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Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate? Hmm….which to choose, which to choose!
Thankfully, you have us to help you figure it all out. 😉
But, if you simply want to know the major differences between the two, here they are. The Harmony Elite includes a 65,000-color,128×128 pixels LCD touchscreen whereas the Ultimate has a 320X240 pixel QVGA screen. The Elite has an updated ergonomic design with the navigation buttons placed at the top of the remote as opposed to the Ultimate on the top, making the Elite easier to navigate. Moreover, the Elite’s battery is replaceable but the Ultimate’s is not.
Let’s start with a side-by-side features comparison.
Harmony Elite vs Ultimate: Side By Side
The following table illustrates the major feature differences of the Harmony Elite vs Ultimate Home side by side:
A Tough Decision
Which of these top two Logitech high-end remotes should you choose to control your smart home devices?
While the Harmony Ultimate (also called Ultimate Home) is very similar to the Harmony Elite, the Elite does have some extra features that may be important to the discerning smart home pioneer.
However, the recently discontinued Ultimate comes at a lower price.
You can see the latest pricing on Amazon at the links above. I will also include some buttons toward the end of the article with links over to Amazon.
Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate Home: Which to Choose
Harmony Ultimate is the predecessor to the Elite. It was recently discontinued by the manufacturer. But the Ultimate is still available at a much lower cost and offers most of the same features as the Elite.
Here is Logitech’s 30-second ad spot for the Harmony Elite remote.
You can check out Logitech’s Ultimate ad in the video below.
Similar Yet Different
When you weigh the major options for the Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate, they have many of the same capabilities. These include support for up to 15 devices, compatibility with Harmony’s database of over 270,000 products, and support for Amazon Alexa.
They also both now come with a hub, allow you to control devices behind closed cabinets, and will give you control over your smart home devices as well as your entertainment center.
The major difference between these two remotes is in the design. Users have complained about the placement of the buttons on the top and bottom of the Ultimate remote. (The complaint is that the remote requires too much back and forth navigation from top to bottom.) They also complain that the smart screen isn’t as nice as what you would get on a modern smartphone. Consequently, Logitech has addressed both of these problems with the newer Elite model, which has the buttons below a more modernized touch screen.
For some additional minor and technical differences between the two remotes, refer to the FAQ below.
The Ultimate Question
For the reasons cited above, we recommend the Logitech Harmony Elite. This is really the “ultimate” remote to give you full control over your smart home.
Regardless, you still may want to choose the Ultimate if you are:
- Interested in saving some coin over the more expensive Elite version.
- Cool with NOT having the latest technology from the manufacturer.
- Comfortable with the design, especially the location of the buttons on the top and bottom of the remote.
- Okay with using the touchscreen for most actions. That is, you don’t require physical buttons to automate certain tasks.
We recognize that the price for both of these remotes is not trivial, and the Ultimate does get you most of the same functionality at a lower price.
Harmony Elite Key Features
With so many satisfied customers, this is our top pick for a smart universal remote.
Swipe and tap to control activities, channels, volume, and more. You can also program up to 50 favorite channels so getting to the latest Walking Dead episode on AMC is a snap. The backlit touchscreen also lets you control smart home devices like Philips Hue lights.
Amazon-Certified for Alexa and Echo Dot
The Harmony Elite is compatible with Echo Dot 2 for the ultimate in smart home voice integration. Ask the Harmony Elite and Echo Dot to “Turn on the TV,” and Alexa powers up all required devices (Cable, soundbar, receiver).
Touch an Activity like “Watch a Movie” or “Play a Game” to automatically power on and switch multiple devices to the right settings. For example, “Watch a Movie” will fire up your TV, receiver (if part of your configuration), and soundbar at the same time.
Works with 270,000 Devices
Harmony supports control of a staggering 270,000 devices and the database is growing every day. Therefore, you can feel confident that the devices Harmony will control what you own today, and the ones you add tomorrow.
No More Remote Codes
Enter model numbers or brands to add your devices using Logitech’s intuitive software interface. You can do this from your PC, Mac, iOS, or Android operating system. As a result, no more scrambling to find those lost manuals and entering “secret codes” all night until you get the right lights to blink properly.
Harmony Mobile App
Turns iOS or Android smartphones or tablets into personal universal remote controls for the whole house. This is a great way for other family members to get in the game. However, the battle for the remote could take on a whole new dimension.
Closed Cabinet Control
The included Harmony Elite Hub gives you broad coverage and lets you control devices in closed cabinets, even when away from home.
Convenient Charging Station
The convenient charging station keeps your remote powered and within reach. There’s nothing to plug in. You just plop the remote into the dock.
Complete Home Automation
You can start or stop Harmony activities or devices according to schedules. For example, you can set the remote to turn on your smart lights at dusk or to have music playing when you get home from work in the evening.
Digital Media Control
Control your favorite streaming media players like Apple TV, Roku, or Tivo. In addition, you can control game consoles like Xbox, Wii, and PlayStation as well.
Harmony Ultimate Home Key Features
Works with Alexa for voice control.
Robust Radio Frequency (RF) Support
The Ultimate supports Infrared (IR), Bluetooth, and Wi‑Fi in addition to RF to control various devices. Elite does not support RF.
Closed Cabinet Control
Using the included Harmony Hub, the Ultimate controls your entire home entertainment system. This includes game consoles and devices hidden behind cabinet doors and walls. The Elite offers the same capabilities.
