- Our choice for the #1 Best Overall Universal Remote is the SoftaBaton U1.
- When choosing a universal remote, make sure to get one that has enough space to hold all of your devices.
- If you can find a universal remote with a screen, they are usually the easiest to use when switching devices.
Even as every smart television manufacturer looks to come up with their own idea of what a smart remote should be, sometimes it doesn’t work. The same goes for companies that manufacture surround sound equipment, soundbars, DVD players, and any other electronics that might fit in an entertainment center.
As these remotes get too minimal and start to lack some of the more basic buttons, turn your attention to a universal remote to help ensure you have everything you need control-wise right at your fingertips.
With a universal remote, you can even automate some tasks like turning on all of your electronic equipment at once. Let’s take a look at the best universal remotes that you can find on Earth right now.
- Best Overall: SofaBaton U1 Universal Remote
- Best Do-Everything: SofaBaton X1 Universal Remote
- Best for Amazon: Amazon Fire TV Cube Hands-Free Streaming Device
- Best for Basics: One For All Smart Control 8 Universal Remote
- Best for Multiple Devices: Universal Remote Control MX-450
- Best for Minimalism: One For All Streamer Universal Remote
- Best Budget-Friendly: GE Universal Remote
#1 Best Overall: SofaBaton U1 Universal Remote
Gone are the days of looking for many remotes as the SofaBaton U1 is now the only remote you need to keep handy. What really helps the U1 stand out from the plethora of universal remotes available is the option to work with more than 500,000 different electronic devices from a whopping 6,000 brands.
This means support for Roku and any other smart TV brand you can think of plus cable boxes, home theater systems, DVD players, satellite receivers, and even a TiVo device if you still have one of those lying around. SofaBaton also updates the U1 software regularly to add new devices as they come to market, all without you lifting a finger.
Programming the SofaBaton U1 is incredibly easy with online instructions, and when you need to switch between devices, a handy scroll wheel at the top of the remote helps you do exactly that. A small display just above the scroll wheel helps you recognize which devices are available so you know you are choosing the right TV to change the volume or channels.
|The U1 can control up to 15 devices at a time.||Online user reviews indicate that the smartphone app and remote need multiple tries to sync.|
|There is support for over 500,000 different devices between 6,000 brands.||Only three devices show on the small screen; it would be great if it showed double that number.|
Check out the SofaBaton U1 Universal Remote on Amazon.
Best Do-Everything: SofaBaton X1 Universal Remote
- With hub and smartphone app
- One-touch activities
- Compatible with Alexa for voice control
- Control up to 50 entertainment IR and Bluetooth devices
With the Logitech Harmony Elite no longer manufactured, the next best do-everything universal remote goes to the SofaBaton X1.
Compatible with the same 500,000 device selection as the U1, the X1 takes it up a notch by including a dedicated hub that centralizes every command you have sent over infrared, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. The hub also helps secure compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for true voice commands to turn on your TV, change a channel, or adjust the volume, all with the sound of your voice.
The smart functionality adds support for one-touch activity with one of the shortcut buttons. You can set up your Samsung TV, Samsung soundbar, and Philips Hue lights all to come on at once with a single button press.
Most notable about the X1 is its generously sized display at the top of the remote, indicating which devices are currently active. Equally important are the two included infrared boosters that can help you maintain a signal from up to 30 feet away from a TV, soundbar, or other frequently used devices.
|Works best when you need it for all kinds of devices||The $190 price tag won’t be for everyone.|
|Can pretty much do anything you want as far as setting up devices||Requires the use of a hub unit which means another device to manage|
Check out the SofaBaton X1 Universal Remote on Amazon.
Best for Amazon: Amazon Fire TV Cube Hands-Free Streaming Device
- Twice as powerful as Fire TV Stick 4K Max
- Control your devices with hands-free Alexa
- Seamlessly switch between your compatible devices
- Supports Wi-Fi 6E
- 4K with support for Dolby Vision, HDR, and Dolby Atmos
While the Amazon Fire TV Cube may not look like a traditional universal remote control, it definitely has the capability to be one of the best around.
As the Cube allows you to control your TV and any other Alexa-compatible smart devices through its included remote control, it very much has the exact same functionality as a universal remote.
In fact, you don’t even need a full remote with the Fire TV Cube as Alexa enables you to do pretty much everything with the sound of your voice. As it’s compatible with LG, Samsung, Sony, TCL, Vizio, and more brands, you are almost assured of having it work with a large majority of in-home electronics.
On top of its universal remote functionality, you also gain access to more than one million movies and TV episodes through Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, Peacock, Paramount+, and more. Alexa also takes voice control beyond devices as you can ask what the weather is outside or order something from Amazon, all without picking up your phone remotely.
|Works incredibly well if you are in the Amazon Alexa ecosystem||Not quite what you would expect a universal remote to look like|
|Offers access to hundreds of thousands of shows and movies||Withholds its best features for just Amazon support hardware|
Check out the Amazon Fire TV Cube Hands-Free Streaming Device on Amazon.
Best for Basics: One For All Smart Control 8 Universal Remote
- For 8 devices
- With a free setup app
- 3 shortcut app keys
When you just want something basic for universal remote controls, you look at the One For All Smart Control 8 remote.
Capable of working with more than 335,000 devices from over 7,000 different brands, there is very little chance you will not be able to find all of your devices ready to go with this universal remote. Best of all, One For All continues to update the list through software to make sure you always have the latest devices available. In total, you can run up to eight devices at once when connected to the Smart Control 8 remote.
For anyone who has a tendency to lose their remote, a built-in speaker right behind the battery makes it easy to locate the remote through a series of beeps. Set up is done through the free app from iOS or Android, which also doubles as the tool to keep the list of supported devices up to date.
