Reviewing the Amazon Tap: Another Piece of Amazon Hardware
Amazon continues to build out its surprisingly successful hardware line. From with the Amazon Echo, which we previously reviewed, to the very successful (to the point of selling out) Amazon Echo Dot (which I wasn’t able to get in time), Amazon recently produced their own UE Boom– inspired speaker, the Amazon Tap. Regular readers know I really like the convenience of having speakers in conveniently placed areas around the house. The Tap basically replicates the Echo’s abilities in a package that you can literally take with you. So I took the plunge for the speaker (it seemed a bit expensive at its regular price of $129) when the price dropped down to $69 ($50 Prime Day deal and $10 off any item you order off of Echo). All it took was saying to Alexa: “Alexa, order an Amazon Tap” and two days later it was in my hands! So how did my two month road test go? Was it worth it?
Construction and Sound Quality
The Tap’s general build and design resembles the UE Boom and Echo. It doesn’t weigh very much (almost exactly a pound) and is quite portable. The magnetic charger means easy grabbing and going. The Tap’s 360 direction sound can definitely fill a room, although I rarely have used it on that setting. Setting it up required using the Alexa app. The included instructions made it quite easy, although I did think that pairing and getting the wifi settings programmed would be difficult. The Alexa app isn’t the greatest but it is serviceable.
Features and Verdict
Here at BwF, we’re always looking for a good deal, not just price, but features, usability, and time-savings. And the steep discounts for the Amazon Tap made it an almost irresistible buy for all of the features: Flash News in the morning, being able to take Alexa into any room in the house (if only the Echo was portable!), being able to buy things through Amazon (K-cups, toilet paper, etc), TuneIn / Pandora / Spotify / Amazon Music, and also being able to link my phone to the speaker via Bluetooth. As you can see in the above chart from the Amazon website, the Tap is full of features.
But it isn’t all good with the Tap. To be honest, I haven’t found that much use for it beyond playing music and the radio occasionally. With the Echo occupying the primary position in the kitchen (best cooking helper ever), the Tap just doesn’t offer a lot of functionality that the Echo already provides. Also the battery on the Tap isn’t the greatest, and I found that I needed to charge it every three days or so, not quite long enough to just set it and forget it away from the charging cradle in another room. To other negative thing about the Tap is the need to program wifi settings via Alexa whenever you move it. This is a pain if you’re traveling a lot and using the speaker on a hotel wifi system.
While the system isn’t flawless, I do think it is a good value if it is ever on sale again. I wouldn’t shell out full price for it though. For that you have Echo! Do you have an Amazon Tap? How was your experience with it? Leave comments below!