What’s the Best Universal Remote? Product Reviews 2017

Best Universal Remote Reviews (1)

Whether you’re looking to buy a new remote for your TV or want to unify the control center for all your devices, a universal remote is your best bet.

Logitech Harmony 650 Infrared All In One Remote Control 2ft

Universal remotes allow you to control a huge number of devices without having to switch remotes. They also save you money in the long run, since you won’t have to buy a dozen different remote types when you inevitably lose any one of your them.

They are especially relevant in today’s world where most families juggle remotes for televisions, cable boxes, streaming boxes, and even gaming consoles.

Today’s remote controls are becoming better, smarter, and more versatile – while older versions relied on IR blasters, modern remotes can also control devices which rely on Bluetooth to operate.

There have been dozens of incredible universal remotes available in the past, but it’s not easy to know what to buy today.

Which is why we’ve decided to put together a list of the five best universal remote controls to help you make the most out of your viewing experience.

Top-Rated Universal Remotes - Comparison Table

Best Universal Remote Reviews

1. Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control

Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control

Logitech has lately become the company for universal remote controls, and you’ll quickly see why once you take a closer look at its Harmony line of remotes.

The Harmony Elite is not just a remote control – it’s an all-inclusive hub for all your entertainment devices. It gives you complete control of up to fifteen different entertainment and home devices. You can control everything from this remote, ranging from your television to your Philips Hue lights.

And while its price may place it out of reach of the average consumer, it’s an incredible treat for those that can afford it.

It’s compatible with Alexa, allowing you to control all your devices via your voice.

The Harmony Elite has a full-color touchscreen which lets you tap and swipe your way to whatever entertainment experience you want.

You can also select Activities like ‘watch a movie’ and the remote will go through the necessary steps and launch the right devices and programs. This allows you to carry out multiple actions at the press of a single button.

Logitech also allows you to download the Harmony App for your Android or iOS phone, allowing you to access most of the remote’s functionality through your phone.

The Harmony Hub allows you to control devices even when they are in closed cabinets, or when you aren’t home.

Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control 2

Logitech includes a charging station that ensures your remote is always charged and also gives you a dock for placing your universal remote when you aren’t using it.

The remote has a few extra add-ons which you’ll have to pay more to get. However, if you’re paying this much for a universal remote already, you may as well add some cash and go for the add-ons.

Features at a Glance

  • Harmony Hub included
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • ​Create activities
  • ​Full-color touchscreen
  • ​Included charging station

2. Logitech Harmony 650 Infrared All in One Remote Control

Logitech Harmony 650 Infrared All In One Remote Control

While the Harmony Elite is a high-priced remote for those who require lots of functionality from their universal remotes, the 650 is a much cheaper model meant for people who are looking for a more affordable but still smart universal remote to handle their daily entertainment needs.

The Harmony 650 supports up to 8 different devices, allowing you to unify 8 remotes and reduce living room clutter. Eight devices may seem like an unreasonable restriction, so make sure you consider how many devices you’ll want to control before making your decision.

The Harmony 650 has a bright-colored screen that displays your favorite channels and commands to help you navigate the interface. The display gives you easy access to your favorite commands and allows you to get help instantly - at the press of a button.

You can also use Activity buttons that enable you to launch complex actions with a single button press. Buttons are also grouped into related categories, allowing you to intuitively control your devices. With this remote, you’ll no longer have to struggle to find buttons to perform the actions you want.

The remote is compatible with over 225,000 devices from over 5,000 brands, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll buy a device you won’t be able to control.

Setting up the remote is simple and requires a few minutes on your Internet-connected Mac or PC.

Logitech Harmony 650 Infrared All In One Remote Control 2

Features at a Glance

  • Supports up to 8 different devices
  • Bright-colored smart screen
  • ​Activity buttons
  • ​Compatible with over 225,000 devices
  • Simple online setup

3. Inteset INT-422 4-in-1 Universal Backlit IR Learning Remote

Inteset INT 422 4 In 1 Universal Backlit IR Learning Remote

The Inteset INT-422 is an incredibly versatile universal remote that works flawlessly to ensure a seamless entertainment experience for you.

