Logitech Harmony Elite review

    Should you’re swiftly upgrading your own home theater setup in preparation for the Super Bowl, or simply searching for a key addition to tie your myriad A/V units collectively, then it could be time to contemplate Logitech’s Concord Elite common distant.

    Logitech’s high-end providing has been available on the market for a while, though it stays a beneficial possibility resulting from its vast compatibility and versatile, recipe-like customized actions. And it really works with greater than televisions, speaker methods, and recreation consoles: the Concord Elite can even management many good house units, with devoted buttons onboard for quick instructions.

    At $250 (£99, AU$449), it is clearly no small funding – and when you’re not completely severe concerning the type and performance of your own home leisure setup, then you definately needn’t hassle. However for anybody who needs one distant to manage nearly all the pieces, you would be hard-pressed to search out something that’s each this purposeful and comparatively simple to make use of out of the field.  

    Design and set-up

    Should you’re shelling out a pair hundred bucks for a TV distant, then it had higher be one severely refined, comfortable-feeling gadget. Fortunately, the Concord Elite does not disappoint on this regard. It is a smooth, weighty distant with shiny black plastic on the entrance and a frivolously rugged rubberized backing, with ergonomic contours that make it match fairly properly within the hand.

    The Concord Elite has a built-in rechargeable battery (which you’ll be able to swap if wanted), and comes with a charging dock you could drop the entire distant into. In my testing, the distant may go a number of days between top-ups, though heavier customers may want extra frequent charging periods.

    And it has a touchscreen on the entrance, after all. That is the important thing factor that units the Concord Elite aside out of your common TV distant: it has an array of buttons, however as a substitute of a bodily quantity pad, it places a small coloration show on high. This display gives quick access to your record of units and concocted actions, letting you simply swap between them and entry device-specific instructions. You may additionally discover a phone-like quantity array on there, too.

    Among the many bodily buttons are customizable ones for good house units, which seem like gentle bulbs and energy shops and include an up/down rocker for tweaks. For instance, you may flip in your Philips Hue lights with a button after which progressively regulate the brightness.

    Given its myriad skills, the Concord Elite may seem to be loads to soak up, and could seem destined to overwhelm. Fortunately, that is not the case throughout setup, as Logitech has made a strong gadget appear largely approachable.

    Every thing is completed through your iPhone or Android smartphone, because the app serves as your own home for establishing and simply customizing the Concord Elite. And if you save adjustments, they’re rapidly synced over to the distant through the hub gadget that you’re going to place close to your TV and hook up with Wi-Fi – actually the brains of the operation. Better of all, the hub does not must be inside line of sight, so you may tuck it into an leisure heart and neglect about it.

    Logitech additionally has PC and Mac apps accessible when you’d relatively have a mouse and a bigger display to create actions, however the cellular app is essentially the most handy technique to dig in and experiment. It is not essentially the most engaging app round, but it surely’ll do the trick.

    Loading up your units onto the Concord Elite is a really simple course of: you will seek for it on the app, the app will hook up with the gadget and add it, and then you definately’re good to go. That is true with all the pieces from TVs to good lights, cable bins, and audio system, and whereas some units might require putting an included IR blaster in entrance of them, all of it felt like much less problem than we had been anticipating going into setup.

    Day-to-day use

    Going from utilizing a few totally different remotes to only one has introduced an anticipated studying curve, however general, it hasn’t been tough to get comfy with the Concord Elite. And what actually impresses isn’t just the power to manage a number of units, however to essentially join them by creating actions.

    For instance, once we wish to watch Netflix, we are able to simply faucet one button on the touchscreen. With that, our Android TV-powered Sony 4K TV fires up, the Vizio sound bar beneath it does simply the identical, after which the Netflix app hundreds on the TV as soon as the community connection is established. It is seamless, and it saves me a few button presses and distant swaps within the course of.

    And that is one of many extra simple setups you will discover. Should you actually wish to get inventive, you may design actions that mix in linked house units, as effectively. Wish to have your Philips Hue good lights dim when it is film time? You possibly can add these into an exercise, too. Or you might create a nighttime exercise that shuts off your lights and locks your doorways when you’re prepared to maneuver from the sofa to your mattress. 

    When you have a cable or satellite tv for pc field, you too can program shortcuts to your favourite channels for the display, and convey these up with a faucet. Sadly, that characteristic does not additionally work with streaming TV providers for the cord-cutters on the market.

    After ditching cable TV final yr, we have been utilizing Sling TV for our occasional stay tv wants, and though there is a native Android TV app like Netflix, we won’t launch into it from an exercise. All we might love to do is faucet an exercise to have our TV energy on and bounce proper into the Sling TV app with out additional navigation, however Logitech says it isn’t potential. True, Netflix is a way more common app, but it surely’s unusual that comparable performance is not potential with different video apps.

    Each on occasion, we’ll run right into a scenario by which my TV or sound bar did not begin up when tapping an exercise, which is annoying – you anticipate one thing like this to only work, on a regular basis. However a minimum of Logitech inbuilt a “Repair” operate that may simply enable you kind out exercise points. 

    Machine compatibility

    Truthfully, you will in all probability have extra hassle discovering units that do not work with the Concord Elite relatively than ones that do.

    Logitech claims that some 270,000 units will be managed by it, and that is a variety of tech together with televisions, consoles, locks, speaker methods, good lights, streaming bins, and lots extra. It is simply as comfy along with your Xbox One as it’s along with your Nest Thermostat, and it helps as much as 15 energetic units at one time.

    Our own residence leisure system is not terribly advanced or sturdy, however we’ve a TV, a sound bar, all the present consoles, and some linked house units (lights, lock, and thermostat). Of these, the one gadget that lacked any compatibility was the Nintendo Switch, which seems like a really Nintendo-like factor. And actually, there is not any nice want for it.

    One annoyance got here with the PlayStation 4, nonetheless, because the Concord Elite is unable to energy on the system. That is apparently a Sony difficulty, as they solely need the official PS4 distant to deal with that process, but it surely does preserve the Concord Elite from feeling all-powerful when you play lots of video games on the system.

    Additionally, the distant is suitable with each the Amazon Echo and Google Home, thus enabling voice instructions to show in your TV and different units, flip on specific channels, and set off good house actions. That is a relatively useful improve if in case you have a sensible speaker round.

    Moreover, you may link in IFTTT (“if this, then that”) automated applets to set off much more occasions, like beginning Concord actions through a calendar occasion, or making certain actions finish if you depart your own home. That is the place the distant’s actual energy is available in: the flexibleness and extensibility of its method.

    Closing verdict

    Should you’re considering $250 (£99, AU$449)  TV distant looks like overkill, or an pointless luxurious… effectively, you are completely proper. Even if in case you have various house leisure and good units round, you in all probability are also fairly adept at grabbing the proper distant or firing up the precise smartphone app to finish your process.

    But when your setup is advanced, you are looking for some automation in your routine, otherwise you simply cannot stand the sight of a handful of differently-shaped remotes laying in your sofa, then the Logitech Concord Elite could be a luxurious price forking out for. Regardless of the occasional hitch, it is a distant that may wrangle your audio/visible insanity, plus it seems to be and feels fairly good doing so.

    It is extra distant than we might personally ever want, and that is in all probability true of most individuals who will learn this overview. Nonetheless, it is arduous to not be impressed by simply how versatile and helpful the Concord Elite will be, and it might appear downright dreamy for these with high-end house leisure setups.

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