Best universal remotes: Logitech, SofaBaton & more
Looking for a universal remote to control all of your gadgets? We’ve scoured the internet for the best solutions out there.
Most of us have a variety of gadgets, appliances, and devices sitting in our homes – including Smart TVs, ACs, heaters, streaming devices, speakers, soundbars, and more. With each of these devices, you probably have a remote control.
At times, there are so many to keep track of that your coffee gets littered with them. Losing these controls not only makes everyone go crazy searching for them but also renders the appliance useless.
The best universal remote controls can help declutter your coffee table and make controlling multiple devices with just one remote control possible.
However, the biggest problem with these controllers is that you might not get all the features you generally can access with the native controls. We look at some of the top universal remote controllers that give you the best of both worlds.
1. Logitech Harmony Elite
The Logitech Harmony Elite is the best universal remote controller available right now. Despite being discontinued by Logitech, this remote is still available with various retailers and is among the first choice of users.
The Logitech Harmony has a bundled application that lets you set up a maximum of 15 home entertainment and connected home devices. The remote has an in-built touch screen that allows you to swipe and tap to control channels, movies, and volume and control smart home devices like Philips Hue lights.
You can also set up to 50 favorite channels, and simply selecting “watch a movie” will automatically power on and switch devices to the correct settings to let you enjoy your favorite movie at the touch of a button.
Logitech says that the Harmony Elite is compatible with over 270,000 devices including your TV, satellite or cable box, Apple TV, Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray player, game consoles, connected lights, locks, thermostats, sensors, and many more. This means that it reduces clutter from your coffee table and can help you control almost anything that can be controlled via a remote.
Unlike a regular remote, the Harmony Elite has a massive learning curve as everything needs to be set up via the application. Also, since this incredible product lineup has been discontinued, finding after-sales support for this remote could be challenging.
2. SofaBaton U2
The SofaBaton U2 is not as feature-rich as the Logitech Harmony. However, it is definitely among the top universal remote controllers by a fair margin.
Features like programmable buttons, macro functions, and fully customizable buttons make the SofaBaton U2 incredibly handy. SofaBaton says that this remote is compatible with over 500,000 devices from over 6,000 brands, which means that almost any device you can think of can be controlled using this remote.
The remote has a small OLED screen for easy access and control, a macro button that can trigger a series of up to 10 commands, controlling one or more devices simultaneously, an ergonomic grip, and multiple built-in infrared receivers that expand the signal, doubling the distance it can reach.
The keys on this remote are not backlit, which makes it challenging to operate late at night, and despite its price, it doesn’t have Wi-Fi connectivity.
3. Philips universal remote
The Philips SRP2024A/27 is a budget universal remote controller that, despite its limitations, can be extremely useful.
Unlike the Logitech Elite and SofaBaton U2, the Philips SRP2024A/27 can only control up to 4 devices at a time, such as TVs, Blu-ray, DVD players, cable, satellite receivers, soundbars, other streaming media players, and more. It can also control your smart home devices like streaming players, including Roku TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, and more.
The Philips SRP2024A/27 has an option to control both IR/RF devices, and this no-frills remote can even house a physical Fire TV basic remote under its body.
This easy-to-set-up universal remote control doesn’t need an application to set up and can be used immediately after unboxing and inserting two AAA batteries.
4. SofaBaton X1
The SofaBaton X1 is similar to the U2 that is a part of this list and is one of the best all-in-one universal remote controls. With this remote, you can control over 500,000 devices from over 6,000 global brands.
This super easy-to-use universal remote controller can help you manage various compatible IR, Bluetooth, and WI-FI devices, TV, DVD, Blu-ray players, projectors, AV receivers, soundbars, streaming boxes, Philip Hue lights, and more.
The X1 is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and lets you control Amazon and Google’s smart speakers and streamers. It comes with a built-in battery that can run for days and weeks before needing to be juiced up again.
There is a small LCD screen on the top of the remote and an application that can help set up the remote and lets you customize the macro keys.
What is a universal remote?
The name is self-explanatory. It is a device that lets you control various appliances and devices remotely. A good universal remote control reduces your dependency on multiple remotes to control different devices. It can help ease things up by offering additional features that a regular remote doesn’t have.
The best universal remote controls let you operate your TV, DVD player, or soundbars and control your smart home devices like streaming devices, smart speakers, smart displays, smart lights, and more.
Why do you need a universal remote?
A universal remote is required to declutter your living room from multiple controllers. The best universal remote control comes with customizable macro buttons that can trigger numerous commands at the click of a single button and manage various devices in one go.
You might need a replacement if you’ve lost the original remote that came free with the device. That’s when you can invest in a good universal remote control.
How to choose the best universal remote controller?
The simplest way to decide which universal remote control is best for you is by checking the number of devices you can control with it. The top universal controllers can control your home appliances, TVs, speakers, DVDs, Blu-ray players, projectors, AV receivers, soundbars, streaming devices, smart speakers, smart displays, smart lights, and more.
You can also count on the additional features that the controller offers. Features like macro keys, customizable keys, screen, seamless switching between devices, and ease of use can be other parameters you can rate the best universal remote controllers on.
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