Best Universal Remote – Universal Remote Controls for TV and Entertainment Systems

Sometimes, it seems like you have three remote controls for every TV or DVD player you own! You might be left with a basket full of forgotten or barely-used controllers just lying around and creating clutter. Universal remote controls can replace these and, in some cases, let you control all your equipment with a single device. The best ones are easy to program and have simple buttons to help you navigate through devices, channels, etc. And more advanced smart universal remote controls can connect to your mobile phones and smart home devices.

We’ve researched the 5 best universal TV remotes from trustworthy brands so you can finally simplify your entertainment experience. We also want to give a shout out to one more brand — GE has many quality universal remote controls that come highly rated by users.

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# of Devices
Device Types
Our Top Choice
Logitech Harmony 650 Universal Remote
Logitech specializes in innovative personal peripherals to enhance experiences of the digital world. This high-tech remote replaces up to 8 other remotes with advanced functions.
Interactive color screen with channel icons and commands. Supports up to 8 devices. Highly compatible with hundreds of thousands of devices. Simple setup.
The rechargeable battery is not replaceable.
Up to 8 at a Time
Over 225,000 Devices
2 AA batteries (Included)
15.2 ounces
Best Value
Phillips Perfect Universal TV Remote
Phillips is a technological jack-of-all-trades, making life easier with consumer and professional tech. This inexpensive remote has what you need to quickly control your devices.
Inexpensive. Big buttons. Quick, easy setup.
Not as many advanced options as higher-end remotes.
3, 4 or 6 device option
TV, DTV, Cable, SAT, Blu-ray
2 AA batteries
4 ounces
URC Wand-Style Universal Remote
URC is a 25-year old company with a passion for superior remote control tech. This high-end remote can control an entire entertainment system and other smart devices.
Radio control so you don't have to be aiming directly at device. Controls up to 255 components. Sound effects and LCD screen. Charger station. Ergonomic feel.
Expensive, but offers an entirely new level of convenience for controlling large entertainment systems.
Up to 255 at a Time
Entertainment and Home Devices
0.3 ounces
Sony Universal TV Remote Control
Sony is a massive company specializing in electronics and entertainment. This reliable remote control can easily command up to 8 AV components.
"Learning" function for expanded control. Controls up to 8 devices. 12 one-touch functions for quick transitions.
Programming the individual buttons can be tedious, but the extra time saved is worth it for most users.
Up to 8 at a Time
2 AA batteries
5.3 ounces
RCA Universal TV Remote Control
RCA is one of the oldest and most trusted names in consumer electronics. This simple 3-device universal remote control is ideal for simple entertainment systems.
Very simple design. Backlit keypad. Limited lifetime warranty. Supports streaming programs such as Apple TV and Roku.
Controls fewer devices than competitors and lacks advanced functions.
Up to 3 at a Time
2 AA batteries
4.3 ounces

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What is the Best Universal Remote? Read our Reviews to Find the Right One for You!

If you read our buying guide, you hopefully have a good idea what you’re looking for and which factors are important to you. Therefore, let’s browse our picks to help you find your preferred choice.

Related: Make Your Friends and Family Jealous With Your New Home Entertainment System
Our Top Choice
The Logitech Harmony 650 All-in-One Remote Control is highly programmable and crammed with convenient features to make watching on several devices easy. Looking for something even more advanced? The Logitech Harmony Smart Control lets you program and control your devices through your smartphone. Looking for something more affordable with Smart Home and App connectivity? Take a look at the Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control for Smart home and entertainment devices.

Logitech Harmony Infrared All-in-One Universal TV Remote Control with Support for up to 8 Devices & Graphic Screen & One-Touch Activity Buttons


Logitech began its story in 1981, creating computer mice when they were still a new technology to make it far easier to interact with your computer. They pushed the limits and reinvented the classic mouse to match the changing needs that came with more advanced computer use. Since then, Logitech has slowly expanded to create a variety of high quality, intuitive technology products.

This high-end remote offers total control in the palm of your hand with an advanced display and variety of options. You can support up to 8 devices from this remote control and choose between your favorite channels with simple icons and commands. One-touch activity buttons make it easy to switch between devices with commands such as "watch a DVD". This device is highly compatible, working with over 225,000 devices, and can be easily set up through your computer.

Best Value
The Phillips Universal Remote Control is a simple way to replace any remote control for your entertainment system. For an alternative with smart functionality and easy buttons for Netflix and Vudu, check out the Philips Smart TV Remote Control.

Phillips 3-in-1 Universal Remote Control with Large Buttons, Quick Setup & Compatibility with TV, DTV, Cable, SAT and Blu-Ray


Philips creates advanced tech products for consumer and professionals. Their products range from high-end oral healthcare to lighting and entertainment. Users have come to rely on their well-built products for a variety of uses.

