The Amazon Tap and the Echo Dot, the two newest Alexa devices, have been released today and customers who pre-ordered have already begun recieving their devices. Both devices immediately became backordered a few days after they were announced, but it looks like Amazon was able to ramp up production on the Amazon Tap because it’s currently available for immediate delivery. The Echo Dot on the other hand, the far more popular device out of the two, is another story. Orders placed today will not ship until August at the earliest. If you didn’t place your pre-order the day it was announced, and want one immediatly, you’re going to have to resort to eBay or Craigslist and pay a premium. Echo Dot’s on eBay are currently selling for $50 over their retail price.
I have both devices arriving later today. If you have any questions about either the Amazon Tap or Echo Dot, post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Is the Dot loud enough to play audiobooks with only the built-in speaker?
At maximum volume in a quiet room, the internal speaker is sufficient for audiobook and podcast listening. The Echo Dot’s maximum volume is about the Echo’s level 5-6 (out of 10) volume. It is by no means loud, but it’s clear and crisp when listening to speech. Also, here is no audio distortion when the Echo Dot is set to maximum volume, so I’ll probably be keeping mine locked to max.
Thanks; I was hoping to hear this bit of good news. I’m interested in getting one for dedicated use playing audiobooks and OTR broadcasts.
I’d like to know how the sound quality of the Tap speakers compare to the Echo speakers and other Bluetooth speakers at that price range.
You will absolutely find a better sounding speaker than the Amazon Tap for $130. The Tap fills a room nicely and sounds good, but if Alexa isn’t a BIG reason for you buying it, and you’re fine controlling your music with an external device (like a smartphone), then you’ll be happier with a plain bluetooth speaker. My biggest complaint is the lack of bass.
When you have the Echo Dot connected to an external speaker or audio system via RCA out or Bluetooth does all sound go to the external source or does just music go to the external speaker and Alexa feedback stay on the internal? I would prefer the latter as I would like to connect one to my audio system for music, but don’t want to leave audio system on all the time for every time my wife uses Alexa as a kitchen timer.
When the Echo Dot has a 3.5mm cable connected to it, regardless whether it’s even connected to a speaker on the other end, the internal speaker goes silent. So if you have it physically connected to a speaker, that speaker needs to be powered on to interact with Alexa on the Echo Dot in any way.
I have yet to test if it does the same with a bluetooth speaker. I assumed I could connect the Echo Dot to the Amazon Tap via bluetooth, but I haven’t been able to get the two to see each other.
Okay, I got the Echo Dot to connect to the Amazon Tap via bluetooth. While connected to a bluetooth speaker, the Echo Dot pipes all audio through the bluetooth speaker, so again, the Echo Dot internal speaker is disabled while the bluetooth speaker is on. The advantage here is that when you turn off the bluetooth speaker, the Echo Dot automatically starts using its internal speaker again. Even if the bluetooth speaker is turned on, if you want to use the Echo Dot’s internal speaker, you can just say “Alexa, disconnect bluetooth” to switch to the Echo Dot’s internal speaker, and then say “Alexa, connect bluetooth” to switch back to the external bluetooth speaker on the fly. Because if this, I’d say the Echo Dot works better with bluetooth speakers then wired speakers. I’d even go as far as to recommend that wired speaker owners should get a bluetooth receiver so they have the flexibility to switch between the Echo Dot’s internal and external speaker source without having to mess with cables each time.
Thanks for the detailed reply… very helpful. And really nice followup article and recommendations on the Bluetooth options.
I’ll take a little credit if my question inspired that ;)
I love what you are doing with this site and keep up the great work!
why would anyone voluntarily bug their home, in the name of “convenience”?
The Echo and Echo Dot only record and send audio after hearing the wake word, which you set to be either “Alexa”, “Amazon”, or “Echo.” It isn’t constantly connected to Amazon or sending a live stream of audio all the time. It’s no more a “bug in your home” than you cellphone is. Both devices have mics and both devices activate those mics when you ask them to.
Can the dot be mounted to the wall?
Can you pair your dot act as both a Bluetooth receiver (paired to phone) and transmitter (paired to external speaker) simultaneously ?
The Echo Dot has no way to mount to a wall. The bottom of the Echo Dot is a flat smooth non-slip rubber with no anchors. The only way to mount it to a wall is to either stick it to the wall directly (or to a mounting bracket) using heavy duty mounting tape, or by making a round cradle that hangs on the wall and cups the Dot.
No, the Echo Dot cannot receive and transmit audio via Bluetooth simultaneously. You can play Bluetooth audio through the Echo Dot’s internal speaker (like from a phone) or play audio (that originates from the Dot) through a connected Bluetooth speaker, but not both at the same time. If either a phone or speaker are connected via bluetooth, when you try to connect the other, the first connection is dropped. You can, however, play Bluetooth audio (like from a phone) through the wired 3.5mm audio jack on the Echo Dot. So it is possible to use the Echo Dot as a middleman for your Bluetooth audio, but it has to be to a wired speaker. Great question!
I want to buy something for listening music.But i cant use the phone.So i want alexa for it.I have hp’s 10 $ speakers.Which device i need to buy(tap-dot)? I will just listen music.(spotify pandora vs)Is amazon dot speakers enough for me.If i buy i will use it on my room.And room is quiet.Sorry for my bad English:D
If you already have a good set of speakers, then get the Echo Dot. Otherwise, get the Amazon tap. Both devices can play music from the same services. The difference is the Echo Dot is meant to be connected to speakers since its internal speaker is not good for music. The Amazon Tap is a complete device, but it does not have the hands-free listening capabilities that the Echo Dot has.