Powerful Remote Control Customization
Includes the ability to create one-touch activity sequences, adjust and remap buttons, set device delays and timing, plus more.
No Remote Control Codes
Set up is made simple using Logitech’s software. You just input the device make and model into the software interface and Harmony does the rest.
Intuitive Color Touch Screen
Tap to access and switch between entertainment activities with shortcuts for your most frequently used commands.
Ultimate Convenience Features
These include vibration feedback touchscreen, up to 50 favorite channel icons, back-lit buttons, and the recharging station.
Robust OS Support
The software to configure your devices runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS 10.5+.
Future-Proof Control of Up to 15 Devices
Works with 5,000 plus brands and 225,000 plus devices, with newly released devices added regularly to the online device database.
What’s in the Box
While it used to be that the Ultimate didn’t have a hub, this is no longer true. The contents of the Elite and Ultimate boxes are identical. The only difference is the remote.
- Ultimate Home remote or Elite remote (with rechargeable battery)
- Harmony Home Hub
- Two IR mini-blasters
- Charging station
- USB cable
- AC adapter
Where to Buy Them
We’ll include some buttons below that include direct links and current pricing to the products on Amazon.com.
Click on the badge below to see the latest Logitech Harmony Elite pricing on Amazon:
Click on the badge below to see the latest Harmony Ultimate Home pricing on Amazon:
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is the difference in price for the Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate?
A: Depending on where you shop, we’ve seen prices for the Elite range from $200-$320. Prices for the Ultimate Home have fallen dramatically since Logitech discontinued the remote. The range at the time of this writing was between $120 and $200. This can put the difference for the Harmony Elite vs Ultimate at well over $100.
Q: Can I configure the Harmony Ultimate using my Smartphone?
A: Yes, if you decide to go with the Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate, refer to the following system requirements (from Amazon) for configuration:
- Internet access: Wi-Fi: Supports 802.11g/n, WPA Personal, WPA2-AES and 64/128-bit WEP encryption.
- For iOS mobile setup and control: iPhone 4S or later, iPad (3rd generation or later), iPad mini, iPod touch (5th generation or later) device with iOS 6.0 or higher.
- For Android mobile setup and control: Wi-Fi enabled smartphone with Android 4.0 or later.
- Harmony App: download from the App Store or Google Play. A supported mobile device is required for setup and control of some home automation devices.
- For Windows-based PC setup: Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
- For Intel-based Mac OS computer setup: Mac OS X 10.6 or higher.
Q: Is the Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote really fully compatible with Amazon Alexa?
A: Yes, the Ultimate product has also been certified for use with Amazon Echo and other compatible Alexa devices. However, it is unclear whether older versions of the Ultimate are compatible without an upgraded Hub. Make sure you purchase the remote that includes the Hub and is marked Certified for Alexa.
Q: What are some common Alexa commands I can use to control my Harmony devices?
A: Some examples:
- Ask: “Alexa, turn on the TV.”
- Say: “Alexa, turn off my Xbox.”
- Ask: “Alexa, turn off my entertainment center” to power everything off.
- If you have a Roku, you can say: “Alexa, turn on Netflix” (or HULU) and Harmony will automatically switch over to that content.
Q: I read that I cannot use the Ultimate to control devices stored in my entertainment center behind cabinet doors is this correct?
A: No. This is no longer true. Thus, make sure you get the version with the Hub and you can control devices behind cabinets just like the Elite.
Q: What are some other differences between the Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate Remote?
According to the Logitech forums, three other differences are:
- The Elite has extra physical buttons for home control applications (e.g. lighting).
- Harmony Elite Hub comes with more internal memory than the Harmony Ultimate Home Universal Remote.
- The battery on the Ultimate is not replaceable.
Q: What other Harmony remotes work with Alexa?
A: Currently only the Harmony Elite and Harmony Ultimate work with Alexa on Dot 2 and other compatible devices. Moreover, the less expensive Harmony Hub will let you control up to eight devices through Alexa using your smartphone. Some users have complained that the app is buggy and has consistency issues.
Here are some additional links related to Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate:
- Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate One: Quick Comparison Guide [with Table]
- Our Full Review of Logitech Harmony Elite
- Harmony Elite vs Companion [2020 Side-By-Side Comparison]
- Logitech Harmony Ultimate vs Ultimate Home vs Ultimate One vs Ultimate Hub
- Logitech Harmony Comparison Chart – All Remotes [Complete 2019 Guide]
- More In-Depth Comparison on OneSmartcrib.com
- 11 Best Smart Remotes [for TV, Home Theater & Smart Device Control]
- Logitech’s Web Site
- CNET Review of Harmony Ultimate
Harmony Elite vs Ultimate: What Do You Think?
We hope you enjoyed our review of the Logitech Harmony Ultimate vs Elite universal /smart home remote controls.
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About the Author
Tim Brennan is founder Writeinteractive, Inc., and owner of smart home technology site and blog oneSmartcrib.com Tim became obsessed with smart home tech after purchasing Amazon Alexa. “One of my biggest pet peeves in life is that so much tech just doesn’t work the way it should. Alexa is the clear exception and hopefully a sign of things to come. From the minute you turn it on, Alexa just works consistently, and she is always there when I need her,” he said. When he’s not crushing on Alexa, Brennan is a father to two sons, he is an active blogger on oneSmartcrib and UniversalRemoteReviews.com, an obsessive Star Wars fan, and he loves a good taco. You can learn more about Tim here.