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Best universal remotes of 2022

Updated Aug 9, 2022 7: 21 AM

Juggling multiple remotes for TV, cable box, soundbar, game consoles, and the rest of the devices in your family room will get extremely frustrating. A long time ago, manufacturers made third-party universal remotes, which linked to many devices so you might navigate all of them with one magic wand. Even though we’ve more devices than ever before, universal remotes certainly are a dying breed. You can argue theyve been replaced by smartphones but switching between 100 different clunky apps just isnt as elegant because the defunct, but still supported Logitech Harmony remote. Heres finished ., though. You may still find several companies that produce universal remotes. Plus some of the old devices, like the Harmony remotes, still work very well if youre ready to purchase a used one. If your coffee table filled with remotes needs taming, the very best universal remotes can still swoop in and cut right out some remote clutter.

How exactly we picked the very best universal remotes

I’ve covered the buyer electronics industry for a lot more than 10 years for TechnoBuffalo, Gear Patrol, CNN Underscored, and iMore. The coverage included reviews and reports on TVs and third-party A/V gear, including universal remotes.

To create our selections, I leaned on hands-on testing, in addition to extensive research on the existing third-party remote market. I checked peer reviews, user impressions, forums, and retailer comment sections to obtain a sense of what universal remotes are popular.

What things to consider whenever choosing the very best universal remotes

An excellent universal remote will consolidate your assortment of remotes right into a single tech navigation tool. It could dim your smart lights, activate your TV, and begin playing a movie during your streaming devices, with several quick taps. Or it is possible to program it to accomplish all those things simultaneously with an individual press of a button utilizing a macro.

An excellent universal remote also needs to feature broad device compatibility and, like worthwhile gadget, a well-organized layout thats intuitive for newbies and veterans alike. While a display isnt necessary, its a good perk since it allows users to scroll through their set of customizable activities.

Device compatibility

You would like to ensure that your universal remote can hook up to all the devices in the area where you intend to utilize it. You have to be in a position to juggle between 5-10 devices simultaneously (or even more), spanning entertainment, smart home, along with other forms of gear. Broad device compatibility allows a universal remote to match seamlessly into your day to day routine, and ensure it is easier to obtain the most out of most your devices.

Battery life

A universal remote cant do its job with a dead battery. When doing our research and testing, we hunted down options which could last a couple of months between charges.

We generally prefer remotes that include a rechargeable internal battery to reduce the chance of e-waste. For remotes with rechargeable batteries, we prefer a charging hub over a straightforward cable, but that’s not at all a dealbreaker. If youre utilizing a battery that depends on disposable AA or AAA cells, we recommend purchasing rechargeable batteries.


Universal remotes generally share exactly the same design language because the TV and cable remotes youve likely used all of your life. Generally, they will have many, a lot more buttons. Sometimes there is also a little display, that is great since it helps you keep an eye on what youre doing. Still, generally, the very best universal remote shouldnt be hard to parse.

Beyond our picks general size and shape, we looked out for things such as a cushty button layout. Popular buttons, including volume, pause, and play, ought to be no problem finding without requiring you to definitely search for them.

An excellent third-party remote also needs to have customizable buttons it is possible to set for specific tasks, like turning on your own TV to a specific input. Needless to say, we also tried our far better find options that look nice and feel great at hand, too.


Strictly speaking, theres nothing essential in regards to a universal remote. Its an extravagance designed to make your technological life a bit more convenient. Considering that, everyone will have their very own thoughts on just how much theyre ready to invest conveniences sake.

Luckily, you can find universal remotes for each and every budget. Probably the most affordable ones provide limited functionality, comparable to a TV remote, but with a wider selection of functionality. The costs rise from there as companies add more broad support for most devices, displays for better navigation, charging stations, and much more. The most effective universal remotes are usually a couple of hundred dollars.

In addition, our picks add a handful of remotes which are no more in production. They’re still simple enough to get, new or used, however they are expensive a lot more than youd expect. Usually do not fret if our top picks arent your cost range, as you can find always less expensive options that may pare down your pile of remotes.

