Great Universal Remote Controls for Every Budget

These programmable wands might actually be magical.

Credit: Flickr user "Dennis Skley"
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If your home theater is a complex ecosystem of receivers, screens, and speakers, eventually the remote control situation reaches critical mass: Misplace one clicker and the whole chain is broken.

Be honest, are your clickers controlling you? Maybe it's time to pick up a universal remote. Since the mid-1980s, these high-tech controllers have been a silver bullet for overwhelmed home theater owners everywhere.

The entry-level options can control your TV, cable box, and disc player simultaneously, but the really high-end stuff can be programmed with macros to handle all kinds of complicated, multi-device tasks. No matter your budget, there are benefits to be had.

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NOTE: Logitech more or less dominates the universal remote market, at least on the mid and high end of the price spectrum. If you're looking for an extremely basic model, there are plenty of options from brands like RCA, Philips, and GE, but if you want the good stuff, it's Logitech or nothing.

Entry-Level Options

There are plenty of affordable universal remotes out there if you're looking to take control of your home theater on the cheap. These clickers might not have fancy LCD screens or smartphone apps, but they're still miles ahead of any factory TV remote.


Inteset 4-in-1 Universal Remote

  • MSRP: $29.95
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 with 20 reviews
  • Designed for Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Nvidia Shield, and Xbox Media Center
  • Macro programming (up to 15 commands)
  • LED backlit buttons

Logitech Harmony 350

  • MSRP: $49.99
  • Amazon Rating: 4.0 with 252 reviews
  • Controls up to 8 devices simultaneously
  • Programmable hotkeys
  • Compatible with 225,000+ devices

Midrange Options

If you're willing to spend a little more, you can get into some pretty cool clicker territory. Most midrange remotes offer improved build quality and a more robust feature set than the more affordable options. Some even offer companion apps and smart home functionality.


Logitech Harmony 650

  • MSRP: $90
  • Amazon Rating: 4.0 with 4,236 reviews
  • Controls up to 8 devices
  • Color touchscreen for favorite channels
  • Compatible with 225,000+ devices

Logitech Harmony Smart Control

  • MSRP: $129.99
  • Amazon Rating: 4.0 with 1,709 reviews
  • Smartphone app includes Swipe, Touch controls
  • Controls up to 8 devices
  • Includes Harmony Hub to control "hidden" devices

Logitech Harmony Home Control

  • MSRP: $149.99
  • Amazon Rating: 4.0 with 435 reviews
  • Works with both home theater and smart home devices like Nest and Philips Hue
  • Companion smartphone app
  • Compatible with 270,000+ devices

High-End Options

If you've got a serious home theater and want nothing but the best, a truly high-end universal remote—which will run upwards of a couple hundred dollars–should be on your list. These no-holds-barred controllers deliver the cutting edge of home automation and AV synchronization.


Logitech Harmony Ultimate One

  • MSRP: $249.99
  • Amazon Rating: 4.0 with 286 reviews
  • Customizable color touchscreen display
  • Compatible with Harmony app, upgradeable with Harmony Hub
  • Works with 225,000+ devices and 5,000+ brands

Logitech Harmony Elite

  • MSRP: $349.99
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 with 40 reviews
  • All-in-one control up to 15 devices/automations
  • Full color gesture touchscreen
  • Integrated system cabinet controls

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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