If you are looking for a universal remote that is more affordable then you most likely have discovered the Logitech Harmony 650 and 700 models. They both have a great feature set at an affordable price and Logitech is well known as a leader in the universal remote space.
But, if you compare the Harmony 650 vs. 665 vs. 700, the differences may not be apparent right away.
You can also check out my comparison of Logitech’s high end models, the Harmony Elite and Ultimate here.
I noticed that they were all quite similar (despite some retailers listing them at very different prices) and wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something. So I did some research to figure out what separates one from the other. Here is what I discovered…
The most important difference between the Logitech Harmony 650 and the Harmony 700 is that the 700 is an older model and has been discontinued by the manufacturer (though you can still find it available for purchase). In addition, the 700 comes with two (2) rechargeable AA batteries that can be charged in the device. The 650 does not come with rechargeable batteries and cannot charge batteries while in the remote (although you can use third party rechargeable AA batteries in the 650).
The 665 is really just a minor update to the 650.
If you are here just to find out my top choice, it’s the Logitech Harmony 650.
Rechargeable Batteries Included
Easy Set Up With Computer
Alexa, Google Home, Siri Compatibility
Smart Phone Integration
Bluetooth and Wi-fi Control
Even if you have one of the high end models for your main home theater setup, this is a great option for a secondary setup like a bedroom or living room where you may not have a ton of devices or need home automation controls. All three of these Harmony remotes are a tremendous value for their price.
When you buy one, the box contains the Harmony 650 remote, a USB cable for setup, and 2 AA batteries.
The Harmony 650 has a pretty standard remote control layout. Which is a good thing. For better or worse, we are accustomed to remote control buttons being laid out in a certain way. The 650 button layout generally holds true to what you would expect and be used to.
The 650 layout is the result of many years of Logitech design refinements and it shows. The most used buttons are right in the middle where your thumb comfortably rests while holding the remote normally. These include the directional pad, channel up/down, volume up/down, mute, and last channel.
Just below that are the playback buttons such as play, pause, fast forward, rewind, record, and stop. They seem to be the second most used buttons for most people so this is a great location. Below those are the numbers. Higher up on the remote, where it is less easy to reach while holding the remote with one hand are the less used buttons, the LCD screen, and the activity buttons that can be programmed to perform a sequence of button pushes to do things like turn on the TV, watch a movie, etc.
Putting the 650, 665, and 700 side by side, you can see that the layout and button positions are pretty much identical…
Ease of setup is a trademark of the Logitech Harmony series of remotes for many years. I’ve had a few in their lineup and the 650 is no exception.
If you’ve has universal remotes in the past, then you may remember having to punch in a series of possible codes that matched the manufacturer of each of the devices you want to control. This took forever and sometimes didn’t work at all. Those days are over.
All you need to do is use the included USB cord and plug the Harmony 650 into your computer and run the Logitech software. The software walks you through the setup process, asking you which devices you want to control. It is compatible with over 200,000 home theater devices.
It also lets you set up sequences of commands. That means that you can turn on the TV, turn on the receiver, and switch your receiver to the TV input all with one button press. This is really helpful if you have family members that don’t know how to do all those things manually. They just need to know to press the applicable button.
If you are looking for a step by step walk-through of the remote setup, then check out this video, he covers the whole setup process (which is the same for all three of these remotes)…
I have read online reviews that call the setup process tedious. I don’t really see how Logitech could have made it any easier other than sending someone to your home to set it up for you. Sure, if you have a complicated home theater setup then it can get a little tricky. But if you have a setup that complex, then you probably know what you’re doing.
My Favorite Feature: You can upload icons to the software for your favorite TV stations. This is great when you have hundreds of channels and you can’t remember which number is which channel. Add the icon and you know.
The batteries are one significant difference between the 650 and the 700 that is worth talking out.
The 650 does not include rechargeable batteries in the box. It requires two AA batteries.
The 700 does include two AA rechargeable batteries AND you can recharge them in the remote by plugging in the remote.
A lot of the reviews I read online consider this a big advantage for the 700. I disagree. First off, the 700 is usually more expensive. For a fraction of that price difference you can get a 4-pack of excellent AA batteries with a charger. (I’d recommend these Eneloop rechargeable AA batteries. They are the ones I have been using for years.)
So the fact that rechargeable batteries are included in the box is pretty much irrelevant.
