• Amazon Tap
  • Amazon Tap
  • Amazon Tap
  • Amazon Tap
  • Amazon Tap
  • Amazon Tap
  • Amazon Tap

The need to get up and tap the Tap to get Alexa's attention defeats the purpose.

- Séamus Bellamy, PCWorld 


The Tap doesn't capture the charm of Amazon's other devices.

- Katherine Boehret, The Verge 

Specs / Features


Just tap and ask for music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Uses the Alexa Voice Service when connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot to play music, read the news, provide weather reports, and even order a pizza. Streams all your music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet. Delivers crisp sound powered by Dolby, with dual stereo speakers that provide 360º omni-directional audio.

Just tap and ask for music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Uses the Alexa Voice Service when connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot to play music, read the news, provide weather reports, and even order a pizza. Streams all your music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet. Delivers crisp sound powered by Dolby, with dual stereo speakers that provide 360º omni-directional audio.

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Specification

Brand Amazon
Model PW3840KL
Size 6 x 6 cm (2.4 x 2.4 in)

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Portable - does not need wall charger to work
  • Hands-free mode
  • Simple design blends into home decor

What's bad

  • Mediocre audio quality
  • Only 9 hours of battery life out of charging cradle

The Amazon Tap might not have made a huge splash in 2016, but Amazon hopes their latest upgrades entice enough people to enter their ecosystem.

Does it do the job? Let’s see what reviewers have to say!

If you’re not familiar with the Amazon Tap, it’s a portable Bluetooth speaker with built-in Alexa support. Smaller and lighter than the original echo, it's only 6.2-by-2.6 inches and weighs only 470 grams. That tiny package includes two 1.5-inch drivers, dual passive radiators, and a battery.

With battery power, the Tap (unlike the Echo) easily moves from one room to another. To keep it charged, you'll find a 0.6 inch-by-2.6 inch wireless charging plate and micro USB cable.

Reviewers could get around 9 hours of battery life from a single charge. A figure they found low compared to the UE Boom 2 which can get around 15 hours. Still, they add, it’s not a huge issue as they could keep it on the charging plate at home and not worry about battery life at all.

Most critics weren’t impressed with its simple, utilitarian design. But they add that this allows it to blend in seamlessly with other items in the room. That makes it great for office spaces, bookshelves, and other out of the way places.

The biggest upgrade is the addition of hands-free mode. You can choose this mode in the Alexa app. Previously, the only way to issue a task was to tap the microphone button. Now, an update allows you to say the “Alexa” wake word to get started.

What can you do with Alexa? It can locate nearby restaurants, set reminders, create lists, order a pizza, play music, report the news, and connect to smart home products—like Philips Hue light bulbs and Nest thermostats. The ever-increasing number of tasks Alexa can perform, as Tech Radar puts it, “… [is] quickly becoming the center of my burgeoning smart home.”

Aside from its smart assistant capabilities, the Tap’s main use is as a speaker. In terms of audio performance, critics were split.

Some found the audio quality great considering its small size and lack of dedicated subwoofer. Others found it a bit tinny and two-dimensional compared to the Echo or other dedicated Bluetooth speakers.

Still, the majority found it passable enough with a semblance of bass response. Unfortunately, some noted slight distortion when pushing the speaker to max volume.

Overall, with the latest hands-free mode, critics happily recommend the Alexa for those looking to add a two-in-one smart assistant and speaker to their home. PC Magazine states, “… the Amazon Tap is a very appealing alternative to the Echo, and its battery means you can use it anywhere instead of only plugged in… it’s a solid alternative if you value portability above all else.” CNet adds, “… the Tap… has fine sound quality and is now, without a doubt, the most versatile Bluetooth speaker on the market.”

Critic Reviews


TechGearLab

Fairly capable as a bluetooth speaker

from TechGearLab

The Amazon Tap lists for $130. There are a number of more capable Bluetooth speakers available in this price range, making the Tap a poor value when viewed in isolation as a Bluetooth Speaker. However, if you're going to get an Alexa device anyway, the Tap is an inexpensive way to essentially get a portable Bluetooth speaker as well.

Read full review

The Amazon Tap lists for $130. There are a number of more capable Bluetooth speakers available in this price range, making the Tap a poor value when viewed in isolation as a Bluetooth Speaker. However, if you're going to get an Alexa device anyway, the Tap is an inexpensive way to essentially get a portable Bluetooth speaker as well.

Read full review

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Cnet

Amazon Tap's hands-free update makes a world of a difference

from Cnet

Now fully hands free, the Amazon Tap does everything the original Echo can do for less and adds portability to the package.

Read full review

Now fully hands free, the Amazon Tap does everything the original Echo can do for less and adds portability to the package.

Read full review

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PCWorld

A disappointing follow-up to a great smart-home device

from PCWorld

Amazon pitches the Tap as an “Alexa-enabled portable Bluetooth speaker;” in other words, a mobile Echo. It’s not. Without hands-free access to Alexa, and with even more lackluster audio capabilities, the Tap is more of a digital curiosity than a virtual necessity. If you want to...More

Amazon pitches the Tap as an “Alexa-enabled portable Bluetooth speaker;” in other words, a mobile Echo. It’s not. Without hands-free access to Alexa, and with even more lackluster audio capabilities, the Tap is more of a digital curiosity than a virtual necessity. If you want to bring Alexa into your home, spend the extra money on the Amazon Echo. You’ll be much happier with your investment.

