Updated Mar 31, 2019

Logitech Harmony 350 vs. 650: Which Basic Universal Remote is Best?

Cam Secore

After months of testing, I found Harmony 650 to be the best basic universal remote because you can create unlimited “activities,” while Harmony 350 only allows one.

I’ll explain how I reached my conclusion by comparing four universal remotes (Harmony 650 vs. Harmony 350) while evaluating four categories: software, design, compatibility, and unique features.

harmony 650

Harmony 650

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  • Software: You add your devices on the Mac or PC app, then sync with a USB cable.
  • Design: It has a useful LCD screen, backlit buttons, feels great in hand, and uses two AA batteries.
  • Compatibility: It only works with IR devices, and there must be a clear line of sight between device and remote.
  • Notes: 1. You can control up to eight devices, and one-touch activity buttons turn on all your devices and put them on the correct inputs. 2. There's a helpful feature when your activities aren't performing correctly.

Best for you if...

You want to control IR devices that traditional remotes can handle and you don't need smart home control. Harmony 650 has a traditional approach and feels familiar, but offers simplicity with one-touch activity buttons and a help feature when issues arise.

harmony 350

Harmony 350

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  • Software: You add your devices on the Mac or PC app, then sync with a USB cable.
  • Design: It feels the same in hand as the 650, but there’s no LCD screen. It uses two AA batteries.
  • Compatibility: It will only work with IR devices and there must a clear line of sight between Harmony and the device.
  • Notes: 1. You can control up to eight devices, but only four buttons for them and you can only create one activity. 2. The activities don’t work as well. 3. There’s no help feature because there’s no LCD screen.

Best for you if...

You want an affordable universal remote for controlling only a few devices. “Activities” are Harmony’s best feature, but because there’s no screen and you only get one activity, it doesn’t work well as it does on other Harmony remotes.

Harmony 650

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Notes:

  • 650 is an infrared (IR) remote. It only works with devices that can receive IR signals and needs to be pointed at the device. Most devices can receive IR signals, but there are things to consider:
  • There needs to be a clear line of sight between the remote and the device. You can’t keep your IR devices inside a cabinet or hidden because they won’t receive the signal. 
  • These popular machines can’t receive IR signals: PS3, PS4, Sonos speakersHue lightsAmazon Fire TV and some Roku Sticks.
  • You can create unlimited activities and get three activity buttons.
  • It has an LCD screen that’s useful (but it’s not a touchscreen). You can:
    • See and scroll through all your devices and activities on the screen.
    • See which action is being performed.
    • Use the “Help” button and assistant, both of which are great. Let’s say you hit the “Watch Movie” activity, but your TV didn’t switch to the correct input. You hit the “Help” and the screen will show you it’s fixing things and ask you a series of yes/no questions until everything works. My parents use this feature and love it. 
  • It needs two AA batteries.
  • It syncs to your computer with a micro USB cable.
  • The remote is longer than ideal, but it feels great in hand.

Harmony 350

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Notes:

  • It’s only compatible with IR devices and needs a clear line of sight to function. 
  • There’s no LCD screen.
  • It needs two AA batteries.
  • You edit your settings on your computer (Mac or PC), then sync the settings with a micro USB cable.
  • You can control up to eight devices, but there are only four device buttons so you’ll need to master the long-press and the short-press.
  • You’re only allowed one “Activity” and it doesn’t work as nicely as the other Harmony remotes because it forgets which buttons control which actions while in an activity.
  • The buttons aren’t backlit.
  • There isn’t a “Help” feature like that of Harmony 650.
 

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