Logitech Harmony Review
DT Editors Choice
“Logitech’s least expensive universal remote lacks frills, but piles on value for basic home theater users.”
- Cheapie McCheap
- Easy setup
- LCD "wakes up" upon pickup
- Comfortable layout
- Not rechargeable
- No RF features
- 5-device limit
- Not compatible with Bluetooth-based products
Logitech has cranked out quite a crew of Harmony remotes over the years. All seem to handle well, control a decent amount of devices, and are unbelievably easy to program. So how can you pick which one is right for you? Well, if youre on a budget, the $99 Harmony would be the obvious choice.
Thats not to say that the feels cheap by any means. It has the standard rectangular remote shape, but is sturdy enough to go a few rounds under your couch cushions. Buttons are laid out nicely and respond well to a soft touch. Being a bit of a discount model, the skips RF and theres no touchscreen. It does have a small color LCD, which is nothing to brag about, but adds a little flash to favorite channels and commands.
One other noticeable feature: This baby takes batteries. Many other Harmony units offer docking stations. However, the lower cost means youll have to keep a stash of AAs around the house.
Logitech says to set aside 45 minutes to set up the remote. It may seem long, but its pretty on-target—and actually flies by. Upon entering the two included AA batteries, the LCD instructs you to choose language and then head on over to Harmonys website. As with all Harmony remotes, you will need a computer and web access for programming.
Our PC immediately recognized the remote. However, it would have been nice if the website had popped up, so we didnt have to look it up (its www.logitech.com/myharmony, if you want to cheat).
Choose your OS and download the software. Installation took just under 5 minutes on our Vista-enabled laptop. Once launched, the software asks if you want to look for updates. Youll also need to create an account, which is just a user name, password and security question in case you forget both. From there, add your name, an email address, and country of residence.
Now that the introductions are out of the way, we can get down to the business of adding components. We connected the remote via the included USB, clicked Next, and got—a timed-out session. If memory serves, this has happened to us before with other Harmony units. However, we easily logged back in and were adding devices in under a minute.
Although this might seem like the most daunting task, Logitech could not make it easier. Devices are added through a series of pull-down menus for Device, Manufacturer and Model. This is where you might take up the most time, running around to check what those model numbers actually are. It shouldnt take too long, though, as the only controls five devices total. We went with the obvious: our Olevia HDTV, Dish Network HD DVR, Pioneer Receiver, Samsung Blu-ray Player, and Philips DVD Recorder. Logitech hasnt caught up with an entry for Blu-ray, but it can be added as a DVD player and get the same result. Other goodies that can be put under the Harmonys control include lighting and climate systems, media center PCs, DAT decks, and more. It also has a spot for gaming consoles—just not our Nintendo Wii or PS3, which need Bluetooth, not infrared.
Next, youll be asked to set up Activities, which group select functions under one button-press. For instance, to Watch a DVD, we chose the Samsung Blu-ray player for the DVD, our Pioneer receiver for volume control, and the TVs HDMI input as our source selection. Once completed all of the setup, the remote should sync. However, we got—yes, another timed-out session message. We were fooled once, twice, and then we opted to just be remembered on the computer.
Once everything was inputed, we were flipping channels and firing up the TV without a glitch. As with any new remote, there may be a small learning curve. However, Logitech could not make this thing any easier, thanks to a simple, easy-to-understand button layout.
Its hard to hate the Harmony. Its even harder to hate the Harmony for under $ Surprisingly at that price, the still has the functionality of pricier controllers, but its limited to only five devices. For many, thats just about right—or at least a nice way to ditch five random remotes. If youre looking to shave a few extra bucks off the price, the is Logitechs monochrome model.
