This article was made possible by Best Buy for the Logitech Harmony Elite remote. I was sent a free product for the sake of this review. All opinions are my own.
I love gadgets, more specifically, I love smart gadgets. I literally am thrilled everytime technology is at my fingertips. So when I was asked to do a Logitech Harmony Elite remote review, I was all in. After all, who wouldn’t want to control their entire home entertainment experience with just their voice?
I think so.
I’ve had the Logitech Harmony Elite remote for a few weeks now, so I’ve had a chance to get familiar with it. First major epicness is that it actually works with over 270,000 entertainment and smart home devices. Now I don’t have that many, but it’s nice to know I’ll be ready to handle all the smart devices I build into my home. I really wanted to go deep with the Harmony Elite, I mean after all she’s part of the family. So I gave her the mom interrogation of the century by calling Logitech Harmony Elite Support and asking them all the things.
All. Of. Them.
About the Logitech Harmony Elite
Logitech delivers their new Harmony Elite remote as a hands-free control of your entertainment system. This includes TV, cable, and gaming console, to your AV receiver and Roku® media player—all the way to your smart lights, locks, thermostats, even your Alexa and Google Home. You can program activities so that when you say the magic words, your lighting changes, your TV starts playing (or music or both), and the vibe is on.
Basically, you say, “Hey Google, tell Harmony to turn on my TV” and voila!
Logitech Harmony Elite Review
First off, let me start by telling you that I have a smart TV, a Wii U, PS4 and two Google Home speakers. My TV came with the world’s lamest remote. I can’t even access my smart dashboard with it. It’s literally the dumbest thing ever. I had to download an app (which works when it wants to) in order to navigate the control panel on my TV screen. The app crashes all the time. Basically, I haven’t binged a single episode of the Vampire Diaries in over two weeks (don’t judge me because it’s the second time I’m watching the series). It’s super tiny so it gets lost all the time, and it’s really only good for adjusting the volume and turning the power on/off.
I needed a remote that could handle the smarts that my TV has. And I wanted something that could be a hub for my Google Home and allow me to be able to turn off the gaming consoles when my hands are egg yolk deep in meatloaf. You feel me?
Let me tell you, as tech-obsessed that I am, I’m super tech illiterate when it comes to getting all these things to ride the magic wi-fi rainbow to Asgard. But, I found a pretty legit video on how you can do it yourself. I’ll post that further down. You’re welcome.
When I first got into the packaging, I really loved the sleek look of the remote. It had a nice little LCD touch screen which has proven to be super helpful at night. And LCD touch screens are cool, you know it. It also has motion-sensing backlit keys and one-touch automation. But you don’t have to use the touchscreen, you can control everything from your app. So if you want to turn off your kid’s Playstation and you’re already all cozy in bed, BOOM Harmony will let you manage that from the app.
Life is good when you don’t have the stop spooning the dog to turn off your kid’s PS4.
Setting it up was a little tricky, but I think that’s mostly because I have a dual-band router and I manage my own network. Most don’t, so accessing your wi-fi should be pretty cut and dry. But there are easy instructions in the Harmony app (which you need to download to get it all set up). You can watch this video on how to set it up with your Google Home here:
If this does not help you, then do what I do. Call them. I’m not saying you’re going to have any issues getting this bad boy fit for full duty, I’m just saying if you’re technically challenged like me, just make the call. The Logitech support team is amazing. Plus, I’m a no BS kinda woman. I like to get things done as fast as possible, so I generally just call anyway. They offer a 90-day support program so you can get rocking in no time.
I had a delightful call with Josh at 1-866-291-1505. He was so nice. He set up my activities for me, got my Google Home linked to my Harmony (they’re officially an item, it’s serious). One thing that is important to understand is that you need to think of an activity command in its simplest form. Like, “Hey Google tell Harmony to turn on my TV” means your TV is on and opens to your smart dashboard input. For me, it’s the Smartcast input.
If I want to then play my Wii U I have to say, “Hey Google, tell Harmony to turn on game”. Then the Wii U comes on and the input changes to my HDMI 1 (where my Wii U is plugged in). Now I am in game mode, no longer in watch TV mode. But since game mode has the TV on in its commands the TV remains on. In order to go back to watching TV I have to say, “Hey Google tell Harmony to turn on TV”, and the Wii U will turn off and my TV will go back to the Smartcast input.
For a comprehensive list and understanding of everything you can do with Google Home and Harmony linked, check out the Logitech with Google Home support page here.
The Harmony Elite is so powerful that it took me a few minutes to really get into it. I can set up an activity to control several things at once. For example, when I walk in the door through the garage my kitchen, living room, dining room and sunroom are all part of an open floor plan. So it’s like one room. My Google Home sits in my kitchen. I can walk in and say a command activity to Google like, “Hey Google tell Harmony I said hello”, and my TV and Philip Hue lights will come on. No hands needed (which is amazing when I’m packing 10 bags of groceries, let me tell you).
Now that’s what I call having a smart house.
Kinda feeling like Bill Gates in the 90’s I’m not gonna lie.
One thing you should know is if you want to control other devices in other rooms (like I have the ZTE SPRO Wireless Smart Projector in my bedroom), you need to purchase another hub. They are much less than the entire kit. You don’t need another remote.
So far I’m loving the Logitech Harmony Elite. The tech support is amazing. Josh in support was amazing, give that guy a raise. I’m really excited to add new smart devices to my home so I can have full control with one hub. It’s everything it says it is and it’s ready for me to grow into a super smart home. I can’t wait to push this remote to its limits. Thumbs up from me!