But what about the fact that you can plug in the 700 and recharge the batteries while they are in the device?
I’m not a big fan of this either.
First, it likely shortens the life of the remote itself and almost certainly does a less efficient job of recharging the batteries than a dedicated charger would. That means the batteries wear out sooner.
Second, who wants to remember to plug in their remote when they are done?! The 700 does not come with a nice cradle like the high end Logitech models, so you’ll have a loose charging cable laying around all the time. However, if you get the batteries I recommended above, you can always have 2 in the charger (which shuts off automatically if they are fully charged) and 2 in the remote. Then you can leave your remote wherever you want and never have to worry about plugging it in or the batteries running out. Just swap them out when needed. I think that is a much more elegant solution.
So I don’t see the battery situation as an advantage for the 700 at all.
Smart Home Compatibility
The Harmony 650 does not have smart home capability nor does it have a compatible smartphone app that let’s you control your home theater.
My Overall Impression
The Harmony 650 is really good at what it does. It lacks some of the high end features that you can find at (much) higher price points, but that’s ok. If you want those, then you are probably willing to pay for them. What it does give you is a reliable, simple way to control up to 8 home theater devices in a very well built ergonomic device. I highly recommend the Logitech Harmony 650 remote.
If you want to get more details, check out the customer reviews, and see the current pricing you can check it out on Amazon by clicking HERE.
The Harmony 665 is really just a minor update to the 650.
The biggest change is the ability to control ten (10) devices compared to the eight (8) that the 650 and 700 can handle. So if you happen to be in that small range of having 9 or 10 devices that you want to control with a remote, then this is the one you should choose.
Being that it is an updated model, there are likely to be some less noticeable updates as well. Probably to address bugs or frequent issues that were popping up with the 650. The Logitech website really doesn’t give much information as to the reason for the update or what is different (other than the increase to 10 devices), so that is just speculation.
Given that the Harmony 665 can usually be found for around the same price (and sometimes lower) as the Harmony 650, I don’t think that it really matters all that much. Just go for the one that you can get the best price on.
When you buy one, the box contains the Harmony 665 remote, a USB cable for setup, and 2 AA batteries.
You can check out more details, customer reviews, and the latest prices of the Harmony 665 on Amazon by clicking HERE.
The Harmony 700 is virtually the same as the 650, just an older model. Surprisingly though, despite it being older, if you look online, you’ll probably find the 650 for a lower price. That might lead you to think its better, but that is probably more a result of scarcity since Logitech has discontinued manufacturing of the 700.
The box contains the remote, a USB cable for setup and recharging batteries, and 2 rechargeable AA batteries.
The Harmony 700 comes with two (2) rechargable AA batteries. You can recharge them by leaving them in the remote and plugging the remote into a wall outlet. You can also use regular AA batteries or a third party rechargeable battery brand as well.
The 650 does not come with rechargeable batteries. I went into detail above as to why I don’t really think that is a meaningful advantage for the 700 though.
Why You May Want The 700
If you really like the idea of being able to recharge the batteries without taking them out of the remote then this might be worth the extra money for you.
If the silver color of the 650 is a deal breaker then the black 700 may be a good choice instead.
Where The 700 Falls Short
Really, the only reason I wouldn’t recommend the 700 is that it costs more than the 650. They are virtually identical other than the battery situation described above. So it is hard to say that the 700 “falls short” of the 650 in any way. It simply costs more because Logitech stopped making them and there aren’t that many left. Eventually, you won’t be able to find them anywhere. So if you like the 700 then grab one off of Amazon quickly!
You can check out more details, customer reviews, and the latest prices of the Harmony 700 on Amazon by clicking HERE.
You can’t really go wrong with a Logitech remote. They make the best ones in the industry.
But if you are trying to decide between the Harmony 650 and the Harmony 700, then I think the clear winner is the 650. It controls more devices, is a newer model, and is actually cheaper than the 700. You can also pick up the 665 for around the same price as the 650. It’s newer but the only significant change as far as
Do you have a Harmony 650 or 700? Let me know your thoughts on the devices in the comments below.
If you are looking for a universal remote with many more features, including Bluetooth, Wi-fi, and smart phone control, then check out my comparison between the Harmony Elite and Ultimate remote systems by Logitech.
For a great home theater projector, this guide has the best one at every price range.
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