Logitech Harmony One
Logitech Harmony One

Best universal remote control

To say reviewers love the Logitech Harmony One is putting it mildly. Experts praise the Harmony One's excellent setup software, touch-screen color LCD and sleek, ergonomic design that testers find comfortable and intuitive. The Harmony One remote control has sculpted, backlit buttons and comes with a charging station for its lithium-ion battery. A web-based setup wizard makes programming relatively easy, letting the Harmony One control up to 15 devices with one-touch ease. Web-based setup ensures the remote will keep up with the latest audio-video equipment, but non-techies may find this process a little overwhelming. Although reviewers rave about the Logitech Harmony One, it is probably overkill if you want to control two or three components. A lack of radio-frequency functionality is a notable shortfall, and the Harmony One can't control devices behind closed cabinets or in other rooms.
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*Est. $140 Estimated Price
Universal Remote Control (URC) Digital R50
Universal Remote Control (URC) Digital R50

Budget universal remote control

If you don't like the computer-based setup of Logitech's Harmony remotes, experts recommend the Universal Remote Control Digital R50. This universal remote can control up to 18 devices (more than the Harmony remotes), and you don't have to hook it up to your computer -- the remote is programmed using an internal wizard displayed on the color screen. Reviewers say the URC Digital R50 is a good alternative to the Logitech Harmony remotes, even though they prefer those remotes overall. Although the on-board setup may appeal to some, it's not without faults -- some reviewers say it takes a good deal of time to set up a large home theater, but that's a common complaint for advanced universal remotes. Some reviewers say they would prefer a rechargeable battery, and several owners complain that the URC Digital R50 only comes with a quick-start guide, rather than an in-depth user's manual.
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*Est. $75 Estimated Price
Logitech Harmony 200
Logitech Harmony 200

Basic universal remote control

It may not be the most featured-packed universal remote, but experts and users say the Logitech Harmony 200 is a good, basic remote that can control up to three devices and works great for small home theaters. Logitech's computer-based setup is simple and user-friendly, and owners report that the sturdy remote has great ergonomics and feels good in the hand. While macro support is limited, a single button that turns on all the components necessary to start channel surfing, and four programmable buttons help to tailor the remote to your specific needs. Critics say you won't find a better basic remote control, but the Logitech Harmony 200 lacks the bells and whistles -- like backlit screens -- found in more expensive models.
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*Est. $20 Estimated Price
Logitech Harmony 1100
Logitech Harmony 1100

Tablet-style universal remote control

The Logitech Harmony 1100 can control up to 15 components with its 3.5-inch color touch screen and one-touch activity controls. Although it may look complicated, reviewers say the Harmony 1100 is very user-friendly and the setup is easy for most owners. However, the price tag may be a deal-breaker for some, and multiple reviewers say they wish the Harmony 1100 had the ability to create custom activity sequences, or macros. The Logitech 1100 contains several pre-programmed commands, but users can't create their own, which is a bummer for some audio-video enthusiasts.
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*Est. $250 Estimated Price
Logitech Harmony 900
Logitech Harmony 900

Universal remote with radio frequency

The Logitech Harmony 900 addresses one of the biggest shortfalls mentioned in reviews of the Harmony One -- a lack of radio-frequency output. Infrared, which is used by the vast majority of universal remotes, requires line of sight to function. The Logitech Harmony 900 uses both infrared and radio frequency, so it can manage devices in other rooms or hidden behind closed cabinets. Reviewers love this feature, but users are a little more mixed because several say the range is notably shorter than what's claimed. Like the Logitech Harmony One, the Harmony 900 uses a web-based setup wizard and can control up to 15 devices. Other features include dedicated Blu-ray buttons. The Logitech Harmony 900 has some of the same drawbacks as other Harmony remotes -- a high price tag and a glossy black case that shows every fingerprint and smudge (although Logitech now includes a cleaning cloth to rectify that problem).
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*Est. $250 Estimated Price
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