IR, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi support

All universal remotes use an IR (infrared) transmitter to send a sign to your TV, which interprets that signal to actions like lowering the quantity or changing the channel. Lower-priced universal remotes generally come built with an IR transmitter. The very best of them also needs to support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, permitting them to talk to a wider selection of modern devices like game consoles and smart home gear.

The very best universal remotes: Reviews & Recommendations

Choosing the best universal remote enables you to consolidate your collection and bring some order to your family room. Though the set of appealing options is dwindling, you may still find several great universal remotes on the market.

Best overall: Logitech Harmony Elite

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: With broad device support, a capacitive touchscreen, and support for one-touch actions, the Harmony Elite is tough to beat.


  • Size: 7.56 x 2.13 x 1.14 inches
  • Weight: 0.36 pounds
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • Battery life: 3-7 days


  • One-touch actions
  • Custom activities
  • A capacitive touchscreen makes it simple to regulate your devices


  • Very costly
  • Not in production, so could be difficult to acquire new

Although it had been discontinued in 2021, the Logitech Harmony Elite remains the very best universal remote weve tried. It offers broad device support for over 270,000 entertainment and smart home devices, along with customizable one-touch macros. It includes a small capacitive touchscreen which makes navigating a potentially dizzying selection of devices an easy task to follow. Though Logitech no more manufactures Harmony remotes, the business still updates them, so that they remain a viable option.

Having said that, obtaining a Harmony Elite for an acceptable price isnt easy. It had been expensive right away, retailing for $349. Given that theres a restricted supply, that price has only risen. Even used models can cost nearly $400 or even more. Still, if youre looking for the versatile, feature-rich universal remote, nothing touches the Harmony Elite.

Best for home entertainment: SofaBaton U1

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The SofaBaton U1 supplies a similar experience to the Harmony Elite, including a little OLED display, in a far more affordable package.


  • Size: 7.7 x 1.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 0.61 pounds
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Battery life: N/A (requires two AA batteries)


  • Small OLED display
  • Can control around 15 devices
  • Supports over 350,000 devices


  • Cant control Wi-Fi-based devices

Though we’ve a soft spot for the Harmony remote, you may still find companies making great universal remotes. Just to illustrate, the SofaBaton U1 can hook up to over 350,000 devices from 6,000 brands and includes a companion iOS and Android app so that you can configure the remote on the fly. It could control around 15 devices simultaneously using IR blasts and Bluetooth. You may also assign buttons to execute specific actions and also create shortcuts to launch activities.

The SofaBaton U1 does all of this for $69.99, much less compared to the Harmony remotes cost before scarcity drove up the purchase price. Though it isnt as an easy task to program, and cant control Wi-Fi-based devices like smart lights, it offers the Harmony remotes a run for his or her money. Its a convenient, affordable, no-compromise universal remote in a reasonably polished package.

Best simple: One for several Smart Control 8 (URC7880)

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: THE MAIN ONE for several URC7880 looks basic instantly, but features customizable buttons and controls around eight devices.


  • Size: 9.4 x 4.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.46 pounds
  • Connectivity: Infrared
  • Battery life: N/A (requires two AA batteries)


  • Simple, straightforward design
  • Can control around eight devices
  • Customizable shortcut keys
  • Remote finder feature


  • Doesnt use Bluetooth devices

THE MAIN ONE FOR SEVERAL Smart Control 8 resembles a stock remote youd get with a TV but can perform much more. It could control around eight devices via infrared and can work with from a TV to a set-top box to a Blu-ray player. In addition, it features customizable shortcut keys that you could program with a smartphone app. Our personal favorite feature, though, may be the remote finder, which enables you to work with a companion app on your own smartphone to help make the remote emit a noise so that you can track it down.

The Smart Control 8 only communicates with devices via IR blast, so its actually just for entertainment centers, rather than full suite of smart devices. Still, its comparatively simple construction and narrow focus create a solid, affordable choice seeking to combine some of the remotes round the TV.

Best for Apple TV: Apple TV Siri Remote

Buy it used or refurbished here: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Apple TV Siri Remote features a better design, precise D-pad, and touch-sensitive jogwheel for easy control.


