The era of Logitech’s very popular Harmony universal remotes is coming to an end. It is truly the end of an era. The company has announced that they will no longer be manufacturing the Harmony remotes, though you can continue to buy the stocks available at offline and online stores for the time being. As the Harmony remote production comes to an end, there are as many as six Harmony remotes on sale—the Harmony Elite, harmony 950, Harmony Companion, Harmony 665, Harmony Pro and the Harmony Pro 2400, with prices starting around $69.99 (around Rs 5,250 for direct conversion) and going all the way up to $349.99 for the top line Harmony Elite, being listed. As someone who has used the Harmony remotes for a really long time, this is a sad update.
Logitech confirms that even though Harmony remotes will no longer be manufactured, existing Harmony remote owners will continue to get support with software updates, access to apps and services as well continuous updates to the platform for adding more devices to the database. “We expect no impact to our customers by this announcement. We plan to support our Harmony community and new Harmony customers, which includes access to our software and apps to set up and manage your remotes. We also plan to continue to update the platform and add devices to our Harmony database. Customer and warranty support will continue to be offered,” says Logitech in an official statement. That should be reassuring if you already own Harmony remote(s) and have paid a lot of money for the experience.
While the company doesn’t exactly clarify why this decision to shutter the Harmony universal remote manufacturing has been taken now, there is the suspicion that the pricing on the slightly higher side, particularly for the more capable remote models, contributed to pretty low sales. And it has been a while since the company launched new Harmony remotes to substantially refresh the line-up and offer multiple upgrade options for users. I have, for instance, been using the Harmony 665 remote since around 2010, that’s more than 12 years now—and nothing truly comes close to the convenience of having one remote to control multiple devices. Rock solid remote that just works seamlessly with most of the newer devices too, but still remains an integral part of the Harmony line-up at the time the shutters have been downed.
The good news is that if you already use a Harmony remote, your expensive remote control won’t suddenly become a paperweight. It will continue to work as before, for controlling your TV, set top box, smart home devices and more. Also, Harmony remotes that offered the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integration will continue to offer that functionality, and so will the third part apps. For how long, we don’t know. All Logitech says is “Our goal is to keep service running as long as customers are using it”, which is as reassuring as walking on a lake that is frozen on the surface. Harmony universal remotes were launched way back in 2001 and the uniqueness and the interest around them pushed Logitech to acquire them in 2004. While sporting premium price tags, they offered genuine value and has a legion of fans of would swear by it. In fact, this may just have been the time to really scale up things with smart homes becoming even more common. Yet, similarly powerful and connected smartphone apps that let you control the smart home equipment and even TVs and media players, did significantly cut into the convenience that Harmony universal remotes offered at one point of time. If you are willing to take the risk, there may be some cool deals on the Harmony remotes on offline and online stores which you can splurge on.