Best IR Blaster: In-Depth Review And Buying Guide
A small addition to your smart home and entertainment unit is Infrared Blaster. It can be a hub, remote controller, extender or other device based on different brands. The main purpose of this is to bring ease and comfort to users making ‘control of devices’ fun and within clicks. While one can drown in the sea of smart devices, it is our job to guide you and help you find the best one.
This article will focus on 7 best IR Blasters and describe their characteristics so that users can choose without hesitation. With the help of an IR blaster extender/IR repeater, the range of blaster can be increased which consists of IR Emitter, IR Receiver, IR Transceiver and DC power. Among many, the top 7 IR blasters and their features are described in detail along with their benefits and drawbacks.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is an IR Blaster?
- 2 Comparison of 10 Best ir Blaster
- 3 Reviews of 7 Best ir Blaster
- 3.1 1. B.One Eazy Universal Remote
- 3.2 2. Logitech Harmony Hub
- 3.3 3. WiFi Smart IR Hub-Best Smart IR Blaster
- 3.4 4. SwitchBot Smart Switch Button Pusher
- 3.5 5. Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control
- 3.5.1 Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control Review
- 3.6 6. BroadLink RM Pro+ WiFi Smart Home Hub
- 3.7 7. Sewell Direct BlastIR Wireless Pro IR Repeater
- 4 What We Consider When to select these best ir blaster?
- 5 How do I install an IR repeater?
- 6 Bottom Line
What Is an IR Blaster?
An infrared blaster is also known as IR Blaster. IR Blaster takes in a signal from the IR Remote and forwards the signals to the corresponding IR devices. The smart remote mostly controlled via mobile or tablet communicates to the Hub rather than the device.
The main advantage of using such a system is replacing several remotes by one and control device even though they are not in the line of sight. Only the IR blasters and the hub that comes with it have to be installed near the device.
The IR Blaster is mostly compatible with IR devices, Wi-Fi and sometimes RF ones. Once any command is given, the IR blaster transfers the signal to the corresponding device. For the device to work, the smart appliances in the home have to be initially paired up, and then with the installation of the corresponding app, the appliance can be controlled.
The range of IR remote can be increased using the IR blaster cable extension by placing the blaster in a closed area. Once the installation is done, IR blaster can be used to control, entertainment units, gaming consoles and other smart appliances in the house.
Comparison of 10 Best ir Blaster
Where to Buy
Wi-Fi:802.11g/n, WPA Personal, WPA2-AES and 64/128-bit WEP encryption.
Alexa, Google Assitant
As per IR/Wirelss range
Alexa , Google Assistant
ax range:≤8m in horizontal direction and ≤15m in opposite direction
Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri
Wireless(915-917 MHz), IR (20-60Khz)
with help of hub can connect to Alexa/Google Assistant
Wi-Fi 2.4GHz, IF
Alexa and Google Assistant
Reviews of 7 Best ir Blaster
The IR Blasters act as smart controllers in the house so that you can control several devices with a single remote. The remote will receive the desired command and deliver it to the corresponding device. This article will discuss the top 7 IR Blasters in the market and highlight the reasons to select them.
The range of Blaster and supported devices are important criteria to look into while selecting an IR. The blaster can come in the form of the hub, controller, pusher, repeater, etc. All will work in the same way that is using IR to control devices.
1. B.One Eazy Universal Remote
At a Glance
One of the best IR Hubs is the B.OneEazy. It looks like a Hub that will work as a remote controller. Once the app for this device is installed in the mobile compatible with IR, all smart devices can be controlled by the mobile app. From pause/play to AC on/off, all can be done with a single app. This reduces the electricity bills, promotes flexible living.
B.OneEazy Universal Remote Review
It can differentiate between day and night. The B.OneEazy can detect the time of the day and run some pre-defined commands at that particular time. This is done with the help of light and temperature sensors.
The ‘Action’ feature in the app allows users to modify their commands. The user can set selected commands to run at a particular time of the day. Like at 7 pm, the lights will dim, the TV will turn on and the AC will turn on.
