Use the Amazon Echo Dot Tap
Skip the Amazon Echo: The Amazon Rooster is Cheaper and Better
The Amazon Tap is $ 50 cheaper than the full-size Echound, and thanks to a new update, you can use it in hands-free mode just like its more expensive counterpart. It's even portable so you can take it with you. So at this point there is little reason to buy the full-size Echo when the faucet is cheaper and more useful.
Why the Amazon Tap is better than the Echo
Currently, Amazon's Echo range includes three products:
- Amazon Echo ($ 180): This was the first Echo product to be heardvoice commands from anywhere in the room. It also includes some great speakers for playing music or reading audiobooks in case you haven't set up your own sound system.
- Amazon Tap ($ 130): This device is a rechargeable bluetooth speaker that you can take with you. It has a circular docking station that you can place at home for charging. Until recently, you had to press a button to use Alexa voice commands, but Amazon released an update that allows hands-free commands, just like the other two Echoes.
- Amazon Echo Dot ($ 50): The Dot offers the same voice activated commands that the echo has, but without the fancy built-in speakers. You can listen to music or audiobooks through the very simple speaker, but it won't sound very good. The Dot can be connected to a larger, separate sound system.
When it was first released it was hard to see how the rooster was useful. It was a decent bluetooth speaker, but the lack of hands-free commands meant it was a lot easier to control just from your phone. Since there are other, cheaper Bluetooth speakers out there, the tap has been largely ignored.
However, once Amazon released the update, hands-free commands changed the game. Now you can talk to the faucet from anywhere in the room to control it. It sounds just as good as the Echo and you can take it with you as it doesn't always have to be connected to the wall. A few weeks ago I unplugged my own Echo and replaced it with the Tap in the exact same place. So far I haven't noticed any difference other than the soft glowing blue ring.
Better still, when I took a trip out of town tossing the faucet and its docking station in my suitcase. When I got to the hotel I put it in my pocket and connected it to Wi-Fi. Now I had the same handy music player in my room. If I wanted to set an alarm for the morning or listen to an audiobook while falling asleep, it was just a voice command away.
Now that the Tap has hands-free voice commands, it's hard to justify the full size Echo. It costs $ 50 more and does less. You can connect to bluetooth to play music. However, it is not portable. It's bulkier, so it's harder to move from one place to another. And it always has to be plugged into the wall. If you haven't bought an Echo yet, there is almost no reason to buy the Echo over the faucet unless you really love the blue ring on the top.
How to enable hands-free mode on Amazon Tap
If you have a tip, here's how to turn on speakerphone mode. First, open the Alexa app on your phone and tap the menu button in the top right corner. Then tap on Settings.
Next, find your Amazon Tap in the device list and tap on it.
Under "Handsfree", check the box to allow Alexa commands without tapping the microphone button.
The next screen explains how your tap will work differently and asks you to confirm your choice. Click on Continue".
As soon as you have activated the hands-free mode on your Tap, the battery will be drained faster when it is not in the charging station. To save battery life, you can tap the power button to put it to sleep, or press and hold the play / pause button for three seconds to mute the microphone so it doesn't wait for voice commands.
But other than that, congratulations: you've just turned your Tap into an Amazon Echo, with more features and for $ 50 less.
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