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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):
- #1 – On-Point: Apple Siri Remote
- #2 – Best Replacement: Function101
- #3 – Best Universal: Sofabaton X1
- #4 – Best App: Broadlink RM4 Pro
- #5 – IR-Only Universal: Sofabaton U2
- #6 – Gaming Controller: Nimbus+
- #7 – Siri Remote Add-On: Sideclick
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.
Last update on 09/27/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
📚 Related: 11 Best Universal Remotes This Year
#1 – On-Point: 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.
#2 – Best Replacement: Function101
The Function101 remote is a third-party remote explicitly designed for use with the 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 ReviewVideo Credit: MacRumors
#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.
Here’s an unboxing video I did of the Sofabaton X1 over on my YouTube channel.
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.
#4 – Best App: Broadlink RM4 Pro
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.
#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.
#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:
- 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.
#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.
FAQs for Apple TV
What is the best remote control for Apple TV?
The best remote control for Apple TV is the latest generation of the Apple Siri remote that ships with the ATV console. The main drawbacks to this remote is that it is limited in buttons and it is not a universal remote—meaning you can only control Apple TV with it. If you want a solid replacement that works more like a traditional remote, check out Function101. If you want a universal remote that can control Apple TV, other devices in your home theater, and even some smart home stuff, check out the Sofabaton X1.
What should I consider when choosing the best remotes for Apple TV?
When choosing the best remotes for Apple TV, some things to consider include the number of buttons and functions, ease of use and navigation, compatibility with other devices, battery life, and durability. Additionally, some users may prefer a remote with voice control or touchpad functionality, depending on their personal preferences and needs.
Will the new Apple TV remote work with any Apple TV?
The new Apple TV remote is backward compatible with all Apple TVs that run Apple tvOS.
Do the Sofabaton remotes work with Apple TV?
Yes, the X1 and U2 remotes from Sofabaton work with Apple TV. Additionally, the company says that the U2 can control up to 15 devices and the X1 up to 60. This includes your TV, cable box, Blu-ray player, DVD, DVR, satellite, audio, sound bars, and streaming media players like Fire TV, Roku, and Apple TV.
What is the benefit of using the Function101 remote instead of the Apple TV one?
The Function101 remote offers a few notable benefits over the Apple TV remote, including a complete keypad and easy navigation with more buttons for frequently used functions. Function101 provides a more user-friendly and versatile experience than the Apple TV remote for some users, who complain the ATV remote with fewer buttons can be more difficult to use.
How does the Function101 remote improve the Apple TV experience?
By providing a full keyboard and programmable buttons, the Function101 remote allows easier navigation and quick access to commonly used functions, making the Apple TV experience more efficient and enjoyable. Additionally, the Function101 remote has a more ergonomic design and is more durable than the Apple TV remote, in my opinion.
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Best Remotes for Apple TV: Your Turn
I 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.
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.
Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for a fun take on all things tech.