App, Chat, Voice:
B.OneEazy gives you flexibility so as to which one you choose to deliver commands. The app can be downloaded from Playstore or iTunes which will act as a remote control in your mobile. The user can give the command to Alexa or Google to control devices. Or the user can chat with Chatbots using Facebook Messenger or Line Messenger.
Range and compatible devices:
The use of 7IR Blasters will provide a coverage area of 7 meters and in 360 degrees. The device is said to be compatible with 200000+ products including Philips Hue, Ecobee, LIFX, etc.
It is named so because the device will work with other IR devices and Wi-Fi connected ones. This gives users to use a wide range of products. However, it should be noted that B.OneEazydo does not support RF devices. It also doesn’t support Zigbee and Z-wave devices. Some of the best mobile phone with IR blaster is Huawei P30 Pro, Honor 20 and 20 Pro.
Pros of B.OneEazy Universal Remote
- Very easy setup and installation procedure.
- Customization capability permits freedom to users to modify their commands
- One single remote for entertainment units to smart devices.
Cons of B.OneEazy Universal Remote
- Should connect a number of devices like lighting and switches
- Will not work if the house system has any RF device
2. Logitech Harmony Hub
At a Glance
Logitech Harmony also has a Hub that acts as IR Blaster. A simple downloaded app is needed to control all IR, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices around the house. It is compatible with a wide range of devices as well. It can be considered one of the best IR Blaster for TV as it allows 50 channels to be enlisted as favorites.
Logitech Harmony Hub Review
Logitech Harmony Hub is well known as it works even if it is kept inside the cupboard or hidden inside any room or box. This means you can hide inside any furniture or room so that the decoration of the house is maintained and yet control devices using the hub. It supports and works with IR devices, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices.
It can connect up to 270000 devices including TV, AV receiver, Xbox One,, PlayStation3, Wii, Roku media player, smart bulbs, thermostats, etc. This allows users the flexibility to choose from a wide range of devices according to their preferences. It also allows the accumulation of 8 remote controls and to select 50 channels in the favorite list.
The Logitech Hub is compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant. This again permits users to choose among Amazon and Google products. These voice assistants will help throw voice commands and easily control any action around the house. The Logitech Harmony is a preferable IR blaster for Echo.
The Activities option in the Harmony App will allow users to modify their commands. This can trigger a series of commands in a specific time or can group them under any name. For instance, “I am Home” selection will cause the thermostat to turn on, the music to play and the garage door to lock.
Mobile App: The Harmony app can be downloaded from Play Store. The setup procedure is user-friendly. By “auto scan” the devices can be connected to the app and then finally controlled. The app also permits to control devices even when you are not home.
Pros of Logitech Harmony Hub
- Works with any IR device along with gaming console, Xbox, SonyPlaystation 4, etc, this gives extra preference to game lovers
- The app is user-friendly and users can select a number of commands to occur at any given time
- Can work even if it is hidden inside an object
- Considered favorable as IR Blaster Bluetooth.
- Harmony Remotes can be used to control IR Blaster Fire TV
Cons of Logitech Harmony Hub
- Users cannot control devices without cloud service so local API isn’t workable.
- A costly extender is needed to make it work with Z-Wave and ZigBee devices
3. WiFi Smart IR Hub-Best Smart IR Blaster
At a Glance
This device is a Wi-Fi Hub that controls all smart appliances in the house via IR. There is flexibility for remote access and connection to a wide number of devices. This allows smart home users to be at ease with their user-friendly app that will work as a universal remote.
WiFi Smart IR Hub Review
The Wi-Fi hub can control 80000 + IR devices but not any RF devices. So while choosing your devices you should keep this in mind. The wide range of devices works as an advantage for users so that they can select devices as per their requirements.
The Wi-Fi Hub is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. So users can choose either Amazon or Google Product as per their choice and use voice commands for their smart home. We consider it the best smart ir blaster.
This Hub or universal remote controller has a sharing option with other family members. This is achieved by sharing the key function with others. Once it is shared, they can all use the same Larkkey Smart IR to control the appliances in the house.
Control of devices:
The Wi-Fi Hub gets automatic updates from the cloud and it can automatically match devices by itself thus ensures reliable integration between IR devices and IR remote. It is suggested not to put any external objects between the device and Hub.
