Logitech Harmony Elite vs. 950

Written By Home Bar & Games

At the high end of the Logitech Universal remote offerings, you’ll find the Harmony Elite and the Harmony 950.

What is not obvious from reading the Logitech website or even some other review sites, is that the Harmony 950 and the Elite are actually the exact same remote.

The primary difference between Harmony 950 and the Elite is that the 950 does not come with the Harmony Hub and the Elite does. The Hub is what makes it possible to use either Bluetooth, Wi-fi, or IR blasters to control particular components as well as to integrate smart home devices with your home theater setup. 

There is a good reason that the Elite made our list of the Best Universal Remotes.

Logitech Harmony 950 vs. Elite Comparison Table

Harmony 950Harmony Elite
Max Devices Controlled1515
Control MethodInfrared (IR)IR, Bluetooth
LCD Screen
Full Color

Full Color
Cradle Included

Cradle Included
Easy Setup With Computer
Backlit Buttons
Smartphone Integration
Can be added with
hub purchase
Hub Included
Can be added with
hub purchase
Alexa, Google Home,
Siri Compatibility

Can be added with
hub purchase

And for more details, check out our complete Logitech Harmony Elite Review or the Logitech Harmony 950 Review.

So if you know that you will need the hub functionality, then you should go with the Elite, but if you only plan on using IR to control your devices, then save some money and get the Harmony 950. You can always add the hub later.


Logitech Harmony Elite

Click image for more info.

The Harmony Elite is the flagship model in the Logitech lineup. It has just about every feature you could possibly need in a universal remote. With the inclusion of the Harmony Hub you can extend yoru control to any Smart Home device and integrate voice control into your home theater by connecting to a device like the Amazon Echo.

CLICK HERE to check availability on Amazon.

Not much has changed in the past year or so when it comes to the Logitech Remotes. The Elite is still the best remote on the market. The fact that not much has changed on that front also speaks to the future proof way the remote is designed.

Because it makes use of the Harmony Hub and a touch screen, it really doesn’t matter what new devices you get, this thing will be able to control it all with a simple software update. It would probably be the last remote you’ll ever have to buy.

When you purchase the Harmony Elite, it comes with the following included in the box…

  • Elite Touchscreen Universal Remote Control (with rechargeable battery)
  • Harmony Smart Hub
  • 2 IR mini-blasters
  • Charging station
  • USB cable
  • 2 AC adapters
  • Complete user documentation


Logitech has many years of experience with remotes. That means that they have years worth of feedback on the ergonomics of a remote.

The most used buttons, the channel up/down, volume up/down, and directional pad are right in the middle where your thumb would be if you were holding the remote in your hand. Just above that are the playback buttons (play, stop, record, fast forward, and rewind).

If you are coming from a more traditional remote then one of the first things you might notice is the lack of a number pad on the physical buttons. You can find the numbers pad on the LCD screen. To access it, you swipe right or left from the main screen.

There are actually 4 different screens that you can access on the LCD screen: Numbers, Favorites, Commands, and Activities. You can designate which screen appears first when you start an Activity. By default it is the Favorites screen. If you have taken the time to set up your favorites, then I’ve found this to be the best option.


Like most Logitech universal remotes, the Elite model uses a computer software-based setup process.

The software walks you through the setup pretty well. The simplicity or complexity of the setup is really based on the complexity of your home theater setup as well as any smarthome devices you want to integrate with the Harmony Hub.

Rather than go through the entire setup process here, if you want a step by step explanation of the process, check out this video. I recommend saving it for later and watching it before attempting to set up your new remote.

If you want to go through the complete list of supported devices for every Logitech remote, you can review that list here.


The Elite has a built in battery that can be recharged in the remote simply by placing the remote in it’s cradle.

In addition, this battery is replaceable. So when it wears out (as all rechargeable batters do) you can replace it without having to replace the entire remote. It is a specific battery that you to get from Logitech, so you can’t just go to the store and pick up replacement batteries. But it is readily available on Amazon for a pretty reasonable price.

It is pretty easy to replace as well. You can see the process here.

Harmony Hub

The Elite includes the Harmony Hub with the remote. This is the devices that essentially extends the functionality of the remote and connects the remote to smarthome devices and the IR blasters that are included in the package.

The IR blasters are what allow you to control IR controlled devices that are not within line of sight of the remote. You connect them to the hub and then place the other end somewhere in line of sight to the IR controlled devices. This will “blast” an IR signal to all of those devices. This is especially helpful for devices that are behind cabinet doors or if you have components in different parts of the room.

The Elite includes two (2) IR blasters.

Smart Home Connectivity

With the included hub, the Harmony Elite connects to a huge list of smart home devices. This includes both devices that can be controlled by the remote and devices that can be used to trigger the hub to control your home theater devices.

Controlling Other Devices With Your Remote

With the hub, you can use the remote to control many smart home devices such as lighting or window shades that can enhance the home theater experience. For example, you can program a “watch movie” sequence that will turn on all the appropriate home theater components, lower the projection screen, dim the main lights, and close the shades.

