Amazon Echo vs Amazon Tap: Difference and Comparison

Amazon Echo is a smart speaker with built-in voice assistant Alexa, offering hands-free control for music playback, smart home devices, and information retrieval. On the other hand, Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth speaker with Alexa integration, offering similar functionality to Echo but requiring a tap to activate Alexa rather than using voice commands continuously.

Key Takeaways

  1. Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled smart speaker with a built-in virtual assistant. At the same time, Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth speaker that requires a tap to activate its virtual assistant.
  2. The Amazon Echo has better sound quality than the Amazon Tap, which can be controlled with voice commands from a distance. The Amazon Tap has a lower sound quality and requires closer proximity.
  3. Amazon Echo is more suitable for home use, while Amazon Tap is more suitable for outdoor use, as it is portable and can easily carry around.

Amazon Echo vs Amazon Tap

Amazon Echo is a voice-activated smart speaker that is always connected to the internet. It can carry out a wide range of functions through voice commands. Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth speaker that requires a physical tap to activate its voice assistant. It is designed to be mobile.

Amazon Echo vs Amazon Tap

Echo need not be tapped to use it, and you need to press the microphone button to ask for any song or anything.

Comparison Table

FeatureAmazon EchoAmazon Tap
Primary FunctionSmart speaker and hub for smart home devicesPortable Bluetooth speaker with limited smart features
DesignCylindrical, largerCylindrical, smaller and portable
Power SourceAC powerRechargeable battery (up to 9 hours)
Smart AssistantAlexaLimited Alexa functionality (music streaming, news, basic questions)
Smart Home ControlYes, extensive control over compatible smart home devicesNo, cannot directly control smart home devices
Speaker QualityFull-sized speaker with better sound qualitySmaller speaker with decent sound quality
Microphone ArrayFar-field microphones for voice recognition across the roomSingle microphone for close-up voice interaction
ConnectivityWi-Fi and BluetoothBluetooth only
PriceGenerally more expensiveGenerally less expensive

What is Amazon Echo?

The Amazon Echo is a smart speaker developed by Amazon, featuring voice-controlled virtual assistant Alexa. It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and enables users to perform various tasks through voice commands, such as playing music, setting alarms, controlling smart home devices, providing weather updates, and answering questions.

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Features

  • Voice Control: Users can interact with the Echo using natural language commands, activating Alexa to perform tasks or provide information.
  • Smart Home Integration: The Echo acts as a central hub for controlling compatible smart home devices, allowing users to adjust lights, thermostats, locks, and more with voice commands.
  • Music Streaming: With access to streaming services like Amazon Music, Spotify, and Pandora, users can request songs, playlists, or radio stations using voice commands.
  • Information and Entertainment: Alexa can provide news updates, weather forecasts, sports scores, and even tell jokes or play games upon request.
  • Skills and Customization: Through the Alexa app, users can enable additional functionalities called skills, expanding the Echo’s capabilities to perform tasks like ordering food, requesting rides, or checking bank account balances.

Hardware

  • Speaker: The Echo features a high-quality speaker system that delivers crisp audio, suitable for both music playback and voice responses.
  • Microphones: Equipped with an array of microphones with far-field voice recognition technology, allowing the Echo to hear commands from across the room even in noisy environments.
  • Connectivity: It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and can also utilize Bluetooth for streaming audio from smartphones or other devices.
  • Design: Available in various designs and form factors, including the traditional cylindrical shape and newer models with built-in displays or enhanced audio capabilities.
amazon echo

What is Amazon Tap?

Amazon Tap is a portable, voice-activated smart speaker developed by Amazon. Released in March 2016, it is part of the Amazon Echo family, which includes various Alexa-enabled devices. Unlike some other Echo devices, the Amazon Tap is designed to be portable, allowing users to take Alexa on the go.

Key Features of Amazon Tap

  1. Portability:
    • The Amazon Tap is compact and battery-powered, making it easy to carry around and use in different locations.
  2. Alexa Voice Service:
    • It is integrated with Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, providing users with voice-activated capabilities to play music, answer questions, control smart home devices, and more.
  3. Wireless Connectivity:
    • The device connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and can stream music from various sources using Bluetooth, including Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more.
  4. Touch Controls:
    • The top of the Amazon Tap features touch-sensitive controls for music playback, volume adjustment, and activation of Alexa voice commands.
  5. Charging Cradle:
    • The Amazon Tap comes with a charging cradle that eliminates the need for a physical connection to charge the device. Simply placing it on the cradle initiates the charging process.
  6. Audio Quality:
    • The device is equipped with dual stereo speakers and Dolby processing for enhanced audio quality, making it suitable for music playback and voice interactions.
  7. Hands-Free Mode:
    • While the Amazon Tap does not have a hands-free mode by default (requiring a tap to activate Alexa), users can enable a hands-free option within the device settings.
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Usage and Interaction

  • Music Playback:
    • Users can ask Alexa to play specific songs, artists, or genres through various streaming services.
  • Voice Commands:
    • The device responds to a wide range of voice commands, providing information, setting alarms, controlling smart home devices, and more.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity:
    • Amazon Tap can be connected to other Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to stream audio.
  • Smart Home Integration:
    • It supports integration with various smart home devices, allowing users to control lights, thermostats, and other compatible devices using voice commands.
amazon tap

Main Differences Between Amazon Echo and Amazon Tap

Portability:

  • Echo: A homebody, content to stay put and fill your living space with sound.
  • Tap: A free spirit, ready to follow you wherever the music takes you.

Activation Method:

  • Echo: Always listening, eager to help at your command (“Alexa!”).
  • Tap: Requires a tap on the button to wake it up, like a friendly nudge.

Audio Quality:

  • Echo: Packs a punch with its larger speaker, perfect for filling a room with music.
  • Tap: Delivers surprisingly good sound for its size, ideal for on-the-go tunes.

Smart Home Integration:

  • Echo: The brains of the operation, seamlessly connecting and controlling your smart home.
  • Tap: Can also join the smart home party, but may need Wi-Fi for full functionality.
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References
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8560072/
  2. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3033178

Last Updated : 29 February, 2024

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