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Is the Harman Kardon Invoke the best voice speaker for Xbox?

Harmon Kardon Invoke with Cortana
Harmon Kardon Invoke with Cortana (Image credit: Windows Central)

Is the Harman Kardon Invoke the best voice speaker for Xbox?

Best answer: The Invoke is a good speaker but the power of the Alexa platform means you're better off getting an Amazon Echo instead.Better choice: Echo 2nd generation (opens in new tab) ($100)For diehards: Harman Kardon Invoke (opens in new tab) (From $61 at Amazon)

Alexa is a more powerful platform than Cortana

It's hardly surprising that you can do more with Alexa than you can with Cortana. While Microsoft's option started life on mobile, Amazon baked Alexa into the Echo from day one.

The different paths the two have taken have seen Alexa emerge as arguably the leader in the voice assistant space, with tens of thousands of skills and integrations with smart home products at its disposal.

By contrast, there are very few products out there that hook into Cortana. So if you're looking beyond just your Xbox (and you should), then Alexa is certainly a stronger choice.

Cortana can use Alexa, so just get Alexa

Microsoft and Amazon have partnered already to make their respective assistants talk to each other. That means Alexa can access Cortana and Cortana can access Alexa.

On your PC or mobile device this could be pretty useful, but when you're using a speaker, it's a slightly clumsy added step. And since Alexa is the stronger platform, it's the smarter choice.

The Invoke is really for Microsoft diehards

Besides the fact the Invoke is currently only officially on sale in the U.S. (Xbox voice assistant integration is the same right now), it's still really only for Microsoft diehards.

As a speaker, it's very good, with a great quality sound and a design that won't look out of place in any home. But the Amazon Echo also looks pretty good and has good sound quality.

And since they're both the same price right now, the deciding factor ought to be the platform behind them. And it's a no-brainer right now that unless you're a diehard Microsoft fan, Alexa is the platform to get.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.