You can even turn off all the lights in the house and lock the doors with one press of the “goodnight” button.

Using Smart Home Devices To Trigger The Remote

You can control the hub with voice activated devices such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple’s Siri.

This is my favorite feature of the Harmony Hub. Think back to the “watch a movie” command I described above. With an Amazon Echo, I can just simply give a verbal command to perform all those tasks. So I can be pouring the drinks or making popcorn while the home theater sets itself up.

At this time, Echo (Alexa) controls are relatively limited, but Amazon is adding new functionality to this device every week, so it will not be long until the list of things Alexa can do will grow.

Smartphone App

In addition to connection to your smarthome devices, the hub also allows you to use your smartphone in place of the remote.

Logitech has an app called “Harmony Control.” This is great for controlling things when you aren’t near the remote itself. It also means that everyone in the home has full control of the home theater setup in their pockets. This can either be very useful or it can make for some interesting remote battles for two people that want to watch different things.

I found that it comes in handy when I have company over and I am busy doing something elsewhere in the home when I need to change something on the TV. As long as I have my phone with me, it doesn’t matter where the remote is.


You really can’t go wrong with the Harmony Elite. It’s probably the best universal remote on the market.

Who Is It For?

If you have a large or complicated home theater setup or have your components behind a cabinet door then the Elite is a great choice. The included IR blasters that work in conjunction with the RF functionality of the remote will make things a lot easier for you.

Also, if your home theater setup has built in smart home lighting then having a smart home compatible system like the Elite can be a huge benefit. You can just press the movie button and have all the correct components turn on as the lights dim for the movie.

Logitech Harmony 950

Click Image For More Info

There are a lot of similarities between the Harmony 950 and the Elite. In fact, they are the same remote. Looking at the remote itself, there are no differences at all. The only difference is that the 950 does not include the hub. Logitech tends to downplay that fact a little bit in their product descriptions because (obviously) they want to encourage you to get the more expensive option.

CLICK HERE to check availability on Amazon.

When you purchase the Harmony 950, it comes with the following in the box…

  • Harmony 950 IR-based remote (with rechargeable battery)
  • Charging station
  • USB cable (Type A)
  • AC adapter
  • User documentation


Physically, the Harmony 950 is identical to the Elite. So if you read the review of the Elite above, then you already know about the layout of the 950. It’s exactly the same.


The setup process is the same as far as how you do it, but there are a few things to keep in mind when you are setting up a 950 as compared to the Elite.

The 950 is limited to controlling devices with IR signals. So devices like an Apple TV that uses Bluetooth (although the Apple TV 4th Gen. can be controlled by IR as well). So you need to keep this limitation in mind when setting up your remote.

Also, keep in mind that the 950 alone requires line of sight to all your devices. So aside from setting up the remote itself, you need to ensure that you have your home theater set up in such a way to make this practical. For example, you can’t keep components behind a cabinet and it might be difficult if certain components (such as a projector) require pointing the remote in a different direction as the rest of the components.


The battery on the 950 is the same as the one in the Elite. In fact, the battery itself is interchangeable between the two remotes.

Smart Home Connectivity

This is one area where the 950 differs from the Elite. Out of the box, the 950 has no smart home connectivity.

However, you can easily add all of the functionality of the Elite simply by adding the Harmony Hub to your setup.

If you purchase the Harmony Hub separately, it comes with the following…

  • Harmony Hub
  • IR mini-blaster
  • USB cable (Type A)
  • AC adapter
  • User documentation

There are two significant difference between buying the Elite package and buying the 950 and Hub separately. First, the Elite hub can control up to 15 devices while the Harmony Hub can only control 8.  That being said, the 950 itself can control up to 15 devices, so you may be able to use a combination of the Hub and the IR from the remote itself. I haven’t tested that though.

Second, the Harmony Hub only includes one (1) IR blaster. You can purchase additional IR blasters separately though, so this is not that big of a deal.


The Harmony 950 is a great option if you are in the process of building up your home theater and want to save some money.

The best part about the 950 is that you can just add a Harmony Hub later on to add Bluetooth, Wi-fi, and smarthome connectivity. As described above, buying them separately may not be quite as good as getting the entire Elite package, but it is all that most people will ever need.

My Recommendation

First, figure out what your needs are. The descriptions below should help you make the best decision.

You should also be aware that as of the time of the writing of this post, the MSRP price listed on the Logitech website indicated that the Elite is more expensive than buying the 950 and the Hub separately. But actual prices from retailers can be a little different. I recommend using the links below to check out the current prices.

Who Should Get The Harmony Elite?

  • You need (or want) the Harmony Hub to integrate your home theater components into a larger smart home setup.
  • You have any devices that require Bluetooth or Wi-fi to control them.
  • You have a home theater setup that includes components behind cabinets or in different parts of the room (especially if you think you need more than one IR blaster).

