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Harman Kardon’s Cortana-powered Invoke hits the U.S. for $199

by Justin Herrick | October 20, 2017October 20, 2017 1:00 pm PDT

The first smart speaker powered by Cortana is here. Harman Kardon’s Invoke, which was announced earlier this month, will be released in the United States over the weekend. Microsoft shared the device will go on sale starting Sunday, October 22. Both online and in-store.

The Invoke is exactly what you think it is. Harman Kardon created an attractive speaker with a brain. It’s made of aluminum and other premium materials, and the design obviously confirms 360-degree sound. Harman Kardon included three direct-radiating woofers, three direct-radiating tweeters, and two passive radiators. Along with that, the Invoke has seven microphones to help Cortana hear you clearly from different distances.

Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn are compatible with the Invoke right out of the box. Also, Microsoft is in the process of getting Pandora to communicate with Cortana. And there’s a bit more you can do than just listen to music. Cortana can answer questions, connect to Office 365, read tweets, and make Skype calls among other things.

The Invoke, as well as all future Cortana-powered devices, also works with connected devices. Cortana can control products from SmartThings, Nest, Philips Hue, Wink, and Insteon.

You’ll be able to buy the Invoke through Harman Kardon, the Microsoft Store, and Best Buy. All three sellers have the smart speaker priced at $199 and available in your choice of Graphite and Pearl Silver. That’s noticeably more expensive than Google Home and the Amazon Echo, but Harman Kardon is a particularly high-end brand in audio. The Invoke is likely going to sound a lot better than Google Assistant- and Alexa-powered devices.

If you’re interested in Harman Kardon’s new smart speaker, Microsoft suggests asking Cortana to set a reminder for the release date. Then you’ll easily remember to go buy the Invoke.

Microsoft

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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