I have to say the Harman Kardon Invoke is the first Microsoft Cortana speaker and it’s not a bad choice for me being a Microsoft guy. The speaker is well designed and sounds better than any of the Amazon Echo or Google Home to date. The Harman Kardon Invoke sound quality is no surprise considering Harman Kardon sound quality is on par or very close to Sonos quality sound.
Like I said the sound quality on the Harman Kardon Invoke is amazing and support for all music service platforms is great with the usual heavy hitters like Spotify, Pandora, iHeartradio and TuneIn all standard out of the box. This does not surprise me considering Microsoft Groove was abandoned for Spotify so Microsoft has no native music service anymore unlike Google and Amazon.
The top blue indicator light is really cool and I like it better than the turning ring of Alexa and the spinning volume controls remind me of the original Echo feature before the addition of the up and down buttons on the new Amazon Echo models.
The downfall of the Harman Kardon Invoke is not the music quality but the lack of support from Google Calendar and third party supported apps. Cortana only really works with Microsoft apps for features like checking your calendar or getting reminders. Hopefully, additional feature and functionality will come with future software updates. The addition of third-party apps like Uber, Dominoes and many others that are already on Echo and Google Home would help make Cortana much better in the long run if Microsoft Cortona does expand to more speakers in the future.
The other downside is the Harman Kardon Invoke also limits you to just one account on the device, so multiple family members or roommates can’t check their calendars on the same speaker.
The one feature I love on this device is the support for Skype calls which is great since I use Skype like a home phone pretty much this is a great feature for the incoming and outgoing calls I get on a daily basis. This to me is a huge redeeming quality for the Harman Kardon Invoke.
My feelings on the Harman Kardon Invoke are if you are looking for a great sounding speaker to play music on only then the Harman Kardon Invoke is a great fit for you. If you use Microsoft products for everything you do and want a voice activated speaker this would be a great fit for your business.
I think at the $99 dollar price point it’s a great sounding speaker for your home but if you are looking for more of a smart speaker that does more then play music I would go with the Echo or Google Home as a better fit for you.