Sarah Tew/CNET If you have a serious home-theater system, or even a semiserious one with three or more components, a universal remote control is a wonderful thing. The best universal remotes can unify all those different device clickers into a single wand in a way that can feel magical. All of the best universal remote options have superior ergonomics, with more intuitive button layouts and a better feel than standard remotes. And many of them work with your smartphone or voice systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. My family and I have used many of the remotes on this list to control my main home-theater system for months or years at a time. At various points they’ve controlled multiple devices including my TVs, AV receivers, game consoles, Roku streamers and even a cable box DVR. My family uses the system as much as I do, and my main criteria in a universal remote is making it simple enough for a child to operate.Here are my favorite choices for best universal remote over the years that are currently available, in ascending order of price.Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. Read the Logitech Companion review My pick for the best universal remote for the money, is the Companion, a real remote tied to a Harmony Hub. Since the Harmony Hub handles the actual command sending you don’t have to aim the remote and risk one of your devices missing a command — which leads to confusion and delay. The remote is slick and easy to hold, and the battery lasts for months. In my years of using it at home, the main things I missed are backlighting behind the keys and a remote finder. Logitech Harmony Companion: $105 Sarah Tew/CNET Read the Logitech Harmony 650 review Caavo Control Center: $60 plus service fee Read the Logitech Harmony Express preview Read the Amazon Fire TV Cube review Read the Caavo Control Center preview See at Amazon Comments Logitech Harmony wrote the book on the universal remote control, and these are its most basic clickers I can recommend. The main appeal over a cheaper, non-Harmony-based remote controller, or the clicker that comes with your cable box, is the activity-based control. Press the “Watch TV” or “Listen to Music” buttons and the remote controller turns on all the relevant devices (such as your smart TV, blue-ray player, cable box and AV receiver), switches to the right inputs and maps the keys to that activity (Volume to the receiver and Channel up/down to the cable box, for example). Unlike more-expensive Harmonys (below), which use a universal remote app for setup and control, you’ll have to use Harmony’s Mac- or PC-based software to program the remote. The 650 and 665 also rely on IR (infrared) codes emitted from the front of the remote — if you want point-anywhere convenience, you’ll have to spend up for a system with a hub.The 665 is the only one currently listed on Harmony’s site but the 650 is identical (aside from color and number of devices each can control) and can often be found for less, especially refurbished. Harmony Elite: $250 Now we’re getting into big spending territory. The Elite’s main draw over the Companion is its screen, and for most users it’s just not worth it. The touch screen makes it more versatile than cheaper models, especially for calling up favorite channels and Roku apps, and the full backlighting is great. Unfortunately, both suck a lot of battery power so you (and your family) will need to remember to park the remote in its dock on the reg. The Hub is the only clicker on this list that doesn’t actually include a clicker. Instead, you control everything using the Harmony smartphone app — or by talking to your Alexa or Google Home speaker. The hub itself nestles deep in your AV cabinet, blasting out Infrared, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to your equipment. This Harmony smart control is a great system if you live on your smartphone, but for most people investing in a real remote is worth the extra few bucks. Share your voice See at Amazon See at Amazon Amazon Fire TV Cube: $120 Logitech’s newest all-in-one remote control is its most voice-centric yet. Like the Caavo, you can use voice commands to control stuff by talking into the smart control, but unlike Caavo, the Express can talk back in Alexa’s voice. It’s like having a miniature Alexa speaker in your hand. After a couple months as my family’s main remote I find myself wanting an actual power button — you have to say “Turn on the TV” or “Watch Netflix” or even “Turn off the TV” to get stuff to happen — but my main quibble is its high price. As Harmony’s only remote with a finder function, however, this is still the one I’d get if money wasn’t an object. The wacky Cube is a mashup of universal remote controls, Fire TV 4K streamer and Amazon Echo speaker. It comes with a remote but its keys are sparse and rudimentary: real device control happens via your voice. The Cube has an IR blaster to control your gear and a mic sensitive enough to hear your commands over the blare of music. On the downside, you’ll need to keep your old remotes around for many functions.This controlling device is often sold for as little as $80 or less, so definitely wait for a sale — or Prime Day — before buying it. Sarah Tew/CNET Logitech Harmony 650/665: $50 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Logitech Harmony Hub: $70 TVs Media Streamers Logitech Harmony See at Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew Amazon Bluetooth Best Buy Google Logitech Roku Tags Read the Logitech Harmony Elite review See at Amazon 4 See at Best Buy Caavo’s Control Center is one of two non-Harmony remotes on this list and is also the second-cheapest, but there’s a catch. To get Caavo’s advanced features, you’ll need to shell out bank for the service fee. It costs $4 per month, $40 per year or $130 for the lifetime of the remote. Unlike Harmony, Caavo Control Center includes an HDMI switch in addition to the smart remote. You plug your stuff into the switch and it handles the rest, including automatically recognizing your gear during setup. Caavo has its own voice control system and onscreen display to help you find stuff to watch, the clicker itself is simple and elegant and the remote finder is gold. Like the hub-based Harmonys below, Caavo doesn’t require line of sight (the switch acts as the hub) and will also work with voice commands from Alexa and Google Home speakers. Logitech Harmony Express: $250 See at Amazon
Israel announced Sunday it had reached a deal worth $630 million to provide India’s navy with missile defence systems, following a record weapons sale between the two countries last month.The new contract will see state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries supply LRSAM air and missile defence systems for four Indian naval ships, a statement from the company said.IAI said the contract will be carried out with India’s Bharat Electronics Limited, which will be the project’s main contractor.”The new contract adds to other deals signed in the last decade by IAI with India’s defence forces, reinforcing IAI’s global leadership position in air and missile defence systems,” IAI president and CEO Joseph Weiss said in a statement.LRSAM is an advanced air and missile defence system, jointly developed by IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation.In April, IAI said India will buy nearly $2 billion worth of weapons technology from Israel in what was described as the “largest defence contract” ever signed by the military exporting giant.
