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Harman Kardon Invoke price possibly confirmed by Microsoft [Updated]

Updated October 5, 2017: Another listing was spotted by WalkingCat on Twitter, this time on the Microsoft Store with a price tag of $199.95. This could simply be a placeholder, but it would position the Invoke firmly above Amazon's flagship Echo Plus by $50 if accurate. The listing has since been pulled, but it also briefly showed a potential release date of October 22.

Original article follows:

Harman Kardon first showed off its Cortana-powered Invoke speaker in May, but details — including price — have been few and far between since. However, we can possibly put at least one mystery to rest thanks to a price listing on Microsoft's Xbox Live Rewards page, of all places.

Listed on the MyVIP Bling section{.nofollow} of the Xbox Live Rewards site is a lineup of items that you can earn with MyVIP Gems. Along with each item's gem count, Microsoft also lists each item's approximate retail value (ARV). Curiously, the Harman Kardon Invoke was already listed under the 5,000 gems category along with an ARV of $150.

Harman Kardon Invoke pricing potentially confirmed by Microsoft

Aside from a release date, pricing is one of the key details that remains to be officially confirmed. If the $150 figure is accurate, that would position the Harman Kardon Invoke in direct competition with Amazon's $150 Echo Plus (opens in new tab), and $50 higher than the new Echo (opens in new tab). It's also just slightly higher than the Google Home at $129 (opens in new tab).

The smart speaker market is rapidly expanding, with each of the major tech giants now going all in. Amazon recently drastically expanded its Echo lineup, and Google has expanded its Google Home lineup as well. Even Apple is getting in on the game with its upcoming $349 HomePod. Though a release date is still an unknown, Microsoft and Harman Kardon certainly will be entering an already crowded market, and it will be interesting to see if Cortana can break through the noise. Of course, a partnership with Amazon to integrate Cortana and Alexa certainly won't hurt.

Updated October 4, 2017: Microsoft has now removed the pricing information from its Xbox Live rewards page, but you can still catch it in the screenshot above.

Thanks to Jetface for the tip!

