Review: Logitech Harmony Alternative Sofabaton U1

Important I am not affiliated with Logitech or Sofabaton and this is my personal experience. I am not paid by either and bought the SofaBaton outright myself. If you find this helpful had success and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

Logitech Discontinues the Logitech Harmony

On April 9th, 2021 Logitech announced they were discontinuing the Logitech Harmony Remote Controls. The official announcement is here, with Logitech promising to continue to support the software but, given the way these things play out, I’m not holding my breath. Meaning for me, at least, it was time to look for a Logitech Harmony alternative. I just can’t imagine my entertainment system without a universal remote.

Logitech Harmony Alternative

If you’re looking for a Logitech Harmony Remote alternative and one with a screen, the best option I have found is the oddly named “Sofabaton U1“. Incredibly, it sells for under US$50+tax on Amazon. Design and feel wise, the Sofabaton U1 is very similar to the Logitech Harmony Elite universal remote making it an excellent Logitech Harmony alternative. If you’re lucky, you may even get the Sofabaton on sale, I picked it up for under US$40 as part of an Amazon deal.

Logitech Harmony vs Sofabaton U1 Key Differences

The Sofabaton U1 doesn’t have the same 2.4″ color display as the Logitech Elite, instead, you get a 1 1/4″  OLED screen with a little jog dial-type control to switch between devices. See below.

It’s a reasonable trade-off given the Sofabaton U1 also runs on AA batteries instead of a rechargeable battery. So I am guessing it was a design decision to maximize battery life. Another battery-saving decision is the buttons are not backlit. Battery life so far has been 10 months and counting.

Sofabaton U1 Unboxing – What’s in the box?

Sorry, no unboxing video. There’s not much to show. In the box is:

  • Sofabaton U1 Remote
  • 2x AA Batteries
  • Instruction Leaflet (which basically tells you to download the app)

Unlike the Logitech Harmony, there’s not USB cable because all setup and management is done using the mobile app (iOS and Android) over Bluetooth.

Logitech Harmony vs Sofabaton U1 Setup

I always preferred to set up my Logitech Harmony using the desktop application, I always found the mobile app too cramped for my liking. The Sofabaton U1 is a mobile-app-only setup (Android and iOS). The experience is fairly intuitive, you can control up to 15 devices, and the Sofabaton does support macros. I didn’t have any issue with finding my devices, which are all pretty common.

Sofabaton claims it has 500,000 devices in the database. One of the nice things is you can download the app in advance and search for your device in the database. So a little way to try before you buy.  It’s worth noting that the Sofabaton app has pretty average reviews, at the time of writing, 3 stars. I’m not sure why, as the app works well. You do need to give the app Bluetooth permissions, as the Sofabaton remote is programmed over Bluetooth. This also means initial setup will require you to pair the remote to your phone.

If your device is missing, you can manually program IR codes. The manual programming experience on the SofaBaton is similar to Logitech, align the IR blasters and it will learn the commands. Like Logitech, it may take a few attempts to get the alignment just right. A little tip, I also use this to add commands across devices.

Also worth noting, the Sofabaton works as a Bluetooth remote – which is better than what Logitech ever offered. Keep in mind, Roku remotes are wireless, not Bluetooth. If you’re after something for Roku, you may want to try Sofabaton’s Roku remote.

Tip: For the best result during setup, I recommend making a list of all your devices and the exact model number. Generic terms like Sony TV, or Samsung Home Theater won’t help you find your device. You need to precise with the model number.

Wishlist: What would make the Sofabaton perfect is if it also had a microphone so you could use voice input on compatible Bluetooth devices.

Sofabaton U1 Final Verdict

The Sofabaton U1 is great. I’m disappointed Logitech is exiting the market, but the Sofabaton U1 is a great replacement. At under $50 on Amazon, the Sofabaton U1 is affordably priced to make it worth at least testing to see if it meets your needs. It’s also not that much more expensive than a budget screenless universal remote. I have no complaints and it is a great Logitech alternative.

Reminder I am not affiliated with Logitech or Sofabaton and this is my personal experience. I am not paid by either and bought the Sofabaton outright myself. If you find this helpful had success and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

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