Like other Hubs, this IR hub also permits remote access. This is done using the app ‘Larkkey App’ or ‘Smart Life app’. With this advantage, users can turn on the thermostat or switch off the bedroom lights even when they are not home.
Pros of WiFi Smart IR Hub
- Sharing key function allows other members to have equal access
- 80000+ compatible devices allow user flexibility
- Works with both google assistant and Alexa thus users have the option to choose
- Remote access gives power to users to control home when they are not at home.
Cons of WiFi Smart IR Hub
- Will not work without power supply
- Will not work if you have any RF devices
4. SwitchBot Smart Switch Button Pusher
At a Glance
The SwitchBot Smart Switch Button Pusher can work with or without a hub. It can be attached to any rocker or button of any device. This can allow controlling any device including a coffee maker with a timer. It has a prolonged battery life and lets users supervise devices in the house with the help of an app.
SwitchBot Smart Switch Button Pusher Review
Hub or not:
The Swtitchbot can work with a hub or even without it. So users have a choice whether they need a hub along with Switchbot or not. If users need a hub they can buy With SwitchBot Hub Plus/Mini, this will also allow them to remotely access appliances.
The Switchbot is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, IFTTT. The users can use any one of them as per their wish to give directions to control their appliances.
SwitchBot Pusher has a built-in timer so that users can set a time to a coffee machine or lights to turn them on/off. This feature makes it unique. Users can set a time when the lights will turn on in the evening.
Easy installation and setup:
SwitchBot bot does not need any manual to set it up. It simply needs to place it near a rocker or button with the 3M sticker. The installation of an app is easy which is achieved with a single tap. It has modified or ‘retrofit’ any device including light switch, thermostat, humidifier, computer, lamp, etc.
Pros of SwitchBot Smart Switch Button Pusher
- The built-in timer is one of the benefits of this pusher
- Detailed instructions are given so that users know whether the SwitchBot will work or not
- Users can lead a comfortable and cozy life by flipping switches or pressing switch/buttons. They can control any switch or button even from bed.
- Compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant makes it even better to use.
Cons of SwitchBot Smart Switch Button Pusher
- Several options can’t be used without the Hub which can turn out to be costly.
- If the Switchbot isn’t placed a right angle it may not work
5. Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control
At a Glance
This device comes with a hub and remote control. It can be used to control audio/video units, TV and other smart appliances like lights, thermostats, gaming consoles, etc. The setup of the hub is similar to other IR blaster connections where the hub has to be connected to the power supply. The use of an app is user-friendly and easy to use. The device comes with a remote which is easy to navigate.
Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control Review
The Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control hub has to be placed on any open surface to make it connect to other devices. Or it can also be placed inside any closed compartment but the IR mini blaster has to be placed outside. The setup is a simple and DIY project
The Harmony companion can be used to control over 270000 devices. This helps the user to select from the huge number of devices including Philips Hue lights, Nest Learning thermostats, August door locks, Apple TV, Roku, Sonos, etc. it can work better as IR Blaster for Air Conditioner For Google Home.
This device is perfect for game freaks because it can control gaming units like Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation3 or Wii even if they are hidden someplace else.
App or remote:
Users may deploy an app or the remote that comes with the hub. The Harmony app can be easily installed on mobile and can act as a remote. Along with the app, there is a Logitech remote that comes with the hub so users can use this or that according to their preference.
The Harmony Companion is compatible with Amazon Alexa. A simple ‘Alexa, turn on Netflix’ will do the magic.
Pros of Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control
- Easy setup procedure and within clicks the whole smart home can be supervised.
- Additional remote to control smart appliances along with the app
- Can control gaming console even if they are inside any compartments.
- Remote access allows users to do any important task even when they are not home
Cons of Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control
- It might not be very convenient and powerful to use in complex home automation scenarios.
- The removal of access via local API is forces users to be cloud dependent
6. BroadLink RM Pro+ WiFi Smart Home Hub
At a glance
The Broadlink RM Pro is said to be one of the best Wi-Fi IR blasters that shows the highest performance. The Broadlink IR Blaster is a hub that controls all smart devices and equipment in the house via cloud service. The app is user-friendly and can be used even for remote access. It works with 80000+ products and is workable with Alexa and Google Assistant.