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

92 Comments
  • Could this be the Microsoft ecosystem's last consumer focussed push? Well there's MR, but I think that will be focussed on enterprise in the not too distant future (going by experience). This home speaker idea won't work in enterprise though, so it could be the last consumer focussed gasp? Perhaps this concept will be a success as a final celebration before the sunset. Let's hope (one more time...).
  • Watching Brad Sams YT video last Friday after he returned from Ignite, he seemed to indicate that Cortana with the Invoke is going to be primarily used in business, but will still do stuff for the home, but the major focus would be enterprise...no surprise there.  Consumers are not important to Microsoft and haven't been for several years now.   I really wanted to purchase an Invoke because Cortana I find useful, but I'm not so sure now. It is a real shame, I was really excited about W10, but honestly after I've been through all the iterations of W10 so far, through all these updates, I can hardly tell any changes to my OS at all! Granted, I am not a gamer, I don't use Skype (the hot mess that it is), and I have an Android phone now, so I barely see any differences from when I first got W10. That is just sad imho. 
  • MS' voice assistant future will be the 'Home Hub' if it would ever come.  It is supposed to be an app which can turn all the 500 million W10 devices into the 'Hands Free' Cortana assistants instantly.  But will Satya kill it off before it is born?  After Amazon, Google and Apple dominate the market, he might question there is a need for the fourth one.  He is in the killing mood now.  MSFT is driven by Cloud, Office and Wall Street at present.  Any technology adventures which can't generate immediate returns would be hard to escape his butcher knife.
  • If it's called 'Home', it's likely a non-starter. MS is retrenching from the consumer market and setting up in the cloud instead. OK, so I know they're killing off their cloud services now but that's just classic Nadella. They have clearly moved on from killing off their home market now and are setting about the next genius business move. Killing off the rest.
  • Great, a speaker that comes with no music service of its own and is dependent on third parties. When I use Cortana to detect music, soon I won't be able to buy it either because there is nothing integrated other than Groove via the store.
  • Yep, Microsoft have shown no commitment to the consumer space. No music, No mobile. Not exactly a great position for someone trying to sell me their ecosystem. Microsoft can bite me. I'm done supporting their phone efforts. I'm done with services new and fringe, as they've shown they cannot be trusted to support products at a loss, even if its to complete their rounded out consumer stack. Apple and Google, both have phone ecosystems. Neither charge for OSes. Both have music services (which is a key fundamental to an ecosystem) Apple and Google both have maturer home automation.  Lastly Cortana absolutely sucks, and is useful for about zero. Nope, won't be buying into this speaker/home automation system. I'm done with MS on their stack. I will play Xbox, and use Windows for Desktop PC. But other devices, no way. Can't be trusted.
  • "I'm done supporting their phone efforts." So are they.
  • jhjkj;lkl;ll';
  • Without Groove, whats the point of this?
  • As a celebration of what Microsoft was (or could have been) it's quite nice for the last few fans before we leave. Could be good for the Microsoft Sunset parties.
  • cortana , other music services, lets not fool ourselves, groove was not the leader of digital music industry 
  • Cortana works with Spotify specifically for the invoke, according to the Music section on Cortana's notebook
  • Serous question, why would anyone buy this? Google announced a lot of new smart home products today, looks like they're serious. Google Home speakers, Google assistant, everything connect to multiple music services etc. Microsoft is not in the game anymore. After all that has happened in the past week or so, buying a MS consumer product is like burning your money.
  • Serious question, why would anyone buy this?
    Ignoring the recent Groove news this is the question Microsoft never provided an answer for. Compared to what Amazon and Google have announced there doesnt seem to have been any work done to improve Cortana's functionality or effectiveness. Other companies are talking about adding machine learning to improve voice recognition but nothing similar from Microsoft, despite all the pretty graphs and charts they produce at their events. And with virtually no mindshare outside WP users what hope does this device have long term?
  • Before long, Nadella would also question why there is a need for the fourth platform following Amazon, Apply and Google's domination.  He doesn't know how to win in the consumer market and he won't even want to try.  But he sure knows how to kill their effort like he did to W10M.
  • Too late... Apple and Google have won the consumer war... ☹
