Amazon Review by Deanokat
3248 people found the following review helpful
The Echo's Little Sister Is AMAZING!!
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 Echos 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, its not very portable. Theres 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 Amazons Cloud. As a result, I can take my entire music collection anywhere I go, and its 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 thats a very small price to pay for total portability.)
I was hopeful that the Taps sound would be as good or better than the Echos, and I was not disappointed. With its dual stereo speakers and 360-degree omni-directional audiowith Dolbythe Tap sounds AMAZING! Trust me: Im 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 Ive 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 thats only 6 tall and 2-1/2 in diameter. And its 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 teams 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 controlsPlay/Pause, Previous/Next, and Volume Up/Downare 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: Im just not sure how well it will hold up over time. If Im going to be carrying this little baby around everywhere I go, Im 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 wont fit into the charging cradle while its 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 thats a shame, because the charging cradle is a nice, simple way to charge the device. I wish Amazon couldve 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 couldnt be much happier with the Amazon Tap. It really is the Echos 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: Thats 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. Its one of the coolest technological devices Ive ever owned. As great as the Echo is, in my mind the Tap is even better. Alexa, Im 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.