  • Size: 6.93 x 2.62 x 1.04 inches
  • Weight: 0.28 pounds
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • Battery life: 8 weeks


  • Clicky buttons
  • Theres a mute button
  • Jogwheel controls


  • Sort of expensive if youre upgrading from a mature Apple TV remote

With a pleasant aluminum design and precise D-pad, the Apple TV Siri Remote is your best option for the companys set-top box. The significantly improved 2nd-generation remote carries a mute button, in addition to a more intuitive directional pad with a touch-sensitive jogwheel like the experience of utilizing an old-school iPod. Needless to say, you may also utilize the Apple TV Siri Remote for system-level TV functions like power and volume. For those who have basic setups, thats all of the universal control you truly need.

Best for Alexa: Amazon Fire TV Cube

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Amazon Fire TV Cube makes it simple to control your complete setup without even touching your remote.


  • Size: 5.5 x 1.4 x 0.62 inches
  • Weight: 0.09 pounds (without batteries)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • Battery life: N/A (two AAA batteries)


  • Powerful voice controls
  • Preset app buttons
  • Simplistic layout


  • Voice recognition isnt always perfect

It could seem unusual for the Amazon Fire TV Cube showing up on a summary of the very best universal remotes since its a box. Just hear us out, though. The Fire Cube is really a surprisingly powerful device. The set-top streaming device enables you to control your TV and any Alexa-compatible smart devices in your house with voice commands you speak into its small remote.

Once you reserve the Alexa functionality, the Fire Cube remote, which youll also find in lots of new Amazon Fire streaming devices, is rather rudimentary. As soon as you enter the swing of using voice commands, though, you wont value the buttons, anyway.

Best budget: GE Universal Remote

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The GE Universal Remote is simple to utilize, offers master volume control, and may connect with around four devices simultaneously.


  • Size: 7 x 2.24 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 0.2 pounds
  • Connectivity: Infrared
  • Battery life: N/A (requires two AAA batteries)


  • Simple to use
  • Connects with around four devices
  • Master volume control


  • The plastic design feels cheap

In the event that you would like to consolidate remotes and also have no dependence on customizable buttons, touchscreens, voice controls, or the other features weve highlighted inside our other picks, then youre searching for the GE Universal Remote. For approximately $10, youll get yourself a remote that comes pre-programmed with support for a large number of AV devices and will control around four devices simultaneously. In addition, it supports master volume control, so that you can adjust the quantity of whatever device youre linked to, whether your TV or Apple TV. It isnt special, nonetheless it gets the work done and is quite cheap. Theres nothing wrong with paying just a little when thats all you have to.


Q: Just how much do universal remotes cost?

Today, universal remotes range in cost from $11 to about $400. Once we mentioned, that number has inflated a little within the last 12 months thanks to popular for the limited level of Logitech Harmony remotes available online. Once you dont element in the harmony remotes, the purchase price range for a completely featured universal remote involves between $50-$100.

Q: How do you program a universal remote?

Universal remote programming varies from device to device. Sometimes you need to enter a code that identifies the merchandise you intend to control. Other devices have standardized control codes that you could find on the devices remote or manual. Still others can pair with a remote via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

We generally prefer universal remotes which can be programmed via software applications or an app. The Harmony Elite, for instance,features an app with a database around 250,000 control codes. This way, it is possible to just research your device and easily connect.

Q: Do universal remotes use all brands?

Universal remotes generally have an easy compatibility with AV systems that support IR control. You ought to have no trouble controlling the core the different parts of a house theater setupTV, soundbar, set-top box, etc.whatever the brand. Don’t assume all universal remote can hook up to devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but the ones that can will be able to hook up to any make of smart device.

Summary on the very best universal remotes

Clearly, we still have a deep affection for Logitechs Harmony remotes. Having said that, you may still find several good options on the market, so theres no reason never to use one if you feel it could help. Its also worth noting that increasingly more devices are designed for basic system-level TV controls, rendering it easier to manage with one remote if youre just watching television.

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