harmony elite vs companion

Harmony Elite vs Companion [2020 Side-By-Side Comparison]

In Comparisons by Tim BrennanLeave a Comment

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Ah yes, Logitech Harmony Elite vs Companion: In this article, I provide a detailed side-by-side comparison of these two very popular universal remotes from Logitech.

My goal is to help you make a well-informed purchase decision.

If you simply want to know the main differences, here they are: the larger Harmony Elite has a color LCD touchscreen and it will let you control up to 15 devices as compared to eight with Companion. In contrast, Companion has more physical buttons and includes just a single IR blaster for closed cabinet control compared to Elite’s two blasters.


The Cat’s Meow

I love Harmony remotes and have tested and blogged about them incessantly over the past 18 months. There is a lot of misinformation out there but I promise you—we will get it right today.

I especially love my Harmony Elite.  It just looks cool and works as advertised. It will let you control smart devices as well as your entire home theater setup. But then again, the Companion will let you do that too.  My favorite feature on the Elite that the Companion does not have, however, is the color LCD touchscreen.

harmony elite vs companionI think that screen is the cat’s meow.

The screen works like your smartphone and supports swipe and tap gestures for controlling common Harmony actions.  This includes selecting macro-level activities like “Watch a Movie” or “Netflix and Chill.” My Netflix and Chill activity does all of the following:

  1. Turns on my Samsung Smart TV.
  2. Turns on my AV receiver and surround sound speakers (Bose).
  3. Turns on my Samsung soundbar.
  4. Sets my smart lights in the living room to a dim blue.
  5. Turns on the bias light strip behind my TV and changes the color to blue.

Unlike your smartphone, the screen also has haptic feedback [vibrates when you press it] to make it feel more like a remote.

While you can create the exact same Activity using Harmony Companion, there is no color LCD screen with a button labeled “Netflix and Chill.” Instead, you select a hard button on the remote to execute the activity that you set up in the Harmony app.

There are some additional differences as well. I mentioned the major ones up above. But let me compare them side-by-side for you in a table so you can get a better feel feature for feature. After that, I’ll outline what I feel are the major pros and cons of each remote.


Features Comparison Table

Here is a quick comparison table that shows the features all Logitech Harmony Elite vs Companion products side-by-side. I’ll also include a second table that shows the full dimensions of each product later in this article. There are some subtle but notable differences.

Note: You may need to swipe horizontally to view the full table on mobile devices.
 Harmony EliteHarmony Companion
LCD Display


Physical Buttons
Haptic Feedback (Vibrates)
Auto Wake Up
Controls Devices Behind Cabinets
Wireless Technology
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Remote Control Technology
Infrared (IR)
Infrared (IR)
Replaces This Many AV Remotes
15
8
Controls This Many Smart Home Devices
Unlimited
Unlimited
Programmable Favorite Channels
50
50
Back-lit Buttons
All buttons are back-lit
Smart Speaker/Assistant Support
Alexa, Google Assistant
Alexa, Google Assistant
Battery
Lithium Ion Rechargeable
Lithium Ion Rechargeable
Battery Replaceable
Dimensions and Weight
See below.
See below.

Logitech Harmony Elite

harmony elite vs companion

OK, I promise I won’t beat a dead horse here but did I mention I love my Harmony Elite?  In addition to the coolness factor, it really is practical in that it helps you consolidate up to 15 remotes that are currently cluttering up your coffee table.  I was able to go from nine down to one. I love that I can integrate my smart lights in with my activities. Watching everything turn on at once is magic.

You also can get some pretty decent voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant. I published a list of Alexa commands here but they are essentially the same for Google as well. But like I said, I won’t prattle on any more about this remote ad nauseam. If you want to read my full review of the Elite, you can check it out here.

Video Review

Joel Comm does a really nice job with his recent Harmony Elite review.

Pros

  • Control as many as 15 home theater devices and unlimited smart devices.
  • Smartphone-like LCD screen is cool.
  • Clean ergonomic design with logical button layout based on extensive customer feedback.
  • Gives you voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons

  • It’s expensive.
  • It feels a little plasticky – I would prefer a bit more heft for such a premium device.

