The 5 Best Universal Remotes
Anyone who has ever owned a home entertainment system is aware of the plethora of remotes required to control each component and the chaos that can ensue if you were to lose one of them. This is where a universal remote can come in handy, as it gives you the ability to control all your favorite electronic devices on just one convenient remote.
There are a number of key factors to look for when searching for the ideal universal remote. We here at Wise Bread have done the homework for you, and we're happy to present our list of the five best universal remotes.
What Is a Universal Remote?
A universal remote is an advanced remote control device that can be programmed to control multiple electronic entertainment systems in your home, including televisions, cable boxes, video players, gaming consoles and sound systems. Setting up a universal remote to control your existing electronic devices generally requires entering in a product code on the remote that's unique to the device that you want to control. Certain universal remotes will even let you download the codes from a computer with Internet access right onto the remote.
Most high-end universal remotes also allow you to perform commands that would usually require multiple keystrokes with just the press of a single button instead. It is important that you make sure that the universal remote will be compatible with your electronic devices before you buy it.
Best 5 Universal Remotes
Logitech Harmony One
Both experts and consumers alike have praised the Logitech Harmony One for being a fantastic universal remote with easy-to-use features and a very ergonomic design. Great for owners of large entertainment systems, this Consumer Search top pick can control up to 15 different electronic devices and comes with a simple Internet-guided setup process.
Users love the remote's lightweight, contoured body that's very comfortable to hold as well as the illuminated buttons that are great for nighttime use. Its touch-enabled LED screen lets you perform a wide variety of commands with just a simple touch, and its on-screen options can be customized to your personal preference. You can also easily recharge the remote's batteries with the included charging dock.
Logitech Harmony Ultimate
The Logitech Harmony Ultimate universal remote delivers an incredibly advanced and feature-packed controller for the entire home entertainment system that'll certainly satisfy power users. Not only does it include all the great features found on the superb Harmony One remote, it adds even more convenient features on top of that, including dual button mapping, haptic feedback, and a built-in accelerometer that can automatically turn on the touch screen when the remote is picked up.
The Harmony Ultimate remote also comes with an exclusive Harmony Hub receiver that lets it access devices that are behind closed cabinet doors and walls. If you download the Harmony smartphone app, the Hub can also transform your smartphone into a remote with its own customizable interface.
Logitech Harmony 1100
The Logitech Harmony 1100 offers a unique tablet-style universal remote that gives users an innovative and even simpler way of controlling their entertainment devices. This Consumer Search top pick packs a gorgeous 3.5-inch, full-color touch-screen display that gives you complete control of up to 15 devices and comes with a slew of customization options, including personalized commands and the ability to add icons for your favorite channels for instant access.
Although it’s certainly larger than your traditional universal remote, users say that the tablet remote is still easy and comfortable to hold. The Harmony 1100 also comes with a convenient charging stand and can be easily setup using web-based software.
Logitech Harmony 650
The Logitech Harmony 650 is the perfect choice for those looking for a high quality universal remote that doesn't require a small fortune to afford. Despite its sub-$100 price tag, this Amazon Best Seller comes with many of the features that you'll commonly find on more expensive universal remotes, including a color command screen that lets you jump to your favorite channels and commands, illuminated buttons for nighttime use, and an easy web-based setup process that lets you start using your remote without a fuss.
This remote can control up to 8 different devices, and its wonderfully contoured design is lightweight and feels great in your hands. It also comes with one-touch activity buttons that can turn on the appropriate devices for the specified activity you desire with a single press.
While it may be the most budget-friendly option on our list, the URC-WR7 basic universal remote delivers more bang for your buck when compared to other options in its price range, and its also an excellent choice for users who aren't particularly tech-savvy. The URC-WR7 can control up to 7 different devices and comes with special macro buttons that can turn on multiple devices and execute multiple commands with one easy push.
The remote also allows you to save up to five of your favorite channels on each of the four customizable "My Favorites" buttons. The Quick Setup feature on the URC-WR7 automatically finds the devices you want to control so that you can get your remote working right away, no computer needed. If a particular device can't be found, the remote also has a learning mode that lets you easily transfer commands from another remote onto this one.
And those are our recommendations for the best universal remotes. As always, be sure to check out the Wise Bread Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!