  • Don't forget Amazon. I'd put them at the top spot actually.
  • Yeah, sorry forgot them...
  • *in the U.S. Amazon's offerings are significantly less in Canada, and presumably other places. We did get Prime Video in the last year with a few things on it. No Alexa yet, though, unless I missed an announcement. There are still lots of people willing to spend money in other countries. The Invoke will probably struggle (even if it does launch here) unless Cortana adds significant home automation and the speaker is quality with Spotify support, but the war here is far from over. Google Home is available, but the Assistant functionality is less than in the U.S. That's basically the only option that I can think of for smart AI-powered speakers (the HomePod is coming).
  • Yeah can't see much of a value proposition to this over an Echo. Wonder if it will see the light of day or be killed off like the surface mini.
  • It's actually Harman's product, so I do think it will end up on shelves. But Harman is also doing Alexa and Google powered versions and I don't think it matters to them which version wins.
  • They had a chance with this product when there was only an Echo & Echo Dot. But now Amazon has a slew of products, Google has a slew of products, and Apple's smart speaker will likely hit shelives before this.
  • Yup, as usual they waited far too long to have a chance. Last to the game with the least functionality. Not a good combo.
  • They waited for someone else to step in and make the actual product for them.
  • Definitely not getting after they cancel everything I love. Especially Groove.
  • I was really looking forward to this up until the groove announcement. If I'm moving to Spotify anyway it just makes more sense to get an Echo with the new Cortana/Alexa partnership 
  • And they didn't see there would be thousands just like you. What are even thinking.
  • I wrote this in a comment below, but to quote myself: "I don't know if the functionality is there yet, but right now if you go to cortana's notebooks and right under "connected services" there is a section called music which you can add both Groove and Spotify. I've connected them long ago, but never used them. I'm assuming if the functionality isn't there yet, then it will eventually allow you to control spotify via voice."
  • I was ready to buy this, until they killed Groove 
  • if it is 150 am sold. but the groove lost still suck but at least I got my refund fast
  • It should work with Groove Music and Onedrive stored music.
  • Can I put Alexa on it? MS will abandon Cortana in 2 years. I fail to understand why we need another ecosystem/mobile platform/OS/..... 
  • Already got an Echo.. no need for this or Cortana..
  • I wouldn't pay that much for this thing that is for sure.  I recently received one for insider testing and it's honestly just taking up counter space.  We use sometimes to play a song or two or to ask it a question every once in a while but that is it.  Microsoft track record with consumer focused products is not very good lately, the way they just threw the Band and Phone to the side should be an indicator of where this is going.  They create these products, don't promote them, expect people to just buy them, then cancel them.  No thanks MS.
  • pbear, NDA remember?
  • Do you wanna sell it?
  • "Hey Cortana, use Alexa <everything home automation related>"  
  • This looks like the launch of the Microsoft Kin. Remember those.? Launched a few months before WP and too late in the dawn of the moderm smartphone era it was killed in less than 2 months. ROFLMAO. Nadela cans the Surface Mini but he doesn't know when to cancel things like this that will bomb in the marketplace. Where is ELOP when Microsoft needs him ?
  • The kin's failure was more than just on MS, it was also an issue with Verizon (I think that was the initial carrier they partnered with for it?)
  • Kind of late...
  • Cancel it. No groove, no mobile client. I was so deep in with MS and now I'm gone. I may uninstall the Windows Central app from my new Android phone. What is Windows up to? Who cares.... MS doesn't.
  • Cortana is next I bet. We'll make not next, but eventually No magazine or website even mentions Cortana when discussing digital assistants.
  • Movies and TV are next, Cortana is still some ways off. What we need is a deadpool for Microsoft consumer products and services.
  • Exactly, not buying to anything Microsoft now and I've invested a lot in Microsoft. Just don't trust them now after dumping Groove.
  • As sad as I truly am to see Groove go (I've been a subscriber since the Zune Pass days), I don't get why everyone says that the killing off of Groove means that they are not interested in the Invoke and Cortana.  Cortana can and does work with Spotify, does it not?  And, from everything I have heard, there are a number of leading home automation providers that are being tied in with Cortana in the near future.
  • Who is going to want to control their home from their pc or laptop? The value of those integrations is from ease of access. Ease of access is mobile. MS does not play in the mobile space. Say good buy to those integrations that were coming soon...