It’s preprogrammed to work with many devices with easily changeable devices codes. Simply hop onto the user forums if you’re having trouble pairing with a device and you’ll quickly find out what you need to do to make it work.

Every button on the remote is backlit, allowing you to use it even in complete darkness.

The remote has several locking features, allowing you to lock the volume or channel. You can also set locks that can only be unlocked by inputting a specific ID.

The INT-422 allows you set up macros, which are basically strings of commands. This allows you to assign complex actions to a single button and access them at a single touch.

Inteset also includes adhesive button labels that you can cut out and attach to your remote. This comes in handy when you assign macros to buttons – it ensures you’ll remember what each button does and make it easier for others to use your remote.

Inteset INT 422 4 In 1 Universal Backlit IR Learning Remote 2

Inteset also offers you a one-year warranty on the remote. In the case of any defects, the company will work with you to provide a replacement or refund.

Features at a Glance

  • Backlit buttons
  • Several locks
  • ​Programmable macros
  • ​Adhesive button labels included
  • 1-year warranty

4. RCA RCRPS06GR 6 Device Universal Remote

RCA RCRPS06GR 6 Device Universal Remote

This RCA universal remote is an affordable universal remote that will allow you to create a control center for all your home entertainment devices.

It allows you to create presets by assigning favorite channels and accessing them via a single button press.

The remote works with up to six different devices, allowing you to experience a more clutter-free living room experience.

It provides advanced functionality and can be connected to modern home theater setups. The remote also provides support for streaming players, so you don’t have to worry about it becoming obsolete as soon as you buy it.

RCA has backlit the buttons on the remote, but the backlight only fires when you press the ‘illuminate’ button on the lower part of the remote. The buttons don’t light up after every keypress, which is something you may not like if you’re mostly going to be using the remote in the dark.

The remote allows you to set up macros - consisting of multi-step actions - and assign them to individual buttons, allowing you to simplify complex actions.

A master power button lets you turn off all your devices at once, helping you save energy and liberating you from the hassle of switching your devices off one by one.

The remote also has keys for audio and TV input, making it much easier to manage the different components of your home theater system concurrently.

Features at a Glance

  • Supports up to 6 devices
  • Create easily accessible presets
  • ​Programmable macros
  • Master power buttons

5. GE 24911 3-Device Remote Control

GE 24911 3 Device Remote Control

The GE 24911 is an affordable three-device remote control that is perfect for situations that don’t require the complex control that more expensive remotes offer.

It’s compatible with three devices, so you may want to move on if you’re going to want control over more than that.

It works with a huge number of devices from all major brands and also has an auto-program feature that scans your device and connects automatically without requiring you to feed in a device code.

The remote retains its codes when changing batteries - in contrast to other cheaper remotes that you have to reprogram after every battery change.

The remote’s ergonomic design makes it easy to hold and use.

The Master Volume feature allows you to control your volume regardless of the device you’re currently operating.

GE 24911 3 Device Remote Control 2

You’ll need 2 AAA batteries for the remote and, since they aren’t included, you’ll have to shell out some extra bucks to get the remote to work.

Features at a Glance

  • Affordable
  • Compatible with 3 devices
  • ​Auto-program feature
  • ​Ergonomic design
  • ​Master volume
  • Requires 2 AAA batteries

Final Thoughts

If you’re putting together a complete home entertainment system, a universal remote is a necessity. There’s simply no other way you can keep track of remotes controlling half a dozen different devices.

And if you have enough money to set up a home entertainment system, you can probably shell out the extra money for a Logitech Harmony, our personal preference for larger and more complex systems.

If you simply need a new remote for your obscure-brand TV, however, you probably don’t want to shell out the money required for a Harmony remote – simply buy the GE or RCA universal remote and be done with it.

Each of the remotes on our list could be the best universal remote for your needs, depending on exactly how you’re going to be using it and the size and complexity of your system.

Go through each of them carefully and make your decision carefully, so you don’t find yourself saddled with a remote that won’t help you in your situation.

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