For some time, Logitech’s Harmony line of universal remote controls have held the monopoly, but new-kid-on-the-block NEEO clearly plans to shake up the AV terrain with its newly announced NEEO Remote and NEEO Brain combo, priced at $369. The system is capable of talking to almost any AV setup and a variety of connected smart devices, according to recent news provided by Tech Crunch and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
Setup for the Kickstarter-funded NEEO is almost exclusively phone-based, and although Logitech Harmony software can be controlled from iOS and Android, the software is still considered somewhat clunky and geared towards web-based software.
NEEO’s system consists of the ‘Brain’, which is a smart white disc-shaped device with 360-degree IR blasters around is circumference, and which has one IR extender out for connecting devices located within a closed AV cabinet, for example. This puck-like central hub connects to a Wi-Fi network, and setup requires plugging it into your router via Ethernet to get everything firing up.
The NEEO Remote itself is reported to be of sleek design sporting aerospace-grade aluminum, knocking spots off the aesthetics its Harmony competitor models. The unit is also reputed not to suffer from the ergonomics of the ‘which way up’ problem that plagues Apple remotes, due to bottom weighting and logical button layout. Indeed the company claims that backlit buttons are not required because you should never have to look down at the intuitive keypad. The remote is not a requirement, as everything can be controlled by the iPhone or Android app and the NEEO Brain in isolation, but using the touch-sensitive display is believed to be a pleasing experience.
An included SOS feature which allows a user to locate the remote if it has planted itself between the cushions on the sofa, and hand recognition and parental controls put the NEEO universal remote ahead of its competitors. Furthermore, one NEEO Remote can control several NEEO Brains in different parts of the house, but it should be noted that one Brain will set you back $200 a piece. Some will also prefer to stick with their Harmony system which still can offer better Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility.
Has anyone here on HTF started using the NEEO combo? It would be great to hear your feedback below…