The Victor Reader Trek portable eBook player, pod catcher, can connect to most any Bluetooth speaker, allowing you to listen to podcasts, books, recorded notes, and streaming internet radio through that wireless speaker. We demonstrate here how to pair the Trek to the popular Harman Kardon Cortana Invoke Bluetooth Smart Speaker Bluetooth speaker. Note that as of this writing, we were unable to successfully pair these two devices, possibly due to software incompatibility issues between them. But we expect this to be resolved in future firmware updates, and will monitor this situation and post an update once it’s resolved. We made an audio recording that you can listen to here, of this disappointing experience.
Bluetooth Pairing Instructions Summary for the Victor Reader Trek Portable Music Player
In a nutshell, the pairing process is summarized as follows: First, get the Victor Reader Trek ready for pairing. Next, turn on your Cortana Invoke speaker and put it into Bluetooth pairing mode. Finally, on your Trek, scan for and connect to your Invoke speaker. We detail each of these three high level steps next.
Victor Reader Trek Bluetooth Pairing with Invoke Smart Speaker Instructions (Detailed)
1. Power on the Victor Reader Trek. Hold in the round power button, located on the top left side of the Trek, as shown next, until the unit vibrates. Then, wait for the green power-on lamp to illuminate and the Trek to complete booting; it’s fully booted once the welcome message plays and the electronic chime sounds.
2. Turn off airplane mode if it’s on. With airplane mode on, the Trek will not be able to connect either to Wi-Fi or to Bluetooth devices. So, it’s necessary to assure that airplane mode is turned off. When the online status lamp, as shown next, either glows solidly or is flashing, this means that airplane mode is definitely off and the unit is trying to connect to an in-range Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth device. When the lamp is dark, this COULD mean that airplane mode is on. But it also could mean that, though airplane mode is OFF, that there is nonetheless, no current Wi-Fi connection established. The Trek can indeed be offline (not connected to the internet) even though airplane mode is off.
So, verify that your airplane mode is indeed OFF by pressing and holding the Online button (the circular button with the Wi-Fi symbol in the top row of keys on the front of the unit), until the Trek announces airplane mode status. If it says, “Airplane mode OFF,” then you’re good to go. If it says, “Airplane mode ON,” then press and hold the Online button again until it announces, “Airplane mode OFF.”
3. Next, Put your Cortana Invoke Speaker into Bluetooth Pairing Mode. That speaker has a specific button on the back for activating Bluetooth pairing, as shown in the next picture. It’s the smaller of the two round buttons just above where the power cord enters the bottom of the speaker. To use this speaker as a Bluetooth speaker, we tap that pairing button. Cortana then announces that she has gone into Bluetooth pairing mode, and instructs us to go to the device we wish to pair, and scan for her name. Our speaker is called, Tom’s Invoke 2. No additional button presses needed.
When Invoke is ready to pair, that Bluetooth button flashes slowly on and off, and a slowly back-and-forth rotating light pattern appears on the top touchpad as shown next.
4. Scan for the speaker on the Victor Reader Trek. Make sure the Trek is working with the online bookshelves by quickly pressing and releasing the Wireless button until the unit announces, “Online bookshelves.” Then rapidly press and release the * key once and then the 7 key twice (*77). The Trek then announces, “Bluetooth.” Then, quickly press and release the 8 key, until the Trek announces, “Connect to Bluetooth device.” Finally, press the # (pound) key. This starts the Trek scanning for Bluetooth devices. It announces this by saying, “Scanning for Bluetooth devices.” The scan is complete when the Trek announces the number of Bluetooth devices it discovered, as in, “3 devices found.”
5. Select the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker from the list of found devices. Use the 2 and 8 keys to move up and down in the list of found devices, until the Trek announces the name you gave this speaker when you set it up initially. In this demo it found our speaker, named Tom’s Invoke 2.
6. Connect to your Cortana Bluetooth speaker. With the list cursor currently pointing at your speaker, press the # key. This initiates the connection process. After a short pause, the Trek should establish a connection with the speaker, announcing this by saying, “Connected to <your device name>.” Once the Trek is paired with your speaker, you should now hear any audio that would normally come from the Trek, now emanating from the external Bluetooth speaker that you just successfully paired it with.
However, we were unable to achieve successful pairing. After pressing the # key, the Trek immediately announced that it failed to connect to this speaker. We tried several times, rebooting both the Trek as well as the speaker, to no avail. As we said above, this problem will hopefully disappear when new firmware updates come out for these two devices. In the meantime however, you probably won’t be able to listen to VictorReader Trek content on your Harman Kardon Cortana Invoke smart speaker via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth Connection Problems You May Experience
Note that as of this writing, the announcements made by the Trek are often wrong. E.g. Sometimes, when scanning for devices, the list of speakers it found does not include your speaker. We’ve found that often, initiating a second, third, or forth device scan will find the speaker, and it will appear in the list of discovered Bluetooth devices as expected.
It also happens at times that once you located your speaker in the list and press the # key to connect to it, that the Trek will initially announce, “Connected to Bluetooth device.” But then a second or two later, it announces, “Failed to connect to Bluetooth device.” Again, the answer here is to attempt the scan and connection again. Do this by pressing the * (star) key to leave the Bluetooth menu, then repeat steps 4 through 6 in this procedure. Keep repeating until you successfully establish a Bluetooth connection.
Firmware Versions Used in this Demo
- Victor Reader Trek: 513 1.1.3 Model 513
- Harman Kardon Invoke Cortana Smart Speaker:
- SDK Build: 220.127.116.11a9c50.vs-ssh-main
- OTA Image: Barracuda_libre-6.1803.0
- How to Pair Victor Reader Trek Portable Media Player with Amazon Alexa Echo Smart Speakers Via Bluetooth
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- 2018-02-13: Originally published.