best remotes for apple tv

7 Best Remotes for Apple TV [New 2024 Update]

In Remotes: Streaming by Tim Brennan

Affiliate Disclosure

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

In the post, I am pleased to share my picks for the seven best remotes for Apple TV you can get right now.

Following are my top recommendations for Apple TV remotes (Siri and Universal):

You can click on any link in the list above to jump down to see the specs, pros, and cons of that remote. Or continue on to see a side-by-side comparison of my top three picks for controlling your Apple devices.


Best ATV Remotes: My Top 3 Picks

The following table compares my top three picks of the best remotes for Apple TV side by side. Pricing is updated dynamically via integration with Amazon’s API.

Editor's Choice
Apple TV Siri Remote (3rd Generation)
Great Replacement
Function101 Button Remote for Apple TV/Apple TV 4K (Secondary/Replacement Infrared Remote)
Premium Pick
SofaBaton X1 Universal Remote Control with Hub & APP, Smart Remote with One-Touch Activities, Compatible with Alexa for Voice Control, Control up to 60 Entertainment IR/Bluetooth Devices
Apple Siri Remote
Function101
Sofabaton X1
While the earlier generation of the Apple TV Siri remote was lacking, the new remote has become a fan favorite. ATV owners have overwhelmingly positive things to say about it. It won't control anything other than ATV, however.
The Function101 Button Remote for Apple TV offers a valuable alternative to the Siri Remote with its ergonomic design, traditional tactile buttons for intuitive navigation, and streamlined user experience, enhancing overall control.
The latest offering from the engineers over at Sofabaton is the answer to Harmony putting the kabosh on making new remotes. With support for xxx from xx brands, this remote will control ATV, your home theater, your smarthome and everything in between. Elegantly.
Controls ATV
Number of Devices
Apple TV Only
Apple TV Only
15
Controls Home Theater
Controls Smart Home
Voice Control
Siri
Alexa with Google coming soon
Prime Eligible
Price
$59.00
$29.95
$149.99
Editor's Choice
Apple TV Siri Remote (3rd Generation)
Apple Siri Remote
While the earlier generation of the Apple TV Siri remote was lacking, the new remote has become a fan favorite. ATV owners have overwhelmingly positive things to say about it. It won't control anything other than ATV, however.
Controls ATV
Number of Devices
Apple TV Only
Controls Home Theater
Controls Smart Home
Voice Control
Siri
Prime Eligible
Price
$59.00
Great Replacement
Function101 Button Remote for Apple TV/Apple TV 4K (Secondary/Replacement Infrared Remote)
Function101
The Function101 Button Remote for Apple TV offers a valuable alternative to the Siri Remote with its ergonomic design, traditional tactile buttons for intuitive navigation, and streamlined user experience, enhancing overall control.
Controls ATV
Number of Devices
Apple TV Only
Controls Home Theater
Controls Smart Home
Voice Control
Prime Eligible
Price
$29.95
Premium Pick
SofaBaton X1 Universal Remote Control with Hub & APP, Smart Remote with One-Touch Activities, Compatible with Alexa for Voice Control, Control up to 60 Entertainment IR/Bluetooth Devices
Sofabaton X1
The latest offering from the engineers over at Sofabaton is the answer to Harmony putting the kabosh on making new remotes. With support for xxx from xx brands, this remote will control ATV, your home theater, your smarthome and everything in between. Elegantly.
Controls ATV
Number of Devices
15
Controls Home Theater
Controls Smart Home
Voice Control
Alexa with Google coming soon
Prime Eligible
Price
$149.99

Last update on 06/12/2024 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

📚 Related: 11 Best Universal Remotes This Year


#1 – Best Overall: Apple Siri Remote

The first-generation Apple TV Siri remote deservedly had some serious haters. But Apple quickly turned those frowns upside down with the 2nd gen remote that now one of the best options actually ships with your Apple TV.

MacRumors hailed the remote as a HUGE Upgrade over at YouTube when it was released last year.

And Forbes magazine and others have said the Apple TV remote goes from very bad to the very best.

This is good news for Apple TV since market research firm Statistica predicts the streaming platform will grow from 38.7 million users today to 47.7 million by 2026.

The elegant, streamlined remote not only looks cool and feels good in the hand, but it has just the right mix of buttons with perfect placement for navigating your Apple TV. Sorry about that Amazon Fire TV remote. Oh, and if you feel like giving your fingers a rest, you can ask Siri to do it. Hands down, this is the best Apple TV remote replacement. It won’t control your other entertainment or smart home devices, though. It also won’t work with the original Apple TV.

