Amazon has just announced the new Echo Dot, a device that adds Alexa capabilities to any speaker, essentially turning the speaker into an Amazon Echo. The Echo Dot looks exactly like the top portion of the Amazon Echo, down to the circle of blue LEDs which light up to indicate which of the always listening microphones is closest to you. It connects to speakers you already own through bluetooth or a 3.5 mm audio port on the back. It has its own built in speaker so that you can still be used as an Alexa interface device while not connected to external speakers. The Echo Dot is currently only available for pre-order through Alexa and costs $89.99. Amazon Echo and Fire TV owners can say “Alexa, order an Echo Dot” to order the device, which will arrive on March 31st. The Echo Dot has all the same Alexa capabilities as the Amazon Echo, including smart home integration. Through its own built in speaker, the Echo Dot can be used as a standalone voice interface for controlling your connected devices in any room.
If you don’t have access to Alexa, you can order the Echo Dot through this link.
Amazon has announced the new Amazon Tap, an Alexa-enabled portable speaker. The device, which is essentially a battery powered Amazon Echo, is available for pre-order right now for $129.99 and will be released on March 31st. As rumors of the device described, it does not have an always listening microphone. Instead you must press the microphone button, like with the Fire TV remote, to issue commands to Alexa, hence the name Tap.
Included with the Amazon Tap is a docking cradle that charges the device. Alternately, it can also be charged by connected the included power cable to the micro USB port on the back of the device. Amazon says the battery will last for up to 9 hours of continuous playback. The Tap can connect directly to 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi as well as mobile hotspots created by smartphones for on the go streaming. The device can also be used as a simple portable speaker by connecting to an audio source through bluetooth or the 3.5 MM audio input port on the back. On top of the Tap you’ll find play back and volume controls. Also available for purchase separately is the Amazon Tap Sling Cover which is a silicone protective housing for the Tap. The Sling Cover includes a loop to hang the Tap and comes in one of 6 colors for $19.99.