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It is 2022 and users prefer all-in-one devices that can perform more than one command. Today, you don’t need to have multiple remote sticks and input devices as you can purchase a universal remote control and use it with all of your home entertainment gadgets.
A universal remote combines and automates several things into one, including the ability to turn on your TV and speakers, tweak the settings on your home entertainment devices, and other smart connectivity commands such as smart lights and IoT devices. Although universal remote sticks work better than single-use remote controls, some universal remote controls have high-level smart integrations that you may not find with lower ones.
In this article, we will explore the best universal remote controls that you can use with pretty much any of your home and entertainment gadgets. This article includes products from some of the most respectable electronic gadget manufacturers anywhere. The list includes products from Logitech and Amazon.
Before we take you through the list of the best universal remotes in the market, there are some things you need to know.
Things to look for when buying the best universal remote.
The next time you log on to Amazon looking to buy the best universal remote control, here are the things you should look out for.
1. Ease of use
One of the most important things to look out for when buying a universal remote control is ease of use. If you do not like seeing multiple buttons on your remote, go with the one that is easy to use with minimal buttons.
Today, many smart universal remotes are integrated with touch capabilities, voice commands, and programmable buttons to streamline connectivity. A touch-enabled remote control helps you go through your device seamlessly.
The best universal remotes have smart menu options that make it easy and simple for you to use without reading long manuals. Some smart remote controls will even enable you to make programming searches based on your preference.
3. Smart technology
Like the universal remotes on our top list, the best universal remote controls can connect with more than your TV. Modern remotes do not only work with sound systems, DVD/Blu-ray player, and streaming devices. They also work with smart appliances including smart speakers and switches/lights.
What to avoid when using a universal remote control
Here are two important things you should avoid when using a universal remote.
i. Using your smartphone app and assuming it is a reliable universal remote
Yes, smartphones now work in almost mysterious ways as you can download remote apps on your phone and use it to control a number of things and gadgets. It is all fun, seamless, and cheap until that one day that it refuses to work with this particular brand or device.
It is well known that not all electronic devices and brands support smart remote options. Also, some brands have their own dedicated apps so using another app would be futile. And when it comes to sharing the remote stick, how comfortable are you passing your phone to the next person and the next and another?
Another reason why you shouldn’t rely on your smartphone app is that apps don’t function as seamlessly as the good old remote control. You may have to wait for some seconds for your TV to pick the command from your phone. A universal remote control, however, has instant back and forth with your entertainment gadgets.
ii. Troubleshooting is normal
The vast majority of universal remotes work well with the vast majority of gadgets on the market. Nonetheless, you will have to do some troubleshooting for several connections if you intend to use the remote control with multiple devices. Don’t say we didn’t tell you. Be prepared. It’s worth it!
Essential universal remote features you should note
This is the most important feature you should look out for when buying a universal remote. Remote controls work with Infrared connectivity as it remains the most common technology that enables remote devices. Nonetheless, other universal remotes also come with WiFi networks such that you can use them with WiFi-enabled devices. The most important thing is that you know the type of universal remote you are buying that is compatible with your home entertainment gadgets.
2. Control capabilities
Most remotes are designed to control your TV and DVD. However, many universal remotes can now control your air conditioner, microwave, and smart speakers in addition to traditional capabilities. If you have multiple home appliances and would want to control all of them using just one medium, you should focus on the control capabilities of the universal remote you are buying.
3. Display screen
As said earlier, some remotes have touchscreen capabilities and can doubly display messages and commands that can help you make swift entertainment and personal decisions regarding the connected devices. In a world where touch-enabled phones are standard, most people would be more comfortable with touch-enabled universal remotes.
As you are probably already aware, juggling multiple remotes can be exhausting; one for the AC, another for the TV, one more for the speakers, and an extra one for the lights. The list goes on and in a twinkle of an eye, you have ten remotes littering your space.
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Here are the 5 best universal remotes on the market.
1. Logitech harmony elite
Logitech harmony elite universal remote is a top-notch device that lives up to its name. The Harmony Elite has the capabilities to connect and control up to 15 gadgets all at once. The remote has a touchscreen from which users can make selections and move between TV channels.
With this Logitech universal remote, you can also create custom buttons and interact with the physical buttons if you so prefer. This universal remote works with several smart devices including a smart thermostat and smart lights. It is also compatible with smart speakers including Google Home Pod and Amazon Echo.
2. Logitech harmony ultimate remote
The Logitech harmony ultimate universal remote has great value for money. Its 2.4-inch touchscreen display means you do not have a large real estate of buttons on this device. Another top-end universal remote from Logitech, the Harmony Ultimate comes with a rechargeable battery that gives you enough fluid right at home and the ability to charge your remote whenever.
The remote also allows you to customize your viewing experience as you can reorganize the physical buttons and preprogram up to 23 of your favorite TV shows. What’s more, the Harmony is Wi-Fi enabled. This means that you can connect the universal remote with other WiFi-enabled devices in your house.
3. Canvo control center
Unlike the Logitech devices described above it, the Canvo control center can only control four devices simultaneously. Yet, it has a more refined interface through which users can even search content on any of their devices as well as streaming platforms.
This universal remote is designed to work as a smart device as it is also compatible with Sonos. With this, you can see what is playing on your Sonos right on your TV and make several adjustments to it without touching the TV.
Canvo has an online platform through which you can watch content and even sync with other content producers including Netflix and Roku.
4. Amazon Fire TV cube
The Amazon Fire TV Cube is easily one of the best streaming devices that can doubly be used as a universal remote. This device can be used to control your TV, HDMI inputs, cable box, and more. You can also look up your favorite TV programs and shows.
The Fire Cube also offers users great response time and 4K HDR image as well as access to other streaming platforms. In addition, you have the option of controlling it with your voice or the physical buttons. This is especially good for those who are already in the Amazon Alexa ecosystem. It works seamlessly.
5. GE universal remote
This universal remote takes on the look of a very traditional remote, the type that you have always known. It is also easily affordable, providing numerous physical buttons as it doesn’t come with a touchscreen. The universal remote allows configuration using a PC and is also able to control multiple devices simultaneously.
One more feature that we like about it is that the buttons are backlit, allowing you to see the buttons even in the dark. The GE remote has been a top-selling device for years, and we still recommend it in 2022! It is that good.
Which of the described universal remotes is best for you? Do you prefer display screens over buttons or otherwise? How about a smart universal remote or a traditional one? Whatever your choice is, ensure you read our list again before making a purchase.
Universal remote controls are here to stay, you don’t need t carry three or five remotes with you. Pick one up and enjoy seamless entertainment.