Specs

  • Size: ‎1.04 x 6.93 x 2.62 inches;
  • Weight: 6 ounces
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • Battery Life: 4-6 months (rechargeable)
  • Voice Assistants: Siri
  • No of Devices: 1 (Apple TV)

Pros

  •  Excellent design (lightweight but solid with excellent button placement).
  •  Feels good in the hand.
  •  Amazing battery life (4-6 months on a charge).
  •  Just press the Siri button to find shows to watch.

Cons

  •  Only controls Apple TV
  • Limited number of buttons on the remote.

Apple TV Official
Apple TV Siri Remote
$59.00

The Siri Remote (3rd generation) offers advanced touch and voice control for various Apple TV models, featuring a touch-enabled clickpad and Siri voice commands. It includes a USB-C port for fast recharging and is compatible with multiple Apple TV generations.

Buy at Amazon
03/04/2024 10:00 am GMT

#2 – Best Replacement: Function101

The Function101 remote is a third-party remote explicitly designed to be one of the best remotes for Apple TV. Compatible with all Apple TV models (A2169, A1842, A1625, A1427, A1469, and A1378), the Function 101 remote has a simple, minimalist design with a black matte finish. It has a D-pad for navigation, dedicated playback controls, and buttons for volume, mute, etc. You can long press some buttons to access the ATV Control Center and App Switching.

Function101 remote is easy to set up. There are now connectivity options for Bluetooth and IR (depending on the model you buy), and setup won’t take you more than a few minutes. The remote has all the essential features to navigate and control your Apple TV. This includes a long battery life of up to six months (on two AAA batteries), which is longer than the standard Apple TV remote. You can easily set up to control the volume, mute (a feature not on previous Siri Remotes), and power of your TV, sound bar, or receiver.

The Function 101 remote is an excellent option for those who want a simple and reliable remote for their Apple TV. It’s an excellent alternative to the standard Apple TV remote, which some users find too small and easy to lose.

Video Review

Video Credit: MacRumors

Dimensions

  • Size: ‎171 x 44 x 19 mm (6.75 x 1.75 x 0.75 in)
  • Weight: 42 g (1.48 oz)
  • Connectivity: Options for IR only or Bluetooth / IR
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 months on a single charge (depending on usage)
  • Voice Assistants: Not applicable
  • No of Devices: Apple TV, plus HDMI-CEC compatible TVs and Soundbars

Pros

  •  Simple, user-friendly design
  •  More traditional style remote than uber-streamlined Siri remote
  •  Durable and long battery life (requires two AAA batteries)
  •  Affordable price

Cons

  •  Limited compatibility with older Apple TV models
  •  No Siri support.

Best for Apple TV
Function101 Button Remote for Apple TV/Apple TV 4K
  • Designed with traditional remote control buttons customers are used to, navigating Apple TV is easy with the Function101 Button Remote.
  • Infrared technology (IR) requires line and sight and will allow you to synchronize the remote control with your TV in seconds to control power, volume, and mute functions.
Buy from Amazon Buy from Function101

#3 – Best Universal: Sofabaton X1

I’ve been blogging about universal remotes for over three years, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a remote than I am with the new Sofabaton X1. First, this little remote has the potential to be even better than Harmony, which certainly has its flaws.

Second, compatibility with over 500,000 devices AND learning capability means it is practically guaranteed to work with all of your stuff. This includes your smart TV, ATV, other streaming devices, game console, audio setup, and more.

Third, the company seems to get it: they were quick to fix bugs found in the initial release version, they proactively reach out to new customers with a checklist of things to set yourself up for success, and they are serious about tech support.

I have just started getting under the hood with this remote, and though the initial setup was a bit tricky, this has quickly become a go-to replacement for my Harmony Elite. Honestly, I think this is the best universal remote you can get to control your Apple TV right now.

Here’s my new X1 in the box.

best remotes for apple tv

Here’s an unboxing video I did of the Sofabaton X1 over on my YouTube channel.

⚠️Pro Tip: Make sure you update the firmware before doing anything else after you buy this remote.

Specs

  • Size: 9.06 x 5.51 x 2.76 inches
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Connectivity: IR, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi
  • Battery Life: 30-60 days
  • Voice Assistants: Alexa with Google Assistant support coming
  • No of Devices: Up to 15

Pros

  •  Simple set up and can learn from existing remotes.
  •  Works with 500,000 devices from 6,000 brands.
  •  Activities can be programmed to do things like turn on your TV, switch to you Apple TV, and dim your smart lights, and turn on your soundbar.
  •  Companion app can be used an additional remote.
  •  Can easily re-map buttons for activities, favorites using the app.
  •  Outstanding battery life.

Cons

  •  Can take a bit of tinkering to figure out Activities.
  •  Screen is OLED only, not a touch screen.

