Logitech Harmony One Remote Control Review

A

admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
When a new Logitech Harmony Remote arrives on the scene I like to review it to update readers on the latest models in the line-up. With the introduction of the Harmony One universal remote I felt that Logitech had finally completely usurped the original Harmony design and replaced it with a "from the ground up" approach that reflected Logitech's penchant for svelte devices. In case you were still navigating through that last bit of pontifical text, I was giving them a high compliment. Logitech's Harmony One remote is quite possibly the most beautiful remote control I've ever held.


Discuss "Logitech Harmony One Remote Control Review" here. Read the article.
 
GlocksRock

GlocksRock

Audioholic Spartan
Excellent review, and I concur with everything said about it. I was very leary of getting a universal remote, but since I found this one on sale, and had a coupon and gift card I bought it only to be very pleasantly surprised at how goot it actually was. It's still expensive, but it does everything I need it to, and with the addition of a Nyko Blu Wave IR receiver, I can use the harmony one to control my PS3, but can't actually turn it on, but can do everything else but eject a disc with the remote like you can with the blue tooth PS3 remote. I'm glad I waited for so long to get this, otherwise I would probably have a Harmony 880 and been a bit dissapointed after spending that much money, but with the harmony one, I feel that everything is in the right place, the remote feels wonderful in my hand, is pretty easy to program, and a rechargeable battery is just icing on the cake. This definitely isn't the end all be all remote, but you can find it for around $200 or less, so even at that price point it's still not cheap, but it's a nice remote and definitely can simplify the process of using your gear.
 
R

rsd22

Audioholic Intern
Outstanding review!! And what timing at that. I just purchased a new receiver and new blu-ray so I have 4 remotes & 3 look like identical. An adventure at best. Call it an impossibility for the wife :(. After reading your review I believe I'll be picking one of these up this week....Thanks so much!!
 
itschris

itschris

Moderator
Great review. I just whish it had RF. Hopefully "The Two" is in the works.
 
1

10010011

Senior Audioholic
I would have to disagree, while I found the Harmony to do it's job well enough.

My family found it far too difficult to operate, if my wife attempted to use it we would always end up in a screaming match over it.

I thought programming it was a pain in the you know what, and if you moved it even slightly while performing an "activity" the entire system would get out of sync and you have to step through that horrible help system to get things back.
I often found it faster to just put down the Harmony and pick up the Tivo remote waste time getting it back in sync.

I ended up selling mine on Craigs List for about half what I paid for it and don't even miss it.
 
J

jamie2112

Banned
I really didn't like my harmony remote. I am really sold on URC as they have the best customer service and their remotes are easier to use for my kids and wife. And they have RF as well......
 
R

rsd22

Audioholic Intern
I really didn't like my harmony remote. I am really sold on URC as they have the best customer service and their remotes are easier to use for my kids and wife. And they have RF as well......
This could be a deal breaker for me. Why do you say it was easier for the wife?
 
J

jamie2112

Banned
I say that because she is not very good with remotes and she can use the URC remote with no issues I have even shown her how to program it and she now does it herself..I would recommend looking into URC remotes..
 
adk highlander

adk highlander

pessimistic optimist
I have an 880 which has become a major flake as of late. If I need to update anything it freezes when connected to my computer and I have to do a safe mode trick which still takes at least 3 times. This all started after their latest software "update".

This past weekend I ordered a URC MX-810 to take over. I have a MX-850 already that we use for a variety of rooms now. I know the 810 has a similar activity function as to the 880 but is supposed to be more customizable.

The One looks like a serious stup up in ergonomics but I don't know if I would take the chance again with their software. I hate software that is online only.
 
W

westcott

Audioholic General
Great review. I was going to upgrade my remote to this one but I bought the 1000 instead because it supports RF.

The 1000 is not as easy to handle ergonimically as the One but it has a little more wow factor.

No worries. None of my Logitech remotes sit around. They eventually serve duty in other areas of the house. My wife loves them and it makes the whole HT experience as pleasant for her and me as possible.
 
