Amazon debuted two new Alexa enabled devices today which look vastly different from the original Amazon Echo. The Echo Dot is a hockey puck looking device that doesn’t have a speaker but instead plugs into another speaker via Bluetooth or 3.5mm jack. The Amazon Tap is a more portable Bluetooth speaker featuring support for Alexa too.
Amazon’s Echo Dot looks like the company sliced the top off of the Echo to get a speaker less device. Amazon says customers asked for a device that supported Alexa but could plug into other speakers. Other than the lack of large speakers, it still has all the same, features as its larger sibling including the seven-microphone array, volume ring, mute and action buttons. The $89 price tag is a little much considering you’ll still need a speaker to hear music or hear other commands better. The only way to buy a Dot is through Alexa, meaning you’d need an Echo or Fire TV to buy the device.
The Amazon Tap Bluetooth and WiFi speaker also support Alexa voice commands, but you’ll need to press the mic button to start speech recognition. The Tap is made to be more portable, with nine hours of playback time and three weeks of standby on a single charge. The Tap will charge through a charging dock. The $129.99 Amazon Tap is available for anyone to buy through Amazon.com.
While the Dot would be perfect for connecting all your speakers together and creating a speaker like Sonos. It doesn’t offer support for multiple speakers across rooms, yet at least. Amazon has updated the speakers and Alexa almost weekly with new commands and features. Alexa supports Nest, Honeywell, and dozens of other online services. She’s become the most powerful voice assistant around, beating out Google Now and Siri.
The stock for the Dot is limited, and will give Amazon the chance to see how users interact with the device when they have an Echo or Fire TV in their home. Amazon would make the device more appealing if they’d offer multiple speaker support or the ability to handoff commands between different speakers in different rooms.
Tell us if you’re going to buy either the Dot or the Tap in the comments below!