Having several remotes can be annoying, which is why many consider investing in universal remotes. However, universal remotes can be pricey; are they worth it?

Universal remotes are worth the money if you have multiple devices (over three, for instance). High-quality universal remotes can control multiple devices with one button, convert standard technology into smart technology, and can control other items such as air conditioners.

Overall Rating86/100
Ease of Use90/100
Ease of Set-Up80/100
Affordability 87/100
General ratings on the practicality of universal remotes.

Universal remotes have become more and more useful. They are far better than the bland gray or silver ugly remote controllers of yore. Read on to see some additional useful features if you need more of a push than combining the usefulness of multiple remotes.

What Is a Universal Remote?

A universal remote control is much like what it sounds like. It is a remote that can control many different devices, not just one device. Many people often worry that if the brand they own will work with a universal remote, but fortunately, universal remotes work with any brand. With this kind of remote, you will have access to even more services than the traditional remote (which we will discuss further).

Pros of a Universal Remote

  • You will only have to have one remote for all of your devices; you will not have four remotes lying around all over the place.
  • Even though it is a remote for more than one device, it is compact and small.
  • Universal remotes demands can be customizable; you can set up your remote to do multiple things with one click of a button.
  • Normal devices can become smart devices since you can program technology to turn on by using Google Assistant or Alexa.
  • Some remotes can control normal devices such as televisions or speakers, but higher-quality ones can control smart home devices connected to the home’s Wi-Fi.
  • You only have to maintain one remote (having many remotes means replacing batteries and the remote itself when it wears down).
  • Will work with any brand of technology you own.
  • There are universal remotes that come preprogrammed (this will be great options for those who are not comfortable with technology).

Cons of a Universal Remote

  • Universal remotes can be quite expensive, with quality remotes ranging from $70 to $150.
  • The process of setting your universal remote up can be quite confusing at first, especially with over three devices.
  • Like the last point, some universal remotes can come with so many options and features that can be overwhelming.
  • It might take awhile for you to get comfortable with your universal remote and to be able to use it without any complications.

When Do You Need a Universal Remote?

Many people in today’s age could use a universal remote. This high need is because of how many devices and new technologies are available for your home. For instance, one room could have over four devices such as a television, speakers, an AppleTV, and even a PlayStation. When devices start to stack up, it can be hard to remember which remote is for what.

If you have over three devices and use your technology at least once a day, I believe a universal remote would be beneficial. Sometimes remotes get lost, or it takes a while to figure out what remote to use. You often end up using the wrong remote and start accidentally playing with settings you didn’t know the device had. A universal remote will get rid of all these issues.

Furthermore, if you have multiple devices, are not tech-savvy, and want to enjoy some evening television throughout the week, I would recommend investing in a universal remote. It is good to remember that you can always get someone else to set up the remote and then explain what buttons control what.

Lastly, if you have a busy house, getting a universal remote may decrease the amount of time you spend looking for your other remotes. You can even purchase two universal remotes if one gets lost, and that will still be less than the number of devices you have.

Why a Universal Remote Is Worth It

It Will Clean Up Your Messy Console

As we mentioned before, a universal remote can control several devices. This device will decrease the number of remotes you have lying around on your console or coffee table. Even though many people keep the original remotes for their technology, you can simply put them in storage until you need to use them again.

Furthermore, the remote will still be the same size as a traditional remote. It is not overly big and chunky. Most are sleek and compact.

The Functions of the Remote Will Be Customizable

If you purchase a remote that is in the $70 to $150 price range, you will most likely be able to customize the services. For instance, you could program a certain button to turn on both the television and your Bluetooth speaker at the same time. This function can work with many devices such as PS4’s and apple boxes, for example.

Normal Devices Can Be Turned Into Smart Devices

Certain kinds of universal remotes can control any device with an IR (infrared) sensor, which opens a whole new set of possibilities. You can control many things such as light bulbs and portable heaters with these remotes, and a Google Home or Alexa can also control devices set up with the remote.

Universal Remotes Will Work With Any Brand

Since there are so many different brands on the market, these remotes need to be useful for any brand. If you buy a universal remote, it will work with any technology brand in your home, so you won’t have to worry about wasting your money.

The Downsides of a Universal Remote

Even though universal remotes have many great features, there are still a few things to keep in mind before purchasing one.

Universal Remotes Can Be Expensive

While there are some remotes on the market for under $15, such as the GE Universal Remote Control, you will have to spend over $65 at least to get one with multiple functions. The average cost for a remote with all of the functions listed above will be $70 to $200, such as the Logitech Harmony Smart Control with Smartphone App and Simple All in One Remote.

Setting Up a Universal Remote Can Be Confusing

While some cheaper universal remotes only have a few functions, more expensive ones have dozens of functions available. If you purchase a high-quality remote, it might take a while to set it up since all possible programming options will be confusing.

Make sure to have the manual nearby if you intend to set up complex functions such as programming one button for multiple devices. Also, keep in mind that you can call the remote’s company, and they will help guide you.

It Will Take Some Time Getting Used to Your Remote

You may think that the hard part is over after you set the remote up. Unfortunately, this usually is not the case. After setting up, you will have to get used to using the remote for different things. It may be difficult to remember what buttons are for what device, so having a cheat sheet written out will be a good idea for the first little while. On the other hand, if you get a cheaper remote for under $15, you will not find this problem since those products have limited functions.

Final Thoughts

Universal remotes are great for those with a lot of devices. Having too many remotes in your living room can be annoying when some are misplaced. You will be able to control all of your devices with one remote, making your viewing habits a lot easier. Once you go through the initial setup and like how things work, you are done.

On the other hand, if you want a universal remote with the best features, such as the ones listed, you will be spending around $65 to $120. There are cheaper remotes on the market, but those will have fewer features than higher-quality ones. Setup can potentially be tricky and you will have to remember how you set things up and how to actually use your universal remote.