Editor's Choice
SofaBaton X1 Universal Remote Control with Hub & App
$189.99

The X1 universal remote controls a wide range of devices with its hub. It supports up to 500,000 IR & Bluetooth devices, including Samsung Smart TVs, soundbars, gaming consoles, AV receivers, Blu-Ray players, Philips Hue lights, and Sonos speakers.

Buy At Amazon
03/04/2024 11:00 am GMT

The Broadlink RM4 Pro is a worthy Apple TV device but does much more. It lets you control all your remote-controlled devices through your phone via the Broadlink app or with Alexa or Google Assistant. This makes your home smarter with a low upfront cost. Control TV On/Off and volume control. Change channel by number or name, and switch inputs for your devices all with your voice or a few taps of your phone. You can also control media playback using the Play, Fast Forward, Rewind, Pause, Stop, Previous functions, and much more.

Works with Alexa and Google Assistant to control your IR appliances by just saying, “Alexa turn on the TV” or “Alexa volume down on TV.” This is one of the best universal remote apps you can get today. The hub also features temperature and humidity detection so that you can integrate and automate your home heating and cooling systems. This is something that wasn’t available on the Harmony Hub.

Specs

  • Size: 3.3 x 3.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 3.35 ounces
  • Connectivity: IR/RF/Wi-Fi
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Voice Assistants: Alexa and Google Assistant
  • No of Devices: 15

Pros

  •  Affordable home automation option.
  •  Solid voice control using Alexa or Google Assistant.
  •  Can be used to automate older RF/IR devices.
  •  Two IR blaster provided for closed cabinet control.

Cons

  • Setup can be time-consuming, especially if not tech savvy.
  •  Needs line of sight to devices or IR blasters.
  •  Requires 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network.


#5 – IR-Only Universal: Sofabaton U2

The Sofabaton U2 Universal Remote is a remarkable upgrade from the U1 model, offering a combination of enhanced design and performance. This all-in-one remote control replaces 15 infrared and Bluetooth device remotes, providing ultimate convenience and simplifying your home entertainment experience.

The U2 remote boasts an extended IR signal range, ensuring real-time responsiveness and compatibility with over 500,000 devices from 6,000+ brands. The programmable macro feature allows you to send multiple commands with a single button, while the ergonomic scroll wheel design and OLED display make switching between devices easy. However, it doesn’t support wireless or Wi-Fi devices, and the price point is higher than the U1 model.

Here’s an unboxing and an intro to the U2 from Kpaceguy. Nice job with the video, man.


With one macro button push, you can automate multiple commands such as “Watch Netflix.” Pressing the Watch Netflix activity can turn on the TV and soundbar, switch to Apple TV, and open Netflix.

The U2 is limited to control of IR and Bluetooth devices, so if you want to add Wi-fi device control, check out the X1.

Specs

  • Size: 7.7 x 1.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Connectivity: IR and Bluetooth
  • Battery Life: About a month (2AA batteries)
  • Voice Assistants: None
  • No of Devices: 15

Pros

  • Control Apple TV, plus up to 15 devices toal.
  • Extended IR signal range over the earlier U1 model.
  •  LED screen lets you visually check status.
  •  Relatively easy to set up using the app.

Cons

  •  Larger bulkier design than the X1
  •  No Alexa or Google Home integration.
  •  Can’t control wireless devices.
  • Battery life could be better (need to swap out AA batteries regularly).

Best Budget Universal
SofaBaton U2 Universal Remote
$59.99

The improved Sofabaton U2 remote features a better design, more responsive buttons, enhanced infrared performance, and easier battery replacement, making it a worthy upgrade from its U1 predecessor.

Buy at Amazon Full Review
03/04/2024 12:00 pm GMT

#6 – Gaming Controller: Nimbus+

SteelSeries Nimbus+ is designed specifically for Apple Gaming, bringing a console-quality gaming experience to the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Apple TV. With an ergonomic design, responsive triggers and buttons, and a built-in rechargeable battery, you can enjoy hours of play on a single charge.

“Plus,” with four free months of Apple Arcade and compatibility with thousands of titles, you’ll have plenty of games to keep you busy Official Apple-licensed Wireless Connectivity ensures compatibility with all Apple products.

Here’s a nice review of the Nimbus+ from AppleInsider:

Specs

  • Size: ‎4.33 x 2.49 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight: ‎8.5 ounces
  • Connectivity: Wireless (proprietary), Bluetooth
  • Battery Life: 40 hours (rechargeable)
  • Voice Assistants: N/A
  • No of Devices: iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 2, iPad (4th Generation), iPad Air 2, iPod Touch (6th Generation) and Apple TV (4th Generation)

Pros

  •  Controller has heft to it and feels solid in the hand.
  •  Generous four-months of Apple Arcade with thousands of titles.
  •  Arrow buttons have tactile feedback.
  •  Clickable L3/R3 buttons allow for more input options across a variety of games.

Cons

  •  Designed for gaming, controller can be awkward to control Apple TV for other things

Apple Gaming Controller
SteelSeries Nimbus+
$56.22
  • Official Apple-licensed Wireless Connectivity – works with all Apple products, including iOS, iPads, TVs, and other devices. Included Nimbus+
  • Built-in Rechargeable Battery – Rechargeable battery allows for 50+ hours of play on a single charge.
Buy Now
03/02/2024 09:00 am GMT

#7 – Siri Remote Add-On: Sideclick

Next on my list of best remotes for Apple TV is not a remote at all. Rather, it is an attachment that clicks onto the side of your existing Apple TV remote (latest generations silver or black touchpad).

Here’s a look at the Sideclick Universal Attachment for Apple TV from EndofLineTech. Nice job with the video, dude 😊.

You can use it to control the basic functions of your TV, receiver, sound bar, Blu-Ray, and Apple TV all-in-one convenient device. The Sideclick is super easy to program; however, you must have your original device remote to program the Sideclick Remote’s eight buttons to your most-used devices. If you decide to change your streaming device, you can use the same Sideclick Remote and just get the adapter for that device. The company also makes attachments for Fire TV, Roku, NVIDIA Shield, and Chromecast.

Specs

  • Size: ‎5.67 x 5.59 x 1.73 inches
  • Weight: 4.3 ounces
  • Connectivity: IR
  • Battery: 2 AAA batteries required
  • Voice Assistants: Siri (Apple TV remote)
  • No of Devices: Apple TV only

Pros

  •  Apple TV fans can consolidate other remotes down to just one.
  •  Mix and match multiple streaming devices. For example, you can program the side buttons to control a Roku player and your soundbar.
  •  Simple to program by “pairing” it with your existing remotes.

Cons

  •  Case feels a little clunky in the hand.
  •  Controls RF/IR devices only.
  •  Not compatible with some earlier Apple TV remotes.

Siri Remote Add-On
Sideclick Remotes Universal Remote Attachment for Apple TV
$29.99
  • Slim universal remote attachment for Apple TV.
  • Control the basic functions of your tv, receiver, sound bar, blu ray and Apple TV all-in-one.
Check Price
03/02/2024 11:00 am GMT

Best Remotes for Apple TV: FAQs

What is the best remote control for Apple TV?

The best remote for Apple TV is the Apple Siri remote, perfect for seamless integration. For traditional remote functionality, consider Function101, or opt for Sofabaton X1 for a comprehensive universal remote experience.

What should I consider when choosing the best remotes for Apple TV?

When selecting the best remotes for Apple TV, consider button variety, ease of use, compatibility with other devices, battery life, and durability. Personal preferences for voice control or touchpad features are also important.

Will the new Apple TV remote work with any Apple TV?

The new Apple TV remote is universally compatible with all Apple TV models running tvOS, ensuring flexibility and convenience for users across different Apple TV generations.

Do the Sofabaton remotes work with Apple TV?

Yes, Sofabaton’s X1 and U2 models are fully compatible with Apple TV, making them among the best remotes for Apple TV. They also control up to 60 devices, including TVs, soundbars, and streaming media players.

How does the Function101 remote enhance the Apple TV experience?

Function101, one of the best remotes for Apple TV, offers a full keypad and more buttons for direct access, improving navigation and functionality, and providing a more traditional remote experience compared to the Apple TV remote.

📚 Related: How to Watch Football on Apple TV


Best Remotes for Apple TV: Your Turn

best remotes for apple tv conclusionI hope you found my round-up of the best remotes for Apple TV helpful. Please leave me a comment below and let me know.

While Apple has made great strides in improving the Siri remote, it still doesn’t solve the same dilemma caused by all of these streaming devices, in my view. That is the addition of one more remote being added to the collection on your coffee table.

While new prospects from innovative companies like Sofabaton and Broadlink aren’t perfect yet, I am super encouraged by their latest offerings.

While I have really just started testing my new Sofabaton X1 remote, I just published my three-month Sofabaton X1 Review if you want to learn more. I will also be creating some more videos over on my YouTube channel. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to learn more about the best remotes for Apple TV.

Featured Photo by Omar Rodriguez on Unsplash


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Brennan

Tim Brennan is a technology blogger and hosts the @TecTimmy YouTube channel. He writes about smart homes at oneSmartcrib, home theaters at UniversalRemoteReviews, and AI in writing at Writeinteractive. A graduate of Northeastern University School of Journalism, he has written about technology for 30 years. Tim lives on the ocean in Nahant, Massachusetts.


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