Best universal remote control

There are plenty of choices out there, even if they do come from just two companies.

universal remote control hero Rob Schultz

There was a time when a single brand dominated the universe of universal remote controls: Logitech’s Harmony. That changed when Caavo shipped its second-generation Control Center, which is good enough that we can recommend it as the best mid-priced product in this category. Want something more powerful? That’ll be a Logitech Harmony Elite. Need something cheaper? Buy a Logitech Harmony 665.

Universal remote cheat sheet

Our quick-hit recommendations:

Sure, you can still find a sub-$20 “universal remote” if your regular clicker breaks, but those are little more than cheapie replacements, not true universal remotes that live up to the name. There are also uber-expensive remote controls you can buy from customer installers, but TechHive focuses primarily on the DIY market, so we’ll ignore those in this story.

Here are our top picks in three categories, followed by links to all the rest of our reviews of universal remote controls (we’ll update this list as new models come to market).

Updated May 1, 2019 to add our review of the new-for-2019 Caavo Control Center, which has new firmware and a brand-new mobile app to go with it. The new features are broad and deep, if a bit buggy at launch, and include parental controls that let adults monitor and control what children are watching on TV, and a "wellness feature" that could be handy for adults who need to monitor the well-being of parents who are aging place. Caavo has also lopped 40 percent off the cost of the hardware, reducing it from $99.95 to $59.95, but the price of the optional subscription service that makes the most of the hardware has been doubled, from $19.99 per year to $39.99 per year. Taking the price of the hardware and the subscription, the Caavo remains our top mid-range pick

Best universal remote: High end