- Cheapie McCheap
- Easy setup
- LCD wakes up upon pickup
- Comfortable layout
- Not rechargeable
- No RF features
- 5-device limit
- Not compatible with Bluetooth-based products
Logitech Harmony Review
- Comprehensive device database
- Good ergonomics
- Colour screen
- Only five devices allowed
- Setup demands patience
- Review Price: £
- Colour screen
- Replaces up to five remotes
- Built-in accelerometer
- Activity macros
- ,+ compatible devices
The Harmony costs around £70, so may be more expensive than some of the devices youll end up controlling, and sits in the middle of the range. Theres a colour LCD screen, once only found in top-end universal remotes, but it can only connect to five devices at once the more expensive Logitech Harmony One handles
Its powered by two AA batteries one of the main differentiators between the and the , one step up the series, is the use of a rechargeable battery in the more expensive model. This wont be a drawback for all though, especially now that you can buy long-lasting rechargeable batteries like Sanyos Eneloops.
This remotes primary function is to save time, but theres plenty of work to be done before you get to that point. Setting up one of these remotes is like running a marathon. Therell be pain, youll hit the wall and think you cant go on, but theres an enormous feeling of satisfaction once its over and you can collapse guilt-free into a gasping heap.
The Logitech Harmony series needs to be setup using a computer. Switch the on and itll prompt you to connect it using microUSB unlike some rivals you cant do everything directly from the remote itself. The softwares wizard-based, and functions more-or-less the same no matter which of the Harmony remotes you use.
First off, you input the names of all your kit, to check that theyre present and correct within Logitechs database. We plugged in around a dozen bits of a kit into the remote although only five at a time, in-line with the s five-device limit and came up with a single gap, the rather niche Niro TWO home cinema system from
Any remote controller not included from the off can be learned by pointing the original remote at the Harmony s IR sensor and mapping its functions key-by-key. This process is laborious, but only has to be done the once, as long as you dont muck it up the first time.
Once all the devices have been inputted, you can let the software add activity macros automatically, or pick your own selection. These macros plug together a series of commands, to give you a one-button way to turn on your TV, home cinema and Blu-ray player, for example, and get them all prepped with the right settings. The software tries to make the process as accessible as possible, formulating each macro through a series of simple questions, such as will you use your TV or PVR to control volume when watching television?
Its during the macro-making process that the real headaches can start though. Each command is separated by a gap of so many milliseconds, to allow for devices to finish tasks properly you cant usually tell a TV to switch to an HDMI input half a second before telling it to come out of standby, for example.
Optimising these macros takes time and patience, and will likely require you to change the way you use your equipment. If you dont always use the Harmony to switch devices on and off for instance, youll come unstuck if a gadget uses a power on/off toggle rather than two separate commands. Theres a built-in troubleshooter that you can use to fix problems after an activity has been executed, but getting settings perfect still requires significant tweaking.
The latest round of Harmony-series remotes is more curvy, and larger, than its predecessors. The Harmony is roughly comparable to the previous price-wise, and ergonomics have improved since then.
Where the was economic and slim, the Harmony is curvaceous and a little chunky, but ultimately its more comfortable in-hand. Its size demands two-handed use though. Held with the butt of the remote in your palm, even the long-fingered wont be able to reach the screen and activity controls at other end of the remote and these are the main hotspots of activity if youre using the remote to its full potential. Curiously, Logitech has added four physical buttons for the key activities of watching movies, listening to music and watching TV although these activities can also comfortably be relayed using the colour screen.
This is a remote for those with a serious home setup, which makes it all the more disappointing that it only supports five devices. The previous Harmony supported 15 devices at once, and while many will be just dandy with a limit of five, that figure will soon be eaten up if you use additional intermediary bits of tech like IR-enabled HDMI switches or want to use the Harmony across multiple rooms.
It would seem this figure has been purposefully laid upon this product too. A software limitation, the five-gadget barrier helps to differentiate between the and the more expensive Harmony One, now that mid-range units like this offer colour screens. Theres an accelerometer on-board that makes the remote turn on when picked-up, but this also has the initially unnerving effect of making it rattle when shaken, sure to convince a few buyers that some part of something very important inside has broken off.
Theres a definite sense that the Logitech Harmony series is treading water with these newer remotes. The design has been tweaked towards the style of the Logitech Harmony One, released in , which we appreciate, but the core experience of using the remotes isnt substantially different from what it was in the last series.
