Editors' Note: This review has been updated to reflect changes in the Harmony Home Hub, now the Harmony Hub, since it launched in 2014. We've raised its score from 3.5 to 4 stars for its added functionality.
Logitech's Harmony line of universal remotes has seen major upgrades over the years, and ever since 2014 have been able to control your smart home devices in addition to your home theater. The $99.99 Logitech Harmony Hub comes with the Editors' Choice Harmony Elite remote ($299.99 at Logitech UK) , but you can also pick one up by itself for less than a third of the price of the Elite bundle, and use a smartphone or tablet to control your connected devices. The Harmony Hub itself isn't a full-on home automation hub without buying an additional extender, but it works with nearly every hub on the market to make configuring and controlling your different devices simpler and easier—particularly home theater products.You Can Trust Our ReviewsSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (Read our editorial mission.)
Design and Compatibility
The Harmony Hub ($299.99 at Logitech UK) is a small black box that measures 4.9 by 4.1 by 1.0 inches (HWD). It uses Bluetooth, infrared (IR), and Wi-Fi to communicate with your various devices. Logitech includes an IR blaster cable, which you can run to nearby components in order to control them even if they're behind a cabinet.4.5Outstanding$69.99See Itat Home DepotRead Our Samsung SmartThings Hub Review 4.5OutstandingRead Our Wink Hub 2 Review 4.0Excellent$899.95 See Itat AmazonRead Our Logitech Harmony Elite Review 3.0AverageRead Our Lowe's Iris Smart Hub (Second Generation) Review
However your home theater is set up, the Harmony Hub can probably control it. The compatibility list for home entertainment devices hit over 270,000 across 6,000 different brands when we first reviewed it in 2014, and Logitech has been steadily updating that list ever since. It's a staggering array of TVs, set-top boxes, media streamers, and Blu-ray players. You can even use Bluetooth or IR to connect with wireless game consoles like the Microsoft Xbox One ($299.99 at Logitech UK) and Sony PlayStation 4 ($299.99 at Logitech UK) , which you won't find on many other hubs.
Home automation makes the Harmony Hub even more impressive. It can work with many different smart home and automation systems out of the box including Ecobee, Lutron, LIFX, Nest, Philips Hue, and Samsung SmartThings. It also supports If This Then That (IFTTT) recipes for more custom automation, and you can add Logitech's POP switches ($299.99 at Logitech UK) to the mix. You can even connect the Hub to an Amazon Alexa voice assistant device like the Amazon Echo ($299.99 at Logitech UK) , letting you control your different devices with voice commands.
While it costs as much as the Harmony Hub itself, the $99.99 Harmony Home Hub Extender adds Z-Wave and Zigbee compatibility, widely expanding what you can control with the Hub. That includes GE Link and OSRAM Lightify smart bulbs, Kwikset and Yale smart locks, Enerwave and Nortech switches, and Jasco and Leviton Plugs. The $200 combined price for the Hub and Extender is more daunting than the Hub on its own, but if you have a lot of different home automation devices it could be a very worthwhile investment.
Also worth noting: You can also pick up the Logitech Harmony Companion, a $149.99 bundle consisting of the Harmony Hub and a much simpler, non-touch-screen remote.
The Harmony Hub works Android and iOS devices. Setup is simple, though there's a bit of a learning curve as you first become acquainted with the Harmony app. After plugging in the Hub, you must download the Harmony app to your device. Setup takes place through the app, which guides you through the process. You can also use Logitech's Harmony Web portal, which can make adding new devices a bit more convenient.
After connecting the Hub to our Wi-Fi network, it automatically recognized compatible devices connected to the network, including a Samsung TV, an Apple TV, a Roku Streaming Stick, Sonos Play:1 speakers, and Philips Hue lights. Everything else can be added manually by plugging in the brand and model number of the device you wish to connect; there's also an option to add devices that aren't in Logitech's database. You can connect up to 15 devices in total.
App and Performance
In addition to all of the usual suspects in a home theater setup (TV, cable box, and so on), we used the Harmony Ultimate Home to connect to and control a Lutron Caseta Wireless Plug-In Lamp Dimmer ($299.99 at Logitech UK) , as well as the aforementioned Philips Hue lights and Sonos speakers.
Logitech makes it easy to set up its Harmony signature Activities, in which you can program connected products to work together automatically with the push of a single button (similar to IFTTT recipes, which the Hub also supports). For instance, we set up an activity called Watch TV, which turns on the television and cable box at the same time. It's admittedly simple, but easier than the usual process of turning the TV on with one remote and the cable box with another. Watch a Movie is a bit more advanced; it turns the television and Blu-ray player on, and all of the Hue lights off.
Activities simplifies smart light controls, helping make up for the overwhelming options when you individually select bulbs. By setting up groups of lights into specific colors and brightness levels as their own Activities, you can easily set scenes that you can access with a tap (like Scenes configured through the Philips Hue app), toggle using a POP Switch, or integrate with a specific function like watching a movie.
Where the Harmony Hub really shines, though, is in control of your home theater setup. It lets you jump directly to your preferred channels with up to 50 customizable favorites. And it's just as easy to perform simple tasks like adjusting the volume and changing channels using the app as it is with a standard remote. And thanks to integration with Amazon's Alexa, you can even do so via voice control. It feels great being able to tuck all those bulky remotes out of sight.
If you're looking for a way to control all of your home entertainment devices from one place, and don't care about a physical remote, the Logitech Harmony Hub is an excellent choice. It turns your phone or tablet into a universal remote and a middleman for your smart home devices, even if it isn't technically a home automation hub itself. It can control nearly anything you throw at it, but you'll have to spend another $100 on the Extender if you use Zigbee or Z-Wave devices.4.0See It$89.99 at LogitechMSRP $99.99
The Logitech Harmony Hub is a great device for controlling your home theater and smart home gadgets.
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