J

Jacksmyname

Audioholic
I bought the One when it first came out.
VERY pleased with it, and my wife prefers it over the remote that was supplied with the cable box.
 
aberkowitz

aberkowitz

Audioholic Field Marshall
I bought the One right after it came out... I like it, but I have to say that the touchscreen can be incredibly flaky. I don't exactly have fat fingers, but I find it very easy to press the wrong "button" on the touch screen and end up turning on the wrong set of components. I've also found the battery life to be absolute crap.... not a huge problem b/c it's rechargeable, but if I don't remember to charge every other day then I have a dead remote.
 
birdonthebeach

birdonthebeach

Full Audioholic
I have the 1000, and I can sum it up like this. When it works, it's great. Everyone can use the home theater without instruction - wife, kids, babysitters, etc. Problem is that it locks up almost weekly - a reboot powers down my projector, so I have to wait for cooldown, screen retracts, etc.... Huge pain. I hear that the One is not nearly as buggy. The 1000 is great when it works - and it has RF, which is essential. I was shocked to read Clint's review and find out the One is only IR!
 
A

autoboy

Audioholic
The harmony one is the best remote I have used mostly because of its button layout. It is incredibly easy to find buttons by feel. The touchscreen however I can do without. It looks slick, but is hard to push accurately and I end up pointing it towards the ceiling. This was a problem until I got myself an IR repeater with excelent sensitivity. I feel the IR repeater has turned this remote from good to great. With a sensitive IR receiver that you can place in a convenient location, I can point the remote anywhere in the room or even the adjoining room and it operates flawlessly. It is as good as you can get with IR instead of RF. If you have problems with stuff not turning on, an IR repeater will take care of that.
 
jcPanny

jcPanny

Audioholic Ninja
Harmony macros

Nice review.
I am suprised about the 5 step limitation on macros.
My entry level URC can do >100 steps on each macro and includes RF for <$100. Most of my macros included 8-10 steps and multiple delays and I don't have a very large or complex HT system.
 
F

FirstReflection

AV Rant Co-Host
I purchased a Harmony One several months ago and I've been happy with it, though I do not think it is flawless. Mostly, I entertain a fair bit and I wanted a remote that anyone could pick up, understand and operate. I was previously using a URC MX-500, which functioned very very well, but not everyone was able to understand it without assistance.

So, the good parts:

- excellent hard button layout. Everything makes sense. The buttons are well shaped, well sized, easy to find and easy to click. I pretty much have zero complaints about the hard buttons. I had avoided Harmony remotes prior to The One because of the small and confusing hard button layout, but The One gets it darn near perfect IMO.

- Activities really do make things a breeze for visitors to use this remote. My setup isn't super complicated, but it is definitely too complicated for anyone who does not know A/V well. I've got a CD changer, iPod dock, Oppo DVD/SACD/DVD-Audio player, HD-DVD player, Blu-ray player, Cable HD-DRV and all three gaming systems (PS3, Xbox360 and Wii). With so many HDMI devices, I have 4 of them going into a Monoprice HDMI switch. That feeds one input of my Onkyo TX-SR705 receiver. The PS3 and Xbox360 take up the remaining two HDMI inputs on the receiver. Thankfully, the receiver takes EVERYTHING and shoots out just one HDMI cable to my TV. But switching between it all manually would be darn near impossible for a lot of my guests! So the activities setup with the Harmony One really does the trick! Hit the activities button, select what they want to do and it all swtiches for them - fantastic!

- After CAREFUL setup, I have every control mapped out between the hard buttons and the highly configurable touch screen in a way that makes sense! This is where I think a lot of the detractors of this remote find it to be less than satisfactory. If you RELY on the software to set up this remote, it's going to be a pain! It'll leave a lot of hard buttons blank and it will just dump all of the various controls in alphabetical order onto the touch screen. This is FAR from intuitive. And when setting up the activities, it'll often make strange choices as to what to put on the touch screen and it will leave out vital functions.

