated with your voice only. The Amazon Tap can only be activate by tapping the microphone button.
- The Amazon Tap has a rechargeable battery and is portable. The Amazon Echo relies on external power (i.e. a power outlet).
- The Amazon Echo has better sound quality than the Amazon Tap. For the best audio, however, you should get an Echo Dot plus a pair of nice speakers.

Q: Which should I get? Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, or Echo Dot?

To decide on which product to get (Amazon Echo vs Echo Dot vs Amazon Tap), see the bullets below:
- If you want a portable Bluetooth speaker that you will use away from home, get the Amazon Tap.
- If want to connect your Amazon voice controlled device to external speakers to get premium sound, get the Echo Dot.
- Otherwise, if you want a stand alone, voice activated and controlled speaker, get the Amazon Echo.

Q: Is the Amazon Tap always on or do you have to “tap” it to activate it?

As of this writing, Amazon is only activated by "tapping" the microphone button. It doesn't support voice activation, as of this writing.

Q: Does it work with my existing Echo?

Amazon Tap does not connect to or interact directly with Amazon Echo or any other device. However, Amazon Tap can be connected to the same Amazon account and to the same Wi-Fi network as an Amazon Echo or any other Amazon device. Simultaneous access to paid services may be limited however.

Q: Are there any costs associated with using the Amazon Tap?

You don't have to pay anything to use Amazon Tap. However, some of the connected services may require a fee in order to access those services with Tap.

Q: Does Amazon Tap require Amazon Prime?

No. Amazon Prime is not required in order to use Amazon Tap.

Q: How long does the battery last?
Amazon states that the Tap's battery will last up to 9 hours of active use and up to three weeks of stand by time.

Q: What languages does Amazon Tap understand?
Amazon Tap only understand English as of this writing.

Q: What services does Amazon Tap connect to?

Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.

Q: Does the Amazon Tap work with iTunes?

Yes. Amazon Tap can stream music from iTunes.

Q: Does Amazon Tap work with other speakers?

No. The Amazon Tap has its own stereo speakers. It does not work with other speakers

Q: Does tap work while I’m driving?

A: Yes. You can use it as a Bluetooth speaker for your smartphone or other device. You can also use voice control and Wi-Fi streaming if the Tap is connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hot spot while in your car.

>>> I hope you found this review helpful. If so, let me know. Post a comment. Also, feel free to ask me questions about the Tap. <<<

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