— Yoona Wagener, Product Tester. You can also check: 9 Best DVD remote apps for Android & iOS. It can control up to … Here are the best universal remotes for 2019: Sevenhugs Smart Remote The universal remote control device itself is simple and elegant and the remote finder is gold. A universal remote is a singular device that uses the same frequencies as your other devices. — Yoona Wagener, Product Tester. Subscribe to the CNET TVs, Streaming and Audio newsletter for the best of our home entertainment coverage. My family uses the system as much as I do and my main criteria in a smart universal remote or universal remote app is making it simple enough for a kid to operate, even with all those buttons. Our expert reviewers and editors evaluate remotes based on design, range, sensitivity, and features. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Uniquely this one handheld remote replaces the remotes for your TV, Blu-ray, streaming devices like Apple TV, soundbar, DVD, game consoles and media center. Great gifts you can still get in time for Christmas, 6 streaming services you can give as gifts (including Disney Plus), Get it there by Christmas: 2020 holiday shipping deadlines, The best Google Assistant and Google Home devices of 2020, can often be found for less, especially refurbished, Read our Logitech Harmony Companion review, Budget hack: Replace Netflix and other pricey subscriptions with these free versions, Best smart light bulbs (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more), Best streaming device of 2020: Roku, Apple TV, Fire Stick, Chromecast and more, Free movies: 10 Netflix alternatives that will keep you entertained. There is so much to consider when shopping for an easy to use remote control for elderly and seniors. Unlike other universal remotes that need codes to set up, the SofaBaton U1 uses an app to connect all your devices within minutes. The device is slick and easy to hold and the battery lasts for months. The Harmony Companion doesn't just handle your entertainment devices, the smart remote can also communicate with some home automation devices such as Philips Hue lights. The Logitech Harmony 650 Infrared All in One Remote Control is our undisputed best choice for the best universal remotes around. All of the models we reviewed were purchased by Lifewire; none of the review units were furnished by the manufacturer or retailer. With a universal remote, you can streamline control over everything into one unit. 1) Unified Remote. If you wish to tune to your favorite game on ESPN or launch a game on your PlayStation with the command of your voice, be sure to look for a remote that supports smart home devices. If you have a problem, you can follow instructions right on the Harmony 665 to resolve it. "If you’re okay with not having a touchscreen and spending some dedicated time to programming this device, it could be exactly what you’ve been looking for." One of the best features of this remote is that it can “learn” to control devices that are not in its official database. The app has all the functions of the remote. ", "Works with up to six different devices simultaneously", "Simply download the Sofabaton companion app and connect your devices from there in a matter of minutes. If you’ve ever owned a universal remote, you know that setting it up can be one of the most frustrating steps. Logitech Harmony wrote the book on the universal remote control devices and these are the most basic clickers I can recommend for a smart home. My pick for the best universal remote for the money is the Harmony Companion, a real remote tied to a Harmony Hub. It can support up to 8 devices, is slim and lightweight, and can work with the Harmony app and Hub. She specializes in consumer tech. Past programming, the backlit controls allow for easy nighttime remote navigation that’s powered by AA batteries for months of activity before requiring replacement. You can also create shortcuts to your favorite channels and easily access them from the remote’s screen. The Best Universal Remote; 1Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control; 2Logitech Harmony Smart Control ; 3Logitech Harmony Elite Universal Remote; 4Logitech Harmony Express Universal Voice Remote; 5Logitech Harmony 650 Universal Remote; 6Inteset INT-422 Universal Remote; 7Logitech Harmony 350; 8RCA RCR503BZ; 9Logitech Harmony Companion All In One A former editor of Lifewire’s product round-ups, Emmeline Kaser has over four years of experience researching and writing about the best consumer products out there. Twinone Universal TV Remote is also one of the best universal remote apps. Logitech Harmony Companion, Best Budget: Keep the following points in mind to get the best easy to use TV remote for yourself or … Beyond Alexa, the Harmony Companion works fantastically with other smart home devices such as Philip’s Hue lighting or Nest’s learning thermostat. Compatibility - Before purchasing any piece of technology, it’s essential to make sure that it’ll work with the gadgets you already have at home. The best universal remote is the one you already have. Turn down and turn up the volume. The 665 is the only smart remote currently listed on