Monday, June 13, 2016


I know a couple of regular readers of these posts have irreconciliable differences with Amazon, and I understand their position-obviously, this product is not for you.

Recently, I posted about the Amazon Echo device. 

It is a remarkable device, but I closed my post with a comment that if you were just looking for a Bluetooth speaker, Echo might not be for you. I am here to tell you about the Amazon Tap.

Introduced a couple of months ago, the Tap comes in at a lower price point ($129) which positions it against the Bose Soundlink Color, which it favorably compares in sound quality.

The Tap also includes many of the features of an Echo (voice activation, wi-fi connectivity, Dolby sound) that are absent on the Soundlink.

I had been considering purchasing a second Echo unit. When in the office, I stream music all day, but find that the Amazon Music App for Android is horribly slow.

I mean slow to the point I was considering dumping the service prior to the Echo. It sometimes times out for upwards of an hour, something that never happens with Spotify.

Now my music library far exceeds the norm, which may be the problem-although Amazon should not sell storage space they cannot support.

Has anyone tried Amazon music streaming through an iPhone? Is it any better?

The Echo app works like a dream-I'd missed the Black Friday deal on an Echo ($150) and was biding my time for another sale to meet my music needs in the workplace.

I also have found myself spending a lot of time at a friend's house where there is no stereo or CD player of any kind. I had considered buying a Bose Soundlink.Color to leave there.

Price tag if I bought both items? $266 or so.

Enter the Tap at half that cost. One solution for both locations and more.

Portable, so I can carry it to work or a friend's home, it remembers the wireless connection so it is as easy as saying "Alexa, play Todd Rundgren" to get the music started.

I can play songs from my Amazon library, Amazon Prine, or Spotify, or stream a Pandora station. It can go from my office desk to a conference room at work, or from the living room to the backyard to the bedroom at home.

I can also take it to places without wi-fi but with Sprint coverage and stream via the Bluetooth-not as smooth an option, but an option all the same. You can even plug in directly with an audio cable to play files from your phone or iPad.

In short, this thing is awesome! 

For someone without Amazon Prime, the voice features will not work. If you do not use the premium Spotify service I am not sure if the voice activation works.

Absent both of those features, the unit still works as a Bluetooth speaker, but I'd recommend trying a year of Amazon Prime (it lets you stream video and gives for free shipping for when you buy from Amazon) to really see what the Tap can do.

Note-it looks like Amazon is offering the Tap for $109 for a limited time.

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