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Amazon announces portable and BYO speakers versions of its voice activated Echo

I’ve been a big fan of the Amazon Echo — that cylindrical shaped speaker that you control with your voice to play music, online radio stations, listen to Kindle or Audible books, control home appliances and more. You can even ask it for a news briefing, the weather, traffic or to tell you a joke.

Now there are two new versions. A $90 Echo Dot that is just like the original Echo except it doesn’t have a speaker. Instead there’s an audio-out jack and Bluetooth that let you connect your own speakers. I’ve been wanting this ever since I got my hands on the original Echo. The internal speaker is OK, but there are plenty of much better speakers on the market for those who want great audio.


The other is a $130 portable version called the Amazon Tap, which runs up to nine hours on a charge, according to Amazon. Unlike the original Echo and the Dot, it’s not entirely hands-free. You have to press a button to get it to listen to your voice (I’m assuming that’s to save battery).

Here’s my Tech Talk segment but, to see it in action and read more, check out this article from CNET.