Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between Amazon Echo and Amazon Tap

Difference between Amazon Echo and Amazon Tap

Amazon has been on an expansion spree with its smart home devices line since it launched the original Echo and revolutionized the music listening experience. It is more than just a wireless speaker; it has changed the way we listen to music. But now with more Echo devices on the market, it’s pretty clear that the company is updating is Echo line.

The Echo was launched in 2014 and it’s still one of the most popular smart home speakers till date. Then comes the Amazon Tap, which is technically the streamlined version of the Echo, yet offers almost the same features as the Echo. Well, Alexa is the brains behind both the devices and is getting smarter over time. Here’s a brief look at how both the Alexa-enabled devices compare:

Amazon Echo vs. Amazon Tap

  • Design

Both the devices look strikingly similar when it comes to design, sporting a black cylindrical design styled with blue illuminating lights, but that’s that. They might look similar from the outside but the Tap is a little slimmer and shorter than the Echo. While the Echo measures at 9.3″ x 3.3″ x 3.3″ (235 mm x 84 mm x 84 mm), Tap measures at 6.3″ x 2.6″ x 2.6″ (159 mm x 66 mm x 66 mm). The Tap also weighs just 470 grams, against the Echo, which weighs 1064 grams. The dimensions suggest Tap is a little compact which makes it easy to move around.

  • Controls

Another key difference between both the devices is the number of buttons and ports on the Amazon Tap. As the Tap is designed to move – thanks to its compact design – the idea of more buttons isn’t off the track. It allows you to control your music and volume when you’re not connected to the internet. The microphone button is an extra addition on the Tap, along with the volume controller and the playback button on the top. You’ll find the power button at the back of the device, along with an auxiliary port and a micro USB port. The Echo, on the other hand, is a voice-controlled device which eliminates the need of the extra pair of buttons.

  • Alexa

While both the smart devices are equipped with Alexa – the brain behind the Amazon Echo and the artificial intelligence behind millions of devices – the Tap, however, discarded the “always-on” feature of its Echo counterpart. Unlike Echo, the Tap utilizes a “tap and ask” system instead of just saying “Alexa” to activate the device. You have to tap the microphone button physically to activate Alexa. Once you’re done with the device set-up, a simple tap of the microphone button will bring Alexa to your service, just like it would do with the Echo. However, you can always switch to ‘Hands-Free’ in the settings menu within the Alexa app.

Difference between Amazon Echo and Amazon Tap-1

  • Power

The Echo needs to be plugged in all the time for the device to work in conjunction with the Wi-Fi network. The Echo is more stationary, which makes it more limited in terms of mobility. The Tap, on the other hand, has a built-in battery which offers up to nine hours of uninterrupted music playback, making it a perfect device on-the-go. The Tap also comes with a Charging Cradle which makes charging totally hassle-free, allowing you to pick up the smart device and take it wherever you want. You can simply put the device on the charging base and you can continue to enjoy your favorite music while it’s charging.

  • Ease of Use

While the Tap is touted as a compact Bluetooth speaker, the Echo is more like a smart home device. If you’re looking for a simpler approach to seek Alexa’s assistance with ordering a Pizza or needing traffic updates or requesting an Uber, or tracking your fitness levels with Fitbit, go for Echo. If you’re planning to take Alexa with you outside, go for Tap instead. If you’re fine with Alexa’s tap and ask system along with its ease of mobility, Tap is a long way to go. And the best part, it eliminates the need of the phone, which makes it a smart choice over the Echo.

  • Audio

The sound quality is something you can clearly differentiate between the two devices. The dual 1.5 inch drivers with Dolby support makes for a pleasant listening experience. While both the devices offer 360-degree omni-directional audio for a decent sound response, however, the Tap improves upon the Echo by adding dual-stereo speakers. This makes the Tap a little better on the audio quality front. The Echo, on the other hand, has downward-positioned speakers, which limits its bass response. The Echo is pretty loud though, but the treble is not as clean either.

Amazon Echo Amazon Tap
It offers hands-free listening experience, thanks to the ‘always-on’ voice assistant. It follows a ‘tap and ask’ approach which requires you to tap the microphone button to activate Alexa.
Echo has to be plugged in at all times in order to work, which puts a limit on its mobility. You can take the Tap anywhere and whenever you want, thanks to its portable, easy-carry design.
Bass response is limited and treble is not as clean either. It offers a better sound quality, thanks to the dual-stereo speakers.
Number of buttons is less in Echo. It includes more buttons to compensate for the portability factor.
It is a smart home device. It is more of a portable Bluetooth speaker.
Echo is a little bigger than the Tap. Tap is shorter and slimmer than the Echo.


While both the devices sport a similar cylindrical design, the Tap is touted as the streamlined version of the Echo – well-suited to take out to a friend’s house or to the beach or anywhere you want. Its portable design makes it perfect for both at-home and outdoor use. The Tap offers all the basic functionalities of the Echo and more, but on-the-go. The Tap is not an “always-on” by default like the Echo – you need to tap the microphone button on the front to seek assistance from Alexa. If you’re seeking an always-on approach to need Alexa’s assistance at-home, then Echo is the thing. If you’re looking for better mobility rather than limiting your capabilities to your home, then the Tap won’t disappoint you. Aesthetically, both are quite similar in terms of design whereas the Tap is a little shorter and slimmer than the Echo. However, the differences won’t stop you from enjoying music and this is the one thing they both are really good at.

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References :

[0]West, Dominic. Amazon Echo: 2017 Edition User Guide and Manual. South Carolina: CreateSpace, 2016. Print

[1]Butler, Martin. Amazon Tap: The Complete Amazon Tap User Guide. South Carolina: CreateSpace, 2016. Print

[2]Kelly, Andrew. Amazon Tap for Beginners. South Carolina: CreateSpace, 2016. Print

[3]"Image Credit: https://geeksroom.com/2014/11/amazon-introduce-amazon-echo-un-asistente-personal-para-el-hogar-que-se-controla-por-voz/89787/"

[4]"Image Credit: http://wccftech.com/amazon-introduces-affordable-echos-yell-alexa-blowing-funds/"

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