  • Saying this from an ignorant exclusivly Windows 10 Mobile/Windows Phone user's perspective, aren't there Cortana apps available for iOS and Android?  I would assume that the home automation features that are supposedly coming to Cortana would be made available on those platforms, too.  I could be wrong though.
  • Yes but do you believe those Cortana apps on android and ios have high levels of adoption? This is the same app gap problem just perpetuated to a mobile device gap. Plus with the Alexa integration you can access those skills already. Why would a dev expend the effort. There is a small market presence and users can gain access via asking Cortana to ask alexa
  • Yes but on iPhone you have to manually invoke the app, whereas for Siri you can simply talk to your phone from across the room. Cortana is very much a second class experience.
  • If you're talking about ease of access in the home (where things like the Echo are), then presumably you already have "ease of access" through your existing laptop/tablet or desktop pc.
  • It's not so much specifically about Groove being killed.  It's more "Why should I buy any Microsoft consumer focused device when it will probably stop functioning within 6 months?".  I think you can exclude Surface and Xbox, but anything else consumer based is up on the chopping block.  Honestly, I'd expect to see Movies & TV axed as soon as iTunes is in the Windows Store.   In my opinion, Cortana is way behind Alexa and Google, and slightly behind Siri.  Who's going to buy this other than MS enthusiasts?  Who bought Windows Phone and Groove other than MS enthusiasts?
  • How does Cortana work with Spotify? Seriously, tell me. I've tried everything I can think of and I can't find a phrase that will play anything in Spotify.
  • It's not a skill. You can add it from your notebook. You should see music listed. It and Groove were there. Took me 1 minute to connect.
  • Nope. Just checked on my L950XL and music is not a category in the Cortana note book. I guess this is just for the US (Cadillac profile pic)? It certainly isn't on my UK phone.
  • Dont see Spotify currently listed as a Cortana skill so unless its enabled via app thats out and the only 2 music services listed are TuneIn and iHeartRadio so that doesnt cover the popular choices.
  • Sorry for the double post. It's not a skill. You can add it from your notebook. You should see music listed. It and Groove were there. Took me 1 minute to connect.
  • I understand to an extent why people feel the way they do and at the same time I think they are over thinking it or maybe rather not thinking it through enough. I don't know if the functionality is there yet, but right now if you go to cortana's notebooks and right under "connected services" there is a section called music which you can add both Groove and Spotify. I've connected them long ago, but never used them. I'm assuming if the functionality isn't there yet, then it will eventually allow you to control spotify via voice.
  • You're right, it is there so could turn out to work as expected. But at least from a phone perspective with the app in maintenance i doubt that will also apply. So we'll have to see if and how any integration has been implemented.
  • The mad rush to insert listening devices into our homes.  The government doesn't have to force it, the people are demanding it.  Lol!
  • Why would we buy this? We know it's gonna get canceled...
  • Virtual assistant/ai is so critical for the future. Cortana could have such an impact on vr/ar/mr... and no doubt there will be a variant for business. i could really use a smart assistant to find, connect, etc in ways I have to do manually now... cortana is not dead just biding her time.
  • Yeah, I was excited about this 4 months ago, now microsoft consumer sucks, phone ,gone, groove gone...I am gone..
  • MS should have released a $30 USB Far Field microphone for both PC and the Xbox over a year ago.
  • Time to not only go with the iPhone X but with the HomePod as well. At least I know those will be supported for years to come.
  • Nope. While a nice looking device it will be a decoration more than something actually useful.
  • Yeah...I'm not falling for that one again, Microsoft. 
  • This is MS's push back into the consumer market! Finally! Windows on Arm, Hololens, Mixed Reality, new ultra mobile devices, and this, the Cortana speaker....the crème de la crème, icing on the cake, etc, etc. Score one for Microsoft! They are roaring back!!! Ok. So, that was all sarcasm. This thing is too little, too late and way overpriced.
  • RIP Invoke. They should design these so you can select the useless assistant you want. Echo, Home, Cortana, Bixby...
  • I dont think i will spend a penny on this.  without groove
  • Groove is much nicer then my few days experience with Spotify so far.
  • Yep. Unfortunately the wrong service a killed, but whay do you do?
  • Wait until it's released. Compare it to what's available from Amazon (the current industry standard). A logical buy would be the Amazon product, unless the invoke kicks it's butt. Ties default to Amazon.