Regardless of which devices you use, you can add up to three of them to the shortcut keys on the remote to instantly access a favorite streaming service or control a set of functions.
|Works seamlessly with its smartphone app to stay up to date||Only controls up to 8 devices as it feels as if it could support twice as many|
|Includes three different shortcut keys for your most used services/devices||Needs to be used in conjunction with a smartphone app|
Check out the One For All Smart Control 8 Universal Remote on Amazon.
Best for Multiple Devices: Universal Remote Control MX-450
- Custom programmable remote
- On-screen macro editing
- Up to 18 devices supported
- Infrared, Radio Frequency
- Color screen for easy viewing
If you ever need support for as many devices in your home as you think of for a universal remote, look no further than the Universal Remote Control MX-450.
Supporting up to 18 devices in total, the MX-450 looks like a typical universal remote but offers support for more devices than just about any other competitor offering.
On top of the remote, you can help manage any of the up to 18 devices available through a generously sized color LED display. Each section of the display has a dedicated button to specifically control the function of that device as you can program each button to function.
For example, if you want to create six different shortcuts to Netflix, Peacock, Paramount+, Apple TV+, Prime Video, and YouTube, you can do exactly that. You can also just as easily program these buttons to include a function for turning on an Xbox Series X and jumping into a game. With up to four pages of options, you shouldn’t want any extra space.
|The outstanding touchscreen component adds a visual for every connected device||Does not have any way to update as new devices become available|
|Can be customized to control just about every device you can think of|
Check out the Universal Remote Control MX-450 on Amazon.
Best for Minimalism: One For All Streamer Universal Remote
Sometimes you don’t need a universal remote with all of the bells and whistles, and when those situations are called for, the One For All Streamer Universal Remote is ready to help.
Capable of supporting up to three different devices, the One for All remote is perfect for any home that has a streaming box, TV, sound bar, surround sound system, Blu-ray player, and more. Just connect any three devices and this remote will take it from there with up to four dedicated shortcut buttons that you can program and reprogram as often as you want.
Setup is another highlight of this remote as it can directly copy the function of your existing remote and enable it making it seamless to transition. To help differentiate between your devices, the universal remote includes a color ring that helps you differentiate between any of the four devices you are currently using. As long as you know which color is which device, you can quickly switch between the three devices for jumping between functions all without having more than a dozen buttons available.
|A truly minimal approach to the universal remote world is most welcomed||Only includes support for up to three devices|
|Four different shortcut buttons are easy to identify and swap around||Uses a color circle to identify which device is currently controlled so make sure and remember the colors|
Check out the One For All Streamer Universal Remote on Amazon.
Best Budget-Friendly: GE Universal Remote
- For Samsung, Vizio, LG, Sony, Sharp, Roku, Apple TV, TCL, Panasonic, smart TVs, streaming players, Blu-ray, DVD
- Up to 4 devices
- Does not work with Roku streaming stick fire TV stick or other RF streaming devices
When you want a universal remote without spending a lot, the GE Universal Remote is the answer.
Costing less than $8, the GE remote can control up to eight different devices from companies like LG, Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Vizion, Roku, TCL, Apple TV, Panasonic, and so many more. Within those brands, you’ll have access to smart TVs, cable boxes, satellite receivers, streaming media players, DVD and Blu-ray players, soundbars, and more. There is even a dedicated button to open and close a DVD or Blu-ray player so you can easily access discs.
To help make the setup quick, GE includes a full spread of codes and an online guide so you can have this remote up and running within minutes. Interestingly enough, the GE Universal Remote is the only option to come in five different color choices whereas other universal remotes come in any color you want (so long as it is black). The only negative in the case of this remote is that it lacks support for Roku and Fire TV streaming sticks and devices.
|Available in five different colors, you can personalize your universal remote purchase||Doesn’t include any easy way to know which device is currently controlled|
|The cost cannot be beaten for universal remote control||Only controls up to four devices at a single time|
Check out the GE Universal Remote on Amazon.
What to Know Before Buy a Universal Remote Control: Step-by-Step
Before you make any purchase of a universal remote, it’s important to know a few big things. First and foremost is how many devices you need to control. Among this list of the best universal remotes, you can sync anywhere from three to 18 devices, so you need to know the maximum or at least the minimum number of devices you need to connect. This is especially true if you are someone who wants to use one remote for their television, soundbar, Blu-ray player, and cable box, not to mention some shortcuts to favorite streaming services like Netflix and Disney+.
Separately, do you want it to have any features, like a display? Universal remotes like the Universal Remote Control MX-450 offer a fun screen experience so you can visualize what devices are being controlled by what buttons. This makes it a whole lot easier to quickly shift between the various devices you have connected.
Ease of use becomes another factor as too many buttons might overwhelm even the most technically savvy of users. Given that, you can look at options like One For All URC7935 which offers a much more minimalist look for a universal remote while still enabling support for up to three devices at a time. Even better if you can find a universal remote that incorporates voice commands so you don’t even need to touch the remote.
Using a Universal Remote: What It’s Like
Using a universal remote isn’t unlike using a regular remote, except a universal remote has more buttons and controls more devices. The biggest downside is that you might temporarily misplace your universal remote which means you are really in trouble. However, if you can keep an eye on it at all times, it’s incredibly useful to own one. Being able to control all of your devices from a single point of contact makes it easy to sit down once on a sofa, turn on a movie, and go.
There is really just something magical about being able to connect all of the televisions in your house, plus your soundbar, your Philips Hue lights, and your Blu-ray player, and control them all from one device. It gets even better if this one device has voice commands available so you truly never have to lift a finger.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com.