An increasing number of tech companies are entering the smart-home speaker market. Even though Amazon may have ignited the spark with Echo back in 2015, the market is filled with a lot more options now. Joining the bandwagon that already consists of Google and Apple is Harmon Kardon. The premium speaker manufacturer has officially taken the wraps off its Invoke speaker that is powered by Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant, Cortana. According to Tech Radar, Invoke is expected to take on Apple’s HomePod, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Echo in one go.

Audio quality

It goes without saying that Harmon Kardon has been providing the market with excellent speakers for years. The company’s products are especially known for the quality of sound they deliver. The same has been integrated into Invoke as well. As noted by Engadget, the speaker is especially suited for music lovers.


Harmon Kardon’s Invoke features a large, cylindrical-shaped body. According to USA Today, this is slightly similar to Amazon’s Echo speaker. The difference between the two is that Echo packs a wider bottom. Another minor difference is in terms of its built. Amazon’s Echo packs a plastic body. In opposition, Invoke includes a rather premium feeling with the metallic casing.

The upper portion of Invoke is where the control panel lies. It is touch-sensitive and users can control Cortana using this option. There’s also a microphone on top that is capable of delivering seven-far-field sound. Invoke’s rear panel packs two physical buttons – each serve the purpose of muting and pairing the device with other gadgets via Bluetooth.

The speaker further packs a micro-USB port. Users can charge their speakers through this outing.

What about Cortana?

Individuals are required to download Microsoft’s Cortana app on their Android or iOS-powered smartphones. They can also make use of Windows 10 PC to control Invoke’s functions via their desktop. According to Engadget, it merely takes a few seconds for Invoke to pair up with other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

The speaker is designed to provide directions, play radio and the latest news. There aren’t too many additional options to choose from when it comes to Invoke. Amazon Echo provides users with the ability to order pizzas using Alexa. The same, however, is not applicable when it comes to Invoke. The smart-speaker is available for a starting price of $199.