Top 10 Best Universal Remotes [2021]

Best Universal Remote
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Having a universal remote can really help to improve your life. They’re basically the same as regular remotes, but instead of working on just one device, they can work on all of them. Having just one remote instead of several can really make things so much easier.

What To Look for in a Universal Remote

Design

The first factor you should consider is the design of the remote. This can include the shape and color, how big the buttons are, and what style you would like to have.

There aren’t too many colors to choose from when it comes to picking a remote control. Most of them are only available in black, but some brands such as GE do offer a range of color options.

The shape of your remote control can affect how comfortable it fits in your hand and the overall style. A classic shape we think of is a long thin rectangle, but there are more shapes to choose from. Some remote controls have smooth curves underneath for easy grip, and others have rounded corners for a more futuristic style.

Button sizes can have an effect on how easy the remote is to use. If the buttons are too small, you may have a hard time trying to push the right one. Too big, and there may be fewer button options available, meaning you may not get the full experience you want from a universal remote.

The Type of Signal

Most remote controls use IR (infrared) signals in order to work, so there’s a good chance that your device has IR sensors that make it compatible with a universal remote. For IR signals to work efficiently, there needs to be nothing blocking the path to the sensors, such as a door or a table. It’s good to note that IR signals can travel through glass, so any glass cases or cabinets will not be a problem.

There are some universal remotes that can send their signal through objects, as mentioned above. These use an RF (radio frequency) signal and are a great choice if your devices are behind tables or kept away in a cupboard.

Some universal remotes can control devices through Bluetooth or HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). For example, a PS4 requires a Bluetooth signal in order to be compatible with a universal remote, and HDMI CEC is designed to control HDMI connected devices such as a TV with a DVD player and a cable box.

Easy to Use

The final factor that should be taken into account is how easy the remote is to set up and use. If it’s your first time trying a universal remote, it’s recommended to look up tutorials and reviews to learn how they work so that it will be easier for you to navigate them.

Universal remotes can connect to multiple devices at a time. Instructions on how to do this should be included with the packaging, and there are some video tutorials available online for extra assistance. Once you’ve got your devices setup, you’ll be able to make the most out of having a universal remote.

If it’s not your first time using a universal remote, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. If you’re already confident with your current remote, using a different model will be super easy. A more expensive or higher-end brand can be connected to more devices and have more button functions, meaning you’ll get more out of your universal remote than you did before.

Best Universal Remotes

GE Universal Remote

The GE Universal Remote is a brilliant option when it comes to universal remotes. It’s not the most exciting design when compared to other brands, but it’s super affordable and will give you all the basic controls you need as well as some extra buttons.

Its multi-device control can be connected to four different devices at the same time. This remote can connect to most devices using an IR signal, including TVs, soundbars, and Blu-Ray/DVD players.

There’s an easy-to-follow online instruction video to assist you in setting up the remote. The thin rectangular shape and medium-sized buttons make this remote comfortable to hold and easy to operate.

Logitech Harmony 650

The Logitech Harmony 650 is one of the more high-end choices of universal remotes. Unique from other options, this remote comes with a bright color screen installed on the front. The screen shows you different channel icons and commands for simple navigation.

Using an IR signal, this remote can connect to up to five devices at a time. With just a click of a button, you can easily switch to different devices and have all the correct settings in your hand. With all the extra buttons and the screen, the possibilities of what you can use the remote for are endless.

GE Backlit Universal Remote Control

Perfect for use in the dark, the GE Backlit Universal Remote Control’s soft blue LED lighting can help you find buttons easily. Plus, if you lose the remote somewhere like under the couch, you’ll be able to spot it straight away.

This remote can operate up to four different devices at the same time. Using an IR signal, you can connect to the most common household gadgets. An instruction manual is provided for easy setup.

The design is simple with its black casing and big white buttons. The rectangular shape and rounded corners of the remote make it comfortable to hold and operate.

