The Logitech Harmony 950 is right among the top universal remotes on the market. Comparing to the other flagship Logitech product, isn’t really a separate remote so much as it is a piece of the complete Elite bundle.
The 950 is simply the remote part of that bundle with a couple buttons that have different graphics on them. Other than that, it is identical to the Elite. The Harmony 950 does NOT include the Harmony Hub (so no smart home connectivity) but you can add a Hub later and get full functionality (contrary to some of the less informed reviews out there).
If you want to grab one right now, CLICK HERE to get it on Amazon.
While it didn’t make our list of the Best Universal Remotes, you can check out our article comparing the 950 to the one that did:
What’s Included: When you buy the Logitech Harmony 950, the box contains the Harmony 950 remote, a charging cradle, a micro USB cable and (1) AC adapters.
Layout and Ergonomics
The layout and ergonomics of the Harmony 950 are second to none in my opinion.
Ergonomics are extremely important when it comes to a universal remote. The best remotes just seem to disappear in your hands and become second nature to use without any thought.
To accomplish that, the remote needs to feel comfortable and secure in your hand while at the same time making the most common buttons and functions not only easy to reach but easy to find without looking at the remote itself.
After all, you don’t want to miss a huge play or a big moment in a movie while you are turning the volume up.
The Logitech Harmony 950 delivers on both of these aspects.
The large touch screen sits right at the top of the remote (out of the way from your hand position to avoid unintended screen touches). The playback buttons (Play/Pause, Fast Forward, Reverse, Record and Stop) are located right below the touch screen.
Next on the remote, in the center, are the most popular buttons. These include the directional pad, “OK” or enter button, channel up/down, volume up/down, mute, and last channel button.
I found that these were positioned perfectly and they are designed in such a way to make it pretty simple to figure out which button you are pressing without having to look at it.
As soon as you grab the remote from the cradle, you’ll have these buttons right at your fingertips…and that’s a good thing.
Below those are the “secondary” buttons including DVR, Guide and, Info.
The Harmony 950 then includes a collection of customizable buttons. First are the color coded buttons. The use of red, green, yellow, and blue is sometimes used in BluRay players and other devices, but you can also customize these to do whatever you want.
Below those are more customizable buttons with a series of 1, 2, 3, and 4 dots on them. This is one place where the Harmony 950 differs from the Elite, which has these buttons labeled as Smart Home controls. You can use them this way too if you add a Harmony Hub to your setup, but if you don’t have one, then just customize them for common tasks.
The 950 shares the ergonomics of the Elite (it is exactly the same casing) with the soft finish on the bottom. This appears more visually appealing and also makes it a little more “grippy” and comfortable to hold.
Overall, the setup and ergonomics of this remote are excellent. It feels comfortable and is easy to use and get used to the button layout. Like a good remote, it just gets out of the way and lets you control your home theater with ease.
The Harmony 950 follows the standard Logitech remote setup process (which has been pretty well refined over the years).
Setup requires a computer (sort of). You can plug the remote into your computer with the included USB and go to the Logitech Harmony site which will walk you through the setup. Although the setup process can take a while, especially with more complicated home theater setups, Logitech does walk you through it relatively painlessly.
However, one of the cool features of the Harmony 950 is that it can “learn” the IR codes directly from your old remotes. Logitech will walk you through a process where you simply point them at each other and press some buttons on the old one. I would still recommend going through the standard Logitech setup wizard though.
If you are looking for a high end remote that just works right out of the box and don’t need smart home connectivity, then the Harmony 950 is probably a great choice for you.
The most complex part of the setup (and one where you do need to connect the remote to a computer) is setting up “Activities.” Activities are a series of commands all triggered by a single button press. While this may be somewhat limited by not having a hub connected to your smart home devices, it is still a huge time saver for turning on multiple components needed for a single activity.
This is where you can really see the difference between the Harmony 950 and the other Logitech remotes that include a Harmony Hub.
That being said, the Logitech Harmony 950 is compatible with over 270,000 entertainment devices from over 6,000 brands. So it’s not like your connectivity options are limited significantly unless you specifically need something that the Hub provides.
Something to keep in mind is that you can always add the Harmony Hub to this remote at a later date. This can be great for those of you that may be on a budget or simply don’t want to spend the cost of an Elite all at once. The Harmony 950 is a lower cost way to future proof your setup if you ever want to build up a smart home setup later on.
If you want to see all the smart home devices that are compatible with the Harmony line of remotes follow this link.
One thing to keep in mind with a remote like this is that battery life only matters to the extent that you don’t keep the device stored on the charging cradle (which means it probably isn’t a big deal for most of you).
However, Logitech does boast that the battery in the Harmony 950 is 20% longer lasting than previous models.
In my experience, I found the battery life on the 950 to be pretty good. I left it off the charger to try and drain the battery and with moderate use it held a charge for a number of days.
Frankly, this is more than anyone should really need for a remote that never leaves the general vicinity of it’s charger.
The charger that the Harmony 950 comes with is the exact same as the one included in the Elite bundle and it is a really well thought out and designed cradle.
By allowing you to stand up the remote, it has a much smaller footprint than if you just laid the remote down on the table. Depending on where you keep it, this can be a big deal for some home theater setups.
The cradle also makes it very easy to grab and place back. There were a number of times when I was able to execute the elusive “no look remote grab” so I could turn up the volume without averting my eyes from the screen.
It’s the small things like that which I can appreciate.
There’s no doubt that that Logitech Harmony 950 is an excellent universal remote. The real question is whether you would want to get the 950 or spend a little more for the Elite.
This really comes down to what your setup is. If you want a less expansive and more simple option AND you don’t have any smart home devices AND all your components use line of sign IR, then the Harmony 950 is probably the best choice for you.
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.
If you think you want to upgrade check out our Logitech Harmony Elite Review to learn more about it. Considering the current prices out there are coming down lately, the Elite does deserve a good look.