Top 5 Best Universal Remotes for Sonos

Best Universal Remotes for Sonos

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Hello and welcome to my review of the best universal remote for Sonos. To be honest, it has been a straightforward decision to get the Sonos speakers for my home. I love how the Sonos speakers can maintain the crispiness of the sound and need I mention the bass they reproduce! For me, Sonos is it! On the other hand, however, it has been difficult to choose a universal remote best suited for all the gadgets in my home.

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There are many universal remotes available in the market, each having its own set of advantages over the other. I am sure your home is also equipped with multiple smart devices, and it becomes hard to keep track of it all separately. I have chosen the following five remotes. I am sure you will find one of these best suited for you, depending on your needs.

Further reading: What is Sonos? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Wireless Sound System

Best Universal Remotes for Sonos 01

The Logitech Harmony Elite

I start my list with the best, albeit one of the costliest universal remotes that you can get for your Sonos and other smart home devices. One of the most convenient remotes available in the market currently, this remote lets you add up to 15 smart home devices. Imagine the number of remotes you can replace with this. To add to it, its central connection system lets you control any of the connected devices without pointing the remote at it!

The remote comes with a colored touch screen facility in which you get the option to add up to 50 channels as your favorites. The remote is also certified by Amazon for its Alexa-enabled devices, which essentially means that you can command Alexa to do the tasks seamlessly with this remote.

The remote provides a one-touch facility, which means that when you select any activity on the touchscreen, it will enable all the devices required to perform that activity. So, when you press “Play a Song,” it will play the music on your music player as well as turn on your Sonos speakers.

The remote is compatible with all types of home entertainment devices, including sound systems, TV, gaming consoles, music players, and streaming services. You can even control your home lighting systems with it. The cherry on the top is that you can automate all of these smart devices to perform specific time-bound functions using this remote.

The remote is programmed with a Harmony app, which, when connected to your smartphones, enables them to be used as remotes. You don’t need to buy a separate charger for the remote; it comes with a charging dock. Just put the remote in it, and it will get charged automatically.

What do I like about this remote?

  • The setup is enabled with auto-detection of the majority of Sonos speakers.
  • This remote is suitable to be used on up to 15 smart home devices, including speakers, home theaters, and gaming consoles.
  • It also works seamlessly with devices enabled with Alexa and Google Assistant support.
  • It comes with well-designed and straightforward touchscreen functionality. The haptics adds to the user experience.
  • It has an in-built companion application to further enhance the experience for the entire family.

What do I not like about this remote?

  • The cost of the remote is a deterrent for me.
  • It took me quite some time to set up all the 15 smart devices (To be honest, though, the initial time invested was worth it!)

The Logitech Harmony Companion

This remote is ideal for anyone who could do without the premium features of the Logitech Harmony Elite remote. The advantage of giving up on these premium features reflects heavily on the pricing because this is available at below half the price of the Elite version.

The important functionalities of the Elite version are retained, such as adaptability with the majority of the smart home entertainment systems and major smart lighting as well as temperature control systems.

If you are a Sonos lover like me, you will be satisfied with this remote. Even though it will take you some time to configure the settings and set up your smart devices, including your Sonos speakers but trust me, you will not regret it. Just like its costlier family member, its Harmony Companion app gives you seamless control on more than 270,000 devices. And this list of compatible devices is growing every day, so you need not worry about compatibility issues with any future smart device purchase.

A noticeable downgrade that you will observe from the Elite version is the Companion version’s ability to connect to only 8 smart devices. Still, at the price point in which this remote is being offered, this number is way ahead of anything other brand’s remotes have to offer. The other feature that you will miss is the touch screen facility, but still, I believe that it is something that you can compromise given the affordability of the remote’s price.

What do I like about this remote?

  • The remote offers the most useful functionalities of the Logitech Harmony Elite remote sans the price tag.
  • This remote is suitable to be used on up to 8 smart home devices, including speakers, home theaters, and gaming consoles.
  • It has an in-built companion application to increase compatibility with multiple smart devices and further enhance the experience for the entire family.
  • You will find many pre-built activities, which, when selected, will automatically enable the entire sequence of the devices.
  • You can easily command as well as receive seamless responses from Alexa and Google Assistant to perform tasks using this remote.
  • It gives the feeling of operating a conventional remote while performing smart tasks.

What do I not like about this remote?

  • The remote comes without a touch screen
  • The buttons on this remote don’t have a backlighting feature.
  • The remote doesn’t feature haptics
  • The entire setup process can take quite some time.
  • During regular usage, I found that the companion app crashed quite a few times. This seems to be an issue faced at times by other users as well.

The Logitech Harmony 665

The next product on our list is once again from Logitech’s Harmony Series, not just for the sake of brand name or due to lack of options but because it truly deserves to be on this list of best universal remotes. And I’m not the only one who feels that way because Harmony 665 and most universal remotes from the Harmony series, in general, are incredibly popular among millions of users like you and me. Now let’s see the features of Harmony 665 that make it one of the best universal remotes.

The Harmony 665 controls up to 10 devices at once, which is just as impressive as the Harmony Elite. It has a sleek design making it comfortable to hold, and a good interface where the keys are positioned ergonomically. The number of pads, direction keys, pause, and play buttons is on the lower half, closer to your fingers.

At the top, there are three main buttons – Watch TV, Watch a Movie, and Listen to Music. You can program these buttons to turn on your TV and Sonos Speakers accordingly. One of the amazing features of Harmony 665 is the display screen at the top, which shows different options based on the device you are currently controlling with the remote. These options can be selected by pressing the respective buttons around the screen.

