The Amazon Echo is a pretty great piece of hardware, but many folks out there aren’t willing to spend almost $200 to get one. That’s why Amazon today unveiled the Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, two new Alexa-enabled devices.
The Echo Dot (pictured above) is pretty much a cheaper, smaller version of the standard Echo. It does have a speaker so you can talk to Alexa and play a song or two, but this isn’t meant to be a standalone product. Amazon wants you to plug it into your speakers with an audio cable or with Bluetooth, making your home stereo system smarter. You can even place it in your bedroom to use it as a smart alarm clock, or use it in another room to control your other smart home devices.
It’s available now for just $89.99 exclusively for Prime members. If you’d like to order one and happen to own an Echo or Fire TV, just say “Alexa, order an Echo Dot.” Or if you’d like some more details, follow the link below.
If you wish your Amazon Echo was portable and featured a better speaker, this next one is for you. The Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker that aims to bring a better sound experience to Amazon’s Alexa-enabled lineup. It doesn’t have an always listening mode, so you’ll need to tap the physical microphone button to contact Alexa. After doing so, the Tap can do just about everything else the standard Echo can — play music, read the news, etc. As for the audio side of things, it has a dual stereo speaker setup with Dolby processing that should provide a clear sound, along with 360-degree omni-directional audio. It’s available for pre-order for $129.99 and is slated to be in stock on March 31st.
Along with this announcement comes some big news from Nest — you’ll soon be able to control your Nest Thermostat with your Amazon Echo or Fire TV. This new feature will go live in a couple weeks, and it will be pretty easy to use. Just say “Alexa, set my living room thermostat to 70 degrees,” and that’s it. There isn’t an exact rollout date for this new feature as of yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know once we receive more details.