After launching the Echo over a year ago, today Amazon announced two new additions to the lineup of voice-controlled smart hubs that house the company's personal assistant Alexa. Users will now be able to purchase a more portable version of Echo with Amazon Tap, and even expand the device's power into other rooms with Echo Dot.

The $130 Amazon Tap is a more rugged, pick-up-and-go alternative to the original Echo, housing built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the company's Alexa operating system. Instead of interacting with Alexa through always-on functionality, Amazon Tap requires users to tap the microphone button on the front of the speaker to access the service's voice commands. If connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot, users will be able to gain access to all of the normal, cloud-based features the Echo grants at home.

amazon tap

Amazon Tap

TechCrunch got a brief hands-on demo of Amazon Tap and came away largely satisfied with its sound quality and battery life:

Amazon demonstrated the sound quality to me before Tap went out today and I can say it did provide an impressive musical experience. Duel-firing Dolby speakers enable Tap to provide rich, 360-degree quality sound.

It’s also meant to tote around and comes with a pretty solid battery life for that purpose. A fully charged Tap will last for up to nine hours of playback or three weeks in standby mode.

Alternatively, Amazon also has created a new household expansion to Echo with Echo Dot. The small, palm-sized device will let users expand the capabilities of Echo to different rooms of their house for $90, or half of Echo's $180 price tag. Like the flagship Echo product, Echo Dot uses far-field voice recognition to respond to the inquiries of its user while simultaneously being able to detect commands specified towards it over other the din of a room.

amazon echo dot

Echo Dot

Echo Dot still may run into issues if it's asked to perform actions in a separate room, and having two Echo devices in the same location may also cause problems. "Dot is meant for one area at a time," according to Amazon.

No specific launch date was given for Amazon Tap or Echo Dot, but the company is attempting an interesting release plan for the latter device: users will only be able to buy the $90 Echo Dot from an Echo itself or Amazon Fire TV. The $130 Amazon Tap will be available through the company's traditional online marketplace.

Top Rated Comments

rolsskk Avatar
110 months ago
Duel firing? Yeah, not a fan.
-Alexander Hamilton

I'll see myself out.:oops:
What, afraid it'll be an unnecessary burrden to bear? ;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shareef777 Avatar
110 months ago
Say what you will about Echo, but everyone I know that has one says it blows away Siri. Me personally, I rarely use Siri as the 'Hey Siri' functionality is hit or miss. I can be in alone in my car and it still won't answer due to background road noise (even with the windows closed).
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
110 months ago
I've always wanted speakers that could duel!
Duel firing? Yeah, not a fan.
-Alexander Hamilton

I'll see myself out.:oops:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rolsskk Avatar
110 months ago
Duel-firing Dolby speakers enable Tap to provide rich, 360-degree quality sound.
I've always wanted speakers that could duel!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bpeeps Avatar
110 months ago
No HomeKit, no dice.
Are you finding HomeKit useful? I haven't found a way to control HomeKit devices. I'm thinking about buying an Echo and a smart things hub to automate my living room (TV, speakers, lights, etc).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
110 months ago
Love our Echo and how much has been added to it. Both product extensions make sense. But I don't think I would buy them since I have the Echo.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...