What the Harman Kardon Invoke can do that Amazon Echo can't
This will be a short list.
So you're considering the Harman Kardon Invoke over an Amazon Echo. Or, more specifically, the $150 Echo Plus, which is closer in price to the $199 Invoke.
Both are smart speakers. Both have "Skills," which let them hook into services like music or connected home products or, well, whatever. Anything and everything.
Echo's Skills hook into "Alexa," the personification of Amazon's digital assistant. Invoke's Skills run through Cortana. Eventually these will all be one and the same. Amazon and Microsoft have a reciprocal deal that will let Cortana use Alexa, and Alexa use Cortana. We're not there yet, but it's coming.
No matter, though, because there's really not much that the Invoke (again, via Cortana) can do that the Echo can't. In fact, there's only one that that stands out.
Amazon Echo can't make Skype calls. The Invoke can.
That's a big deal, I suppose, if there's somebody you want to talk to over Skype, and if you only want to do it over the Invoke and not through a phone or computer. I'm not convinced that's a reason to buy the Invoke over an Echo, or Google Home. Sure, you can also dial up a phone number via Skype. But Amazon and Google do that, too. And both of those do a lot more (for a lot less money) than the Invoke.
OK, the one other thing Invoke does that the Amazon Echo doesn't is Cortana and Bing. That's inherent ot the platform, though.
At the end of the day, though, that's a pretty short list for those asking us this question. And neither of them is a particularly good reason to pay more money for something that ultimately does, for the time being, much less.
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"is about to have its music service cancelled" You can listen to Spotify, iHeartRadio, Tunein.. and Pandora is coming.. not to mention bluetooth.
Its *FAR* superior to both the Echo and Google home when it comes to sound. I haven't tested against their higher end speaker.. but the smaller ones are terrible and muddy comparatively. Here is the only drawback I know of with the Invoke (and Cortana) compared to the other two platforms: No multi-room support for music. I have to assume that is coming, and when it does, this will be a superior product for me. I dont need or want to order Dominos or an uber from my speaker. I want to listen to music, set a timer for cooking, as some questions that I'd otherwise search the internet for, and use some smart home features. For all those, Cortana and the Invoke work well.
As a speaker, this thing blows the others out of the water.
And for $99? Its ridiculously well priced. Who cares about a million skills if most of them are dumb.. its like counting all the fart apps on smart phones. Who cares?
I dont want to order a pizza or check my fitbit stats or get an Uber.
Let me do some smart home things, make calls, and listen to music. That's what these are good for.
I keep saying they need to tie Cortana to a Halo game and let gamers hear her voice through another device - like an inexpensive speaker. I just saw an ad last night when Amazon is showing off the Destiny 2 Ghost Skill with Alexa. Microsoft should be able to pull something like that off with 1st party properties and gamers would jump on it if the price is right!