Kodi is a terrific media center application with some really great features. It's designed for the big screen, which makes it perfect for a home entertainment center or HTPC. But whatever you're using it on you need a good way to interact with it.
A keyboard and mouse is okay, but that's not exactly a comfortable experience when you're on the couch and want to watch a movie. For that, you want a good remote control and the good news is there are plenty to choose from that are compatible with Kodi.
Here are your best options.
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The beauty of the Rii i8+ is that you get a combined trackpad and full QWERTY keyboard in something you can use comfortably on the couch. It works over 2.4GHz wireless via the included dongle, so you do need to ensure you have a free USB port on your Kodi machine.
But after that, the Rii i8+ is designed to be compatible with Windows in its entirety. While you probably wouldn't want to write an essay with it, for searching your Kodi media the keyboard and trackpad are superb.
It's pretty tough, too, and very affordable at just $20 in a variety of colors. Battery life is excellent and makes using a Windows-based Kodi setup so much better. The buttons are even backlit so you can dim the lights and never worry about finding your way around it.
For a more standard remote experience, this offering from Inteset is one of the best around for Kodi. It has support built right in for the software, as well as being compatible with Xbox One, Roku and Apple TV, so it could easily be a one-size fits all scenario.
The size and shape are pretty much perfect, and while it won't win any awards for build quality, it's solid enough and has a backlight so you're at no disadvantage watching a movie with lights dimmed. It's not for more advanced use like the Rii since it has no keyboard, but it can learn new features with ease.
One particularly neat ability is programming macros to it, so you can bind multiple key presses to a single one. If there's a section in Kodi you launch a lot, this remote can do it with a single press. It's also great value at $27.
MX3 Pro Air Mouse
The Air Mouse is a half-way point between something like the Rii and the Inteset. On one side you get a traditional looking remote control in a regular candy bar style design. But when you flip it over you also have a full QWERTY for the times you need it.
What you lose are the more advanced PC interacting features like a trackpad and right mouse click, but what you gain is an easy to use remote when it comes to the experience of just sitting down and watching something on the TV.
You also get a backlight on both sides, it works over 2.4GHz wireless with the included dongle, takes regular AAA batteries and has a rudimentary learning feature to pick up five keys from the IR remote on your TV. And it only costs $13, which is perhaps the best thing of all.
Remotes packed to the teeth with features are great, but sometimes you might want something a little simpler, and smaller. When it comes to Kodi, the OSMC Remote is one of the best that fits that bill.
Why? For starters, OSMC is a custom version of Kodi primarily used on the Raspberry Pi and their own box, the Vero 4K. They're writing the software and designing a remote to go with it.
It's well made, really compact and contains the main playback and browsing buttons you'd want. It uses a 2.4GHz wireless dongle to communicate, and power comes from a plain old watch battery that lasts for an age. It's best for OSMC but it'll work just fine with a PC based build, also.
It'd be silly not to mention the mobile apps you can use to control Kodi. They're probably not what you'd want to rely on for a sole remote, but there are some great options on Android and iOS that will allow you to interact with your Kodi system.
There are official and unofficial choices out there, some free, some paid. The best thing you can do is just check out as many as you can and find one that fits you.
On Android, we recommend Kore, the official Kodi remote app. On iOS, a third-party client called Armchair is a great shout.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine