Most homes anymore are better suited for, or already equipped with a universal remote. One remote to control them all is the goal, and not only a remote to control them all, but a remote that does a good job at controlling them all! Up to this point, that’s been my biggest complaint and issue when it came to universal remotes. I never could find one remote that actually did a good job of controlling all my devices. Either the remote failed to control certain functions or it just flat-out couldn’t control my device. Well, I was lucky enough to get my hands on Logitech’s $50 universal remote model, the Harmony 300, and seriously, every single issue I’ve ever had with using a universal remote is a thing of the past!
- Controls 4 devices
- “Watch TV” button
- ergonomic design
- logical and convenient button placement
- Uses 2 AA batteries
- Programmable using a USB cable and software
- Affordable price at $49.99
- Programmable using a PC or Mac
- Works well at being a “remote”
- comfortable design
- Controls only 4 devices
- Requires a computer with internet access to configure and program
Logitech is known for many things, and one of the upward trends would be their growing choice of outstanding universal remotes, including their new Harmony line. The first thing to note is that the Harmony 300 is the only model that lacks an LCD screen, which can be a good and a bad thing (I’ll note that in a bit). Another drawback that the 300 model has on the other models is that it can not recharge batteries, it is powered by AAs. The device is also limited to only controlling 4 devices.
One of the aspects of the Harmony remote that sets it above all the rest, and allows it to be such a well-functioning universal remote, is that the 300 uses web-based software that you download from their website MyHarmony.com to allow you to program the remote using your computer and the provided USB cable. This might seem like a strange added step to simpler remotes, and the idea of your remote needing to sync to your computer similar to how you sync your iPhone with iTunes might seem a bit out there to some, but this is the magic of what makes this remote so great!
By using the software, you’re allowed to search for your specific device(s) using the make and model number, ensuring that the pairing is exact. If you have difficulty finding your device (like I did with my Dish Network DVR) the program will prompt you to help “teach” the Logitech remote by using your current remote. In my case, following the prompts allowed the remote to find my device properly, ensuring that the programming was correct. Beyond just the simple device selection, you’re able to reconfigure your remote to allow certain buttons to function as you wish, allowing you a truly custom remote if you wish to have it, including having 5 “favorite channel” buttons you can program go directly to the channel of your choosing. You’re also able to set macros, such as programming the “Watch TV” button to power your TV and cable box, then switching the TV to the proper input or channel.
Although it’s not on the high-end scale when it comes to remotes from Logitech if you’re looking for a simple, well made remote that gets the job done, and a relatively cheap price, then the Harmony 300 is for you. Although for just a little more money, you can get the next model up and gain an LCD screen and use the activity-based commands that the other Harmony remotes are known for. In which case, this would be a great remote for say kids playroom or a bedroom, where you mostly just need a remote to power on, change channels, and the volume. Regardless of use though, the Harmony 300 is a great universal remote.