This universal remote makes an ideal replacement for lost or broken remotes. The simple controls let you command a variety of devices with ease. It's built with enlarged buttons for even easier use. You won't find tons of seemingly random buttons thrown onto this remote – its design is streamlined and practical. This remote is compatible with TV, DTV, Cable, SAT and Blu-Ray.

The URC Aurora Remote controls devices even if they're in another room with advanced radio technology. For a more budget-friendly option from the remote experts at URC, try the URC Universal Remote Control with customizable programming.

URC Aurora IR/RF Wand-Style Universal TV Remote Control with Automatic Backlight and Advanced Equipment Control


URC is a remote control specialty brand that has supplied over 100 million remotes in the past 10 years. Their remotes take control to the next level with the most advanced technology and the ability to seamlessly control more devices. They're consistently ranked #1 in custom remote and whole-house device control.

This remote can control an entire entertainment system as well as other pieces of technology and equipment around your home. It can even do it without being in the same room with radio frequency. That also means you won't have to find the perfect angle to aim your remote at. The battery can be set on the charging base for any length of time. The long LCD screen is easy to read and has a customizable backlight for convenience. The motion sensor automatically turns on the backlight as well.

The Sony Universal Remote Control makes it easy to command a variety of devices in your entertainment system with a smart learning function. For a simpler, more budget-friendly version that commands up to seven devices, try the Sony 7-Device Universal Remote with Dual IR Emitters.

Sony RMVLZ620 Universal Remote Control with 12 One-Touch Control Buttons & Learning Function to Control more AV Equipment


Sony is a global powerhouse in electronics and entertainment, with industry-leading phones, games, movies and much more. Their wide-reaching sense of innovation and passion for technology lets them create a variety of new experiences for users around the world.

This "learning" remote has its own memory that lets you store functions to the 12 one-touch "macro" buttons for an all-around easier experience. This makes it easy for the whole family to quickly navigate through your entertainment system's many devices. This universal remote can control up to 8 devices from different brands, including TVs, VCRs, DVD players and more.

The RCA 3-Device Universal Remote is a great way to simplify your two or three-device home entertainment system with one simple set of controls. For larger entertainment systems, check out the RCA 6-Device Universal Remote.

RCA 3 Device Universal Remote Control with Backlit Keypad and Streaming App Support


RCA began its journey in the broadcast industry when it worked with GE and Westinghouse to market radio equipment. As early as 1929, RCA was already making moves in the consumer electronics industry and by 1930 they were selling the first electronic turntable. As you can guess, RCA is one of the oldest consumer electronics brands around and has gathered user trust over the years with countless innovations. Today they focus on remotes, antennas, audio and other electronic products to simplify and enhance users' lives.

This simple and intuitive universal remote makes it easy to control your small entertainment system from one place. The keypad is partially backlit for easy use – which is especially useful while watching a movie or show in the dark. The remote is made to support streaming applications such as Apple TV and Roku with the touch of a button. It can control devices such as your TV, SAT/Cable/Streaming device and DVD/VCR.

Best Universal Remote Buying Guide - How to Select a Universal TV Remote Control for all your Devices

Not long ago, someone we know was house-sitting for family members while they were on holiday. They left ample instructions on what to feed the cats and where to put the post when it arrived, but failed to mention how to use the seven (seven!) remote controls in their living room for the simple purpose of watching television. As a result, he spent the first day accidentally opening and closing curtains, playing music he didn’t know how to turn off, and watching a beautiful snow storm on the television while it proudly proclaimed ‘no signal’ at the bottom of the screen. Not only did he waste time working out how to use them all, the house owners came back to an electronics setup with lots of different settings from the one they left!

It’s true, most of us probably understand our own collection of remote controls, even if nobody visiting would. But what if there was a better way? A universal remote allows you to control all your devices with a single controller. Some do this by literally copying the output from your existing remote and storing it against a button, while others come pre-loaded with set-ups for huge swathes of known equipment models. They can look like anything from a normal remote with a few extra buttons to a touch-screen extravaganza with more functions than an Excel spreadsheet.

While you’re at it, if you’re tech savvy, you should also consider boosting your home entertainment experience by budgeting for an LED TV and a home theatre system of your choice. Honestly, we all know that the devices matter as much as the hype of the movie, show, or song, right?

What about making the ease in your living area even better? If you have a smart TV, consider a mini keyboard so you can type searches on Netflix, Amazon and Youtube – trust us, it’s a lot faster than choosing letters one at a time from an on-screen menu! Type everything you need from the comfort of your sofa.

