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Harman Kardon reveals Invoke, a Cortana-powered connected speaker

Will it be the best sounding voice activated speaker yet?

Published onJanuary 20, 2018

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Android Authority.

Harman Kardon has today revealed its new Microsoft Cortana-powered, voice-activated speaker, the Harman Kardon Invoke. Teased at the end of last year, the upcoming device is set to compete against the Google Home and Amazon Echo for control of your homes; this is what we know about it so far.

Like the Google Home and Amazon Echo, the Invoke is a cylindrical speaker housing which produces 360-degree sound. The device itself, which is made from metal, will be available in two colors: black and white (though the white version looks more like silver).

As to what features it will offer, the Invoke will be able to “play your favorite music, manage calendars and activities, set reminders, check traffic, deliver the latest news and much more.” Further, the Invoke can also make and receive Skype calls, and allow you to control compatible smart home products.

Regarding the audio capabilities, the Invoke makes use of three woofers and three tweeters to provide 360-degree sound, as well as two passive radiators to bolster the bass response. Meanwhile, the Invoke comes with Harman’s Sonique far-field voice recognition tech, which employs seven microphones to help recognize voice commands even in high ambient noise. Given Harman’s pedigree, you would expect the Invoke to sound better than the rest of the voice-activated speaker competition.

In the press release, Michael Mauser, President of the Lifestyle and Audio Division at Harman, said: “Voice-enabled technology is the future; by teaming up with Microsoft, we’re delivering on our promise of elevating a connected life through smart technology, superior sound and the stunning design that is Harman Kardon’s hallmark.”

Amazon’s Echo has also been in the news recently as it is believed to be getting an upgrade soon with a new model featuring a touchscreen — a product which could steal attention from the Harman Kardon Invoke, and will likely launch ahead of it.

We don’t have a price or exact release date for the Invoke, but we do know that the device will go on sale only in the US at select retailers and Microsoft stores this fall. We’ll let you know when we learn more.

What are your current thoughts on the Cortana-powered Invoke? Let us know in the comments.

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