Logitech Harmony 700 Remote Review 
Home Theater Remotes & System Control Remotes & System Control
Written by Mike Flacy   
Thursday, 10 February 2011

Controlling out home theater devices can be a tricky business, especially when there are other members of the household that are befuddled or frustrated with our current lineup of remotes peeking out behind couch cushions.  Simplicity is key when keeping your significant other happy, so the Harmony series is certainly a great concept.   We have previously covered both the Harmony 1100 and 1000, touchscreen solutions before the iPad became a giant influence in the home theater space.   But we havn’t taken a look at the more traditional remote style since the Harmony 880, which we really enjoyed testing.  Logitech was nice enough to send over the Harmony 700 for testing.  The 700 doesn’t control as many devices as the Harmony One and doesn’t have the RF capabilities of the 900, but it does offer a couple expanded features over the 650 such as rechargeable batteries.


Logitech remote topWhile it doesn’t have the sleek, polished styling of the Harmony One, the Harmony 700 comes in a cool matte black color with a similar button layout to the other remotes in the lineup.  The size is identical to the Harmony One, but is slightly heavier likely due to the AA-batteries in the remote rather than a lithium ion battery.   I actually preferred the extra weight to the remote as it feels more solid, but would have preferred to see a charging cradle come with the remote rather than the mini-USB cable that plugs into a standard wall outlet.  The display is just shy of 2 inches in size (square) and does not have touch screen support.  The resolution of the screen is 128 by 128 pixels and looks fairly bright in a darkened home theater room.

At the bottom of the remote, you will find the 12 digit keypad as well as the play / pause buttons for controlling DVRs and Blu-ray players.  In the middle of the remote, you will find the volume / channel buttons as well as a directional pad for shifting around in the menus.  Above the pad, there are 4 color coded buttons for custom functions, a page up/down rocker and buttons for cable box / DVR menus and information.   On the top section of the 700, you will find the color screen with selection and navigation buttons as well as the power button and automatic buttons for performing a series of actions like “Watch TV” or “Listen to Music”  The layout is very straightforward and anyone that’s used a cable box / satellite remote will be right at home.


Logitech bottonJust like all the other Harmony remotes in the current lineup, you have to connect the device to your computer (Mac or PC) and go through a setup process to choose all the devices in your home theater.  Anyone that’s had to setup a cheap universal remote will value the simplicity of the setup as there are no codes to plug into the remote over and over until the right frequency is discovered.   You will need online connectivity as the setup connects to a database of thousands of manufacturers and over a couple hundred thousand products.  As you choose your items, you indicate what actions they will be used for.  For instance, a cable box would be included in the “Watch TV” action, thus the Harmony 700 will know to turn it on when you press that button.  After filling out all the questions, the remote is automatically programmed and you are ready to go.  However, if you add any new devices to your current setup, you will need to run through the program again.

If you can’t find your product listed in the program (unlikely if you home theater was purchased within the past five years), Harmony does have a learning function that can be used to teach the remote about your devices.  The remote controls up to six devices and includes everything from televisions to game consoles to climate control (Heaters, for instance).   Setting up the 700 to handle everything in my home theater was pretty simple and took about 30 minutes of time with a little trial and error testing.   If for any reason your remote loses all the information that you programmed into it, just pop the remote back into the program.  I didn’t have this problem though.


After charging the batteries up overnight, I took the remote for a spin.  One immediate problem that I noticed is that anyone with a home theater projector is going to be at odds with the line-of-sight IR design.  The sensor for my HD projector is on the front of the unit and on a coffee table in front of me, thus it’s difficult to turn everything on at once.  The problem would also exist with rear mounted projectors and you may have to consider Logitech’s IR extender to reach everything.  I was able to get functions like Watch TV working, but had to get up off the couch to angle it correctly.  This type of remote is really better suited for rooms with all the devices in one place and in plain view of the remote.

What I really loved about the 700 (and most all Harmony remotes) was its innate ability to know which buttons functions I wanted to use without having to switch devices on the remote.  For instance, it knew to have the cable box functions ready to go just seconds after pushing the Watch TV button.  It’s also very simple to switch between devices when needed.  The screen seemed a big washed out though, unless you are looking directly at it, not ideal for the laziest of couch potatoes.  I’ve been testing the remote for a few weeks now with fairly constant daily use and I havn’t had to charge the batteries again yet.  I also had no problem teaching others how to use it within a few minutes and we never had a need to backtrack to the previous remotes.

Top view

  • Excellent feel / weight in your hand.
  • Simple to program and intuitive when in use.
  • Battery life is excellent.
  • Despite the $150 MSRP, it can be found for less then $100 online frequently.
  • Not ideal for home theater projector owners or those with hidden home theater components.

The Harmony 700 home theater remote control is best suited for smaller home theaters or the family room.  Controlling, for instance, a television, cable box, Xbox 360, Blu-ray player, A/V receiver and CD changer is simple and an ideal match for the Harmony 700.  If you have a wider variety of devices, you are better suited checking out the Harmony One or the 1100.  But you can’t beat the sub-$100 price point of the Harmony 700, especially for the functionality and simplicity of use. 

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