Harman Kardon Unveils Branded Harmony Remote

Dave Zatz —  May 23, 2006

Harman Kardon has unveiled the Take Control (TC) 30, a custom branded Logitech Harmony remote. So what features does the $299 TC 30 offer over the similarly designed $99 Harmony 520? A color screen, rechargeable battery with cradle, and four more activity buttons. However… If you’re in the market for a remote with those features at that price, I’d suggest picking up the Harmony 880 which has better ergonomics and larger buttons. You can also find it on sale fairly often.

In other Harmony news, the 520 is being superceded by the 550. The updated remote adds six buttons, more closely mirroring the Harmony 360’s form.

3 responses to Harman Kardon Unveils Branded Harmony Remote

  1. The problem with the 520 is not the lack of a color screen, rechargeable battery (a mis-feature in my book) or extra buttons.

    The place where I find the 520 wanting is in build quality. The buttons are mushy, and the directional pad has a cheap, plastic feel. They all make plasticy clicking sounds. And the four LCD activity buttons are uncomfortable and take way too much effort to press. One of my LCD buttons doesn’t activate half the time unless I really sqeeze it.

    I like the 520 overall, but it’s a shame that the primary differentiator between it and its obscenely-priced cousins is build quality and not functionality.

  2. Yup… you’ve hit the nail on the head with the 520 — the hardware quality doesn’t compare with the more traditional shaped Harmony models. The longer I’ve used the 520, the more annoyed I’ve become at the number buttons which are tiny, mushy, and occasionally get stuck. The volume up/down buttons have also gotten stuck on occasion, which can be quite disruptive. My activity buttons and directional pad seem to work OK. For a few bucks more (on sale), I’d suggest the 676, 680, or 688 over the 520 to folks looking for a Harmony. Though the 520 is sexy… and the 550 looks even better — perhaps they?ve tightened up these quality issues?

  3. I have the 880. I like it except for the horrendously faint backlighting of the keys…. Was wondering if the TC30 is better.