When you have more remotes than people lying around in a household, it’s probably time to consider upgrading to a universal remote for your entertainment system. A universal remote is great for eliminating clutter and simplifying the quality time you spend relaxing and watching TV. However, finding the perfect product for you can be tricky. We made this guide to showcase the best inexpensive universal remotes on the market today.
How to Choose the Perfect Universal Remote
Keep these factors in mind before making your purchase:
- Compatibility: Since it’s not guaranteed that a universal remote will work with your electronic devices, it’s a good idea to check in advance. Usually, this is easily accomplished by doing an online search with the company name, product number, and “code list.” This is a great way to see what sorts of device you will be able to control with your new universal remote. Also, don’t forget to check how many devices a universal remote can pair with to ensure that it suits your needs!
- Functionality: Some universal remotes include added functionality such as smartphone connectivity, back-lit buttons, and even voice control. Some even include a “find it” function, which is a dream come true for those who are prone to misplacing their remotes. Take time to consider what features different products offer and consider purchasing the one that will make your life easier.
- Design: Button size, button layout, and how a remote feels in your hand can make or break a product’s design. While these may seem like small matters, it’s a good idea to closely consider these factors to ensure you choose a remote that is right for you.
Best Overall: Philips Universal Remote Control with Smartphone App and Find It Feature
What sets this Phillips universal remote apart from the pack is its intuitive design and simple-to-use smartphone functionality. If you are prone to losing the remote (and really, who isn’t?), you will love this product’s “find it” feature, which makes it easy to locate the remote by using the free MyTouchSmart app. This app also makes programming your remote a quick task so that you can pair it with up to six devices. The layout of the backlit buttons on this remote is really simple to use and memorize. Finally, this remote works with all major brands such as LG, Sony, Panasonic, Vizio, and Toshiba, making it a no-brainer for our Best Overall award.
Philips Universal Remote Control with Find It Feature and Smartphone App for Samsung, Vizio, Sony, Sharp, Roku, Apple TV, RCA, Panasonic, Smart TVs, Blu Ray, DVD, 6-Device, Silver, SRP2017B/27
This universal remote has the ability to program or locate the remote via the smartphone app. It's also easy to use and can control up to six devices.
Most User-Friendly: GE Universal Remote Control
The GE Universal Remote Control has the distinction of featuring the most intuitive button layout on this list, making it a great choice for those seeking a user-friendly universal remote that is easy to pick up. While this remote is preprogrammed for use with Samsung TVs and Roku boxes, it also features a massive code library that supports devices from all major brands. Although this product can only pair with four devices at a time, it’s a great tool to control your TV, soundbar, Blu Ray player, and Roku box with only one device.
GE Universal Remote Control for Samsung, Vizio, LG, Sony, Sharp, Roku, Apple TV, TCL, Panasonic, Smart TVs, Streaming Players, Blu-ray, DVD, 4-Device, Silver, 33709
This universal remote is great for non-techies, thanks to its simple setup process and intuitive button layout. It can control up to four devices.
Best for Smart Homes: BroadLink RM4 Mini IR Universal Remote Control
For those who fancy ditching their remotes altogether, the BroadLink RM4 Mini IR Universal Remote Control is your best bet. This compact device takes a little tinkering to set up, but once you do, you will be able to use your smartphone as the universal remote control of your dreams. This device works with over 50,000 infrared-controlled devices such as TVs, DVD players, soundbars, and even air conditioners, making it much more versatile than your standard universal remote control. Although this device is not for the tech-challenged, it’s great for smart homes, thanks to its Alexa and Google Home compatibility, and it allows you to use voice commands for your television and other devices.
BroadLink RM4 Mini IR Universal Remote Control, Smart Home Automation Wi-Fi Infrared Blaster for TV Air Conditioner STB Audio, Works with Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT
This device packs a ton of functionality including voice control, Alexa support, and advanced scheduling (such as turning your TV on to a specific channel at a given time).
Also Consider: Philips Universal Remote Control
Rounding out our list is another universal remote control from Philips that really succeeds at being both easy to configure and simple to use. This universal remote comes in three styles, so you will have the option to pair the remote with three, four, or six devices, depending on which product you go with. While the button layout is not exactly ideal, it is easy to get used to over time. Like our other Philips pick, this remote pairs with a ton of devices from top brands and features a master volume control so that you can change the volume regardless of what device the remote is set to control. For those aiming for simplicity and function, this is definitely a universal remote to consider.
Philips Remote Control for Samsung, Vizio, LG, Sony, Sharp, Roku, Apple TV, RCA, Panasonic, Smart TVs, Streaming Players, Blu-ray, DVD, 3-Device, Black, SRP9232D/27
This universal remote features a massive code library to pair to your favorite devices and a simplified setup process for those with Samsung TVs and Roku boxes.