But if you really take the time, you can set up the touch screen and hard buttons beautifully! I like to tinker, so this is ok with me. But it sure does take a lot of time. I basically ask my guests and try to make a note of when they find something on the remote confusing. Then I'll see if I can better lay out or label the buttons so that people know exactly what is going on. It's trial and error, it takes a lot of time, but if you do this, it can turn out excellent!

Now the bad:

- biggest complaint is that the text for the touch screen and even for the hard buttons is small. Fine for a young guy like me, but it doesn't work so good for older folks with faltering eye sight. Older guests really have to squint and peer down at the text to see what the buttons say.

- next biggest complaint is the touch screen buttons. As others have said, it's easy to hit the wrong button. It's very easy to hit one of the side arrows rather than a button and also easy to hit either the "device" or "current activity" buttons that are at the bottom of the touch screen. And among the 6 buttons themselves, it can sometimes be easy to hit the wrong one.

You definitely need to look down at the remote to make sure you hit the correct touch screen button, so for a future model, I would love for there to be some sort of physical indicator - such as a very slight ridge between each of the buttons. Just enough to give a physical indication of where each button lies on the touch screen.

- last complaint is the software setup. Like I said, take the time and you can set up the remote beautifully! But it's far from intuitive and you definitely have to take the time to set all the button names, placements and each activity and device individually to get the most from this remote!

The battery does die out somewhat quickly, but it's as simple as putting it into its equally slick-looking charging cradle. It makes solid contact every time and charges quickly, so I see no real problem here.

Overall, I love this remote! It's not perfect, but after taking the time to really configure it, guests find it easy to use without needing my help to tell them how to work it. Physically, it's beautiful and looks really slick and high tech. People LIKE to use it and after I've taken the time to really program it, they find it easy to operate my somewhat complicated system.
 
TRT

TRT

Junior Audioholic
When a new Logitech Harmony Remote arrives on the scene I like to review it to update readers on the latest models in the line-up. With the introduction of the Harmony One universal remote I felt that Logitech had finally completely usurped the original Harmony design and replaced it with a "from the ground up" approach that reflected Logitech's penchant for svelte devices. In case you were still navigating through that last bit of pontifical text, I was giving them a high compliment. Logitech's Harmony One remote is quite possibly the most beautiful remote control I've ever held.

Well I'm going to have to dissagree with you on the icons.

http://www.iconharmony.com/icons/

I have a beautiful icon for each of my favorites and they work perfectly. From a cost standpoint. $199.99 street price at BB? Costly? Maybe if compared to a throw away, but not a Crestron or AMX. Even D*TV wants 35 bucks for a replacement remote. Control 4? URC? Unless every universal remote is overpriced, the Harmony One should at the very least be considered as competitive. Just my 2 cents.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
bandphan

bandphan

Banned
I say that because she is not very good with remotes and she can use the URC remote with no issues I have even shown her how to program it and she now does it herself..I would recommend looking into URC remotes..
i agree... harmony has a place, but for "complete control" at a reasonable price, URC or RTI is it for me. We just completed an install with 8 4280u pannys and 8 DTV boxes for a local pub(the only way i barder is with the "pub":eek:) --one MX900 and 2 mrf350s -setup of remote 20mins and no call backs:)
 
J

Jacksmyname

Audioholic
Well I'm going to have to dissagree with you on the icons.

http://www.iconharmony.com/icons/

I have a beautiful icon for each of my favorites and they work perfectly. From a cost standpoint. $199.99 street price at BB? Costly? Maybe if compared to a throw away, but not a Crestron or AMX. Even D*TV wants 35 bucks for a replacement remote. Control 4? URC? Unless every universal remote is overpriced, the Harmony One should at the very least be considered as competitive. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for posting this, TRT. I meant to also but forgot.
Hundreds of beautiful icons on this site. This user is a graphic designer, and he took requests for which ones people wanted.
Anyone with a One looking for favorites icons, by all means check them out.
 
GlocksRock

GlocksRock

Audioholic Spartan
To get the channel icons I just went to google images and put in the name of the channel I wanted, saved the picture, then resized it. It took a little bit of time, but I got exactly what I was looking for.
 

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