Once the arduous setup process has been undertaken, the Logitech Harmony will replace a handful of remotes with style and the macros really do work but its disappointing not to see some more updates to the core functionality. Theres still no built-in Bluetooth and the way you setup the thing hasnt changed significantly in years. It works, but surely it could be better?
Currently the Harmony software tries hard to make the setup process easy for beginners, but in doing so it hides some of its neatest features under another layer of menus such as renaming of devices and activities. The attempt to be entirely intuitive doesnt quite work either, as we found you inevitably have to return to your PC multiple times to tweak settings, and in doing so delve deeper into the setup process.
Logitech may still produce the best off-the-shelf universal remotes, but its in danger of becoming seriously stagnant if it rests of its laurels any longer. In some ways the Harmony represents a step backward for the series, but if you have no problems with the five-device limit this is still one of the best universal remotes you can buy for under a hundred pounds.
The Logitech Harmony s five-device limit seems stingy, but great ergonomics and high-quality build maintain the standards of this illustrious series. Just prepare for a couple of painful setup hours before the bliss of a one-remote home setup becomes a reality.
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Logitech Harmony vs Which Universal Remote Will You Love?
Logitech first entered the universal remote space in with its Harmony One. It was one of the best universal remotes, but with its selling price, it was just very expensive. Logitech has since come out with more affordable remotes, including the Logitech Harmony and the Logitech Harmony Here is the full Logitech Harmony vs. comparison so you can make a smart choice!
Bottom Line Up Front: If you are in a hurry, here are the high level advantages (differences) of both:
|Harmony Advantages||Harmony Advantages|
|Can control 8 devices (vs 6 for the )||Slightly cheaper (check price here)|
|Supports custom sequences (unlike the )||Comes with rechargeable battery (unlike )|
|More widely available (check here on Amazon)|
Contents (Jump to)
Logitech Harmony makes it easy for you to control your home entertainment.
You can switch from watching a DVD to listening to music just by pressing one button, using the controllers Activities feature. With the Harmony , you can do away with remote controllers for up to six different home entertainment components.
Plus, it is compatible with more than , devices manufactured by more than 5, brands.
Take away the LCD screen and the Logitech Harmony does not differ much from your standard remote control. It has an ergonomic shape and an easy and comfortable grip, without breaking any design standards.
It has rubber buttons and a matte finish, which makes it look like a $20 universal remote than a smart universal remote with a price tag of $ when it first came out.
The remote has three main sections: The top part is where you would find the color LCD screen that you can control with five buttons. The middle part has the directional pad, volume, and channel controls, as well as DVR keys. Then the bottom section has the key keypad and the video transport controls.
The Logitech Harmony comes with two rechargeable AA batteries. However, it does not have a charging cradle, so you will have to use the USB charger and plug it into a wall socket.
Battery charge can last around a week and you can leave it plugged in overnight. Another way to charge the battery is by using the micro-USB cable included in the package.
Logitech Harmony follows the same setup process as most other Harmony remotes. You would need to connect the remote to your PC using the USB cable included in the package and then install the right Harmony software.
A wizard will take you through the entire setup process, which involves identifying the home entertainment devices you have and defining their functions for the activities.
For instance, for the Watch TV activity, you should list down the inputs and devices that the remote would enable, as well as the keypad functions that need to be performed.
In this case, when you press the Watch TV activity, your TV, AV receiver, and PVR would be on – while all other devices would be turned off. On top of that, you can also identify specific setups for each device, such as your TV set to HDMI 3 and the AV receiver set to VCR.
What you would like
Logitech has thousands of devices in its database, which means that it can easily mimic the remote controls for these devices. If you have a device that is not yet listed in its database, you can use the Harmonys learning function to copy that devices remote control functions.
If you unexpectedly run out of battery, you can use just about any AA battery you might have lying around the house. The micro-USB port is also standard so you can use your phones charger to charge your remote.
What could be better
Logitech has made the setup process as painless as possible, but it might still turn some people off because it can be quite lengthy and tedious. If you have a complicated system with a lot of devices, you might hit snags and might have to do some trial and error.