Harmony's site but the 650 is identical (aside from color and number of devices each can control) and can often be found for less, especially refurbished. — Yoona Wagener, Product Tester. As the title suggests, it works with up to four devices simultaneously. The best universal remotes are the perfect answer in both cases, and almost every universal remote uses infrared (or IR): the same signal protocol used by remote manufacturers as well. After reviewing various Power Towers, we found that the Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control is The Best Universal Remote in the market right now. But figuring out which universal remote is right for you could be tricky. Featuring control of up to eight devices, the Logitech Harmony smart control works with over 270,000 devices from 6,000 brands, including cable TV boxes, Apple TV and Roku. — Yoona Wagener, Product Tester. "Once we cleared the initial connectivity and setup hurdles, we experienced generally fast and responsive performance from the Harmony Elite." From Harmony to Caavo to, well, other Harmonys, these are our favorite clickers, hubs and screens for controlling a cabinet full of gear. The Sofabaton U1 is our pick for best setup because it actually streamlines this process. Logitech, which has a number of models, is by far the dominant player, with the Logitech Harmony Elite as the best universal remote overall. The main draw of the Elite remote control over the Harmony Companion is its screen and for most users it's just not worth it. The Updated SofaBaton U1 Universal Remote is your best pick. Now we're getting into big spending universal remote control territory. He's previously been published on TmoNews.com and has written extensively about the telecom industry. Our reviewer especially liked how easy it was to program different commands with one button. The best universal remote can unify all your clickers -- sound bar, Apple TV, surround speakers, Blu-ray player, Roku streaming stick and more devices-- into a single wand with buttons in a way that can feel almost magical. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. After a simple setup on the computer, the Harmony Companion is ready to work with more than 270,000 devices, including Apple TV, Roku and Sonos audio players. People consider it to be an excellent remote app for Roku streaming media player. It’s also not just for TVs, It includes support for DSLR cameras, air conditioners, and virtually any tech that offers a remote control solution. Buying a good quality universal remote fios needs a lot of research and patience. Instead of entering a bunch of device codes and struggling to pair your remote, you simply download the Sofabaton companion app and connect your devices from there in a matter of minutes. HDMI CEC is the feature you didn't know about. If you have lots of devices from lots of different brands, you’ll want one universal remote that can rule them all. Inteset takes its unique feature set up another level with macro programming that allows you to program up to 32 commands to a single button, so you can turn on/off all devices, switch inputs or change to a favorite channel. Unlike Harmony, Caavo Control Center includes an HDMI switch in addition to the smart remote. On Amazon. If you've got a serious home-theater system -- or even a semiserious one with three or more components -- a universal remote control is an amazing device to own. Available in a multitude of colors, the GE 33709 four-device universal remote is so budget-friendly you might just want to purchase it as an extra remote around the house. ", Get the Latest Tech News Delivered Every Day, GE 33709 Universal Remote Control at Amazon, Sofabaton Sofabaton U1 Universal Remote at Amazon, Best Smartphone Control: The included Harmony Hub allows for even more device control, including those gadgets hidden between cabinet doors or walls (read: video game consoles). The Harmony smartphone app (Android and iOS) doubles as a separate universal remote, which is convenient in case you are charging the Harmony Elite in its charging station. This Harmony smart control is a great system if you prefer the Harmony app, but for most people, investing in a real smart device (maybe one with a smartphone app) is worth the extra few bucks. Best Universal Remote Apps. Best universal remote controls. Our pick for the overall best universal remote control is the Harmony Companion from Logitech, a hub-and-remote system that works alongside an official app to produce a seamless, smart home-integrated experience that won't break the bank. Inteset 4-In-1 Universal Remote. Best Universal Remote Hub. Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our My family and I have used many of the smart remotes on this list as control devices for my main home-theater system for months or years at a time. This remote is compatible with hundreds of thousands of devices and that list continues to grow. We’ve researched and tested the best universal remotes from different brands and price brackets to find most ideal options available. The 650 and 665 also rely on IR (infrared) codes emitted from the front of the device -- if you want point-anywhere convenience, you'll have to spend up for a system with a hub. Connects up to 15 home entertainment and connected home devices including Amazon Alexa One-touch activity button to automatically power on and switch the device to right settings David Beren is a tech writer with 10+ years' experience. Since the Harmony Hub handles the … With a comfortable ergonomic design, the Logitech Harmony 700 reduces the need for multiple remote controls while working with six different devices simultaneously. Read our Logitech Harmony Elite review. It supports an incredible 8 devices, which allows you to speed through your channels and apps while also reducing clutter. For users more interested in a “smart” universal remote, here’s our top pick: the Inteset 4-in-1. The expansive code library works with all major television manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony and Sharp. Beyond voice control, the Harmony excels at working with devices that are hidden in closed cabinets through its IR (infrared) and Bluetooth connectivity. The Sofabaton U1 is a cheaper alternative to a lot of the expensive remotes on this list. Best universal remote: High end: Logitech Harmony Elite Best universal remote: Mid-range: Caavo Control Center + Universal Remote [caavo.com] … "While it lacks a touchscreen or flashy design elements, the Harmony Companion is still pretty sleek." While the pricing might turn some potential buyers away, if you want the most feature-rich universal remote on the market, the Harmony Elite is the one to own. "The Inteset 422-3 is a bargain at $27, especially compared with more expensive smart remotes on the market." Our reviewer was able to use it with Amazon’s Alexa devices, and there’s full voice control for up to 15 home entertainment and connected home devices. The 23 programmable channel icons for selecting your favorite stations makes it simple to rapidly find your favorite channels. Read our Logitech Harmony Companion review. It offers compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands, can work with up to 15 connected devices, and works with devices outside of line of sight. If your remote is broken, these apps will help you. Some remotes offer built-in controls for services such as Netflix, others only have a general control layout, and some won’t work at all. Easy to program and use, the Harmony 665 can control up to 10 AV components, and it has an LCD screen and a convenient help function—but it can control only IR devices and no … Sofabaton U1 Universal Remote, What to Look for When Buying a Universal Remote, How to Program a Universal Remote Control, The 10 Best iOS and Android Home Theater Remote Control Apps. Updating with new brands and devices is easily done through a connection to both PC and Mac computers and, while it won’t connect to smart home appliances, the Harmony 700 is an easy to use remote that won’t break the bank. We test their real-life performance in actual use cases and how easy they are to program and how accurate they are and at what distance. One For All Smart Control Motion. Read our Logitech Harmony 650 review. A worthy splurge, this best universal TV remote is the only clicker you’ll ever need. Caavo has its own smart voice control system and onscreen display to help you find stuff to watch on your streaming devices. Maybe you’ve started putting all those remotes in a box, or maybe they’re slowly covering your coffee table — why not just replace them with a single controller? Caavo Control Center. This kit comes with a … The SURE Universal Smart TV Remote Control is as efficient as its name suggests. The Cube has an IR emitter to control your gear and a mic sensitive enough to hear your commands over the blare of music. Read our Fire TV Cube review. Not designed for use with smart home devices. It comes with a simple design and is easy to setup. On the downside, you'll need to keep your old remotes (even ones that aren't smart) around for many functions. From TVs to audio systems to gaming consoles and more. You plug your stuff into the switch and it handles the rest, including automatically recognizing your gear during setup. In my years of using the Harmony Companion at home, the main things I missed are backlighting behind the buttons and a remote finder. Best budget alternatives GE Universal Remote Control. The Hub is the only remote control device on this list that doesn't actually include an actual physical remote device or buttons. The best universal remote for the smart home: Logitech Harmony Companion; The best affordable universal remote for multiple devices: SofaBaton U1; … The main appeal over a cheaper, non-Harmony-based smart remote controller, or the device that comes with your set-top boxes, is the activity-based control. When it comes to connecting directly to the television itself, the Inteset features a worldwide database of device codes for connecting to all the top television manufacturers by completely replacing their default remote controls. A One For All universal remote control conveniently connects up to eight devices in your house at once. Features of the Best Universal Remote Controls for Seniors. My pick for the best universal remote for the money