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In this article, we compare the brand-spanking-new Harmony Express vs Elite vs Companion. Which of Logitech’s universal remotes should you choose to rock your entertainment center and smart devices? Find out below.
The Bottom Line First
We know you’re busy just like us. So, if you just want our opinion on which remote to buy out of these three, the choice is clear.
Dare to Compare
In this article, we compare Logitech’s new Express remote with two what are arguably the two most popular Logitech Harmony Products: the Harmony Companion and the Harmony Elite. As we mention in our full Logitech Harmony Express review published earlier today, the Express is a good option for anyone who wants to control their TV using Alexa. While it hard to find something wrong with the Harmony Elite, there are some shortcomings with all three remotes. We’ll review the pros and cons of each remote in more detail below.
Harmony Express vs Elite vs Companion: Comparison Chart
Here’s a table that shows each of the remotes side-by-side so you can compare major features. We will also provide a more detailed specifications table down below.
Harmony Express is Logitech’s newest remote and is the first real departure from the Harmony Hub based remotes in years. The company redesigned the remote from the ground up. The physical remote is much smaller than any of the other remotes in the Harmony line. This is because Logitech fully expects that you won’t use for much other than to press the button to talk to Alexa. The Hub has been replaced by a “Blaster” which really is a hub for an intents and purposes. The blaster is what communicates with your home entertainment and smart home stuff via Alexa. There is also a find lost remote feature that will come in handy in case the remote falls into your sofa cushions.
Thanks to our friends at TekThing for the usual great video review:
- New set up feature is simpler and more intuitive that other Harmony remotes
- Broad and responsive voice control using Amazon Alexa to power TV, off and on, launch streaming media apps, adjust volume, tune to channels and specific content and more
- Supports all major streaming services including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV
- Find my remote feature helps you find “lost” remote control
- Very streamlined remote makes you rely too heavily on Alexa for all things
- Unable to search for content (if content search with Alexa is a priority check out our Caavo remote review)
- No LCD touchscreen
- Plastic remote feels a little cheap
- No way to execute find lost remote feature with a voice command – it must be done through the Harmony app
Logitech’s flagship universal remote is still the best remote you can buy today. And it still gets our top recommendation. Why? It is just an outstanding remote for controlling both your smart home devices as well as devices in your entertainment center. While Alexa voice control support is more limited, it is there. Plus, you get the Harmony Hub which gives everyone in your family a personalized remote that they can use on their smartphone.
Thank to Undecided with Matt Ferrell for this outstanding video review.The Harmony Elite lets you control up to 15 devices. Setup takes a bit of work collecting and inputting device manufacturers and models, but it is automated using Logitech’s intuitive software. Of course, all of this comes at price. The Elite is expensive. But it regularly goes on sale at Amazon and prices have been lower than we have seen in recent weeks. Tom’s Guide, Home Theater Review, TechRadar, and many others all agree that this is the best remote out there.
- Supports up to 15 devices in your media /smart home arsenal
- Tap and swipe control supported
- Haptic feedback with touchscreen (it vibrates in response to commands)
- Backlit buttons
- Full-color touch LCD screen for all functions
- All buttons are fully customizable
- Alexa for voice control
- Alexa voice control commands more limited than Express
- No find my remote feature
- Setup is a bit more complex than Express [requires USB connect to PC]. We do NOT recommend smartphone setup method.
- It’s expensive.
Logitech Harmony Companion: Quick Review
The Harmony Companion is basically the Harmony Elite without the touch screen. It also comes with a Hub, which means all of the same commands are supported and you get unlimited smartphone apps too. Alexa and Google Home commands are more limited than what you will get with Alexa and the Harmony Express remote, but then again, that’s the point. Perhaps one day we’ll see an upgraded version of the Elite and Companion that includes the simpler set up. You can also read our full review of the Harmony Companion to see how it stacks up against another popular Harmony Hub remote.
Thanks to SimplyPops for the helpful demo of how the Companion works with Alexa for limited voice control.
- Controls devices using physical remote or smartphone
- Comes in Black and White
- No line of sight required for components [works with components stowed behind closed doors in your entertainment center]
- More affordable than Harmony Elite
- Up to 50 programmable favorites (on smartphone app)
- Limited to a total of eight devices
- No color LCD touch screen
- Limited to basic Alexa and Google Voice commands
- Six Home Control buttons are limited to certain activities
- Matte black finish is kinda blah
- Users complain about setup issues with the app –TechHive’s describes some of the issues in their review.
Similarities and Differences
- All three remotes will work with Alexa.
- Harmony Elite and Companion are very similar in features, except the Companion doesn’t have the touch screen.
- They will all let you control Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and IR devices.
- They will all let you control devices behind closed cabinets; IR mini blasters that ship with all 3 units may help.
- They all work with both home entertainment and smart home devices.
- They all have the ability to trigger scenes.
- Only the Harmony Express has Alexa built in, Harmony Elite and Companion support limited commands through the Hub.
- There is a very limited set of buttons on the Harmony Express.
- The Harmony Elite and Companion come with a hub, Harmony Express comes with a blaster.
- Harmony App will only work with Elite and Companion.
- Set up is much easier with the Harmony Express.
Which Remote Should You Buy?
The Harmony Elite is the best remote you can buy today. It is ideal for anyone looking to control home entertainment and smarthome using a beautiful swipe and tap touchscreen interface. This is the remote you should buy if you can afford it.
The Harmony Companion is the poor man’s Elite. It offers nearly all of the same functionality, with a less cool remote. This is the remote to buy if you can’t afford the Harmony Elite or SevenHugs Smart Remote, which we like a lot too.
Harmony’s newest remote is ideal for customers who don’t want to use a remote at all and would rather control their TV using their voice.
Harmony Express vs Elite vs Companion: Detailed Specifications
Detailed specifications table coming soon.
Logitech Harmony Express vs Elite vs Companion: Sound Off
We hope you enjoyed our Logitech Harmony Express vs Elite vs Companion review and comparison.
So what do you think about these three remotes? Do you prefer the snazzy touchscreen on the Elite or superior Alexa integration of the Express? Or perhaps you think both of these remotes are too expensive and prefer the lower-priced Companion model?
Please leave a comment below and let us know. Also, if you got some value from this article, would you mind sharing it on social media using the colorful buttons at the top of this page? It would really help us out. Thanks so much!
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like some of our other posts:
- Harmony Elite vs Companion [2020 Side-By-Side Comparison]
- Logitech Harmony Companion Specifications
- What is the Best Verizon Fios Remote Replacement?
- Logitech Harmony Companion Review [and Comparison vs Smart Control]
- Sevenhugs vs Logitech Harmony: Which ‘Smart Remote’ Is More ‘Elite?’
- Logitech Harmony Elite Review 2019: 10 Reasons This Remote Still Rocks
About the Author
Tim Brennan is Founder and CEO of Writeinteractive, Inc., a professional services firm that helps companies solve technical content challenges. He is also an owner of a smart home technology blog oneSmartcrib.com and a regular contributor to UniversalRemoteReviews.com. UniversalRemoteReviews.com is a website that specializes in reviewing smart remote controls and related technologies. Brennan is a father to two sons, and he manages the day-to-day operations of Writeinteractive.
He is also an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and a huge proponent of the Oxford comma.
Tim holds a B.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University. For more than 25 years he has worked as a technical writer and senior technical writer for organizations in and around Boston. These include General Electric, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Liberty Mutual, and Biogen.