Buying Guides

The 5 Best Universal Remote Controls for Every Need

Dan Price 02-11-2017

We hoard an ever-growing number of smart devices and entertainment gadgets in our homes. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find everything from streaming boxes Chromecast vs. Apple TV vs. Roku: Which Media Streamer Suits You? Media streaming devices are simply awesome. Those little boxes that connect to your TV can add a wealth of entertainment options to your living room. But which device is best for you? Read More to smart lights.


As the number of devices grows, so too does the number of apps and remote controls we need to manage and use them all.

The proliferation of management apps and remote controls creates issues. Theoretically, these devices make our lives easier and more streamlined, but jumping around between endless software and hardware is annoying and time-consuming. It’s not conducive to an enjoyable experience.

Some companies are offering solutions in the form of universal remote controls. They integrate with a vast number of common devices, thus providing you with a single device for controlling your home.

Here are five of the best universal remote controls you can buy.

1. Logitech Harmony Elite

Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub and App Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub and App Buy Now On Amazon $164.90


“The best high-end universal remote”

Like any purchase, pricing may drive much of your buying decision. But if you want the best universal remote money can buy Getting the Most Out of Your Logitech Harmony Elite So you’ve purchased a Logitech Harmony Elite. Here are some of our favorite ways to use the universal remote controller in your home. Read More — and you don’t mind paying for it — look no further than the Logitech Harmony Elite.

It works like a cordless phone. The remote connects to a base station (which is also used for charging), and in turn, the base station connects to the smart devices in your home. You can connect 15 devices to one remote.

Thanks to its color screen, the device excels in media management. You can set up 50 favorite channels How to Set up Your New Logitech Harmony Logitech's Harmony controllers are among the most popular in the marketplace. Unfortunately, they've been known to have complicated setups. Read More and the device will display them all on its screen, complete with their logos. The feature works with free over-the-air content What Can You Watch Using a TV Antenna? What if there was a cheap, legal way to gain access to many of the big networks? You'd probably lap it up. Well, it turns out there is! Step forward the trusty TV antenna. Read More and cable services, as well as for streaming gadgets like Roku.


Non-media devices are also widely supported. They include Amazon Alexa, Honeywell thermostats, August smart locks, Nest Protect, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, and many others.

best universal remote controls logitech harmony elite

Quick Specs

  • 6.0 x 2.0 x 0.6 inches
  • 1.5 pounds
  • Compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, PC
  • Supports infrared, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • 65,000-color screen
  • 128 x 128 pixels screen resolution
  • Replaceable Li-Ion rechargeable battery
  • Backlit buttons

What Are People Saying?

CNET: “The main question with a remote like this is whether the screen brings enough to the table to be worth the extra money.”

The Guardian: “The Logitech Harmony Elite is the one remote to rule them all.”


2. Logitech Harmony Smart Control

Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple All in One Remote - Black Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple All in One Remote - Black Buy Now On Amazon $139.95

“Excellent connectivity for a lower price tag”

If the Logitech Harmony Elite’s cost puts you off, try one of the company’s cheaper models.

There’s a lot of crossover between the Harmony Smart Control and the Elite, but there are also some important differences. Most noticeably, the Smart Control remote doesn’t come with a screen, so controlling your devices is not quite as effortless.


Furthermore, whereas the Elite can handle 15 different devices, the Smart Control can only sync with eight.

However, both feature the same connectivity options. It works with every internet streaming service you can think of, entertainment devices like Sonos and PlayStation, and smart home gadgets like Philips Hue.

best universal remote controls logitech harmony smart control

Quick Specs

  • 10.0 x 5.4 x 3.5 inches
  • 2.2 pounds
  • Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • No infrared
  • No backlit buttons
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Micro USB connection
  • 1 x CR2032 coin cell battery

What Are People Saying?

TechAdvisor: “There is one fundamental issue with the remote that we can’t let slide; we’re never sure which device we’re controlling.”

iLounge: “This particular bundle of a programmable remote with a multi-functional and multi-wireless standard-ready hub is quite good value for the price.”

3. General Electric Universal Remote Control 34457

GE Universal Remote Control for Samsung, Vizio, LG, Sony, Sharp, Roku, Apple TV, RCA, Panasonic, Smart TVs, Streaming Players, Blu-ray, DVD, 4-Device, Black, 34457 GE Universal Remote Control for Samsung, Vizio, LG, Sony, Sharp, Roku, Apple TV, RCA, Panasonic, Smart TVs, Streaming Players, Blu-ray, DVD, 4-Device, Black, 34457 Buy Now On Amazon $9.99

“An all-in-one remote for entertainment equipment”

If you want a device that controls everything, Logitech has the market cornered. Across the company’s product range, there’s something to suit every usage scenario and every price point.

But not everyone needs something that can control everything. Despite the recent explosion in smart devices, they remain relatively niche for the population at large.

If you just want an all-in-one device for your home theater, save yourself a fortune and pick up a GE Universal Remote Control 34457 instead.

