There is a long list of devices Amazon makes and sells, considering this tech and e-commerce giant is one of the biggest and most successful companies in the world.
Many people take advantage of Amazon tech, and if you’re interested in these innovative products, then you’ve probably come across Amazon Tap at least once or twice. So what exactly is Amazon Tap and is it still available? Here are the answers I found!
What Is Amazon Tap In 2023?
Amazon Tap was one of the earliest versions of the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Tap was a Bluetooth and battery-powered portable speaker that hit the market at the start of 2016. However, a second generation was never released, as Amazon quietly discontinued it in 2018. While you can’t get the Amazon Tap new anymore, other Amazon Echo varieties are still available in 2023.
If you want to discover more about Amazon Tap, including the device features, and why it was discontinued, check out our comprehensive guide below!
What Does Amazon Tap Do?
Amazon Tap was an early variation of the standard Echo smart speaker, which is compatible with Amazon Alexa, the company’s cutting-edge virtual assistant technology.
As a digital assistant and Bluetooth speaker, Tap was designed to be a source of entertainment and support for busy households.
However, it didn’t quite live up to expectations, after the initial hype surrounding the original Amazon Echo and subsequent Echo Dot.
While most Bluetooth speakers only faced forward, Amazon Tap was different, as it offered 360-degree audio in all directions, with immersive dual stereo speaker sound.
The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers on Amazon Tap delivered crisp sound and convenient connections to mobile hotspots.
However, the main downside was that you had to physically touch the microphone button to activate Alexa.
Once the button was pushed, Amazon Tap would turn on and engage Alexa, allowing users to ask questions, request music, listen to the news, place food orders, and more.
In other words, Amazon Tap did the same thing as the Echo smart speaker, but without the hands-free voice feature that so many people know and love.
What Does Amazon Tap Look Like?
If you happen to find an old Amazon Tap speaker laying around, you’ll notice its similarities to the Echo speaker, and a lot of other wireless speakers.
With a tall, handheld design, and the signature Amazon branding, Tap was easily recognizable.
The main way to tell Tap apart from other speakers was the microphone button on the front of the speaker, which would activate Amazon Alexa.
Users would see lights switch on at the top of the device when Tap was on, and Alexa was listening or speaking.
At the very top near across the speaker’s cover, there were play/stop and volume control buttons for easy entertaining.
While a lot of shoppers appreciated the portable design of Amazon Tap, and the fact that it was easy to carry and use, the microphone button was often a dealbreaker.
It just didn’t make much sense to use the Tap speaker when there was a hands-free option like the Amazon Echo available for just a little bit more money.
Why Was Amazon Tap Discontinued?
Amazon Tap was discontinued for a few reasons, mainly its underperformance and the subsequent demand for devices with hands-free activation instead.
In the two short years that Tap was made available, it became clear that while customers liked the portability and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi compatibility, it wasn’t that easy to use.
This is because users always had to tap the button to turn the speaker on, rather than just say “Alexa,” like with other Echo devices.
Users had to be holding the speaker in their hands, or have it very close by to actually use, which in a way defeated the purpose of such smart home technology.
Something else unfortunate about Amazon Tap is that it had to directly compete with the Amazon Echo Dot, which was released around the same time and ended up being the better seller.
Even though Amazon Tap had the portable advantage as a battery-powered device, more Amazon customers chose Echo Dot for its reliability and convenience.
Therefore, eventually, it made more sense for Amazon to discontinue the Tap, and focus resources on the more popular products.
Can You Still Buy Amazon Tap?
Amazon has a lot to offer consumers who want smart speakers and home automation solutions, but the Tap smart speaker is no longer one of those options.
Tap hasn’t been included in Amazon’s lineup for several years now, so these devices are no longer being made or sold on the Amazon website or app.
While Amazon’s “Just Tap and Ask” tagline has since been phased out, the Amazon Certified Refurbished program lists Tap as an option, meaning there is the potential to buy pre-owned Tap devices.
However, this depends on availability, and is not guaranteed to continue in the future, especially as Amazon focuses more and more on the Echo Dot and newer versions moving forward.
Although Amazon Tap is no more, there are numerous other options for Amazon Echo speakers, as the technology is regularly upgraded with new releases and enhanced 3rd and 4th generations.
Instead of Tap, you can get newer generations of the Amazon Echo with hands-free activation and more high-tech features.
These features include Dolby sound, video streaming, and enhanced privacy, security, and integration features.
If you were hoping to get your hands on the Amazon Tap portable Bluetooth smart speaker, unfortunately, it’s no longer available. Amazon discontinued it back in 2018, so it had a pretty short two-year span from its official release back in early 2016.
Amazon Tap was designed as an affordable alternative to the flagship Echo speaker, but it ultimately proved unprofitable, and was the source of consumer complaints.