The universal remote control might be the most necessary technological development home entertainment has seen in the last three decades. Still, even with all that time, the technology remains imperfect. Fortunately, companies like Logitech and Universal Remote Controls have been hard at work to make a better all-in-wonder remote, and today we’ve got better options than ever before. The list of truly great universal remotes is short, but valuable. If you’ve been needing to consolidate a coffee-table’s worth of silver and black wands, the following are the very best options on the market today.
Logitech Harmony 650 ($80)
Your days of tech support calls with Grandpa are about to be over. The Harmony 650 isn’t the most advanced remote on our list, but its rich set of features, ease of use, and $80 price point make it an easy choice for our top pick. You’ll need an Internet-connected PC to get the Harmony 650 up and running, but once you do, intuitive buttons like “Watch TV” will execute multiple commands, powering up your television and cable/satellite box and tuning the TV to the correct input in one fell swoop.
Logitech Harmony Home Control ($150)
The Harmony Home Control is built for the 21st century. It lets you control up to eight devices at once, from Philips hue lights to Smart TV enclosed within cabinets, with either the included remote or the companion app for Android and Apple devices. The physical clicker also sports a variety of activity-based buttons for everyday tasks, with robust customization and a marathon battery to match.
URC R40 ($170)
Sometimes it’s all in the name. Though the most expensive on our list, the URC R40 offers plenty of customization and a 1.5-inch OLED display for quick navigation. Moreover, it allows you to conventionality organize your most-watched channels into a slew of groups, or program the remote to learn commands from others in your home theater arsenal. The on-screen setup wizard and various macro commands is only a plus.
Logitech Harmony 350 ($50)
The Harmony 350 is the 650’s low-cost brethren. It touts many of the same hallmarks — the ability to control up to eight different devices, five programmable favorites, and an online setup process — with a one-touch button for turning on your TV, cable or satellite box, or more than 225,000 other electronic devices. It’s appeal lies in its simplicity, which is perfect for a basic bedroom or kitchen setup.
Sony RMVLZ620 ($25)
The Sony RMVLZ620 thrives in the bare essentials (and it has so for years). The remote provides a straightforward means of pairing up to eight devices using a host of pre-programmed codes, while sporting a traditional design equipped with a basic D-pad and backlit, rubberized buttons. It even provides 12, one-touch macro buttons and a learning function for relaying command information from discontinued remotes.