logitech harmony elite vs companion vs hub vs smart control

Harmony Elite vs Companion vs Hub vs Smart Control [2020 Guide]

In Comparisons by Tim Brennan2 Comments

In this article, I compare the Harmony Elite vs Companion vs Hub vs Smart Control “hub-based” remote controls from Logitech.

I am often asked about the key differences among these Harmony hub-based remotes, so I put together some interactive comparison charts so you can review the features of each remote side by side.

The main differences are price, design, number of supported devices, and whether they have an LCD touchscreen. There are also some more subtle differences. I will cover them all here.

I’ll also do my best to help you come away knowing the important differences between Harmony Hub-based and IR based remotes.

Let’s do this.


Hub vs IR Based Remotes

Logitech manufacturers and supports two types of Harmony remotes: Hub-based remotes and Infrared [IR] remotes.

Hub Remotes

Hub-based remotes work with a Harmony Hub and control your devices using a Wi-fi or Bluetooth Signal. Generally speaking, Harmony Hub-based remotes can be used to control your smart home devices (e.g., smart lights, thermostats, blinds, other hubs, etc.) as well as the devices in your entertainment center.  Harmony Hub Based products are also compatible with smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

harmony elite vs companion vs hub vs smart control

Home Technology Multimedia Smart Home Smartphone

IR Remotes

IR remotes do not require the Harmony Hub and control your IR-based devices using an infrared signal. They do not support Wi-fi or Bluetooth smart home devices or Alexa /Google Home. IR-based remotes can like control most devices in your entertainment center, however. They will typically require line of site [LoS] to these devices, meaning performance will degrade significantly when trying to control devices behind closed cabinets or in other rooms.

harmony elite vs companion hub smart control

 


Logitech Harmony Products By Type [All]

Here’s a breakdown of all Harmony remotes by type [Hub or IR]. You can use the Search field to filter the table to specific results. For example, if you just want to see the Hub remotes, enter “Hub.”

Harmony Remote BrandType
EliteHub
Home ControlHub
Home HubHub [now Harmony Hub]
HubHub
OneIR Discontinued*
Smart ControlHub
CompanionHub
TouchIR Discontinued
UltimateHub Discontinued [replaced by Elite]
Ultimate HomeHub Discontinued [replaced by Elite]
Ultimate HubHub Discontinued [replaced by Elite]
Ultimate OneHub Discontinued [replaced by Elite]
950IR
600/650/665/700IR [600 and 700 Discontinued]
200/300/350IR [200 and 300 Discontinued]

If you are interested, you can see a more detailed comparison that explains the differences between Hub and IR remotes on Logitech’s website.


Harmony Hub Remotes: Quick Product Overviews

Harmony Elite

The Harmony Elite is Logitech’s top-of-the-line universal remote control for controlling both your smart home devices and devices in your entertainment center. As noted about you also get to use Alexa for voice control, and you get unlimited Harmony apps. You can read a nice review of the Harmony Elite here.

Some features that make it stand out in comparison with the other Hub remotes are as follows:

  • Full-color touch LCD screen for all functions
  • Supports up to 15 devices in your media /smart home arsenal
  • Tap and swipe control supported
  • Haptic feedback on touchscreen
  • Backlit buttons
  • All buttons are fully customizable

See the Harmony Elite on Amazon

Harmony Companion

The Harmony Companion is a great budget option if you’re looking for a high-end remote to control up to 8 devices with many of the same features as the Elite and Ultimate.  The obvious main difference is that the Companion doesn’t have an LCD touchscreen. Also, the home control buttons are limited to certain activities, which is not true on the Elite.  However, you can use it with the Harmony app and Alexa for voice control.  You can read a detailed review of Harmony Companion here.

See Harmony Companion on Amazon

Harmony Smart Control

harmony elite vs companion hub smart control

Harmony Smart Control is nearly identical to the companion in every way from a functionality perspective. It will also control up to 8 devices, including smart home stuff and Alexa. The main difference is the design.  The Smart Control comes with a smaller, lighter remote that is liked by some customers. However, other customers complain the buttons are too small.  You can read a comparison of Harmony Companion vs Smart Control here.

See Harmony Smart Control on Amazon

Harmony Hub

harmony elite vs companion hub smart control

If you just want a way to control multiple devices using your smartphone and Alexa [without an actual all-in-one physical remote] then the Logitech Harmony Hub is a good affordable way to go. You can add a harmony remote later, such as the 950, if you decide you want a physical remote in addition to the Hub You can read a review that outlines the differences between the Elite and Hub here.

