The Amazon Echo is still only available in the US, but the device certainly does a lot. Released last year it was an interesting development for the company as it is a bluetooth speaker as well as a voice controlled smart assistant but the main point of a bluetooth speaker is that it should be able to be taken places such as in the garden and the beach but the current Amazon Echo can only be used if it is plugged into the power. But today Amazon has unveiled two new products which aim to fix the main issues with the original Echo, which is still on sale and offer up some new usability options.
The first new version of the Amazon Echo is a much requested feature and the Echo Tap is completely portable, but it doesn’t actively listen for the magic words ‘Hey Alexa’ to be said – instead it requires the microphone button to be pressed to hear anything. The Tap looks like most of the portable speakers on the market but has the added benefit of taking Alexa with you.
The speaker array in the Echo Tap are located in such a way to project sound in 360 degrees to reach the entire room and can play your tunes for up to nine hours.
The other product Amazon announced is basically a small version of the Echo and doesn’t have a speaker, instead it;s intended to be used in less prominent rooms in the house where spending $179 on a Amazon Echo unit isn’t justified, instead the Echo Dot can still be used as a full controller of Alexa, although it does need to be plugged into a wired or bluetooth speaker system. Although the Echo Dot doesnt have a speaker, it does have a small tweeter for use as a alarm clock or timer.
Pricing for the Echo Dot starts at $89 in the US and is avaible today and the Amazon Tap is $129.