Did Amazon stop making the Echo Tap?

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The short answer appears to be no. If you look at Amazon's posts about ALL the Echo's, something is missing. What happened to the Echo Tap? The Echo Tap is/was the only battery powered Echo in Amazon's lineup. Though originally you needed to tap the top to ask a question Amazon added hands free use earlier this year. So in effect it's a portable Echo. Here's a picture of the current lineup according to Amazon.

Hmmmm. No Tap. It would be a shame if the Tap were eliminated from the lineup given none of the
new products run on battery power. Besides running on a battery it came with a really nifty charging dock which I wish all bluetooth speakers came with. Plugging in a USB plug all the time is a pain in the butt. Dropping it into its cradle is a sinch. Now the tap did not sound as good as the full grown echo but it more than made up for that in portability and its 8 hour battery life.

I hope they are just working on a new one to either replace it, or maybe this was just an oversight. We'll see. Will you miss the Echo Tap if it's gone?

This article was updated to say Amazon did not stop selling the Echo Tap on 10/7/17

One Important, Overlooked Feature of the new Amazon Echo

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So far much has been made about the fabric and wood styled covers, the alleged better sound (likely it WILL sound better) and the smaller design. One thing a lot of folks have not really called out is that this time, the new Amazon Echo has a 3.5mm output jack so you can hook up external speakers.

Why external speaker matter on an Echo

As good as the Echo will likely sound better than the first generation, it's unlikely to sound incredible. It still only has a 2.5 "subwoofer" which is still a very, tiny, speaker to expect too much bass from.

Granted that most of the time you'll be happy listening to music, the weather and your daily briefing without deep bass but there will be times when you'll want that better sound. The first generation offered not ability to accommodate this since it did not have the jack. Now you can buy a nicer mono or stereo pair of self powered speakers to hook up for a party, special occasion or when you venture into the yard and need more volume.

In fact all the current Echo's now include this jack. On the Echo Dot it's pretty much a necessity but on the 2nd generation Echo and the new Echo Plus you may decide you don't need them, but it's sweet to have the option.

What do you think? Will you purchase external speakers to go with your new Echo?


Does the new 2nd generation Amazon Echo sound better?

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You know the answer already. Maybe. Actually, likely. The original Amazon echo had two speakers, one woofer and one tweeter, both pointing down according to the diagrams on the top right. According to Amazon the 2nd generation Echo (diagram on top left) has a 2.5” downward-firing woofer and 0.6” tweeter powered by Dolby to deliver crisp vocals and dynamic bass throughout the room. Note the tweeter in the new Echo point up and is apparently smaller than the previous model.

This seems a bit odd given the disruption the two frequencies will have on hitting each other on their way out of the device. But hey, it's difficult to tell from just this diagram. Also the missing Reflex port from the original Echo appears to be gone, likely due to the shorter size. All this said, there are many factors that go into how a speaker will sound. Then there is the "powered by Dolby" aspect which I'm sure has some audible effect but is likely there more for marketing purposes than actual sound quality.

But it's difficult to tell until we have one in hand, which of course we will.

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