It can control four audio or visual devices, including your TV, cable box, DVD player, sound bar, and some streaming devices.

best universal remote controls general electric

Quick Specs

  • 1.0 x 2.2 x 7.0 inches
  • 3.2 ounces
  • Master volume control
  • 2 x AA batteries
  • Roku not supported
  • Amazon Fire TV not supported

What Are People Saying?

Lifewire: “The remote is so budget-friendly you might just want to purchase it as an extra remote around the house.”


PUCK, The Smart Universal Remote Control PUCK, The Smart Universal Remote Control Buy Now On Amazon

“Turn your phone into a universal remote in under five minutes”

The three devices we’ve covered so far all assume you want to move away from your smartphone This Smartphone Trick Could Actually Curb Your Addiction If you're looking at your smartphone too much, setting the display to grayscale can help make it less interesting. Here's how to enable a black and white screen on Android and iOS. Read More . Sure, relying on fewer apps to control your devices is nice, but it comes at the cost of introducing a new device to your coffee table.

Bluetooth-based PUCK offers the best of both worlds. Just turn the device on, connect it to your devices using the supplied codes, and download the accompanying Android or iOS app. Everything is done through a single smartphone interface.

PUCK works with more than 220,000 different devices. It covers TVs, satellite receivers, sound bars, DVD players, air conditioners, heaters, and more. Ultimately, if your device uses infrared, PUCK should work.

best universal remote controls puck

Quick Specs

  • 1.5 x 0.7 x 1.5 inches
  • 1 ounce
  • Supports Bluetooth 4.1
  • 1 x CR2032 coin cell battery

What Are People Saying?

A Touch of Modern: “PUCK is an ultra-modern universal remote. A Bluetooth-enabled wireless device, it’s the first step in making your home smart.”

5. Inteset INT-422 4-in-1 Universal Remote

Inteset 4-in-1 Universal Backlit IR Learning Remote for use with Apple TV, Xbox One, Roku, Media Center/Kodi, Nvidia Shield, most Streamers and other A/V Devices Inteset 4-in-1 Universal Backlit IR Learning Remote for use with Apple TV, Xbox One, Roku, Media Center/Kodi, Nvidia Shield, most Streamers and other A/V Devices Buy Now On Amazon $25.95

“A cheap remote for dedicated cord cutters”

The Inteset INT-422 4-in-1 Universal Remote is like a cordcutter’s version of the GE 34457.

Whereas the General Electric product doesn’t work with devices like Roku and Amazon Fire What's the Best Media Streaming Device? Looking for the best streaming device? We've covered four different kinds of streaming devices: Budget, mid-range, high-end, and DIY. Read More , Inteset’s device comes pre-programmed to function with Apple TV, Xbox One, Windows Media Center, and Roku. You can reprogram the buttons. Kodi, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield NVIDIA Shield TV Review The proposition is simple: Pack some of today’s best performing mobile hardware into a sandwich shaped box – for streaming video and media, and playing mobile games. That’s why you need to pay $200-300. Read More , Matricom G-Box, and WD TV are all supported.

The device also benefits from its macro support. You can add up to 32 commands to a single button. For example, you could make a macro to turn off all your devices or switch to the local news channel.

Because the device is so customizable, it ships with a pack of button labels. It means each remote has a truly personal feel.

best universal remote controls inteset

Quick Specs

  • 7.0 x 1.5 x 2.0 inches
  • 0.8 ounces
  • Backlit keys
  • 2 x AA batteries
  • No Amazon Alexa support
  • Infrared RC6 wide spectrum protocol
  • 54 buttons

What Are People Saying?

CNET: “The Inteset 4-in-1 Universal Remote is an affordable remote that works with over 100,000 devices.”

Slant: “This universal remote is designed for easy access to streaming platforms and has grown a helpful community that can assist with solving problems.”

Which Universal Remote Control Will You Buy?

We hope this article has helped give insight into the wide variety of devices available. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to find a remote that can control every device in your smart home or you’re just looking for an all-in-one solution for your TV and cable box, there’s something out there for you.

Which universal remote control will you buy? Which features make it stand out? Why does it merit a place on this list? As always, you can leave your thoughts, opinions, and recommendations in the comments below. And remember to share this article with your friends on social media.

Image Credit: HighwayStarz/Depositphotos

Related topics: Harmony Remote, Remote Control, Smart Home.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Jessie
    June 25, 2019 at 5:53 am

    Thanks for finally writing about >The 5 Best Universal Remote Controls for Every Need <Liked it! Maglia Bayern

  2. Oscar O'Malley
    November 7, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Wow, I really like the PUCK. The ability to use my phone as a remote is something I haven't heard of before. It's amazing how far technology has come. I'm in the process of looking for a universal remote because I personally don't like having to use several different remotes to watch tv. I think the PUCK would be a great option for my home!

  3. Dan
    November 3, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Remember u get what u pay for!! These cheap prices mean cheap components used.

    These products are limited in customization and only offers basic functions.