You can check out the latest prices of the Harmony Elite on Amazon by clicking here. 

Who Should Get The Harmony 950?

  • You only need IR to control your devices.
  • You don’t have other smart home devices in your home.
  • All of your components are in the same part of the room and not behind anything.

You can check out the latest prices of the Harmony 950 on Amazon by clicking here. 

Do you have any questions about the differences between the Logitech Harmony Elite and 950 that I didn’t cover?

Let me know in the comments below and I’ll do the research and add it to the article.

9 thoughts on “Logitech Harmony Elite vs. 950”

  1. “What is not obvious from reading the Logitech website or even some other review sites, is that the Harmony 950 and the Elite are actually the exact same remote.”
    Except that the Elite remote has RF (or some other signal not requiring line-of-sight to the Hub) and the 950 is IR signal only?
    This is important to me because I need to update my remote control device. From Amazon I can either buy a new 950 or a refurbished Elite remote control device.

    • GlenS,

      Neither the 950 nor the Elite us RF to control anything. The way that the Elite can control devices that aren’t line of sight is by connecting the IR mini-blasters to the hub and placing them in the cabinet with your components. The hub will send the signal to the min-blasters which will control the components.

      The remote will communicate with the hub via Bluetooth (not RF). So if you got just the 950 (which doesn’t include the hub) then you would have no way of controlling anything that isn’t line of sight. If you added the hub to the 950 (which is basically what comes in the box when you buy an Elite) then you can use the hub with IR blasters to control components inside a cabinet.

      Hope that answers your question…thanks for reading.

      • Thank you for the response and just for clarification…
        “The remote will communicate with the hub via Bluetooth (not RF).”
        So both remotes communicate to the hub via Bluetooth? Or only the Elite communicates via Bluetooth? I want to be able to control my Hub from any room in the house, same as with my Touch remote (which I assume uses RF since the Touch never had me set up a Bluetooth connection for it).

        • Both use Bluetooth. The handset/remote part that you hold in your hand is exactly the same whether you buy the 950 or elite. The difference is that the elite comes with the hub.

          • Well, I needed to update so I bought the Elite. As an owner of the device that went through the set up process I can confirm that the Elite handset/remote device uses RF (radio freq) to signal the Hub (during the set up process, the Harmony informs you that the handset and the Hub use RF to signal each other) . The Elite handset/remote also has an IR blaster to signal IR controlled devices directly from the handset/remote.

          • That’s interesting information. What indicated to you that it was using RF? I have never seen any indication that it was using RF…only bluetooth. The Logitech manual doesn’t indicate any use of RF either.

            Thanks for the insights.

          • Hi thanks for the review, as there is surprisingly little info online regarding this comparison even from Logitech.
            I did want to point out that the remotes are not EXACTLY the same. Look carefully at the bottom 4 buttons. The 950 shows four “dice” buttons and the elite has smart light/outlet icons. Do you know if those are just printing differences and the tech is exactly the same? (aside from the earlier stated elitehub and 950IR)

  2. During the set up process, general info about how the system operates pops up onto the screen (I can’t remember if it was the screen of the handheld remote control device or the screen of the tablet with the MyHarmony App). It read that the handheld device and the Hub communicate between each other using RF and then the Hub communicates to other devices using IR, Bluetooth, and WiFi. Now just because it was written that RF is used doesn’t mean that Bluetooth isn’t, info is written incorrectly often. I’ll have to think if there is a test procedure for determining if it is using RF or Bluetooth.

    Something I was very pleasantly surprised about is that with this new system, Alexa, the Hub, and the handheld remote stay synced. If I tell Alexa (my Amazon Dot) to “turn on Cable Theater,” the Hub will turn everything on plus it will sync with the handheld device so it knows what state all the devices are in. Before, when I was working with my Hub and my older Harmony 700 remote, if I told Alexa to “turn on Cable Theater,” the Hub would turn everything on but my Harmony 700 remote wasn’t synced, so the remote had no idea that the state of the devices had changed.

    Comparing the old 700 to the new Elite, I hate the newer handheld remote control device. I hate touchscreens on remote controls (same with vehicles), plus the feel of the buttons and body of the new remotes is terrible. It’s hard to distinguish which button is which, they all just run into each other.

    My ‘elite’ remote control would be a Harmony 700 that has been updated with the abilities of the newer smart remotes.

  3. Hi there, I just bought a used Harmony 950 and I’m trying to set it up. (I already have another one functioning upstairs.) It looks like it is indeed the Harmony 950 (it has the dots on the bottom buttons) but when I plug it into the Harmony software, the software says it is the Harmony Elite and tries to force me to set up a Harmony Hub. I cannot find a way to get the software to recognize the remote as a 950! If I try to skip the “set up hub” step, it won’t let me set up a Roku remote. It insists that the Roku remote must be found by the hub and does not give me the option to set it up with IR like I have it set up upstairs without any issue. Any advice?

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