5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now December 10, 2015 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Headlines are the first — and often only — factor your audience will use to decide whether they want to click on and read your content. And arguably, that makes them the most critical part of your content to carefully consider and craft.When I’m stumped for a good headline, I use the following 10 tools to find the right eye-catching phrase. I hope they help you take your headlines to higher levels as well.Related: Tricks to Help You Spell Unfamiliar Words (Infographic)1. OptimizelyUsed by Microsoft, NBC Universal and other big players, Optimizely takes headline optimization beyond A / B testing. You can use the tool to conduct multivariate analysis of the combined effects of various headlines and images. Or, alternatively, you can also use it to specialize your headline for a specific goal, such as higher click-through rates, conversions, social media shares or engagement.2. Inbound Now’s Headline GeneratorIf you hate coming up with headlines in the first place, this simple tool by Inbound Now is the perfect option for you. Just type in a few words related to your content topic, and it will come up with engaging, SEO-friendly headlines:3. TaboolaTaboola is best known as a native advertising network that’ll help you get your content displayed on other people’s websites, but there’s one tool hidden in there that’ll help you optimize your content and headlines to increase engagement.Besides promoting content, the service lets users test headlines (among other elements) against Taboola’s custom click-through rate algorithm. The system is based on data from its content recommendation service, giving Taboola unique insights into the kinds of headlines that people are most drawn to.4. KingSumoHeadlines, a KingSumo app, is a unique tool for WordPress that will continue optimizing your headlines even after you publish. To use the app, you write as many headlines as possible for a post, and Headlines will use each of them and monitor how well they perform.Over time, the app determines the best one based on its performance with your actual audience. 5. QualarooQualaroo is unique among headline tools because it actually seeks out user feedback to create its optimization recommendations.Qualaroo surveys users about why a blog post caught their interest, providing real data on what works. When analyzing your headlines, Qualaroo will tell you which ones garner the most attention, but more importantly — why.Related: 8 Subject-Line Secrets That Entice People to Read Your Email6. CoSchedule’s Headline AnalyzerCoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is based on the real success of past headlines on the web, offering any headline you enter a strength score between one and 100.It includes factors such as how common the words are, as well as measurements of emotion and power. It will also let you know if your headline is too short or too long, and allows you to input tons of iterations so that you can work toward the highest score possible.7. CrazyEggCrazyEgg enables you to take a deeper look at the headlines of your own site and how your audience is responding to them through its use of heat maps.As you monitor your site’s performance, you’ll see which headlines receive the most engagement — and which ones don’t — so you can determine what kind of headlines work best for your specific website visitors.8. Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline AnalyzerAny marketer knows that developing an emotional connection with your audience through great content is key when it comes building trust and standing out against competitors. Still, how to actually instill that emotion into a headline is lost on many.Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer is a unique solution to this, offering an algorithm that measures the emotional marketing value (EMV) of headlines. The tool calculates a headline’s EMV score based on the number of emotional words in the headline, telling you if your headline evokes spiritual, intellectual or empathetic emotions. 9. OnalyticaOnalytica is a tool developed to help you monitor and build relationships with valuable influencers in your niche, but that’s not the limit of its usability.Onalytica will easily aggregate the headlines of your influencers and competitors and offers analysis that show which are the most successful. This can inform what direction you should take with your own headlines.10. Boost MediaIf you’re looking for a more human touch to improve your headlines, this is the tool for you. Boost Media offers headline algorithms and multivariate testing as well, but its real benefit comes from its network of writers and designers who can help optimize your headlines for your specific niche.As an example, if you sell rock-climbing accessories, Boost Media will try to find you a real rock climbing enthusiast to write your headlines. You’re virtually guaranteed to come up with something engaging.While almost all these tools have some overlap in functionality, each offers some unique features that can bring your content ahead of the game and encourage more engagement.Have another favorite you feel deserves a spot on this list? Share your recommendations by leaving a comment below.Related: How to Write Something That People Will Actually Read Enroll Now for Free