Phillips Universal Remote Control

A great choice for a universal remote, the Phillips Universal Remote Control can operate up to three devices at the same time using an RF signal.

The remote comes pre-programmed for Roku and Samsung TVs, so you can easily connect to these devices if you own them. There are instructions and an online tutorial available for other devices to help you with programming the remote.

The remote’s design includes a smooth curved shape that fits comfortably in your hand with medium-sized buttons so that it can be operated without difficulty. All the basic buttons are included, making this remote suitable for everyone.

RCA Device Palm-Sized Universal Remote

One of the smaller options available, the size of the RCA Device Palm-Sized Universal Remote, allows it to be operated one-handed. You can reach all of the buttons with your thumb effortlessly.

The curved rectangular shape of the remote makes it comfortable to hold. The buttons are a regular size and are easy to press, but because of the remote’s small size, there aren’t as many buttons available.

Using an IR signal, this remote is compatible with many different TVs and devices and can connect up to three at a time. The easy-to-follow instructions make programming the remote simple to do.

RCA 4 Device Remote Control

Another remote control with fully backlit buttons, the RCA 4 Device Remote Control, can be used in the dark without any problem and can be found easily in case you lose it in dimly lit places.

The ultra-slim design makes the remote lightweight and easy to hold. Plus, the buttons are round and regular-sized with icons printed on them for easy navigation.

This remote can control up to four devices at the same time using an IR signal. Suitable for many different brands and devices, this remote control is easy to set up and program thanks to its simple code search method.

SofaBaton U1

For a more basic control over your devices, the SofaBaton U1 is the perfect universal remote for your needs. Plus, it can control up to 15 different devices at the same time, so you could control your entire house with just one remote.

This remote uses IR signals to connect, but it’s also compatible with Bluetooth. You can easily switch between your devices using the scroll wheel and the small OLED display. The display shows you what devices you have programmed with the remote, and a motion-activated feature can adjust the brightness of the display to save battery life.

Inteset 4-in-1 Universal Backlit IR Learning Remote

If you want lots of different functions, the Inteset 4-in1 Universal Backlit IR Learning Remote will make the perfect choice for you. Designed for an experience universal remote user, there are lots of different buttons that can be programmed for various functions through Macro Programming.

Using an IR signal, this remote can control up to four different devices. Self-adhesive button labels allow you to customize the buttons however you like so you know what they’re for, depending on how you’ve programmed them.

The remote is slightly heavier than what you would expect, although the curved shape makes it more comfortable to hold.

Logitech Harmony Companion Universal Remote Control

The Logitech Harmony Companion is extraordinary for universal remote control. With over 270,000 pre-installed devices for easy setup, it’s guaranteed to be compatible with any of your home gadgets. You can even add a device if you don’t see the option you need.

You can connect up to eight different devices at the same time through IR, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi signals. Plus, if you don’t want to use the remote control, you can download an app on your phone and operate your devices that way.

Easy to use and fully customizable, the remote control allows you to effortlessly switch between devices and customize buttons to function however you would like.

One for All Essence 4

The final universal remote in this list is the One for All Essence 4. A great choice for a universal remote, it’s affordable and solidly built for durability.

It can connect to four devices at a time using an IR signal. The slightly curved rectangular shape makes it comfortable in the palm of your hand, and the regular round buttons make it easy to operate.

Setting up the remote to your device is easy as a result of the pre-programmed buttons for different brands. Instructions are available online for your convenience. You can even check online to see if your devices will work with this remote.

Final Thoughts

Having just one universal remote for all of your devices instead of lots of separate remotes can be really beneficial. You’ll only need to know where one remote is at all times. Whichever product you decide to go with, be sure to research if it will work, how to want it to, and that it’s compatible with your devices.

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Amar is the Chief Nerd at Near Bear and can be mostly found binge watching Netflix, researching tech, shooting things on PS4, and arguing over who is the strongest Avenger.
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