Amazon Echo vs. Amazon Dot vs. Amazon Tap

Amazon has a whole range of products that are designed to make your life easier with a personal assistant, but which one should you buy? Amazon created each of these products with specific reasons in mind, and this guide helps explain the differences between each one!


One major consideration is price. Amazon Echo released with a list price of $179.99 and comes in either white or black. The more diminutive Echo Dot has a list  price of $49.99, which is much cheaper than the Echo and the competing Google Home. The middle-sized model is the portable Amazon Tap, which is designed specifically for music but has plenty of other capabilities that make the $129.99 list price worth it.

Both the Tap and Dot can do everything the Echo can do in terms of Alexa access, but in a smaller package. However, there are still some significant differences that make each product stand out as unique.


Do you ever plan on taking your Amazon device outside of your home? If your answer is yes, then the Amazon Tap is right for you. A charging cradle and rechargeable battery give it nine hours of life as you carry it around.

The Amazon Echo and Dot are not portable and require you to keep them in your home. Of course, you can move them between rooms or even households, you will need to keep them plugged in to an outlet for them to function.

Personal Assistant

In the end, you want a good personal assistant, and that’s what the Echo is for. As long as the device is connected to wi-fi, Alexa is listening. With the wake word “Alexa,” the Echo springs to life to take your requests. The speaker in the Echo is large, so you can also clearly hear when it responds.

The Dot also actively listens to your requests, although in a smaller package. Some sites claim that Dot has even better voice capabilities, but this isn’t something we’ve personally tested. Amazon offers discounts if you buy three, six, or ten of them – their goal seems to be that you’d have a Dot in every room.

The Amazon Tap is much different as a personal assistant. Since it was created as a speaker, rather than a personal assistant, it doesn’t actively listen for you to call out its wake word or name. Instead, you have to press the microphone button to activate it.

Playback Volume

Echo has the largest space for a speaker, making it the loudest. Unfortunately, it comes with some limitations. The speaker is mono, and there’s no way to configure it with another Echo to get a stereo system. In addition, you have to adjust the volume with voice commands, meaning you can’t adjust volume during playback. The Dot allows you to control the volume with buttons on the top of the device, which is more convenient. But the speaker is much smaller, which decreases the volume range for music, Alexa, and any other sounds. However, you can hook the Dot up to an existing sound system, if you want.

If you want a speaker that doubles as a personal assistant (rather than a personal assistant that may also be a playback device), the Amazon Tap is what you’re looking for. The Tap comes with stereo Dolby speakers that provide premium sound. It also has dedicated playback buttons, AUX audio input, and Bluetooth connectivity.

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