It is no easy task to narrow down the best IR repeater when the market is home to thousands of options. It will be quite ideal to have a device that offers a good range, is made from good quality materials and can control several devices at once. In this IR repeater buying guide, we will have a look at the top 10 best IR repeaters that are robust, reduce wire clutter, are easy to install which means you do not need to hire any professional of any sort to set it up for you and come with good sensitivity. Which IR repeater offers the best performance? We will have a look at the features offered by each IR repeater and this will help you make a judgment as to which IR repeater offers the best performance.
Alternatively, just skip to the best IR repeater on Amazon.
Table of Contents
Best IR Repeaters Comparison Table
List of the 10 Best IR Repeaters
1. BAFX Products IR Remote Control Extender or IR Repeater Kit
This is a popular IR repeater that is used to control a wide variety of devices in the home. This product comes as a full feature kit which has a distribution block, an IR receiver cable, 4 dual head IR emitters for up to 8 devices, 1 power adapter, a manual and a link to a setup video. It has slots on the sides for mounting. All of this makes it easy to install and quite robust. It can easily be extended to allow for 2 more emitter cables and 2 more receivers. In addition, the emitters and receivers can be extended using standard stereo headphone extension cables. The block can be powered by USB printer cables and a wall adapter. It is compatible with a wide variety of devices. These devices include a wide variety of televisions, home theatre systems and virtually any device that uses the IR communication protocol. It works very quickly and has no lag at all. This means that all commands sent to this device are executed instantaneously. It is quite compact and comes with mounting tabs on either side. This allows for the main block to be placed virtually anywhere. This makes the device rather unobtrusive, and it means that you do not need to worry if there are limited spaces. It has uses a dual band frequency which allows the control of more devices. The company offers 1 year warranty against manufacturing defects with a simple and easy claims process. In addition, the customer support offered by this company appears to be quite good. Due to all of the reasons mentioned above, this is the best IR repeater.
This device does have a few drawbacks. The build quality could be a lot better. In addition, the user manual leaves much to be desired.
2. TNP IR Repeater Extender Infrared Remote Control Hidden System Kit
This is a simple device that has an engineering-style look. This device is an ideal solution for those who want to hide their entertainment devices inside an entertainment system cabinet or closet. This helps you to reduce wire clutter in your home. This device has all of the necessary components that are needed for you to set up the devices. It comes with an IR distribution block. It has two dual IR eye emitter blaster cable, a dual frequency IR receiver cable, 2 mounting screws, an AC power adapter and an instruction manual. This allows for you to easily install and set up the device. It will take any DIY enthusiast just a few minutes to set it up. It has an IR confirmation LED with dual frequency support. This IR confirmation LED can be used to give a visual indication that the device is in operation. It comes with dual frequency support as well an operating frequency of 38KHz and 56KHz. This allows for the device to support a wide range of IR remote controls. It allows for you to have an additional IR emitter blaster. You can also extend the IR blaster emitter cable using a 3.5mm stereo cable and a few adapters. Due to all of the features present, this is the best budget IR repeater.
This device has a few drawbacks. It does not look too good. In addition, the device does not come with an extended warranty.
3. Sewell Blast IR SW-29311 Infrared (IR) Remote Control Receiver Kit
This is another great Infra-Red remote control receiver set. It is quite compact and will easily fit in small spaces. These include walls, racks and even closets. It is rather easy to set up and install and this means you do not need a professional to setup the device. It has all the equipment that is necessary for the remote use of standard remote operation of 4 components and is extendable to 12 parts. This equipment includes a mini IR receiver, 4 dual IR emitters, a power adapter and 2 mounting screws. You certainly will not need anything more for basic use. It operates using the 38 & 56 KHz frequency. This makes it quite suitable for a wide range of IR devices. The IR receivers and transmitters are equipped with blinking blue LEDs. These are used to confirm receipt of the IR signals and can be used to gain a visual indication of when the signals are being sent and received. The receivers use a 9 foot cable that is attached to the repeater system that is mounted in your entertainment cabinet. These cables are usually long enough for typical applications of the product. This device has a few drawbacks. A few customers complained about the processing of the IR signals being rather slow. In addition, the build quality of the products looks rather questionable.
