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Easy to set up, sometimes annoying to use – Review Geek



Rating:
7/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute hot garbage
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Heavily defective design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptable imperfectly
  • 6 – Good enough for that Sale
  • 7 – Great but not the best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with a few footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money [19659004] 10 ̵
    1; Absolut Design Nirvana

Price: 250 USD

  The Harmony Express Remote Control, IR Blaster, and Mini-IR Blaster
Logitech

Logitech Harmony remotes are among the most rugged and powerful universal remote controls there. However, this force leads to complicated setup processes and confusing control. The $ 250 Harmony Express wants to make things easier. Will that succeed? Yes, mostly.

Here's what we like.

  • Super easy to set up.
  • Even easier to use.
  • Controls your smart home. You have to talk to the remote.
  • Being confused by other controllers.
  • Everyone in the household needs to talk to the TV.

The Harmony Express is an unusual universal remote control system from Logitech. The controller itself is so inconspicuous that it could be confused for a Roku remote. You will not find a display or many buttons. However, this does not mean that it is not powerful.

Harmony Express can do almost anything that any other Harmony remote control system can, and it has an extra trick in the bag. The remote also functions as Amazon Echo and allows you to control the voice of your media center. You can turn on your TV, open Netflix, or start your PS4 or Xbox by voice. And fortunately, of course, commands are also useful: "Open Xbox" turns on your TV, surround sound, and Xbox as you move everything to the right source.

The voice control is unfortunately not an optional feature. Whenever you want to use sources of change, for example from Xbox to your Roku, you must use your voice to make the jump. The controller has no input or source button at all.

The special feature of Harmony Express, however, is the simple setup.

The decor is a breeze.

  The Harmony Express app shows various input options and setup dialogs.
The app is incredibly easy to use. And the "Find My Remote" button is a nice bonus.

I have a pretty complicated media center that includes a Roku TV with an Xbox, a PS4 and a surround sound system. The surround sound system also includes a Nintendo Switch, Wii U and Nvidia Shield. Even so, I still had the Harmony Express running in about fifteen minutes.

This is not least due to the incredibly intuitive app of the Harmony Express. I have positioned and connected the Harmony Main IR Blaster and the Mini Blaster. The main blaster goes outdoors, and the mini blaster is useful when a stereo or other IR device is blocked by the doors of your entertainment center. Just plug it in front of the blocked device. After connecting my Amazon and Logitech accounts, the Harmony Express automatically found TV, Xbox, PS4 and Switch thanks to its Wi-Fi connections. It took me through a pairing process and then allowed me to manually add stereo and Wii U.

After the stereo was programmed, sorting out sources was a simple drag-and-drop operation. You drag the icon for a device (for example, Roku or Nvidia Switch) and drop it on the appropriate connection, for example: HDM1 or HDMI2.

The app has automatically asked me to pair with my Xbox and Playstation and asked for the time should hear sound from the TV and if it should pump through the stereo. I was ready to use the controller shortly.

A simplified universal controller for most things.

  A Harmony Express remote control with illuminated buttons.
The buttons light up when you lift the remote control. Josh Hendrickson

The Logitech controller looks like a premium Roku remote with illuminated buttons that turn on when you lift the thing. The telltale sign that this is a different controller is the big round button on the top that activates Alexa. It looks and feels good, and the simple layout is easy to use.

Whenever possible, the controller reassigns its buttons during operation to control the device you are using. Did you turn on your Xbox? It is an Xbox Media Controller. Jump to Roku? It's a Roku remote. Choose the PS4; Now it's a PlayStation Media remote. The system can communicate via IR, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, covering an extensive list of devices. There are enough of the usual buttons, such as Home, Back, Volume up and Volume down, to work just about anywhere.

You do not have to do anything at your end as long as you've used the Logitech controller to swap the source. The downside is that voice control is handy if you did not use this controller to change the source.

