The Best Universal Remotes to Take Control of Your Entertainment

Caryn AndersonLast Updated Apr 16, 2020 7:22:50 PM ET
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Smart homes, home theaters and entertainment systems — with all of the different remote-controlled devices on the market today, remotes are increasingly cluttering up our living spaces. Take command of your home or office by consolidating all your electronics and controlling them with one simple, universal remote.

When you’re shopping for universal remotes, keep your devices firmly in mind. If you want to control smart home functions, you need a remote that’s capable of handling all of your tech accessories. If you only need a simple remote to replace one you’ve lost, stick with budget-friendly options.

Whatever your needs may be, there’s an option out there that’s right for you. We’ve rounded up 10 contenders for your consideration.

1

Best Overall: Logitech Harmony 665

If you're looking for a remote that's not super-expensive but is still capable of handling most home theater needs, the Logitech Harmony 665 might be your best bet. This versatile, well-priced workhorse has a rich set of features that lets you replace up to 10 remotes with just one. It's compatible with more than 270,000 different home entertainment devices and features backlit buttons for easy use.

2

Best Value: GE Universal Remote

Not only does this universal remote sport a low price tag, but it also works with most major brands, including Samsung, LG, Vizio, Apple TV and others. The GE Universal Remote comes in a variety of colors and is capable of operating up to four audio/video components — including soundbars, streaming media players and satellite receivers — at once.

3

Best Quality: Logitech Harmony Elite

This slick bundle comes with a Logitech Harmony Elite universal remote, a remote hub and a remote control extender that lets you operate the remote in other rooms. This universal remote is compatible with more than 270,000 smart home and entertainment devices, allowing you to seamlessly control everything from your smart locks to Alexa or Google Home to gaming consoles to other entertainment devices.

4

Best with AI Remote: Caavo Control Center Smart Remote

It’s the first universal remote powered by artificial intelligence. The Caavo Control Center Smart Remote makes it easy to control every device that you have connected to your television. It boasts powerful performance that operates external streaming media players, apps listed in the control center and even Alexa or Google Assistant. Unlike traditional universal remotes, Caavo requires a pay-as-you-go subscription for voice control, search and content discovery.

5

Best for Roku Users: Philips Universal Companion Remote

Winner of the 2020 CES Award for Innovation, the Philips Universal Companion Remote boasts a unique design featuring a slip-and-slide cradle to stow your Roku remote close at hand. This lets you stream your content quickly and easily. Even without the unique Roku cradle, you still get a universal remote that's compatible with all leading brands. If you’re a Roku user searching for two remotes in one, this deserves a second look.

6

Best Starter Remote: Logitech Harmony Smart Control

Simplicity is the name of the game with the Logitech Harmony Smart Control, which lets you use your smartphone in addition to the Harmony remote to control all your connected devices. It works in conjunction with a smartphone app that operates using one-touch entertainment controls. The included Harmony Hub makes it possible to control devices even if they're tucked behind cabinets or walls.

7

Best for Alexa Users: Logitech Harmony Companion

It’s not just for Amazon Alexa users, but it’s definitely geared towards them. The Logitech Harmony Companion works with Alexa to provide easy voice-control capability. It connects seamlessly to your entertainment devices and smart home devices, including Nest thermostats and Philips Hue lights.

8

Best for Streamers: Inteset 4-in-1 Universal Remote

Designed expressly for live streamers, the Inteset 4-in-1 Universal Remote was created to work directly with streaming devices, including Nvidia Shield, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One and others. It features intuitive button mapping for easy use that closely matches your original streaming devices' remotes. It also offers a fully backlit keypad and easy macro programming.

9

Best Small Remote: RCA RVR503BZ 3-Device Universal Remote

Looking for a universal remote with a compact footprint? Consider the RCA 3-device universal remote, which controls up to three devices all with its palm-sized design. It features a multi-colored, easy-to-use keypad, and it’s a highly usable small option to replace most major name-brand remotes.

10

Best Big Button Remote: RCA Big Button Three-Device Universal Remote

Big buttons and a backlit keypad make the RCA Big Button Three Device Universal Remote a good option for seniors and anyone who needs an easy-to-see device. It’s simple to program and supports major brands to control televisions, cable boxes, satellites and streaming devices.

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