4. Sewell Direct SW-30471 BlastIR USB repeater Kit
This is another product from Sewell. It is a minimalistic device as it has a single transmitter and a receiver. These are well built and have cords that are plenty long for typical setups. It is very easy to setup and install as all you need to do is to plug in the devices to the power adapter and that’s it. It comes with a USB power adaptor. This means that you can easily use the kit with any USB output in case your adaptor dies. The emitter has a range of 100mm – 200mm. The receiver range is up to 26 feet. This BlastIR kit is dual band. This means that it will be able to work well with most devices that use the IR technology. The receiver that is present in this kit is very small and it is easy to hide. You can easily mount it near devices such as your HDTV. The receiver picks up your remotes signal and it then transfers it over a small cable to the emitter. This emitter can be placed directly over the IR sensor on the device you wish to control. The product works very quickly and most customers say that there are no lag issues. These lag issues are a common problem with other IR repeater kits. It comes with short, concise instructions in the instruction manual. In addition to all of these features, the device comes at a very attractive price.
This product has a few drawbacks. The range could be better. In addition, the device does not have as many transmitters and receiver pairs.
5. Nextronics IR Remote Control Extender Repeater System
This is a minimalistic product that is USB powered. This product from Nextronics allows for you to easily control your home entertainment devices that are kept behind closet doors, cabinets or separate media rooms. These devices are very easy to use and all you need to do is plug the USB component into a USB power source such as your TV’s USB port and you are good to go. The repeater system features a 25 foot extra-long cable between the receiver and the emitter cable. This means it will be able to control those devices that you have in your home entertainment electronics closet. This infrared repeater utilizes new 2018 sensor technologies with extended range capabilities that allow it to be used at many different angles and receive remote signals that are up to 30 feet away from the receiver. This device works with a wide range of IR based devices as it supports devices that operate in the range 20 KHz to 60 KHz. The device’s price point makes it a very attractive option as you will not spend hundreds of dollars investing in this equipment. It comes with a small LED. This LED provides the status of the device. It is green when powered on and it flashes red as it receives IR signals. This kit helps you to reduce the wire clutter in your home. In addition, since it does not use any batteries, you do not need to worry about purchasing batteries ever so often.
This product does have a few drawbacks. It is prone to interference from light sources such as televisions, CFLs and direct sunlight. In addition, the build quality could be better.
6. StarTech.com Wireless IR Remote Control Extender /IR Repeater Kit
This is a product with a set of good looking IR transmitter and receivers that use radio waves. These devices are minimalistic looking devices, and are also a bit stylish. They are very easy to setup and install. They use radio waves. These radio waves are able to travel long distances and they let you to extend an infrared signal from a remote control by up to 330 feet. The radio waves are able to operate through walls, doors and around corners. The remote control extender lets you control your audio visual devices from another room. This adds configuration versatility for outdoor applications or multi-room applications. This can be done without having to move within range of your remote controlled device. A few customers praised the transmitter for having excellent sensitivity for listening to TV remotes. In addition, the devices do not appear to have any lag. The manufacturer shows great pride with his product, and this is shown as the product comes with a 2 year warranty. In addition to this, the product also comes with free lifetime technical support.
This product has a few drawbacks. If placed incorrectly, the transmitter and receiver pair will not work well. In addition, it does not have the provision for adding more modules.
