Harmony Remotes Harmony SST-659 Universal Learning Remote Remote Controls

4/5 (8 Reviews) MSRP : $149.00


Product Description

Universal Learning Remote Programmable learning infrared remote, interactive display, programmable via website (software included


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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Stanford Ewing a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2006

Bottom Line:   
This remote is quite a paradox. Very, very difficult and frustrating to set up properly with a very weak instruction manual. Most importantly, they do not say first on that in order for your computer to set up the remote, the remote's batteries may need to be removed and the power supplied only by the USB/4 pin firewire cable. This is stated in some deep, dark corner of the help menu only under the PC instructions, that I just happened to try after 1 1/2 hrs of frustration. I used a Mac Mini to set up the entire remote.
The TV programming are the ones most likely not to work right away. My TV was unable to find the right input after repeated, frustrating attempts to reprogram the remote. Finally, after a lengthy conversation to the help phone line (they get an A+), they suggested adding some commands to the Harmony 659 that included scroll up, scroll down and enter (select) from the original TV remote. In the end, adding those commands to the Harmony from the Sharp LC - 37 GD4U remote solved the problem. Another very difficult area to identify was the ability to change the preprogrammed channels on an Outlaw 950 for listening to the Tuner. After several attempts, it was actually programmed in there, under Tmode (eventually lower right hand side of the screen using the next button when in the AV Receiver mode). After activating this button, then I could use the oval to change the preprogrammed stations. Overall, > 3 hours to program the Harmony. Hence, it has selected everything perfectly, > 95% of the time.
So in the end, very good and quite powerful. And does what it was reported capable of doing. But watch out, a long road to get there.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $77.00

Purchased At:   online- Electronics



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by cobaltcable a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Logitech Harmony 659

*DISREGARD STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES AND SIMILAR PRODUCTS USED*

If you hop into a forum these days looking for universal remotes you will undoubtedly stumble across many posts concerning the “Harmony” line of remotes. Recently acquired by Logitech, the Harmony line boasts an easy to use, online interface for programming your remote. The other major departure from the norm as far as universals go is the adaptation of macro buttons on the top of the controller to do things like “Watch TV” or “Watch A Movie” instead of the typical “TV”, “DVR”, “AUDIO” buttons that come standard on even most factory remotes. Many of the Harmony remotes even allow you to download TV listings directly if you happen to not have an on-screen guide available through your cable provider.

Knowing that most budget minded people will look to the least expensive, yet still feature rich controller, I opted to test the Logitech Harmony 659. Esthetically it is a very attractive controller. The dark grey chassis uses two silver ovals to define the upper and lower sections of the remote. Toward the top are your macro buttons along with your media button and selector buttons that control the information displayed on the back-lit LCD screen. When lit, the controller emits a nice, blue luminescence that displays the text fairly well. The middle and lower sections of the controller have the more familiar navigation controls, channel and volume controls, as well as your number buttons and video transport controls (play, pause, record). In total there are a whopping 51 buttons, yet they are laid out in a way that is appealing and makes sense.

On the internet, you can find several very detailed reviews of this remote, so I do not plan for this to be your commonplace description and breakdown. I think everyone that can get their hands on this remote would agree that it is, for the money, ($149.99 or less) a great value.

What I would like to talk about is the process of getting the Harmony 659 working like it should. Logitech would lead you to believe that this is a very easy, trouble free process, but that was unfortunately not my experience.

The installation of the software provided went well enough. When I plugged the remote in, the software picked up after a few plug/unplug attempts with the USB cable. When it did begin communicating, the remote was updated. I was not very happy when the remote gave me an error, but we have not downloaded my system information to the remote yet, so at this point I am still hopeful. I went to the Harmony website, which redirected me to Logitech and their new remote section. I used the “test drive” login I had established earlier. This login and “orientation” walks you through the different devices you want your Harmony to control. This process too, was easy enough, though at times needlessly redundant. Often I felt like the setup was so simplified it was hindering progress. It should be noted that this is the ONLY way to set this remote up. If you find you are the type of person that struggles with navigating web sites, or prefer to punch in remote codes like most universals, you should seriously consider another alternative. Also, there is no way to store your remote configuration on your PC once you have it all figured out. I personally live in a very rural area and am unfortunately limited to dial up software, which leads me to my next complaint:

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $110.00

Purchased At:   www.onecall.com



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by danchurch a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Purchased this unit on rave reviews by other users. Perhaps it's my computer & system but I have to give this product a FAILING grade. Despite the impressive list of manufacturers, the software does not seem to recognize models adequately and requires the existing remote for face-to-face training. Often the pre-selected training choices are not relevant; usually learning process fails.

Beside this, the software hangs often and does not allow for easy navigation when training fails.

I plan to dump this back on eBay and purchase a serious remote.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $125.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by breeze a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 15, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I picked up this remote based on the reviews on this site and other online reviews. Since I am currently using five remotes to control my A/V system, this looked like a relatively inexpensive way to solve my problem. The set up process is pretty staightforward-enter your equipment at the Harmony website and you are up and running. I did have to use Harmony's customer support (which was excellent) to tweak the remote further. Now my wife can run the home theater system easily-she loves it and that is the best endorsement that I can give the product!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Purchased At:   Future Shop



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CoreyInBurford a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 28, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This is for the logitech version of this remote, I have heard the quality is better on the logitechs otherwise same remote.

This remote is amazing. The ease of programming is good. The website is very helpful once you stop using the wizards, use the device settings instead. It can control an amazing array of devices, even HVAC controls if you wish to quiet your room while you listen. A great buy especially on sale.

Price paid is Canadian

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $99.00

Purchased At:   FutureShop




Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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