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TechRadar

Amazon Tap improves upon the Echo's legacy

from TechRadar

The $130 Amazon Tap is a smart choice for those who want Alexa’s intelligent voice features combined with an impressive portable Bluetooth/WiFi speaker. (To get full use, the true price is $150, because you’ll want the “optional” $20 Sling to carry it around.) The awkward-...More

The $130 Amazon Tap is a smart choice for those who want Alexa’s intelligent voice features combined with an impressive portable Bluetooth/WiFi speaker. (To get full use, the true price is $150, because you’ll want the “optional” $20 Sling to carry it around.) The awkward-yet-necessary Alexa app is Tap’s biggest handicap.

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ZDNet

A wise move by Amazon

from ZDNet

So far three of my friends have purchased an Echo, and all tell me they love it. As it did for me, it quickly becomes a useful technology for each of them. Alexa becomes an invisible assistant in daily life. This is why introducing a portable Echo is a good move for Amazon. While Alexa technology...More

So far three of my friends have purchased an Echo, and all tell me they love it. As it did for me, it quickly becomes a useful technology for each of them. Alexa becomes an invisible assistant in daily life. This is why introducing a portable Echo is a good move for Amazon. While Alexa technology often impresses those exposed to it, many folks never see it in action. Getting exposure to it through the mobile Amazon Tap gives the opportunity for many to see it in person and start thinking about having an Amazon Echo in the home. This is a very good thing for Amazon to get Alexa technology spread further than would normally happen.

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Tom's Guide

Too much work

from Tom's Guide

The $129 Amazon Tap puts Alexa in a portable and attractive body that's $50 less than the wall-outlet-bound Amazon Echo. All those smarts come in pretty handy, but you have to tap the device every single time you want to use Alexa, which diminishes this speaker's appeal. It's also not the best-sounding speaker for the price.

Read full review

The $129 Amazon Tap puts Alexa in a portable and attractive body that's $50 less than the wall-outlet-bound Amazon Echo. All those smarts come in pretty handy, but you have to tap the device every single time you want to use Alexa, which diminishes this speaker's appeal. It's also not the best-sounding speaker for the price.

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Gizmag

Take Alexa with you anywhere

from Gizmag

There is also another kind of customer who might want to consider the Tap. If you're in the market for a mid-range Bluetooth speaker, we recommend considering the Tap. You're likely to get comparable sound quality for a comparable price, and with the added bonus of access to a rapidly growing and powerful voice platform.

Read full review

There is also another kind of customer who might want to consider the Tap. If you're in the market for a mid-range Bluetooth speaker, we recommend considering the Tap. You're likely to get comparable sound quality for a comparable price, and with the added bonus of access to a rapidly growing and powerful voice platform.

Read full review

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Cnet

A competent mix of portable Bluetooth speaker and digital assistant

from Cnet

If you want a portable Bluetooth speaker first and foremost, look elsewhere. You'll find one that sounds better for a similar cost. If you want a Bluetooth speaker, and are intrigued by Alexa, then sure, I can recommend the Amazon Tap under that circumstance as well. I'm just disappointed that I can't make a more universal recommendation.

Read full review

If you want a portable Bluetooth speaker first and foremost, look elsewhere. You'll find one that sounds better for a similar cost. If you want a Bluetooth speaker, and are intrigued by Alexa, then sure, I can recommend the Amazon Tap under that circumstance as well. I'm just disappointed that I can't make a more universal recommendation.

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GottaBeMobile

A great portable option with a decent enough speaker to use on the go

from GottaBeMobile

The Amazon Tap works as well as the Amazon Echo. It also includes all the cool Alexa Voice Service Skills that the larger more expensive version has. At $129.99 it’s still a little pricey. I still wish the Alexa app turned my phone into an Echo device. Amazon put the feature into the Amazon...More

The Amazon Tap works as well as the Amazon Echo. It also includes all the cool Alexa Voice Service Skills that the larger more expensive version has. At $129.99 it’s still a little pricey. I still wish the Alexa app turned my phone into an Echo device. Amazon put the feature into the Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets, so they could put it into the app. Until they do, the Amazon Tap gives users the best option to bring Alexa on the go. Alexa works better than Siri for the things that both services can do. It’s also better than Google’s voice service for the things she’s designed to do. Amazon keeps adding more and offers users a weekly update of new features and Skills.

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Wired

The Amazon Tap is missing the polish that comes with the Echo experience

from Wired

I have a wish list of features for the Tap. I wish it would turn on the far-field voice recognition when it was plugged in and battery issues aren’t an issue. I wish it sounded a little better—I’ll probably end up buying an Echo Dot, too, which lets you connect Alexa to any spea...More

I have a wish list of features for the Tap. I wish it would turn on the far-field voice recognition when it was plugged in and battery issues aren’t an issue. I wish it sounded a little better—I’ll probably end up buying an Echo Dot, too, which lets you connect Alexa to any speaker you like. I wish it got just a bit louder, to really fill a big room. But it already checks more boxes than just about any other Bluetooth speaker on the market, even ones that cost a lot more than $130. And thanks to Alexa, it’s both more powerful and more self-sufficient than anything that looks like it. It’s already earned a permanent spot in my weekend bag.

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