7. Infrared Resources Block IR Receiver Extender Kit
This is a simple USB powered IR repeater. This kit is quite small and can easily fit in really tight spaces. It is very easy to install and set up. It comes with a USB power cable adapter and all you need to do is to plug this device directly into any USB port. After that you can easily use your remote to easily control the devices in your home entertainment cabinet. The IR repeater kit is permanently attached to the hub and if you need to extend the length of the kit you can easily use a 25 foot IR receiver and emitter extension cable to extend the emitter length. The IR kit has an excellent receiving range. It blocks out external noise. This includes Infra-Red interference, interference from a CFL, ESI and plasma TV and sunlight. This means that you do not need to worry about your device failing to receive signals due to interference as this is quite a problem with other IR receiver extender kits. It has a self-test function. This function helps you to check whether the kit is working as it is supposed to. It has a blue LED which helps to give a visual indication that the device is in operation. It is very sensitive and most customers praise the product for having no lag at all.
This device has a few drawbacks. The double sided stickers are of poor quality. In addition, the device does not support adding additional modules.
8. SIIG Pro USB Powered Wireless IR Remote Control Extender Kit
This is a USB powered wireless IR remote control extender kit that comes with a long range. This device is rather small and obtrusive which means it can fit in any small space quite easily. It has an aluminum housing which makes it look and feel rather durable. This gives it a premium feel. It comes with 2 USB power cables, IR blaster extension cables, and a user reference guide. This allows for you to easily setup the device. It operates at the frequency 915 MHz. This band is relatively uncongested when compared to the 2.4 GHz band which is used by microwaves, Bluetooth devices and Wi-Fi devices. This means that you are guaranteed of reliable operation of the device without having any wireless band congestion issues such as interference. It supports IR devices with a frequency of 20 – 60 KHz. It has a click lock ID button pairing feature which allows for you to pair the transmitter with the receiver and prevent interference from other devices. It uses RF signals and allows for IR enabled equipment to be controlled remotely from up to 656 feet. This distance, of course depends on the obstructions present. It comes with a 2 year warranty as well as lifetime technical support. When it comes to long range devices, this is the best IR repeater.
This product has a few drawbacks. You need to buy USB adapters to power the devices. In addition, a few customers complained about the instructions present in the manual as they said they definitely could have been better.
9. Next Generation Remote Control Extender
This is a product that comes with a strange UFO-like design. It is small looking device that can easily fit into any narrow space. This means that you can use it where you have space restrictions. The IR remote control extender kit is very easy to use. The kit has 2/3 AAA batteries. These batteries slide into their radio frequency transmitter. This RF transmitter then fits into the battery compartment of your remote. This means that you will have one ordinary battery and the other “battery” will be the RF transmitter. The batteries are rechargeable, and the base station has a built in charger for powering up the custom batteries. This device picks up the hint of radio frequency signals emitted by the IR remote, amplifies the signals and sends the signal to the base station. This allows for you to go from one room to another room and control your components with ease. The range is up to 100 feet with no direct line-of-sight needed. It works through closet doors as well as closed entertainments system cabinets. You can purchase extra battery transmitters and this allows for you to convert as many remotes as you want into RF transmitters.
This device does have a few drawbacks. The custom batteries means that when they eventually die down, replacing them may be a bit of a problem. In addition, the device has no indication that the battery is low.
10. X10 Powermid PM5900 Remote Control Extender Kit
This is a remote control extender kit whose design seems to have been drawn from the pyramids in Egypt. The kit comes with two devices that are rather small. They can easily fit into restricted spaces which makes it ideal for applications where there is a need for devices that occupy as little space as possible. It is very easy to install and set up. All you need to do is to plug the transmitter into a standard power outlet and place it in a location where you can comfortably aim your remote. After that you need to plug the receiver into a standard power outlet and put it in front of the device you need to control. Once you have done this all you need to do is to send commands to your gear through using a multi-brand IR remote control. It has a decent range as it is able to transmit signals up to 100 feet. You can use an Infra-Red extender cable with this product to place the receiver behind the line-of-sight field of the equipment being controlled. The manufacturer shows great pride in his product and offers a 1 year warranty.
This device has a few drawbacks. It needs you to have AC power for both the transmitter and the receiver. The other problem is interference. A few customers complained about interference from light sources such as televisions, CFL lights, etc.