BroadLink RM Pro+ WiFi Smart Home Hub Review
BroadLink RM Pro+ WiFi Smart Home Hub can work with IR devices along with RF ones. This is an option that can’t be found in many other universal remotes. But it doesn’t work with Bluetooth.
It Can work with 80000+ smart home appliances. The hub can be used to control TV, Set Top Box, Motor Curtain, etc. the information is stored in the cloud and the control panel can also be shared with other users. Broadlink is suitable for IR Blaster for Home Assistant. It is also considered best to work as an IR Blaster for Google Home.
The setup is quite easy to do. The Intelligent Home Centre app has to be downloaded and installed on the mobile. Then configure and add IR devices in the app.
BroadLink RM Pro works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. So the user can choose between them.
Broadlink has a Global Cloud service that ensures quick and consistent operation. When a command is thrown, it goes from Smartphone to Server to Remote Control Hub and finally to the Home appliance.
BroadLink RM Pro hub allows users to have remote access whenever they are not home. This option makes life easier to live because you can control any device when you forgot to do it before.
Pros of BroadLink RM Pro+ WiFi Smart Home Hub
- This device works with RF products along with IR
- The hub, as well as the app, works very smoothly just like they advertised.
- Integration with Alexa and Google Assistant without any issue.
- Remote access makes it user-friendly
- Cloud service ensures consistent and steadfast delivery of commands
Cons of BroadLink RM Pro+ WiFi Smart Home Hub
- It will not work without any power supply or the internet.
- Alexa works with limited commands
- Often times the hub or remote doesn’t work and needs frequent resetting.
7. Sewell Direct BlastIR Wireless Pro IR Repeater
At a Glance
The Sewell emitter and receiver support IR devices only. It has multi-zone criteria that allow communication up to 10 channel systems. It also saves the scenario from any interference. When the remote is placed at the receiver and a command is given, the receiver forwards it to the emitter. The emitter, in turn, sends the signal to the desired device that the user wants to control.
Sewell Direct BlastIR Wireless Pro IR Repeater Review
Sewell Direct BlastIR Wireless Pro IR Repeater has there are 10 different channels they can communicate through. The small rotating compass like feature is found at the bottom of the device. The communication of receiver and emitter can be one to one, allto all, one to many, many to one.
Extend the connection:
The device comes with IR receiver and emitter cable. In emitter, the head is dual so this gives an extra option to control. This can also be used if you want the devices out of sight.
Sewell Direct BlastIR can work with any device that is kept inside any compartment or cupboard. This is because the IR works with the line of sight method.
Sewell Direct BlastIR Wireless Pro IR Repeater can control many devices including Blue Ray Players, Cable and DVR Box, AV receivers, Logitech Harmony Hub, etc.
Pros of Sewell Direct BlastIR Wireless Pro IR Repeater
- Wireless Extenders do not interfere with each other
- Compatible with a wide range of devices
- The IR can work up to 7m and Wireless up to 200m
Cons of Sewell Direct BlastIR Wireless Pro IR Repeater
- Remote has to be placed directly on the device other often times it doesn’t work.
- Isn't compatible with Yamaha HTR 6140, Arris DCX 3520E-M, OSD ATM-7 Speaker Selector
What We Consider When to select these best ir blaster?
When it comes to making a decision on selecting the best IR Blaster, some features have to be kept in mind. To begin with, the protocol it works with is an important feature to notice. There are some that work with IR, some with IR and Bluetooth and others like BroadLink RM Pro+ WiFi Smart Home Hub works with all IR, Wi-Fi, and RF devices.
Secondly, another significant feature is connected devices. While some blasters can connect around 300000 devices others can connect less than that. So it depends on the user's installed products in the house and the type of brand they use. Also, there are some that work with both Alexa and Google Assistant and some only with Alexa.
