The Best Overall – Logitech Harmony 650 (Review & Test 2017)
the best overall
Logitech Harmony 650
The Harmony 650 is the most popular universal remote on the market for the last several years, and for good reason! It takes the number one spot for the “best overall” universal remote. Main features:
- Compatible with 225,000+ devices and 5000+ brands.
- Control up to 8 devices at a time.
- Bright multi-purpose color screen.
- Ergonomic design.
- Easy online setup and support.
Harmony Ultimate One Unboxing & Test (2017)
Simply the Best
Logitech Harmony Ultimate One
The one remote to rule them all. With consistently positive reviews, excellent design and every feature on the market available, this remote from Logitech is the best of the high-end remotes.
Best budget remote
Inteset INT-422 4-in-1
The best universal remote under $30. This remote covers all of the essential functions one might want. Pre-programmed to control Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One and Windows Media Centre. For those on a budget, this remote is ideal.
Quick Comparison Table of the Best Remotes
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How to choose the best universal remote?
When it comes to universal remotes there are a number of features and variables that you have to consider in choosing which one is the best universal remote for your home. First off, it is good to remember that the best reason for buying a universal remote is that it saves you the hassle of handling multiple different remotes, that can get lost, or are generally just not well designed. Companies like Logitech put a lot of money and research into designing the best products that will maximize user experience. So buying a universal remote is a long term investment. So it’s important to buy a quality product instead of a cheap one that will break, or not be compatible with your devices. So without further ado! What are the features you should be aware of?
Compatibility with your TV
Obviously you want your given remote to be compatible with whatever TV or sound system you have installed. Most modern remotes are highly compatible. All the remotes in the Harmony series are compatible with 200,000+ devices that are already in the data base and easy to sync with the remote.But if you are buying something under $20 this may not be the case. If you are on a budget we recommend the Inteset remote reviewd above. The other issue may be that you have a really outdated TV or Sound System or a specific brand that is not very well known. In such cases it is possible to program your remote manually by pointing your old remote to the new and pressing the buttons. The new remote (if programmable) will pick up the settings and install them automatically. So you can control virtually anything with a IR remote. Fans, air-conditioners, garage doors, or digital fireplaces.
Customization of Channels
You want your remote to be easily customizable, you don’t want a layout that is difficult. You want to be able to save your favorite channels and save preset settings for the TV on the remote. This feature is only available with the Harmony 650, Ultimate, Smart Control and Touch. Lower end remotes do not support this feature. Note: Channel favourites only work with channel services like cable or TV, NOT with direct TV, or apple TV. The Harmony Ultimate for has the best favourite system from the remotes we tested, because it has a large and customizable screen. It even shows channel logos. So if you want to use this feature we recommend the ultimate.
Rechargeable or not?
This depends on your preference. With non-rechargeable batteries you will never have to worry about remembering to charge the battery, but you’ll have to change them every 3 months or so. With rechargeable batteries you will have to remember to put it on the charger atleast once every 3 days. Most remotes take 3-6 hours to charge fully.
Any universal remote worth buying should be able to support up to at least 5 devices. You need to see if it supports the surround sound system you have, the dvd blu-ray player, AND the TV or projector. The Logitech Harmony series has this covered by a long shot with up to 8 or 15 device control at one time.
Infra-red control vs Radio frequency control
Remotes that use infra-red only work when you are pointing them AT the TV’s receiver. When you aren’t it won’t work. On the other hand remotes that use radio frequency control don’t have this requirement, you can pretty much use them from under the table, even in another room. As long as you are not too far away. All the harmony series remotes use IR on their own, but the remotes that connect with harmony hub can use RF and IR as well as even WiFi. If you want RF compatibility we recommend you get the Ultimate One with the hub, or if you are on a tighter budget, get the Harmony Smart Control with hub, which does the same thing but without the touch screen. Both are in the comparison table above.
Other home functions!
Now this only applies if you have things like electronic temperature control system in your home. Some remotes these days can be considered “smart remotes” because they have in-built capability to control things like the air conditioner for example, and the dimness of the lighting in your room. This is only for those devices that are actually remote operated. A regular switch light for example can’t be turned on or off. But if you do have such a setup in your own home, this would definitely be a great bonus feature to look for. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate is the best for this purpose. Alternatively the Harmony Touch and Smart Control both also work with the Harmony App, for a cheaper price.