Best IR Repeater Brands
The best IR repeater brands are BAFX, TNP and SIIG Pro. The BAFX product that we reviewed comes at an affordable price. It comes with a full feature kit that is easy to install and set up. The TNP product that we reviewed comes in a simple design that helps you reduce wire clutter in your home. It comes with dual frequency support and supports a wide range of IR remote controls. The SIIG Pro device that we reviewed comes with an amazing range, is USB powered and comes with a 2 year warranty.
Best IR Repeater
BAFX Products IR Remote Control Extender or IR Repeater Kit
This is the best IR repeater. It is a full featured IR repeater kit. It has 4 dual head IR emitters for up to 8 devices. It can be powered by USB printer cables, and the company shows great pride as he offers 1 year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Here are the key features we liked about the IR repeater kit:
- USB powered
- 1 year warranty
- Good customer support
- Can control up to 8 devices
Best Budget IR Repeater
TNP IR Repeater Extender Infrared Remote Control Hidden System Kit
This is the best budget IR repeater. It is a simple device that is ideal for hiding entertainment devices inside an entertainment system cabinet. It comes with an LED for visual indications. In addition it has dual frequency IR receiver cable.
Here are the key features we liked about the IR repeater kit:
- Easy to install
- LED indication
- Dual frequency support
- Reduces wire clutter
- Power adapter included
How Much Do IR Repeaters Cost?
IR repeaters are not expensive to buy. These devices will not create a huge hole in your pocket after you purchase them. The high end devices are around 60 US dollars. These devices usually come with a long range, have a premium feel and have a long warranty. An example of such a device is the SIIG Pro USB Powered Wireless IR Remote Control Extender Kit.
The mid-range devices are around 30 US dollars. These devices are usually USB powered, have support for additional modules and are durable. An example is the Sewell Blast IR SW-29311 Infrared (IR) Remote Control Receiver Kit.
The low end devices are less than 15 US dollars. These devices are usually USB powered, are made from lower quality materials and do not usually have support for additional modules. An example of this device is the Nextronics IR Remote Control Extender Repeater System.
Why Do You Need an IR Repeater?
Reduce Wire Clutter
Most home entertainment system devices are composed of set top boxes, home theater systems, etc. These devices may look rather nice but they result in a lot of wires. This looks rather messy and unpleasant. IR repeaters allow for you to hide all of your entertainment system devices and be left with a nice, clean display.
The IR repeaters allow for you to control your devices from a distance. This allows for you to easily move to another room and control the devices without worrying about pointing directly at the device’s receiver.
IR repeaters are not expensive to buy at all. You need to get a device which costs only 15 US dollars. For the convenience that they bring, this is definitely worth it.
Ease of Use
IR repeaters are very easy to set up. Most of them require you to plug them into a power source, and you are good to go. Using them is not difficult either. All you have to do is point your remote at the receiver and it automatically works. You do need to ensure that your remote is an IR remote and not an RF remote.
Types of IR Repeaters
There are two main types of IR repeaters. These are long range and short range IR repeaters.
Short Range IR Repeaters
These are the IR repeaters whose range is less than 300 feet. These IR repeaters are suitable for applications where the transmitter and the receiver are relatively close to each other.
Long Range IR Repeaters
These are the IR repeaters whose range is more than 300 feet. These IR repeaters are best suited for long range applications in which the transmitter and the receiver have to be far away from each other.
Factors to Consider When Buying an IR Repeater
You need to consider the range of the IR repeater that you get. The last thing that you would want is to buy a repeater that has a short range. You need to make sure that the range suits your unique needs. For long range applications, it is best to choose a device that offers a range that is greater than 300 feet. An example of such an application if when your home entertainment cabinet is in a different room that is a bit far from your main entertainment room.
When you buy any electronic device, you need to make sure that the device that you have has a reasonable warranty – 1 year is usually enough. This is because the warranty usually represents the manufacturer’s confidence in his product. The longer the warranty, the better.
