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Synopsis: In this post, I’ll compare the Control4 Neeo vs SR-260 System Remote. My goal is to help you understand the similarities and differences between these pricey smart home remotes from a layperson and technical perspective.
Read until the end for my final conclusion about whether or not you should invest in either one of these snazzy universal smart remotes made by Control4.
Bye Bye Harmony, Hello Control4?
Recently, Logitech announced they will be phasing out the production of their popular Harmony remotes. The presents Control4 with a tremendous opportunity to capture more market share in the high-end smart home integrations space. The market has grown to a whopping $622.59 billion at 29.3% CAGR, according to a recent Fortune Business Insights report.
Harmony going bye-bye basically gives consumers way fewer options for a DIY smart home controlled via a remote. There are some other alternatives to Logitech Harmony sure, but right now the best ones are those from companies like Control4 who not only provide the remote but insist on setting it up for you. For a price.
Since Logitech dropped that bomb a few months ago, I have been fielding a lot of questions about other options like Control4, Creston, Sofabaton, and even Amazon Fire TV Cube. I plan to write a series of articles on all of the Harmony options I can find in the weeks ahead.
One of the most common questions I get is what is the difference between Control4’s two premium offerings: Control4 Neeo vs SR-260.
The CEO of Audio Advice, a Control4 integrator, does a great job explaining some of the major differences in this video:
In this blog post, I intend to break down those differences fully and accurately. There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there about these remotes, so if you think I got something wrong, leave me a comment below and I will investigate and update accordingly.
Full disclosure: I own an earlier version of the Neo remote and not the SR-260. However, I have blogged enough about universal remotes where I feel like I am enough of an authority to handle this comparison.
Let’s start off with a side-by-side comparison table of key specifications between Control4 Neeo vs SR-260.
Control4 Neeo vs SR-260 System Remote: Comparison Table
The following table illustrates the major differences between Control4 Neeo vs SR-260.
Note: You may need to swipe left/right to see the full table on mobile.
|Available Direct to Consumer||No, via authorized reseller only||No, via authorized reseller only|
|Installation||Company recommends authorized dealer installs it for you as part of smart home eco system||Company recommends authorized dealer installs it for you as part of smart home eco system|
|Available Colors||Silver, Black, and Red (Limited Edition)||Black|
|Chassis||Machined aluminum, smaller and thinner than the SR-260||High-impact molded plastic, and more traditional remote feel in hand|
|LCD Display||3.2” (81mm) ultra-thin bezel||1.1” OLED|
|LCD Screen Resolution||400x800 high-density 291 pixels per inch (PPI)||160x128 pixel 8-bit, one-color OLED|
|Controls||Home theater, Music, Movies, Lights, other smart home devices; does not control some thermostats, shades and security systems yet||Home theater, Music, Movies, Lights, Thermostats, other smart home devices|
|Physical Buttons||Yes, for essentials (primary controls via touchscreen)||50, with a premium option to customize (engrave) some physical buttons to match your home theater setup|
|Battery||1270Mah Lithium-ion battery with external 10w charger (docking station)||4 AA Alkaline or optional Lithium Polymer and charging station (sold separately)|
|System Requirements||Control 4 OS 3.1.0 or newer|
|Control 4 OS 2.7.0 or newer|
|System||ARM Cortex, M4 single core 168 MHz chipset with 64MB RAM||Unspecified|
|Connectivity Technology||Wi-Fi, RF, Bluetooth||Wi-Fi, RF, Bluetooth|
|Dimensions||7.15” x 1.91” x .37”||8.3h” x 2.1w” x 1d” (211 x 53 x 25 mm)|
|Weight||4.41 oz (125 grams)||8.8 oz (250 grams)|
|Remote Cost||$600 with the remote and the base station (does not include cost of other smart home services or integration)||$220 with batteries and $330 with a charging station and rechargeable batteries.|
|International Option||No, U.S. Only||Yes|
|Ideal for||Avid Streamers who spend most of their time watching Netflix, HBO G0, Apple TV+, Hulu, etc. and audiophiles as the integration with music streaming services is top-notch||Hunt and peck TV watchers who are constantly entering in favorite stations manually|
Control4 Neeo: Mini Review
There is no denying it, the Control4 Neeo remote feels like a super sleek mobile phone but is slightly longer and less wide. It may even be as cool as the “beam me up” com-link used in Star Trek. Aesthetically it looks amazing. There is a gorgeous multi-color touchscreen at the top and way-less buttons than traditional remotes like the SR-260.The screen on this device mimics that of OS3 which was designed by Control4 to make navigation and control easy and familiar for existing Control4 customers.