The LCD screen could have done without the five control buttons if Logitech opted for a touchscreen display, which would have made it easier for you to choose your preferences rather than cycle through menu items. Whats more, it is quite difficult to read the LCD screen, especially when you look at it an angle.
While the rechargeable battery is a good idea, it would have been better if the Logitech Harmony had a charging cradle. A cradle would have made recharging more convenient.
Lastly, the Logitech Harmony does not have radio frequency support. That means you would need to be in the same room as the device you are trying to control, with the Harmony having a line of sight with the device.
That means if you have devices inside cabinets, you would still need to open the cabinet for the remote to work.
What’s in the box
- Logitech Harmony Remote control
- AC adapter
- USB cable
- 2 NiMH rechargeable batteries
- User documentation
Final recommendation: Logitech Harmony
As far as universal remotes go, the Logitech Harmony is a solid choice. At its price, you can easily automate your home entertainment system with easy to program activities. You can put away all the other remotes and just rely on the Logitech Harmony to work up to six devices.
The Logitech Harmony can take the place of eight home entertainment system remotes, helping you have a clutter-free coffee table.
With activities such as Watch TV or Play a DVD, the Logitech Harmony will be able to turn on all the devices you need to turn on, as well as turn it to your desired channels. It can also turn off the devices that are not in use anymore.
Design and setup
The Logitech Harmony shares the same design as the Harmony , except that it has a gray color with black buttons while the Harmony has a black remote with black buttons. It also follows the three-segment layout of the Harmony
When it comes to setting it up, you will need to do the same steps as outlined for the Harmony The Logitech Harmony s software will automatically assign the obvious functions to their defaults, like assigning play to the play button, or 1 to the 1 button.
You can, however, change any button and assign it the function that you prefer. You can also assign functions to the colored buttons above the five directional button pad and some menu areas on the LCD display.
The color smart display is there when you need help with the commands that you use to control your devices. You can also display icons for 23 of your favorite channels.
The software currently has Fox stations already pre-loaded, but if you want to get logos for other stations, you can try third-party sites such as IconHarmony.com.
What you would like about the Logitech Harmony
If you are an expert user, you will appreciate the ability to program sequences on your own. You can also set up multi-device macros.
Moreover, if you already have an existing Harmony remote but would like to use the Harmony , you can easily swap it out. You can then use your old Harmony remote to control home entertainment devices in another room.
The Logitech Harmony is also compatible with more than 6, brands.
What might turn you off
The Logitech Harmony uses two AA batteries and these are not rechargeable. It means that you may have to spend a lot for batteries over time.
Whats in the box
- The Logitech Harmony remote
- Two AA-batteries
- USB cable
- Comparing Logitech Harmony and
Comparing the Logitech Harmony and the Logitech Harmony
If you want to have a universal remote and you do not want to control your devices using your smartphone, then you should get either the Logitech Harmony or the Harmony These represent two of the best universal remotes from the company.
The Logitech Harmony and the Logitech Harmony work similarly to each other and pretty much offer the same advantages. For example, both are compatible with thousands of devices and that list keeps on growing as Logitech adds more partners, ensuring that your Harmony remote will not be outdated.
They also suffer from the same disadvantages such as not having a touchscreen display, difficulty in setting up complex systems and not having RF support. Both Harmony remotes also work only when there is a direct line of sight with the devices you want to control.
That means you cannot control devices hidden behind a cabinet.
There are some differences between the two as well. For one, the Harmony supports up to 8 devices, while the Harmony supports only 6. To recharge the Harmony , you get a rechargeable battery that you do not have to remove any more.
Meanwhile, the Harmony makes use of ordinary AA batteries. Once these batteries are spent, you would need to put in new ones. Or if you are using a rechargeable battery, you would have to take it out of the Harmony to charge it.
More importantly, the Logitech Harmony has already been discontinued by the manufacturer. You can, however, still get it from Amazon.
The Harmony , while still being produced by Logitech, is a bit more expensive than the Harmony However, the price difference between the two is worth it if you are an expert user who wants to have custom sequences with their home entertainment system.