You need to make sure that the device you are buying has a power adapter. Believe it or not, there are some manufacturers that ship out IR repeater kits that have no adapters at all. In addition, try to go for USB powered devices. You can easily use your TV, or mobile phone charger to power these devices if the adapter dies.
Make sure that the IR repeater kit you want to buy is easy to install. The whole point of IR devices is to result in convenience to your home. You do not want to choose a device that is difficult to install and will leave you wondering why you wanted to upgrade your home system in the first place.
IR extender kits usually have problems with light sources such as CFL, sunlight and TVs. Try to look for IR extender kits that block out all this external noise. These usually offer great performance.
Try to look for devices that work instantaneously. These are widely available, and if you check the reviews of the product you want to buy, you will definitely get to see whether it lags or not. Devices that lag are generally unpleasant to use.
The best IR repeater for your application does not have to be the most expensive. First sit down and have a look at what exactly you want your IR repeater to achieve. After that have a look at the best device which offers the best range. You may realize that some of the moderately priced devices offer much better performance than the more expensive ones.
What Is an IR Repeater?
An IR repeater is an electronic system that takes Infra-Red light that comes from the remote controller and converts it into an electrical signal that can be easily distributed over electrical wiring to one or more IR remote controllable components.
How Does an IR Repeater Work?
Remote controllers are used in order for them to control devices using wireless means. There are two main types of remote controllers. These are remotes that use Infra-Red technology and remotes that use radio frequency technology. In this short explanation, we will focus on the remotes that use IR technology. The remote controllers have a LED. The Infra-Red LEDs are used to transmit Infra-Red signals. The light given off by these Infra-Red LEDs is emitted in pulses. These pulses correspond to specific binary codes. These binary codes represent commands such as volume up, channel down and power on. The device that are being controlled decode the Infra-Red pulses of light into binary code that its internal microprocessor understands. Once the signal is decoded, the microprocessor executes the commands.
The flaw with this system is that there is a need for there to be a direct line of sight between the remote controller and the device that is being controlled. This means that there is a need for each and every device that uses the IR technology to be directly in front of the remote. If this is in the living room, then it means you may end up with multiple home entertainment devices that end up cluttering the display. In order to combat this problem, IR repeaters and transmitters are used.
IR repeaters have a transmitter and a receiver. The receiver receives the modulated Infra-Red light that are transmitted from the remote controller. These light waves are converted to electrical signals for distribution or extension. It is in these light waves that the binary codes that are needed to control the device are contained.
The transmitter, frequently called the emitter is the device that converts the electrical signal back to a modulated Infra-Red light. These light waves are then decoded to binary code, and they can then be used to control your IR based devices.
This allows for you to hide away devices such as set top boxes, home theater systems, etc. in an entertainment cabinet. You can then place an IR transmitter there. In the main room which could be your lounge, you place an IR receiver. This allows for you to easily control your devices without any wire clutter at all.
IR Repeater FAQs
Which Devices Can I Use an IR Repeater For?
IR repeater kits were designed and developed in order for them to connect with virtually any IR device. These devices include, but are not restricted to the following: DVD players, cable boxes, satellite receivers, audio and visual stereo systems.
Do I Need Two Systems For Two Devices?
IR repeater kits are usually able to control more than one device. Some are capable of controlling 8 devices. This means that you do not have to look for a separate system to control each device. Just one system can control several devices.
Are IR Repeaters Weatherproof?
Most IR repeaters are designed for indoor applications. This means that you cannot use them for typical outdoor applications.
What are the LEDs For?
The LEDs that are present on the IR repeaters are usually used to indicate that the device is sending or receiving a signal. These lights turn off when the device is no longer in use.
In this article, we have explored the top 10 best IR repeaters. We gave a thorough analysis of each IR repeater. We also gave a guide for buying the best IR Repeater which best suits your need. In addition, we included a list of comprehensive FAQs for your convenience.
Check out the best IR Repeater on Amazon.