The Harman Kardon Invoke is a Cortana-based speaker. Most of us are already familiar with Siri, Alexa, and the Google Voice assistant. But if you want to have an experience with another Digital Assistant, then you can try this one. On the paper, there are a few things really lacking about the Invoke. First, the sound quality is still behind the likes of the Sonos One although you need to try it yourself to find out. Second, it doesn’t feel as smart as an Alexa speaker. It’s quite understandable because Alexa has gone through years of improvements. It has so many skills and can help us do many things.
The form factor is similar to the Sonos One, but it is broader at the bottom. In other words, it doesn’t maintain the same diameter from the top to the bottom, kind of like the Google Home. What we like about this shape is it helps the speaker stand firm, so it doesn’t fall over easily. There is a volume control ring surrounding the top like that on the Echo. The difference is the Echo has control buttons, while this one replaces the array with a sensitive top surface. A tap allows you to answer a phone or hang it up. You can also tap to stop music or cancel an alarm.
Smart Home control
It’s important to remember that a smart speaker is not as a smart home controller. While some speakers can turn into smart home hubs, they may not deliver the best performance. If you want to use this speaker to control appliances in your home, then check out the compatibility beforehand and how it works. The Harman Kardon Invoke relies on connections to other devices, so that it can be used as a remote controller.
Despite the support, there are still differences among smart speakers in the way they control appliances. In this case, the Invoke feels like it has slower response times compared to the Echo. It means you have to wait relatively longer for the speaker to do what you ask. The good news is you can control the appliances individually by giving them names. For example, if there are a number of light bulbs in your living room, you can assign each a unique name. After that, you just need to instruct the assistant to turn on only certain bulbs.
Despite the Smart Home support, the most fundamental aspect of a smart speaker is its audio quality. The Harman Kardon Invoke is equipped with 3 woofers, 3 tweeters, and 2 passive radiators. With all these additions, you’d think that the output would be extraordinary. But the fact is the Sonos speaker offers more bass than this one. It does shine in higher frequencies, though. We said so because the guitar solo sounds prominent, but it takes more than one good element to create an enjoyable listening experience. While it’s far from bad, the lack of bass can really affect your experience especially if it’s used mainly to listen to music. So, is the speaker worth it? Well, Cortana is what makes the Invoke. If you’re really curious about this voice assistant, the $199.00 speaker is good to consider.