Filed Under: Smart RemotesSours: https://www.allhomerobotics.com/logitech-harmonyvswhich-universal-remote-will-you-love/
Logitech Harmony Review_
Table Of Contents_
To be the best universal remote, it needs to be versatile, capable of handling multiple devices at one but also support a plethora of devices. Out of all the universal remotes out there, the Logitech Harmony easily fits that description. With over brands to connect to, and replacing five remotes at the same time, the sure is versatile.
Why We Like It Logitech Harmony Review
The Logitech Harmony can support over devices, commanding five at a time. With that kind of flexibility, you’ll need a rigorous entertainment center to justify its price tag.
- Supports over brands
- One-click activity buttons
- Versatile enough to replace 5 remotes
What we liked most about the Logitech Harmony was accessing our favorite devices using only one button. We could watch TV on an Apple TV (on your choice of TV) in one moment, press the “Watch a Movie” button once and connect to the home theater in an instant. We could do this with up to five devices, though the Logitech Harmony Ultimate One Remote can control Homes tend to average out at five devices anyways.
With that said, controlling every device was a cinch. However, we did notice troubling setting up the remote with more complex setups. If your entertainment center is a smattering of various obscure devices, trial and error is inevitable, though not the fault of the remote.
The Logitech Harmony shares a number of design decisions with other Harmony remotes. Its glossy grey, has black buttons, and a small LCD screen at the top of the remote. Contrary to the Harmony , it displays your favorite channel’s icon in color, rather than the monochrome of the ; the Harmony shares the same feature. The Harmony , however, has rechargeable batteries, and the doesn’t.
Setting Logitech remotes is usually simple, and the Harmony isn’t any different. However, an internet connection is required, Wi Fi to be specific. It’s annoying, but once connected, Logitech takes care of the rest. If there’s any trouble, there’s even a Help button. If wielding remotes isn’t your thing, and prefer using a smartphone, check out the Logitech Harmony Hub.
If we think back to all the remotes we use, one tends to average out at around four, typically being TV, cable box, Blu ray player, music, and a streaming device such as Fire TV. That’s all five devices. In other words, you’ve removed five remote controls with just one remote.
When we consider the Harmony ’s performance, design, and ease of use—we can say, with confidence, the Logitech Harmony has excellent value, and will fit wonderfully in your catalog of smart home devices. For something cheaper, consider the Logitech Harmony All in One Remote Control.
Logitech Harmony Review Wrap Up
With over brands to control, the Logitech Harmony already earns points for being versatile. Being supported by so many devices makes connecting the remote to five of your favorite devices easy—especially with one click activity buttons. Needing the internet for the setup process is a bummer, but who doesn’t have internet access these days?
Reviews harmony remote 650
Logitech Harmony review: Logitech Harmony
Logitech's line of Harmony universal remotes includes more models at more affordable price points than ever before. For , the lineup expands to include the $50 Harmony and the $80 Harmony , as well as the $ Harmony reviewed here.
Except for different color schemes, the Harmony (gray with black buttons) has the same chassis and button layout as the step-down Harmony (silver with white buttons) and the step-up Harmony (all black). The Harmony improves on the 's monochrome screen with a color version (it can display colorful favorite channel icons instead of just text, like the ). The 's price tag is slightly more expensive--it retails for between $ and $but it controls six devices to the /'s five, and it has the ability to recharge its Sanyo Eneloop batteries by attaching the USB AC charger (both included). As is standard for Logitech remotes, all three models are programmable via a Mac or Windows PC, and use activity-based commands such "Watch TV" or "Listen to Music" to control a home AV system.
The remote is roughly segmented into three main areas. The top section is dominated by the aforementioned color LCD screen--it's a square 1-inch-byinch display. It's not a touch screen--you'll need to spend at least twice as much to upgrade to a Harmony One for that--but there are five buttons (two on each side, one on the bottom) for choosing contextual items on the screen. You can also page through additional screens, multiplying the available choices. The middle section has a five-way directional pad, channel and volume controls, and some standard DVR keys (Menu, Guide, Info, Exit). On the bottom third of the remote, you'll find standard video transport controls (play, pause, rewind, etc.) and a digit keypad. In addition to the LCD, all of the remote's buttons are backlit, so it's easy to use in a dark room.