  • Expecting this to be available when-never outside America. Like most things Microsoft. 😕
  • It will be ignored. MS will not market it to attract consumers. MS is focused on the enterprise and bringing OneCore to life. Until the latter is ready and category defining devices are available to showcase this one Windows vision, the current product "experiments" are simply placeholders to keep consumers aware they're still around.
  • Basically this device is the hp elite x3 of the smart speaker world. Poor Harmon kardon .....
  • And now HP has decided to give up in the X3. And you can't blame them either. Too bad HP can't sue MS for deception.
  • A day late and a dollar short!
  • Needless to say given their recent history Microsoft marketing will have to be on point to get me to bite. I doubt they can achieve that feat
  • I am a-typical, I have about 5000+ Cd's and my library is still growing. I do not put my CD's on a server, not even in uncompressed format. I am in the high-end Hifi stuff, I mean really high-end. So can anybody explain me what this device can do for me?
  • Nothing
  • Months to release one damn speaker. SMH.
  • Amazon has such a massive head start..... This is another dead product on launch
  • DOA
  • too late, virtual buble in microsoft.
  • What's point now that Groove Music Pass is dead?  This leaks one day after Sonos announced Play One with Amazon Alexa.  Will Invoke allow for independent room streaming?  Can it pair with other Invoke's for stereo pairing?  Home automation?  I was all in with Microsoft services but Cortana hasn't been embraced in the home automation world.  Maybe Insteon?  For my setup, Alexa intergrates into my Nest, Lutron enabled light switches, Hue lights, Rachio sprinkler controllers, Joule, Logitech Harmony and soon Sonos. Sorry, Microsoft, you clearly missed an opppurtunity here.
  • What's the point? If it's the same Cortana as we know it (well, unless it really gets improved in FCU), it's useless. I mean, setting a stupid timer takes on average 3 tries and quite some yelling. At this point, I'm actually thinking it used to be better before CU.
    So yeah. The last thing I need from an Echo-like device is searching for a 5 minutes timer on Bing. Sorry, Microsoft, pass.
  • This will be abandoned too, eventually!
  • We know Microsoft won't cancel this project until they've really taken their opportunity to eff over their most loyal fans, but Harmon Kardon should be wise enough to back out now - it won't look good for them either.
  • I get it. I understand why people are mad and complaining about "without Groove, how can they sell a speaker?"  A few things: Groove clearly didnt have enough staying power thanks to the death of an already sick baby (mobile). Groove users account for nothing in the grand scheme of things (me included!). Some players have done fine remaining agnostic.  Harmon-Kardon's music service is... oh, wait, they don't have one!  Samsung's music service...! Oh, don't forget about Sonos (which just announced Alexa integrated version of the Play1) - how about their music service? That's right. They have none of their own proprietary services. Instead, they are focused on selling hardware that is agnostic and can be integrated into other systems and platforms. This wont be the barrier for the HK speaker.  Instead, differentiating itself from the list of established presenses beyond voice control engine is going to be key.  At the same price point, its going to be a confusing bit for people that are interested in choice (and that wouldn't default to Amazon). I for one thoroughly enjoy using Amazon's Alexa. Their device line up (now, with recently announced devices) will meet many of my on-going needs.  With a Sonos Alexa integrated option, now I can also better control my Sonos setup. Though I much prefer Cortana, my question is this: what is the long term prospect of support and expansion of HK (or other) lines of smart speakers? I'd love to make the switch. But, sadly, I need permanence.  Unfortunately, though not directly a MS product itself, the HK harbors these concerns for me.
  • Having been all in on the MS ecosystem, I'm not touching it. MS Band 1 & 2... Long gone, MS partnered with Fitbit, except their products aren't as stylish as the B2. Groove, going, MS partnered with Spotify, Cortana will be next, ms already partnered with Alexa, and of course, Win10 mobile, slow death. I would have preferred MS to spin off a consumer focused company, hell let Steve balmer run it, giving it all the IP for those products, and then Apples Marketing team. It would kill. If only Ehh!?
  • Samsung Gear Fit line is very Band-like. I tried the Gear Fit 2 for awhile & it was nice, but I'm kinda over the whole fitness tracker thing & returned it.
  • If this thing doesn't connect to Chromecast I'm not buying it. If I cant say, "Cortana, play ____ from YouTube on my tv." Or "Listen to Spotify on my TV" I'm buying the Google Home. Or, "Cortana, open Plex and play Star Wars on my TV". These are deal breakers.