Harmony Express universal remote gets simpler with Alexa built in
Universal remotes are designed to make your complex entertainment center easier to use.
But what about the remote itself?
Shouldn't it be simple too?
That's the promise of the Harmony Express.
This brand new clicker by Logitech Harmony, the biggest name in universal remotes, has been redesigned from the ground up to be easier to use.
Replaces the activity keys, the merit keypad, and even the power off keys with one big button that lets you talk to Alexa.
Press that big button and the familiar blue Alexa ring lights up.
You'll issue commands into the remote and stuff happens.
The TV will turn on and switch to the right input and watch Netflix.
You can switch to other devices, summon different apps, and tune to channels by name without having to remember the channel number.
And if you have a Fire TV streamer, you can look up individual shows directly.
The remote even has speaker built in so it can confirm your commands and yes, answer questions just like an Alexa speaker.
It also allows you to control smart home gear like lamps, thermostats, and anything else an Alexa speaker can command.
Turn off the lamp.
And a first for a Harmony remote, the Express has a remote finder built in.
Just press a button on the app, and the remote emits a sound so you can find it among your couch cushions.
You can also ask an Alexa speaker to find the remote.
The remote can also take other commands from Alexa speakers, just like other Harmony remotes can do today.
Logitech has a new app just for the Express and it makes setup easier than before.
It walks you through every step with clear instructions including a cool drag and drop method for matching devices with inputs.
Unlike current harming your notes, whoever the afternoon Express won't also serve as a remote control itself.
Just like current already clickers the Express cons of the little hub that beams infrared, Bluetooth and Wi Fi commands to your devices and there's an IR extender included for hitting hard to reach gear.
Harmony says it can command up to 15 different devices.
The downside, the Harmony Express costs 250 bucks.
That's more than double the cost of Harmony's standard hub based remotes and about the same price as the high end Harmony Elite which has a screen.
If you're an Alexa fan and wants to extend that easy voice control of your AV system however, the Harmony Express is a powerful new option.