Have you ever looked at the Amazon Echo “smart” speaker, which was announced almost a year and a half ago, and thought to yourself that you’d want one if it didn’t have a pesky speaker built into it? No? Well, Amazon is providing the answer to the question you never asked in the form of the new Amazon Echo Dot.

Effectively what they’ve done here is taken the Amazon Echo and lopped off the bottom three-quarters or so. You lose the high quality speaker, but you retain the always-on, omnidirectional microphone that will accept your voice commands from anywhere in the room. You still get Alexa and you can still order your Uber and your Domino’s.

There’s still a much smaller built-in speaker, but if you actually want to hear anything, you can connect the Echo Dot to external speakers via the included audio cable or over Bluetooth. That’s how you can still get into Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and whatever else.

The exact flip side of the Echo Dot is the also newly announced Amazon Tap. This is the Amazon Echo but without the always-on microphone. Instead, if you want to use any of the Alexa voice commands, you need to press a physical button on it first. The Amazon Tap is likely what we thought was the rumored Amazon Echo Mini earlier this year.


The Amazon Echo Dot sells for $89.99, but you can only order it through Alexa. That means you need to already own a regular Amazon Echo or a Fire TV. The Alexa-enabled Amazon Tap, on the other hand, can be purchased by anyone for $129.99 with shipments expected to commence at the end of the month.

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