Apple: Best alternatives to Apple TV's Siri Remote

There is some disdain for the Apple TV Siri remote. Between the glass design, the non-intuitive orientation and the high replacement costs, many Apple TV users have been looking for alternatives. These are our picks for better Apple TV remotes.

The Apple TV Siri Remote

The Siri Remote made its debut with the fourth-generation Apple TV. It has an aluminum back with an all-glass top. The top part of the remote control has a subtle matte finish while the bottom part is glossy.

Without looking, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two, which almost guarantees you’ll be pointing the remote in the wrong direction if you casually pick it up.

If you ever drop the remote – whether you’re a little clumsy or have kids, the glass could break on impact. Given the high replacement cost – just to make it happen again – users aren’t happy with Apple’s design choices.

Apple made a small change with the Apple TV 4K, which placed a raised ring around the menu button to facilitate orientation in your hand, but with the same design. The outrage from users was strong enough, it is rumored that Apple will release a new remote control with the next Apple TV 6.

Meanwhile, users are left out in the cold. At this level, here are your best alternatives to Apple’s Siri Remote and why we like them, which will most likely support the next-generation Apple TV if you decide to upgrade.

Aluminum remote control from Apple

If you want to stick with Apple’s proprietary solutions but get away from the glass-clad Siri remote for something simple and robust, perhaps take one of Apple’s earlier style remote controls. These remotes are all made of aluminum with black buttons that can be pushed up manually.

The abandoned aluminum remote control from Apple

The remote’s design makes it easy to identify which end is at the top, doesn’t break when dropped, has physical buttons, and is very affordable compared to the others on the list.

Unfortunately, the biggest problem is that Apple officially discontinued the remote years ago, allowing buyers to search eBay or opt for generic models instead.

Remote application

An alternative (free) to a new physical remote control is the Apple Remote app for iPhone, iPad and Apple. Use this app on all your devices to quickly control the Apple TV, as well as the TV itself if you have a TV with the latest HomeKit.

Remote iOS app
Remote iOS app

The application is complete and reproduces almost all the functionality of the physical remote control and, in some cases, more. For example, it’s much easier to enter or search for passwords with a full keyboard instead of the onscreen keyboard cursing Apple TV.

Download the Remote app for free from the App Store.

SevenHugs Smart Remote

Aside from Apple solutions, we turn to third-party products to meet our need for an improved and efficient Apple TV remote.

SevenHugs Smart Remote X
SevenHugs Smart Remote X

Our favorite third-party option is undoubtedly the SevenHugs smart remote. This touchscreen remote does more than Apple could have done. It can control the entire configuration of your entertainment system, including the receiver, soundbar, television, streaming devices, including Apple TV, and much more.

SevenHugs Smart Remote X that controls Hue lights
SevenHugs Smart Remote X that controls Hue lights

Not to mention your smart home. Smart devices such as Philips Hue lights, LifX lights, Sonos speakers and WeMo smart sockets can all be operated effortlessly via the smart remote control.

SevenHugs also offers two different remote controls. The basic remote can do all of the above, but upgrading to the Smart Remote X provides context awareness. You can point the remote at a light and the Smart Remote X knows which device you want to change and the correct commands appear on the screen.

It is an impressive solution to the problem of smart remotes when browsing a full list of controllable accessories.

SevenHugs Smart Remote X keyboard
SevenHugs Smart Remote X full keyboard

As for Apple TV in particular, the smart remote does an excellent job of mimicking the interface of the Siri remote. It has a large upward touchpad to swipe or touch while navigating the user interface. Below you’ll find the menu button, the TV button, the volume buttons, the play / pause option, the forward / back buttons and even a full-size qwerty hotkey.

All that’s missing is the Siri voice command, which is expected on a non-Apple product.

SevenHugs Smart Remote U and Smart Remote X start at $ 199.

Logitech Harmony

Another very popular option is the Logitech Harmony series of remotes. What’s particularly interesting about the Logitech range is that there are so many options available. We use the Harmony Ultimate One, although the new Harmony Elite performs even better.

Harmony remote
Harmony remote

You can use the remote to control your devices, or you can control more than one via the associated Harmony app.

Harmony remotes have one of the largest catalogs of devices they support for entertainment centers, as well as smart home devices. It works with all of the aforementioned devices supported by SevenHugs, as well as popular devices like Lutron, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, August, Honeywell thermostats and many more.

Harmony remotes have been around for centuries and keep getting better over time. The most recent app-based installation process is a huge improvement over the Mac and PC software, making the new models better suited to modern devices.

They play well with Apple TV and offer both a touchscreen and physical buttons. Again, there is no Siri support.


Another alternative is Caavo. Caavo brings all your entertainment devices together.

Caavo control center
Caavo control center

Connect your Apple TV and other devices to the Caavo control center, you can use a remote control for everything. Thanks to the huge links to other devices, you can even use Alexa to make your Apple TV play, if you use Amazon’s virtual assistant.

It shows Sonos controls on your TV, provides universal search options to browse all different apps and platforms, and unites your TV experience. It also has its own voice search for extra control, which is useful since Siri isn’t available.

A control stick

After all, don’t think about traditional remotes. Apple TV also fully supports game controllers, including PS4 DualShock controllers and Xbox controllers.

Game controllers
Game controllers

We often use the SteelSeries Nimbus controller, where you can use the directional pad or joysticks to navigate and return to the center button menu. These “remotes” are not only useful for navigation, but they are also ideal for playing games.

Download the SteelSeries, PS4 or Xbox controllers for your Apple TV.

Sit back and relax

Siri Remote manages Apple TV well. He only has disadvantages in his physical conception. It is not intuitive, fragile and expensive to replace.

Fortunately, the wealth of options above offer users plenty of options to replace a broken remote or upgrade theirs for a better TV experience.

Whichever remote control you prefer, we all agree that Apple TV is one of the best streaming boxes on the market.

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