Last updated: August 10, 2021
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Are you also tired of having countless remote controls lying around on your coffee table? With a universal remote control you would no longer have this problem, because it allows you to control several devices with a single remote control. Not only does this save space, it also saves your nerves, as you can now lose fewer remotes.

With our big universal remote control test 2022 we want to help you find the best universal remote control for you. We have compared the standard and mini versions, universal remote controls with touchscreen or display as well as universal remote controls for seniors and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.

Contents




Summary

  • Universal remote controls allow you to control several devices simultaneously with one remote control.
  • Basically, there are distinctions in universal remote controls with regard to buyer group and technology.
  • Universal remote controls are intended to be a space-saving, simpler and better alternative to normal remote controls.

The Best Universal Remote Control: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a universal remote control

What are the advantages of a universal remote control over standard remote controls?

Electronic devices can also be controlled by a standard remote control. Universal remote controls, however, combine all remote controls for different devices in one product.

In summary, a universal remote control offers you the following notable advantages over a standard remote control:

  • Universal remote controls combine many remote controls in one
  • Space-saving
  • Versatile use as a replacement remote control

What does a universal remote control cost?

Universal remote controls are available in all price ranges - from inexpensive devices that cost only a few euros to products with modern technology that cost a three-digit sum.

All in all, we think that these prices are quite reasonable if you want to control many devices with one remote control.
Simply constructed devices start at about five euros and are thus a really inexpensive way to save yourself a lot of remote controls. These prices can also be justified as a replacement remote control.

Small universal remote controls and those for seniors are available for about 5 to 20 euros, depending on the dealer. This makes them another inexpensive way to operate numerous devices without having to spend a lot of money.

You can get universal remote controls with a display or touch screen for 40 euros or more, but for really high-quality devices you have to reckon with a higher double-digit or even triple-digit amount. The best devices are available for around 100 euros, professional devices can currently be bought for 230 euros.

TV Bedienung

Programming a universal remote control is not too difficult, so you don't need to be scared off (Photo: JESHOOTS.com / pixabay.com)

Do I need programming for a universal remote control?

In general, it can be said that programming a universal remote control does not take long and is quite simple.

If you want to buy a universal remote control but are unsure about the necessary programming, we can only tell you that this is no reason to despair.

Just as there are different types of universal remote controls, there are also different types of programming.

One type of programming is that you only need it if you want to assign certain channels from your TV to certain buttons on your remote controls.

It is also possible that the remote control needs to be set to your device(s) before it will work at all. This is done using special codes that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. With some manufacturers, these codes and a simple programming guide are included in the delivery.

Remote Bedienung

Universal remote controls allow you to control several devices simultaneously.

If not, you can find almost any code for most models on the Internet and, of course, simple step-by-step instructions that make it easy to programme your universal remote control.

Decision: What types of universal remote control are there and which one is right for me?

Basically, you can distinguish between four different types of universal remote controls:

  • Universal remote control in the standard version
  • Universal remote control in the mini version
  • Universal remote control with touch screen
  • Universal remote control suitable for senior citizens
  • Universal remote control with a display

Each of these types focuses on a different detail, which brings individual advantages and disadvantages. Depending on which function is most important to you, one universal remote control is more suitable for you than another.

In the following section, we would like to help you find the type of universal remote control that works best for you.

How does a standard universal remote work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The standard universal remote control usually connects to the desired device by infrared at the touch of a button. The advantage of this remote control is that it is easy to use and can control several devices. However, it does not fulfil the wishes that require the latest technology.

Advantages
  • Uncomplicated handling
  • reasonably priced
Disadvantages
  • No extras for technology lovers

Universal remote controls may already be programmed, but in some cases they have to be programmed to the units first. Multiple devices are no problem at all for universal remote controls.

These models are available at very beginner-friendly prices. The simple operation makes them a real relief.

Universal remote controls in the standard version may not have highly developed technical functions, but they are very easy to use and combine several remote controls in one.

How does a universal remote control in the mini version work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The remote control connects to the devices via infrared. In most cases, the mini versions are already programmed. Due to the small design, this universal remote control saves significantly more space in contrast to the standard version.

The most necessary functions can be operated with this remote control - volume control, programme switching on the TV set, the power button and the general "AV/TV" button.

Advantages
  • Space-saving
  • Low-priced
  • No unnecessary functions
Disadvantages
  • Not much choice of function and buttons
  • Not as powerful as other devices
  • Not a future-oriented product

The universal remote control has a small, simple design, which should make it easier for the customer to use only the most necessary buttons. Compared to other models, the remote control is limited in its settings, but scores with a significant space saving.

Compared to the other models, however, the remote control has problems due to the limited functions, as newer devices such as a smart TV cannot be operated.

How does a universal remote control with touchscreen work and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The touch screen is a very modern addition to a universal remote control. The touch screen replaces all the buttons on the remote control.

A major difficulty of universal remote controls is the connection to the devices. With touch screen remotes, you can guarantee a better connection. It is just the thing for technology lovers.

Advantages
  • Improved connection
  • More technology
  • Simplification of the menu
Disadvantages
  • Strong dependence on the screen
  • Prices very high

Due to the latest technology, this universal remote control is not cheap, but you get more modernity and service compared to other universal remote controls.

