If you use the Xbox to control most of the media in your home, you're well aware of how clunky the standard Xbox controller can be when trying to command other systems. If you're looking for an easier solution, you may want to consider a media remote for your Xbox One, Series S, or Series X. Here are some of our favorites.
NOTE: The Xbox Series X|S does not have an IR blaster built in, so media features will need HDMI-CEC to function properly. If your TV doesn't support HDMI-CEC, you'll be able to control your Xbox, but things like volume, audio controller, and TV power settings, etc. won't work. For more information on Xbox and HDMI-CEC support, head here.
The PDP Talon Media Remote looks more like a universal remote than a dedicated Xbox remote. All the standard buttons you'd find on any remote are here — play, pause, stop, rewind, fast-forward, and more — but it's larger and has more dedicated buttons. Like most Xbox remotes, this one uses IR and has some limited TV control capabilities.
The Xbox skill for Alexa means you can control just about every aspect of your Xbox with your voice, and the 4th generation Amazon Echo Dot is the best way to do this. It's small and stylish enough to blend in anywhere; the newer version sounds excellent for listening to music, but best of all, you can change channels, volume, launch apps, games, movies, and so much more, all with your voice.
A good remote is definitely the best way to control media on your Xbox One, but let's face it, there will be times you just can't find it. For that, a little bonus tip is that you can use the Xbox app on your iPhone or Android device. Once you've linked the app to your console through your home network, you'll be able to do some basic navigation to get your favorite movie or show rolling!
If we had to pick...
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The Xbox is a fantastic box to have in your living room for all your home media needs, and a great remote can enhance your experience. The superb PDP Talon (opens in new tab) is an excellent remote by any standards, let alone for a console. It has all the Xbox buttons, is well made and affordable, and ticks all the boxes.
By contrast, you can now finally (once again) interact with your console using your voice. It's not a substitute for a dedicated remote, but with an Amazon Echo Dot (opens in new tab) you can turn the console on and off, launch apps and games, and much more besides.
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. 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 covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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