When comparing Amazon Echo vs. Tap, both are great voice interactive speakers which boast the “Alexa” technology from Amazon. However, some key differences exist in terms of the specs these two devices have. While both are great speakers for playing music and handing various tasks such as information requests or even home automation, they were made with different intentions. It clearly seems the Echo was made as the “stay at home” interactive speaker, with the Tap more of an “on the go” cousin. Here’s our look at the major differences of the Amazon Tap vs. Echo speakers.
The Amazon Echo was released first by the company and brought along with it Alexa, a voice interaction technology similar to Apple’s Siri. The Echo speaker is always listening and the moment you use the wake word “Alexa,” you can ask it your request. These include items such as asking it to play back music from your library or Amazon Prime’s vast library (if you’re a member), asking for various information including weather, sports schedules or scores, getting jokes, updating your Google calendar or shopping lists, and even controlling lights or other home automation tasks.
Fast forward a year or so, and Amazon released the Tap wireless bluetooth speaker. It’s about two or three inches smaller than the Echo and also features the Alexa voice technology. However, there’s a key difference in that it is not always listening. Tap refers to “tapping” a microphone button on the front of the speaker and then making your request. So for example, you would tap the microphone and ask “What time is it?” or “What’s the weather tomorrow?” or “When do the Chicago Cubs play?”
The Amazon Tap comes with a charging base you place it on to charge it up before you take it on the go. Basically, you don’t need to have it plugged into a socket on the wall, whereas the Echo must always be plugged into a power source. Both items need to be connected to an available wireless network, which can be done through the Alexa app (available at Amazon, Apple’s App Store, and the Google Play Store for Android). Both items also can playback from a device paired via Bluetooth, making them versatile when it comes to enjoying music. However, the biggest difference really is that one stays at home, and the other can go with you wherever you have available WiFi to “tap” into.
The larger Echo usually sells for around $180 but has been on discount during various promotions at Amazon. The Tap usually sells for about $50 less. One of the other noticeable differences is that the Echo includes a microphone you can use if you’re in another room to make voice requests or control playback of music. The Tap’s controls are all built into the speaker, with the music playback control right on top of the device.
Shelby Johnson has created helpful user guides or manuals for each of these impressive tech items which help with the set up and further understanding of how to use the features. You can find these available at the links below:
Amazon Echo & Prime User Manual Bundle (Kindle eBook)
Amazon Echo vs. Tap Specs & Features Review