Amazon’s newest voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker wants to join you at the beach with Alexa – or that’s the idea, anyway: Alexa for your day out or overnight trip.
“Just tap and ask” is the tagline of the new portable speaker, Amazon Tap.
The new product is similar to the slightly pricier Amazon Echo, but there’s one major hitch (depending on your preference) — you have to tap the device’s microphone button to conjure Alexa voice recognition, as opposed to the far-field recognition of the Echo. So you can’t just yell commands at this one. Instead, you have to do the digital equivalent of saying “please.” So if you plan on staying in close proximity to interact with Alexa, this is a cheaper, mobile alternative.
When you press the button, you can ask Alexa for Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, news, weather and whatever else your heart desires when you’re connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot. But beware, if you want to depend on Alexa, not everyone has luck connecting their Tap to a hotspot. In that case, you’ll be left with an ordinary Bluetooth speaker to stream what you want from your smartphone.
When not connected to its dock, it boasts up to nine hours of continuous playback. That feature, paired with its solid design, could make it a decent option for picnics and other excursions. Being that the Echo lacks a battery, Tap is a mobile-friendly alternative. There’s also handy playback and volume buttons on the top of it, so you can quickly skip over your Nickelback phase when you’re with the cool kids.
The Tap doesn’t specifically claim to be rugged and durable, but you can buy the optional silicone case for added protection. One reviewer did add that the Tap was sturdy enough to take a few tumbles.
Some say its omni-directional sound quality leaves a bit to be desired. But from how many other average-sounding speakers can you order Domino’s or a ride home?
For me, being able to quickly throw a speaker in my overly enormous bag for on-the-go tunes would trump being able to yell commands at a device from a distance. But that’s just me.
What do you think? Have you tried any of Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices – how does the Tap match up? Let SHEables know in the comments!