Just like wire clutter, remote control clutter is one of our pet peeves when it comes to keeping our electronics organized. I've never really considered one before until I discovered remotes laying around for a digital photo frame, a Macbook, a Wii and my TV - to name a few. Hence, the search for a good universal remote commenced. If you're in the market for one, here are five picks to consider.
Logitech Harmony 650 ($69.99)
Logitech has a wide selection of universal remotes, two of which are rated as some of the best. For an entry-level user, the Logitech Harmony 650 would be a good choice in terms of price and usability. With a color screen, simple buttons and easy setup, this remote is a good tool for handling moderate clutter and can control up to five devices.
Logitech Harmony 900 ($349.99)
On the other end of the Logitech spectrum, if you're looking for the cream of the crop in terms of universal remotes, the Logitech Harmony 900 has received wide praise from many consumers. You can control your devices even when they are hidden away inside cabinets or behind doors. It has a full-color touch screen, and easy one-touch controls. Whatever device you want, just press on the action - no more messing with "1" for TV or "2" for the Blu-ray player. This replaces up to 15 remotes, which I think can cover most homes.
Griffin Beacon Remote ($80)
The Griffin Beacon provides a wireless syncing experience. You control your devices through an app you download on your smartphone by placing the Griffin Beacon within 30 feet of your devices and sending commands through your phone. We like the integration of using your smartphone to control the channels you're watching on TV and it doesn't interfere with receiving calls.
URC Digital R50 ($74.99)
The URC Digital R50 gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It can control up to 18 devices and is a reasonable $75 right now. You don't need to connect this remote to a computer in order to set it up with your devices and it is easy to use with a large bright screen and 8 contextual buttons. The downsides are there isn't a rechargeable battery and can be a bit more complicated to use than the Logitech models.
Crestron App (Free - $99)
If you want to try out the whole universal remote idea but don't want to spend any money just yet, you can download the Crestron App which is compatible with the iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The app lets you control your devices, even when you aren't at home by communicating through 3G or Edge network and through WiFi. You can control your temperature, lights, and tech devices with your phone.