Pressing the “Home” button on your remote takes you to a screen that is customized for what room of the home you are in. You can see all favorite functions from this screen, such as which TV system or streaming service are active and have been favorited beforehand. The Home Button also always has quick access to Control4’s smart controller capabilities if you want fast navigation between different things like lighting controls, music, and home theater equipment.
Control SR-260 System Remote: Mini Review
The SR-260 remote from Control4 has a button for virtually every function you need.
The transport controls in the center of the remote make it easy to play, pause and fast forward with just one hand.
Plus, three custom buttons can be programmed by your local dealer so there’s no more fumbling around when switching between different lighting scenes or adjusting aspect ratio on your home theater screen. You really are only limited by your imagination in terms of how you may want to customize this remote.
Q: What is the main benefit of Neeo over SR-260?
A: The big win of Neeo over the SR-260 is the higher-quality touch screen interface. The Neeo has a huge colorful touch screen that makes it easy to and navigate. Many of us have tried using physical universal remotes and found them difficult to navigate. Neeo eliminates this problem as it works very much like your smartphone making it easy to use and understand. That is, unless, you prefer physical buttons over swiping and tapping.
Q: What is the main benefit of SR-260 over Neeo?
A: The Control4 SR-260 is a fully configurable learning remote. This means that you can program each button on the remote to perform any of over 800,000 functions in existence today. The typical universal remote only comes with about 30 preprogrammed functions and combines these into groups (“macros”) limited by your equipment make/model, so they may not work as you expect them to. The SR-260 does not have this limitation. The Learning feature of the Control4 SR-260’s internal software gives your Control 5 installer control of every key on the remote for complete customization without needing to know programming skills or an advanced degree in Electrical Engineering.
Q: Does either the Neeo or SR-260 remote work without a Control4 system?
A: No. I own the 1st generation Neeo remote and I can assure you that since Control4’s acquisition and the sunset of Neeo Gen 1, this expensive device is essentially a paperweight. Control4 requires that you have at least basic integration with its smart home ecosystem. They also strongly prefer that you use one of their installers.
Q: How much do these remotes cost?
A: It depends on what you are trying to do – but the system typically costs somewhere around $1500 to $3000 (or more). You can purchase just the base station from Control4 (contact them for pricing) and then add an Android tablet or iPad with the Neeo app pre-installed if you want to save some money without a physical remote. If you have a home theater video projector screen wall, adding a touchscreen is really cool. My home theater media room looks like a NASA control room now. For pricing on the remotes, themselves, refer to the table above.
Q: Does the Control4 SR-260 remote control work with my television?
A: If your TV is a brand/model that has been verified to be compatible with the Control4 SR-260 Remote, then yes, it should work. The company recently added support for a large number of new TV brands\models, so chances are that it will work.
To see if your specific model is currently supported, I strongly encourage you to check out the Control Model Database. The company is adding new devices all the time, so if yours isn’t in the list, I would suggest contacting them.
Q: Would I be a fool to buy a Harmony remote now, such as the Harmony Elite?
A: Logitech has repeatedly stated that it will continue to support customers who purchase a remote from their remaining inventory “well into the future” and as long as “our customers continue to own them.” My understanding is that this support will include adding new devices to their vast device database as well as software upgrades and technical support. If cost is a concern, and you are somewhat technical and enjoy DIY projects, I would say go for Harmony over some of the cheaper options out there like Sofabaton or GE as you will likely be happier with Harmony. I’ll include a table with some links to my favorite Harmony remotes below.
Last update on 2022-06-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Here’s the thing: if I could afford to have a system integrator come in and set up my entire smart home for me, I probably wouldn’t do it.
Yes, even if I could afford it. But that’s me.
Well, I like to tinker and I am also a big fan of various smart home ecosystems like Amazon and Google. I own 10 Alexa devices at this point – and I enjoy integrating them with smart home tech across various brands and protocols.
The largely “closed” nature of these solutions is worrisome to my inner nerd. However, if you just want a company to come in and set everything up so it works—smart home and home theater—Control4 could be just what the doctor ordered. My only recommendation is that as you work with a Control4 dealer, ask a lot of questions upfront before you commit.
Control4 Neeo vs SR-260 System Remote: Was This Helpful?
So did I help to clear up some of the confusion about the differences between the Control4 Neeo vs SR-260 System Remote universal remote controls?
Which one of these products do you like better and why? Is Neeo’s fancy LCD display an important consideration for you?
Please leave me a comment below and let me know. I would love to hear from you.