The buttons on this remote have colorful backlights beneath them so you can locate the keys and conveniently use the remote even in dark surroundings. To set up this remote, you will need to connect it to a PC or laptop with the Harmony software installed on them. The setup process can take a bit of time and might be a little confusing, but it’s mostly a one-time process, so you can use it conveniently after the initial setup.

The only instance where you might need to run the setup again is if you bring home a new device and need to add it to the remote’s settings. The remote is non-rechargeable as it’s powered by AA batteries, so you keep some batteries in stock for replacement.

There are two things that are really impressive about Harmony 665 – the first is its compatibility with over 270000 devices, and the next is its budget-friendly pricing. It has many features similar to the much expensive Harmony Elite, supports 10 devices, and even has a nice display screen, which, given its affordable price tag, is really a bargain.

A downside is that it only controls devices that work on IR, but that won’t be an issue for Sonos speakers as they work perfectly with IR remotes.

What do I like about this remote?

  • It supports a total of 10 devices
  • It has backlit keys so can be used in dark rooms
  • Convenient positioning of keys on the remote
  • Sleek design that is very comfortable to hold
  • One-touch keys for TV and music which makes it ideal for Sonos speakers and soundbars
  • Above all, it combines amazing features with an affordable price tag

What do I not like about this remote?

  • It is non-chargeable and requires replaceable batteries
  • The setup is somewhat difficult and time-consuming
  • It can only control devices that support IR

Caavo Control Center

If you were anticipating another product from the Harmony series, then it’s time for something different. I want this list to be diverse enough to include products from other manufacturers as well. After all, some of you might also be eager to try out universal remotes other than the already popular Harmony series.

Caavo is a fairly new Silicon Valley company, so it’s still small compared to the electrical giants Logitech. But the Caavo Control Center is not to be underestimated at all. In fact, it’s loaded with features that can compete for head to head with Logitech’s best universal remote.

The Caavo Control Center comes in two parts – the main remote and an input box. The box contains four input slots that support HDMI, so you can watch high-quality videos. Caavo Control Center is also compatible with HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, so you can expect a wonderful surround sound experience when controlling your Sonos speakers with this remote. It can control a total of 4 devices at once.

Caavo Control Center is extremely versatile as it can control devices with IR, Wi-Fi, as well as Bluetooth. So it will support a lot more than your TV and Sonos speakers. This remote works perfectly even when the device isn’t in its line of sight. You can control your speakers from anywhere in your home. And if you want to go hands-free, then this universal remote also has its own voice control system.

Just talk directly into the remote to control the devices connected to it. Even with its own voice commands, it is still compatible with Alexa and Google Home as well. Another excellent feature of this product is the remote finder function. If you can’t find the remote, you can press a button on the input box or even use voice commands to activate the remote finder, which will cause the remote to emit a sound so you can locate it. Now that is truly a handy feature!

With all these things taken into account, Caavo Control Center is not very expensive either. However, you have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to access its advanced features. Though the subscription is cheap too, and you can even purchase a lifetime subscription at once.

What do I like about this remote?

  • Has HDMI input box for high-quality videos
  • Compatible with Dolby Atmos sound
  • Can always locate the remote thanks to the remote finder feature
  • Compatible with Google Home and Alexa and also has its own voice commands
  • Controls devices remotely even when not in the line of sight
  • Price is cheap and affordable

What do I not like about this remote?

  • Can control only 4 devices at once, so it’s only fit for smaller homes with fewer devices
  • Comes with an additional piece of hardware
  • Advanced features require a subscription cost

OFA Streamer Remote URC 7935

Top 5 Best Universal Remotes for Sonos

OFA or One For All is a manufacturer of various universal remotes, and the Streamer Remote URC 7935 is one of their best models. It is a low-budget universal remote that can only control 3 devices, but it has earned in place in my list because there are plenty of innovative features worth appreciation. It works perfectly with all types of Smart TVs, streaming devices, and soundbars, including Sonos speakers.

Starting with the design, this remote is thin, sleek, lightweight, compact, and feels so easy on the hands. It has fewer keys, however, and even the number keys are absent. Due to this, it does miss out on some useful functions that could have been added to it. But even with fewer keys, its functionality is very impressive. The handiest feature is the four quick access keys at the bottom – one each for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube, and one extra key that can be customized for any streaming service of your choice.

Another thing I love about this remote is the backlights on the direction pad. It lights up in different colors based on which device you are controlling, and you can customize those colors as per your preference. So if you want to control two different Sonos speakers with this remote, you can assign a color to each speaker. That way, you will always know which speaker is currently being operated by the remote.

The Streamer Remote also has a learning function, which you can use to copy the functions from other remotes directly. With all these useful features, the Streamer Remote is also super easy to set up compared to other universal remotes and has a cheap and affordable price tag. If you need a universal remote for just 2 or 3 devices and that’s low on cost, but high on features, then the OFA Streamer Remote URC 7935 is the best choice.

What do I like about this remote?

  • Small and compact design
  • Quick access keys for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube as well as one customizable key for any other streaming service.
  • Custom colors of backlights represents the device it is controlling
  • The setup process is speedy and easy
  • Pricing is one of the cheapest in the market

What do I not like about this remote?

  • It can only control a maximum of three devices
  • There are fewer keys on the remote, and number keys are also absent, which takes away some useful functionalities.

Final Verdict

So I have done my best to include a diverse range of products in this list of the 5 best universal remotes for Sonos. It goes all the way from an expensive remote like the Harmony Elite, which is packed with amazing features, to low-cost remotes like OFA Streamer, which still offers excellent value for money with the features it has to offer.

Based on the price and functions as well as the devices you have in your home, you can decide for yourself which of these universal would be perfect for you. But one thing is for sure, they are all great products in their own regards despite the pros and cons, and are truly the best universal remotes available in the market currently.