Video: Easy TV Remote Control Fixes

How to Tell if TV Remote Sensor is Good. | Courtesy of TampaTec

The craving for an easier, unique, or fancy way to control your electronics can be answered in a single purchase. Through our research, we found universal TV remotes can be relatively cheap and affordable. You can pay anything from as little as $5 or as much as $750.

You may wonder why they come in different prices. Well, the variation is basically due the prevalence of features. For instance, a remote with radio frequency connection and a customizable LCD display is more costly than one without. Similarly, those which are highly compatible and can control more number of devices may also cost you more.

The idea is to avoid the cheap universal TV remotes because they may not meet all your needs. Instead, we recommend that you prioritize those features you need for your setup (with a little leeway for new additions), even if that means purchasing on the higher side. Remember, the right choice will see you through more than one generation of electronics purchases, so think of it as an investment.

Now, let’s browse more features to consider while making your pick.


A universal TV remote makes control of your devices less cumbersome by not only reducing the number of remotes but also improving ease of use. Here are some features to look out for:

  • Number of Devices Controlled - Gives you freedom to control several devices at a time. Ensure the remote supports everything you need it to
  • Backlight – Improves ease of use even at night
  • Power Supply – Offers power security for longer and uninterrupted use
  • LCD Display – Makes it easier to customize and navigate
  • Motion Sensor – Improves efficiency of use both during the day and night
  • One-Touch Activity Buttons – Easy switch between devices
  • Weight & Design – Find one comfortable to hold and use
Construction and Design

Universal TV remotes are definitely different from the conventional ones. They come with an LCD display for prompt navigation through the variety of control options.

Worried about the many devices you need to control? Rest easy. Some of these remotes are built with one-touch activity buttons to enable you to seamlessly switch between your devices. Moreover, some are as light as 0.3 ounces to give you a comfortable feel while operating – gee! This is what everyone needs, and you shouldn’t be left behind.

If you can, try to have a feel of the remote you’re expecting to buy so you know whether it’ll be comfortable for you. Also, look for one made of sturdy, well-bonded plastic – if it works the way you want, you’ll be using it for a long time.


Video: How to Program a Universal TV Remote Control without Code

Universal Remote Programming For TV. | Courtesy of AmZeeeL
Performance and Ease of Use

The days of rummaging through a heap of remotes are finally over! Universal TV remotes come with the capacity to operate several devices at a time. This drastically cuts down the number you need – possibly to one remote! How wonderful, right?

Other than this, most of these universal TV remotes come with 2 AAA batteries to get you started. To save battery life, go for one with a motion sensor that wakes up when it senses you moving it. The minute you grab it, you are good to go.

Don’t forget that for easier use irrespective of the time of day, we recommend you go for a universal TV remote with a backlight. Moreover, one having an LCD display will make your control prowess even better.

Get the Best Universal Remote of 2023!

Consider your entertainment setup and what kinds of features would go well with it before you purchase. If you have a complicated set-up with numerous devices, a remote with programmable buttons will help to make things simple and easy. Whatever you're looking for, these brands have an option that suits your needs.

Our Top Choice
Logitech Harmony 650 Universal Remote
Best Value
Phillips Perfect Universal TV Remote
URC Wand-Style Universal Remote
Sony Universal TV Remote Control
RCA Universal TV Remote Control

Universal Remote FAQs

How do I program universal remote?
To program a universal remote, you should use a simple, straightforward method. First, you have to turn on the TV, DVD, VCR, DVR, or other device you want to control. Look for band codes that come with the universal remote control. On the remote, press the button representing your device and hold. You should see the LED of that button after a short while. Keep pressing the button and press the power button, holding it in place. The light for the power button should also turn on. When you release the device and power buttons, he latter should remain on. If it doesn’t, go through the steps once again.
How do I use universal remote?
You can use a universal remote to turn on your device (TV, VCR, DVR, or DVD) and control it in several ways. For example, you can change TV channels, increase the volume, and choose settings. All you need to do is use the right keys, depending on the device you are controlling.
How do I reset a universal remote?
To reset a universal remote control to factory settings, hold down the yellow and green buttons for an R00 chip version. Enter 981 and wait for the LED to blink four times and reset the settings to the factory version. For an R01 chip, you need to remove batteries from the remote. After completely discharging the remote, reinsert the battery and wait for two blinks from the LED. Enter 981, which should make the LED to blink four times. The remote control should now be on its factory default settings.
How do I connect a universal remote?
You can connect a universal remote with your TV, VCR, DVR, or DVD by pointing it at the device. That established a radio connection through which you can then control the device.