The setup process is identical to that of previous Logitech Harmony remotes. You connect the to your Internet-connected Windows PC or Mac with the supplied USB cable, install the model-specific version of Harmony software (downloaded from Logitech's Web site), and answer a fairly simple online questionnaire. You simply choose your home-theater components from a list, explain how they're connected, and define their roles in activity-based functions, such as "Watch TV," "Watch DVD," and "Listen to music." For each function, you specify which devices and inputs the remote must enable. You can also choose which keypad functions will "punch through" to which specific devices--always having the channel buttons control the cable box or the volume controls dedicated to the TV, for instance. After you've completed the questionnaire, the software uploads all the relevant control codes to the Harmony
The software will automatically map obvious functions to the default keys--"pause" to "pause," "2" to "2," and so on--but you can customize and change anything you'd like. You can also map specific functions to the colored buttons on the remote, as well as the contextual areas on the LCD screen.
The LCD can also be used for channel favorites, and you can even assign them with the familiar logos of your favorite stations. But there's one annoying catch: Logitech's software only includes a smattering of Fox stations. If you want anything else, you'll need to hunt the files down on a third-party site. Logitech points you to iconharmony, which works fine--we'd just prefer they'd cut a deal to have all of the icons seamlessly accessible via Logitech's software.
As easy as the remote generally is to use, some users may encounter a few snags when initially setting them up. Often, this will be because of the hardware limitations of older AV equipment. We've had problems in the past with TVs or AV receivers that don't offer discrete input commands, as well as gear with old HDMI connectors that don't easily "refresh" the video connection when switching inputs. Still, we were able to get the to ably control a living room system with a plasma TV, an AV receiver, an HD DVR, an Xbox , and a Sony PS3. (Because that last product doesn't include an IR receiver, you'll need to invest in the Logitech Harmony Adapter for PlayStation it works perfectly, but it will set you back about $) Those with larger systems should take note, however: that represents the Harmony 's (and Harmony 's) maximum of five devices. Anyone with additional gear should opt for the Harmony (six devices), or make the leap to the Harmony One (15 devices), which will cost you about double the price of the
As we said in our earlier reviews of Harmony remotes, if you have a complicated system, you can expect to spend some time fine-tuning the remote to get it to work just right. A certain amount of trial and error is involved. You must verify that the commands work with your equipment as intended, then modify them as necessary. The Web site provides advanced, macro-style options for delay times, multistep commands, and other functions. Also, the remote's Help key helps in troubleshooting by asking natural-language questions on the LCD. For instance, the screen might read, "Is the digital set-top box on?"
That said, the "classic" Harmony software now feels outdated after you've used the "My Harmony" software that comes with the entry-level Harmony model. That one streamlines the process even further, and adds an interface for drag-and-drop button programming. We hope that Logitech eventually adopts the "My Harmony" software for the rest of its remote line, including the Harmony reviewed here. On the positive side, expert users will be happy to hear that the Harmony (unlike the luxury and models) does support the programming of custom "sequences," or multidevice macros of up to five steps.
While there's still no way to manage multiple Harmony remotes on the same account (you're required to create separate user accounts, with separate names and passwords, for each of them), Logitech has made it very easy to swap in a new Harmony remote for an old one and transfer in that remote's system setup. For example, if you already had an older Harmony that you use with your main living room system, you could quickly swap in the Harmony , and then set up a separate profile for the old Harmony, which you could then use in another room.
The only reason we wouldn't recommend the Logitech Harmony is because the step-up Harmony model can be found online for as little as $20 more. That model controls six devices (to the 's five) and includes a pair of rechargeable Sanyo Eneloop batteries which would cost you that much anyway. Aside from that caveat, we have no problem recommending the Logitech Harmony it's a great universal remote that's being sold at a very competitive sub-$ price.
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