Today’s special includes two Amazon teardowns for the price of one. For your first course, we’re dishing up the Echo Dot, followed by your main course, the Amazon Tap. Now gather around the teardown table, Alexa. This teardown is served!
So what do the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot have in common? Besides Alexa, not a whole lot. The Dot draws heavily from the original Echo, sans large bottom speaker. Having similar parts across the Echo line should simplify repairs, which is fantastic! The Tap, on the other hand, is more unique—both the passive radiators and Alexa Voice Service are firsts in portable Amazon speakers.
Amazon Tap teardown highlights:
• The Tap uses nifty dual passive radiators over each speaker enclosure to increase volume output while saving battery power. Without them, low-end response would be noticeably poorer. In fact, we reassembled the Tap and tested it with the passives removed and found the sound quality to be pretty awful.
• Speaking of nifty, the control board, USB port, battery, speakers, and passive radiators are all individually replaceable components, which should make repair easy-peasy.
• Aside from a wee bit of stubborn adhesive at the base, the Tap is completely modular and held together with just a few standard screws and clips. This lil’ Tap earned a big 7/10 on our repairability scale.
Amazon Echo Dot teardown highlights:
• It looks like Amazon ripped off the top section of the original Echo, added a steel weight at the bottom for stability, and voila—the Dot!
• We’re pleased to report that the majority of the device is held together with four Torx screws, and it has the same modularized motherboard and daughterboard combo as the Echo. Unfortunately, that combo also includes a headphone jack and USB port soldered directly to the motherboard.
Yeah, there was some glue on this one.
• All in all, the Dot loses a point for increased use of glue compared with its Echo counterpart, but still scores a respectable 6/10 on our repairability scale.
You can check out both of these teardowns (Echo Dot and Tap) in their full glory on iFixit.com.