What are the characteristics of a universal remote control suitable for senior citizens and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Universal remote controls for seniors are most similar to the standard version, because they have the same structure. Only the buttons are larger and therefore easier to see.

The focus of this remote control is on the simple and clear structure and on the large buttons. They help people with visual impairments or motor impairments to control the remote control easily.

Advantages
  • Larger buttons
  • Simple and clear structure
Disadvantages
  • No technical refinements

The big advantage compared to other models is that the buttons are easy to reach.
The result: a remote control with a simple structure and large buttons that can control many devices. Ideal for seniors or people with visual or motor impairments.

How does a universal remote control with display work and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The remote control with display is a technical extension of the standard version.

Advantages
  • More overview of functions and settings
  • Unification of several remote controls
Disadvantages
  • More confusing - due to more functions
  • High price

One problem with standard remote controls is that you can't see the battery level or what you are setting. The solution: a remote control with a display.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate universal remote controls

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate universal remote controls. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular device is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Number of devices that can be operated
  • Number of buttons / functions
  • Compatibility
  • Is programming necessary?
  • Design
  • Extra features and functions

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Number of devices that can be operated

We have already gone into detail about the number of devices that can be operated. Nevertheless, we would like to point out once again that this number is probably the most important criterion when buying a universal remote control, because it has a significant influence on your satisfaction.

So first ask yourself how many devices you want to control with a universal remote control. If you only want to control one device, the mini and standard versions are the most suitable for you. If you want to control several devices, you should go for more technically advanced products.

If you want to control a large number of devices and also want a high technical standard, a universal remote control with a touch screen is usually the best choice for you. In all other cases, you should at least consider the alternatives.

Number of buttons / functions

A universal remote control should ultimately meet your needs for operating an electronic device. Depending on how many functions you need to operate your devices, a different remote control will come into question.

If you are satisfied with the most common functions, the standard universal remote control is perfectly adequate. The mini or senior remote control is more suitable for you if you only want the basic functions or if you have visual or motor impairments.

The universal remote controls with display or touch screen have the most functions.

TV Controller

If this is important to you, you can also look at the design when choosing a universal remote control. (Photo: Gadini / pixabay.com)

Compatibility

If you want to control several devices from different brands and you are unsure whether everything works as you want it to, the connection options come into play.

Universal remotes of the mini variety tend to be designed for small numbers of brands/models, if they can be set up for more than one device at all. However, here you are able to operate the devices quickly and easily.

A remote control that does not pose a problem for all common brands and models can be found with the universal remote controls, which are more modern in terms of technology. However, standard universal remote controls can now also do the job.

Is programming necessary?

Programming differs depending on the model, but it is almost always very quick and easy.

With most devices, you can expect to have to do the programming once. However, some remote controls are also able to operate the units directly. However, this is more likely to be the case with older units.

Manufacturers of universal remote controls often provide download options for code lists or operating instructions. In addition, instructions and videos on the internet can help you get started with the remote control.

Design

The design plays an important role, especially with universal remote controls that you don't want to put back in the cupboard after every use. The design is primarily divided into two elements:

  • The colour of the remote control
  • The shape of the remote control

Most universal remote controls are available in black. If you prefer a different colour, you can also get certain remote controls in white, silver, grey or a combination of several colours.

As for the shape, you can choose between a modern design and a standard look.

Did you know that the remote control used to be connected with a cable?

The first remote controls for technical devices used to be connected with cables. It wasn't until the invention of IR technology that there were remote controls that could control a device without a cable.

Display / Touchscreen

Deciding whether your future universal remote control should have a display or a touchscreen is another purchase criterion.

If you are a big fan of technology and want to take your remote control to a new technical level, then a remote control with a display or even a touchscreen is a must.

However, the price of these remote controls is significantly higher than remote controls without these technical details.

Convenient extra functions

Especially the universal remote controls in the upper price segment shine with some extra functions such as lighting or a touch screen.

Check here in the last step if necessary whether a device can stand out in a positive way if you are unsure which one to choose.

Facts worth knowing about universal remote controls

How long have remote controls been around?

The first remote control came onto the German market 63 years ago.

Did you know that the first remote control in Germany was called the Zauberschalter? The first remote control was marketed by the Tonfunk company in 1956 for a radio set.

At that time, it was a sensation to be able to operate the television with a remote control. Today, almost every electronic product (including musical instruments such as keyboards) can be operated with a remote control. Some universal remote controls make this possible.

Which universal remote control is the right one for my devices?

The question arises when you first have to look for special universal remote controls.

Most remote controls are programmed to operate 90% of the standard electronic devices on the market. Or you can buy a universal remote control that is programmed for specific devices. Then there is no question of which remote control fits a device.

Universalfernbedienung

Universal remote controls are intended to be a space-saving, simpler and better alternative to normal remote controls.

How many universal remote controls are already used in German households?

We don't know the exact number, but we can say that the trend is towards universal remote controls, because there are more and more technical devices in our households and therefore more and more remote controls.

Many households are switching to universal remote controls so that they can operate all devices with one remote control.

In addition, the use of universal remote controls is increasing due to modernisation and technical progress. There are now even mobile phone apps that function as universal remote controls. So you can easily control your TV via your mobile phone.

Picture credits: StockSnap / pixabay.com

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