Thirdly, the mobile application is basically the remote control to assist the IR Blaster. All the blasters have mobile apps that take simple clicks to download, install and add the devices in the house. Among them, some of the apps are very smooth in operation and others take a longer time to work and sometimes don’t work at all.
Blasters like Logitech Harmony Companion even comes with a remote control thus users can either use mobile or remote for supervision. Almost all blasters allow remote access via their respective apps to control the house appliances even when they are away.
Some of the blasters have a built-in timer which allows setting a time to turn on any command. Timers are an important addition to coffee makers, lights, curtains and any other devices that you want which will, in turn, make life comfortable and easy.
Almost all the blasters work with cloud service along with ensuring the data they get from users are well protected. Although previously some Logitech devices had local control but later they removed that option due to security reasons.
Some devices like Logitech are also compatible with gaming console making it the ideal choice for game lovers. Within a few clicks, Xbox, Wii, PS3, etc can be controlled even if they are hidden.
A point to be noted is, most of the hubs, pushers, repeaters need a power supply and some need battery. So without an active power supply and a well-established internet connection, the whole system becomes useless.
How do I install an IR repeater?
Attach the power cord to the power supply and simply put the IR receiver where you want it to be. The transmitter should be kept near the sensor so that the signal can be forwarded there.
To conclude, while each IR blaster is unique in its own way, the winner is only one and that depends on quite a lot on the user’s requirements. The main reason to use an IR blaster is to replace several remote controls or manual control of devices.
There are scenarios where the Switchbot pusher will work best and some, where Logitech will work best. This will come down to the other installed devices in the house and what kind of brand devices they are associated with.
All the aforementioned IR Blasters work with IR protocol, seamlessly control devices while providing smooth app functions and remote access making a step ahead towards a comfortable life.
The FAQ Of IR Blaster:
Q. What is the best IR extender?
Ans: Most of the IR blasters have a limited range so to work for a longer distance and for devices hidden inside something, an IR extender is used. The following is a list of top 8 IR extenders:
- Cable Matters 10-Foot Repeater
- BAFX Repeater Cable
- Inteset Technologies IR3856EM
- StarTech IREXT2
- BAFX 54-5EXN Repeater
- Sewell Direct BlastIR
Q. Is there a decent Alexa supported IR blaster?
Ans: Although all IR Blasters we discussed here are Alexa compatible, the Logitech Harmony and Broadlink Pro are well-known for their compatibility. They can be considered best IR Blaster for Alexa as per customer reviews.
Q. What is the best IR blaster device to use with the Echo
Ans: Considering customer reviews and real life usage scenario, the Logitech Harmony Hub can be selected as best IR blaster for Echo
Q. Best Remote app to take advantage of IR blaster?
Ans: The best IR Blaster remote apps are as follows.
- H910 with Quick Remote
- Twine Universal TV Remote
- Mi Remote Controller
- ZaZa TV Remote
- Smart IR Remote – AnyMote
- Unified TV
- SURE Universal Remote for TV
- Galaxy Universal Remote
The SURE remote or Anymore are preferable as best IR Blaster remote for Android phones.
Q. How Do IR extenders work?
Ans: The IR Extender will forward the IR signal from remote to the device that is out of the line of sight or kept inside any room or enclosed cupboard.
Q. Which phones have an IR blaster?
Ans: The following is a list of mobiles that have IR blasters:
- Huawei Mate 10 Plus
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro
- Huawei Honor 20 and 20 Pro
- Huawei P30 Pro
- XiaomiRedmi Note 4, Note 5, Note 6, Note 7 and 7 Pro
- Xiaomi Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE
- Xiaomi Mi A3 / Mi A1 / My A2
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Mate 20 X
- XiaomiRedmi 7
- XiaomiRedmi Y3
- Huawei Honor 8 and 9
- Xiaomi Mi Max 2
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- LG V20
- LeEco Pro 3
- LeEco Le S3/Le Max 3
- Symphony P6
Q. What does IR blaster do?
Ans: An IR blaster imitates a remote. It forwards the IR signal following user commands to the corresponding device. A single blaster can control several smart IR devices in a house.
Q. Does IR work through walls?
Ans: No, it cannot. IR cannot pass through walls due to the components with which the wall is composed of.
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