See the Harmony Hub on Amazon


Logitech Harmony Comparison Charts: Hub Based Remotes

We will include the following comparison tables to help you compare and contrast these remotes:

  • What’s in the Box
  • Key Features Comparison
  • Compatibility Matrix

Harmony Comparison: Key Features of Hub-Based Remotes

The following table displays key features of the remote control and Hub:

 Elite /ProCompanionSmart ControlHub
ColorBlackBlack or WhiteBlackBlack
Dimensions6 x 2 x 0.6 inches10 x 5.4 x 3.5 inches6.7 x 2.2 x .7 inches4.16 x 4.88 x 1.0
Weight2.43 pounds3.84 ounces3.92 oz
Remote Control TechnologyInfrared [IR]IRIRIR
Wireless TechnologyBluetooth, IEEE 802.11b/g/nBluetooth, IEEE 802.11b/g/nBluetooth, IEEE 802.11b/g/nBluetooth, IEEE 802.11b/g/n
Wireless ProtocolWi‑Fi 2.4GHzWi‑Fi 2.4GHzWi‑Fi 2.4GHzWi‑Fi 2.4GHz
Bluetooth Device SupportYesYesYesYes
Number of Controlled Devices15888
Number of Supported Devices275000275000275000275000
Color LCD ScreenYesNoNoNA
Haptic Feedback [Vibrates]YesNoNoNA
Works with Alexa, Google AssistantYesYesYesYes
Customizable ButtonsYesYesYesYes
Backlit ButtonsAllNoNoNA
Start/End ActivitiesYesYesYesYes
Numberr of Favorite Channels50505050
MyHarmony desktop software for setupPC/MacPC/MacPC/MacPC/Mac
Harmony mobile app support for setupiOS / AndroidiOS / AndroidiOS / AndroidiOS / Android
Harmony mobile app as remote controlYesYesYesYes
Schedule Activities to Start /EndYesYesYesYes
Start/End Activities using a sensorYesYesYesYes
Control devices behind closed cabinetsYesYesYesYes
Supports Add-On Harmony HubIncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
Smart Control Add-OnYesNoNoYes
Smart Keyboard Add-onYesYesYesYes
BatteryLithium ion [Recharable]Replaceable coin cell battery (CR2032)]Replaceable coin cell battery (CR2032)NA
Battery Life3-7 Days1 Year1 YearNA
Warranty1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year

Compatibility Matrix

The compatibility matrix shows which smart home devices you can control using each Logitech Hub-based remote

 EliteCompanionSmart ControlHub
Control smart home devicesYesYesYesYes
Control Bluetooth devicesYesYesYesYes
(e.g., Amazon Fire TV, Playstation 4)
Control IP supported devicesYesYesYesYes
(e.g., Dish Hopper, Roku, Sony's Android TV)
Control smart speakersYesYesYesYes
(e.g., Sonos, HEOS)
Control smart lightsYesYesYesYes
(e.g., Lutron Caséta, Hue, LIFX)YesYesYesYes
Control thermostatsYesYesYesYes
(e.g., Nest, Honeywell, Ecobee)
Control blinds/shadesYesYesYesYes
(e.g., Lutron Caséta, Hunter Douglas)
Control other smart home hubsYesYesYesYes
(e.g., SmartThings, Insteon)
Control Z-Wave & Zigbee devicesYesYesYesYes
(Using Harmony Home Hub Extender)
Control Video Game Consoles [Xbox, PS4, Wii, etc.]

 What’s In the Box

The following table displays a summary of what you get in the box with each remote:

 Elite/ProCompanionSmart ControlHub

Includes Physical RemoteYesYesYesNo
Includes HubYesYesYesYes
Includes Charging StationYesNoNoNA
USB Cable for Set Up1111
AC Adapters2111
IR Mini Blaster[s]2111
User DocumentationYesYesYesYes

Logitech Harmony Elite vs Companion vs Hub vs Smart Control – Your Turn

So what do you think of this Harmony Elite Vs Companion vs Hub vs Smart Control comparison?

Did you find the interactive tables helpful?

Do you plan to purchase any of these hub-based remotes?

Or perhaps you plan to purchase an IR-based remote?

Either way, I hope you will leave a comment below and let me know.  I would love to hear from you.


You Might Also Like

If you liked this article, would you mind sharing it using the social media buttons on this page?

If you enjoyed reading this, you might also like some of our other articles featuring Harmony remotes.  I’ll list a few of them below. Thanks for stopping by!


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.

Comments

  1. Great article. So the first gen could control smart home devices.
    The Harmony hub also but more?? Better?? Where does the difference lies?

  2. Author

    Hey Justin,
    Thanks for writing in. All of the products in this review will control both smart home devices and home entertainment devices equally since they all rely on the same underlying technology (the Harmony Hub). The “Harmony Hub” product is sold by itself (no remote) and you use a smartphone app to control the devices on supported iOS and Android phones. The other three ship with both remotes AND the Hub. The remotes communicate with the hub to control your smart devices. Let me know if you have additional questions. Glad you liked the article!

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