A man talking to the Harmony Express remote. ” width=”1600″ height=”900″ data-credittext=”Logitech” src=”/pagespeed_static/1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif” onload=”pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);” onerror=”this.onerror=null;pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);”/>
To Speak Press and hold the center button on the remote control. Speak your command and let go. Logitech

It's nice that I do not have to remember which input the Xbox or the switch is connected to. I can say "turn on " and it turns on the right source and then turns on the device if it can. That's comfortable. Better yet, with everything turned off, I can say "Open Netflix," and the Harmony Express turns on my stereo and TV and calls Netflix. This is a performance that usually requires the setup of complicated routines, but here it just works. Logitech promises that you can choose which source to use for Netflix or Amazon Video, but when I tried to make the change, I could not. In the app it says that Harmony Express always launches the app on my TCL television due to the Alexa integration of Roku. I use my Roku interface to watch Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, I do not mind, but if you have a TV with Roku and you prefer another device like Apple TV or Playstation for your streaming services, you might want it keep

I'm equally impressed with Logitech's implementation of Alexa. Any voice command can be used in a natural way, be it "turn on Playstation" or "open Hulu". Everything else you can do with Alexa, like controlling your smart home, works with the Harmony Express.

Except when it is not

  The Harmony Express remote control with the various buttons.
My kingdom for a source button! Even if I could press and hold the Home button. Josh Hendrickson

But sometimes I do not want to talk to my controller. Unfortunately, the only way to change sources from the controller is to hear the voice. There is only no "Source" button to toggle the inputs. If I do not have to change – say, I'm already on Roku TV and want to watch Prime Video – I'm fine. But the moment I want to switch to the Xbox or Nintendo Switch, I have to talk to the remote.

For that reason alone, my wife refuses to use the thing. She never wants to talk to the TV. That leads to conflicts; When switching from Xbox to Roku with another remote, the Logitech controller is mismatched. Since there are no ads on the remote, I can not say it will not work until I try it and it fails, which is frustrating. I'm forced to talk to the remote control to fake switch inputs so she can re-assign their keys. And that is the downfall of the system.

Harmony Express is simple, powerful, but reliable in voice control.

  A Harmony Express remote control next to the main IR blaster.
The Harmony Express system is simple and elegant. easy to use and frustrating at the same time. Josh Hendrickson

Universal remote controls, especially powerful, can be complicated and frustrating in the setup. The setup process of Harmony Express turns this way of thinking on its head. It is powerful and easy to use at the same time. If you have always wanted a Harmony remote, but are intimidated by the setup or tons of buttons, I would probably recommend the Harmony Express. With some limitations.

You must be ready to hide all other remote controls for your Media Center. This is usually the basic requirement of a universal remote control, so no big deal. Unless you also need to be ready to talk to your TV. If you do not like voice assistants or do not often send commands to your media center, you may want to think twice before purchasing the Harmony Express.

And if you live in a multi-person house I want to make sure everyone is ready to use it. Because unless everyone is prepared to commit themselves to voice commands, the system causes as much frustration as it solves. But for the right person with the right expectations, it's a good universal remote that anyone can use.

What we like

  • Super easy to set up
  • Even easier to use
  • Controls your smarthome
  • Has illuminated buttons

And what we do not do

  • You have to talk to the remote [19659004] Being confused by other controllers
  • Everyone in the household needs to talk to the TV [19659068]! Function (f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {if (f.fbq) return; n = f.fbq = function () {n.callMethod? N.callMethod.apply (n, arguments): n.queue.push (arguments)}; if (! f._fbq) f._fbq = n; n.push = n; n.loaded =! 0; n.version = & # 39; 2.0 & # 39 ;; n.queue = []; t = b.createElement (e); t.async =! 0; t.src = v; s = b.getElementsByTagName (s) [0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore (t, s)} (window, document, & # 39; script & # 39 ;, & # 39; https: //connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js'); fbq (& # 39; init & # 39 ;, 1131193656460433 & # 39;); fbq (& # 39; track & # 39 ;, & # 39; PageView & # 39;);
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