Where To Get It

Amazon often has the Elite on sale for as much as 20% off. You can get it at Amazon right here .


Logitech Harmony Companion

harmony elite vs companionDon’t get me wrong, just because I sing the praises of the Elite doesn’t mean the Harmony Companion is a bad remote. Quite the opposite. In fact, many industry experts, tout this as one of the best universal remotes you can buy. Amazon calls it the best remote for most people.

Functionally Companion can do everything the Elite can do pretty much, you just don’t get the snazzy screen. It will do activities, it will do Alexa and Google Voice commands, it will do smart home stuff as well as TV entertainment, and it gives you a backup remote on your phone. It will let only let you consolidate remotes for eight devices, but for many people that is enough.

Video Review

CNET calls the Harmony Companion the last remote you will ever need.  That’s how I feel about the Harmony Elite, but there you go.

Pros

  • Less expensive that Elite
  • Control smart device and home entertainment
  • Supports Activities just like the Elite
  • Can program 50 favorite channels just like the Elite

Cons

  • No LCD screen
  • Limited to control of eight entertainment devices
  • Buttons are not backlit, making it hard to see in the dark
  • Multiple customers have complained about issues with refurbished Companion remotes purchased on Amazon

Where to Get It

You can pick up the Harmony Companion over at Amazon here .


Device Compatibility

Here is a quick comparison table that shows Harmony Elite vs Companion device compatibility.

 Harmony EliteHarmony Companion
Smart TVs
Cable TV /Direct TV / Satellite TV
Most Video Projectors
Most A/V Receivers
Media Streamers
Smart Lights
Smart Thermostats
Smart Locks
IR-based Fireplaces
IR-based Ceiling Fans
Video Game Consoles

To check if a specific device is compatible with Harmony Elite, visit Logitech’s Device Compatibility Database.


Full Product Dimensions

Here the full product dimensions of the Harmony Elite vs Companion remote, hub and IR mini blasters.

 Harmony Elite Harmony Companion
Remote Width2.13in (54mm)13in (54.1mm)
Remote Depth / Length1.14in (29mm).81in (20.6mm)
Remote Height7.56in (192mm)7.25in (184.1mm)
Remote Weight5.78oz (163.8g)4.2oz (119.07g)
Hub Width4.07in (103.3mm)103.3mm
(4.07in)
Hub Depth/Length4.91in (124.7mm) cable: 5.4ft (1.6m)4.91in (124.7mm) cable: 5.4ft (1.6m)
Hub Height1.05in (26.5mm)1.05in (26.5mm)
Hub Weight3.95oz (112g)
3.95oz (112g)
IR mini blaster Width1.4in (35mm)1.4in (35mm)
IR Mini Blaster Depth /Length0.91in (23mm)
cable: 8.3ft (2.54m)
0.91in (23mm)
cable: 8.3ft (2.54m)
IR Mini Blaster Height0.5in (12mm)0.5in (12mm)
IR Mini Blaster Weight1.2oz (34g)1.2oz (34g)

What’s in the Box

The Harmony Elite box looks like this.

harmony elite vs companion

It contains the following:

  • Harmony Elite remote (with rechargeable battery)
  • Harmony Home Hub
  • Charging station
  • USB cable
  • 2 AC adapters
  • 2 IR mini blasters
  • User documentation

Harmony Elite vs Companion: What Do You Think?

So what do you think of these two remotes? Do you think the LCD screen on the Elite is the cat’s meow like me?

Or do you agree with the good folks over at CNET that the Harmony Companion is the last remote you will ever need?

Or maybe you think both of these remotes are total nonsense and you are fine to continue letting the remotes pile up on your coffee table.

Either way, I hope you found this comparison of Harmony Elite vs Companion helpful.

Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.


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About the Author

harmony elite vs companionTim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger

Tim Brennan [a.k.a. “Tec Timmy”] is a senior technical writer with over 25 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. When he is not blogging about Harmony Elite vs Companion, Tim is also a regular contributor over at oneSmartcrib.com, a smart home blog. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.

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