Amazon have done particularly well for themselves with their Alexa range of Echo products. They were the first to the market with a stand-alone home assistant product, and as the competition started releasing products, they undercut them all with the super cheap Echo Dot. The Dot serves dual function allowing you to both extend the sphere of presence of Alexa in your house, but also drastically lowering the price barrier to entry into the voice-activated lifestyle.Along with the Dot, Amazon also released the Tap. Priced at the same point as the Google Home, the Tap provides a mobile stand-alone offering. Featuring a similar speaker arrangement to the original echo, this battery powered device can be carried with you anywhere you go and can connect to local Wi-Fi networks, or latch on to your phone’s mobile internet connection. The Tap also allows access to it’s speakers via Bluetooth or built-in 3.5mm audio jack.So with three products on the market, what do you buy? Let’s talk Tap first. Do you want to move your Echo device around, or are you happy to leave it in one place. The market for a mobile Alexa may not be huge, so the dual use of the Tap as a portable speaker is a second (and main) market it’s trying to hit. The Tap offers good sound in a solid package. It’s biggest downfall is that you have to push a button before you can interact with Alexa. This means no shouting at it from across the room. You have to be right in front of it. A big let down.The Amazon Echo is the original, but when you compare it to the Dot they are identical bar the sound. If you already have a decent home audio setup and can easily connect it to a Dot, then the Dot is the obvious choice. If you don’t have any sound setup, or trying to integrate it with a Dot is too difficult, then go for the Echo. The sound quality is decent, although lacking stereo sound, and is sufficient to play background music to all but the largest room. But also consider what kind of speakers you can get for the price difference of an Echo and a Dot.
So in summary:
- Tap – Portability is key to you
- Echo – You don’t have a home sound system
- Dot – All other requirements, with a cost-saving bonus.
For more on these three products and what to do with Alexa check-out another of our articles.