is the Harmony Companion, a real remote tied to a Harmony Hub. Unlike more expensive Harmonys, which use a universal remote control app on your phone for setup and control, you'll have to use Harmony's Mac- or PC-based software to program the remote (needless to say, a remote app is more convenient). Our testers also consider each unit as a value proposition—whether or not a product justifies its price tag, and how it compares to competitive products. Best universal remote under £100. © 2020 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. Even though it has been on the market for a few years, the GE Universal Remote represents a great mix of strong features and value, making it the … Logitech Harmony Smart Control, Best Streaming: The connectivity doesn’t stop there since the Harmony Smart offers a smartphone app for both Android and iOS that offers up to 50 favorite channel icons, volume control and media playback. ", "Works with over 270,000 devices from 6,000 brands", "Pre-programmed right out of the box for Apple TV, Xbox One, Media Center and Roku. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. This includes most TVs, sound systems, and gaming systems, but does not include Wi-Fi connected devices like the Roku streaming stick and the PlayStation 4. With the Caavo Control Center, the remote itself is just a small piece of the puzzle. It’s also among the best universal remote apps for Smart TVs, TVs with Infrared Receivers, TV-Boxes, and DVD players. Flip through channels. Our reviewer didn't like its lacks a touchscreen or backlit buttons, however, the Harmony Companion does include Amazon Alexa certification. The touch screen makes this remote control more versatile than cheaper models with buttons, especially for calling up favorite channels or the Roku app, plus the full backlighting is great. This controlling universal remote is often sold for as little as $80 or less, so definitely wait for a sale on this device -- or Prime Day -- before buying it. Just hit a single button to turn on your TV and receiver, switch to the correct input, and even dim the lights. Tested at £30For basic universal remote functionality, this is a fine, ultra-affordable option. Before you buy this remote, it’s important to check the manufacturer's specifications to make sure your devices are compatible. Pre-programmed right out of the box for Apple TV, Xbox One, Media Center and Roku, the Inteset INT-422 four-in-one universal remote is well worth a look. To get Caavo's advanced features, you'll need to shell out for the service fee. The product that we have chosen … ZaZa Remote is one of the best universal remote apps for Android that features IR to help connect with various devices with a built-in IR hardware. Our tester did point out however, that while overall performance and software was good, it wasn't always consistent. The Good The Logitech Harmony Companion is a unique universal-remote system that makes it possible to control your entire home theater using your iPhone or … For the budget-conscious television viewer, the GE Universal Remote Control can operate up … ONN Universal Remote is 4 devices universal remote that controls plenty of devices very easily. Boasting the title of the most powerful remote out there, it even has voice control to team up with Alexa. Press the "Watch TV" to use as a TV remote or "Listen to Music" buttons and the Harmony remote controller turns on all the relevant devices (such as your smart TV, blu-ray player, and AV receiver), switches to the right inputs and maps the keys to that activity: Volume to the receiver and Channel up-down to the box, for example. Logitech Harmony Elite—Best overall ($269.99) Logitech Harmony Companion—Best for whole-home control ($109.99) Caavo Control Center—Best for voice control ($59.99/$159.99) Logitech Harmony Hub—Best value ($69.99) Inteset 4-in-1 Learning Remote—Best for a budget ($25.95) Automation - The majority of universal remotes you find will merely allow you to switch between controlling different devices, but some solutions such as Logitech’s Harmony lineup offer automation. List of compatible devices is regularly updated. The wacky Cube is a mashup of universal remote controls, the Fire TV 4K streamer and Amazon Echo speaker, making it the king of your smart home devices. There are buttons at the top for “Watch TV” or “Watch a Movie” that automatically change your input and switch to your preferred settings for that activity, i.e. David Beren has more than ten years of experience in the tech industry. This superb universal remote perfectly controls TV, Blu-ray player, DVD, DVR, cable, satellite, streaming media players, and many other devices as well. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. Turn off the sound. Furthermore, the inclusion of features such as master volume control allows the GE to control the volume on every device that’s connected to the remote. ", "With an expansive code library that works with all major television manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony and Sharp", "The Logitech Harmony 665 is compatible with a growing list of over 6,000 brands. 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