harmony express vs elite vs companion

Logitech Harmony Express vs Elite vs Companion: Decisions, Decisions!

In Comparisons by Tim BrennanLeave a Comment

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.

Our Recommendation

logitech harmony express vs elite vs companionIf you can afford it, get the Harmony Elite.  Its beautiful, color LCD touch screen with swipe-and-tap navigation, haptic feedback, and backlit buttons plus support for 15 devices make it an excellent future forward remote for both home entertainment and smart things. However, if you are on a budget the eight-device Companion will do nicely minus the cool LCD screen. Then again, if you love the idea of controlling your TV almost entirely with Amazon Alexa, Harmony’s new Express remote is worth a look. There are other alternatives for voice control with Alexa and better remotes sure, but the easy setup and broad support for Alexa commands make this remote a great choice for those who don’t want to deal with more technical options.

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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.

Best for Alexa
Harmony Express
Technology: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and IR devices
Devices Supported: 275,000 and growing
Device Control Limit: 15
Favorite Channels: N/A
Color LCD Touchscreen: No
Controls Streaming Apps Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, Vudo, HBO: Yes
Controls Smart Home: Yes
Find Lost Remote Feature: Yes
Works with Assistants: Amazon Alexa
Voice Commands: Extensive
Smartphone App: No
Batteries: Lithium Ion Rechargeable
Battery Life: 3-7 Days on Charge
 
Top Pick
Logitech Harmony Elite
Technology: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and IR devices
Devices Supported: 275,000 and growing
Device Control Limit: 15
Favorite Channels: 50
Color LCD Touchscreen: Yes
Controls Streaming Apps Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, Vudo, HBO: Yes
Controls Smart Home: Yes
Find Lost Remote Feature: No
Works with Assistants: Google, Amazon, Apple
Voice Commands: Limited
Smartphone App: Yes
Battery: Lithium Ion Rechargeable
Battery Life: 3-7 Days on Charge
 
Budget Pick
Harmony Companion
Technology: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and IR devices
Devices Supported: 275,000 and growing
Device Control Limit: 8
Favorite Channels: N/A
Color LCD Touchscreen: No
Controls Streaming Apps Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, Vudo, HBO: Yes
Controls Smart Home Yes
Find Lost Remote Feature: No
Works with Assistants: Google, Amazon, Apple
Voice Commands: Limited
Smartphone App: Yes
Battery: Replaceable coin cell
Battery Life: 1 year
 

Harmony Express: Quick Reviewharmony express vs elite vs companion

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:

Pros

Pros

  • 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

Cons

Cons

  • 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 Harmony Elite: Quick Reviewharmony express vs elite vs companion

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.

Pros

Pros

  • 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

Cons

Cons

  • 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 Reviewharmony express vs elite vs companionThe 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.

Pros

Pros

  • 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)

Cons

Cons

  • 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

Similarities

  • 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.

Key Differences

  • 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.

logitech harmony express vs elite vs companion


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!


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About the Author

harmony express vs elite vs companion

Tim Brennan,  Technical Writer & Entrepreneur

Tim “Tec Timmy” 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 ElectricMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyBlue Cross Blue ShieldLiberty Mutual, and Biogen.

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