What remote controls are you using?

Just wanting a poll of what you’re all using with your dCS units (if you are using a remote control at all). I know some use Logitech Harmony remotes. What else is out there? Anyone have good success with a learning remote with fewer buttons?

I’ve got the dCS universal remote (the giant slab), and it’s fine. Minor quibbles: (1) bit of an initial lag before it registers a volume change; (2) cheap knob feel for the volume control (compared to Devialet); (3) an awful lot of buttons I will never use (volume and input select are basically all I need). Of course, it’s absurdly expensive, even second-hand.

I’m also using the Senic Nuimo rotary remote via Roon. It’s fantastic (instantaneous volume response, excellent knob feel), but can only do things that Roon can do (volume, next track, last track, etc), so no input select. The Nuimo units are hard to find, and you have to set up a Rasp Pi (also hard to find nowadays) to run Roon extensions. But a great solution. I find that it also can control the Rossini’s volume on non-Roon inputs like TOSLINK!

And a photo of the remotes I’ve got on hand. The Devialet is by far the best, and then I’d say the tiny Mola Mola (5 buttons: power/mute, vol up, vol down, input next, input prev). The dCS is the worst, while also being the most expensive.

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The dCS Universal remote has controls that largely relate to one of the big multi box systems such as a 4 box Vivaldi. It has full silver disc transport controls for example. The variety of choices will therefore be excessive with a Bartok for example.

As the architecture of most learning remotes is based upon what is suitable for a home theatre system they may be found to be unsuitable for a multi-box dCS system. Further the market for learning remotes has shrunk and fewer are now made ( including the Logitech you mention). Also no longer made but able to be programmed for the dCS multi-box systems was the Philips Pronto.

Over the past couple of years most of the dCS controls have been duplicated with the wifi operated Mosaic app and for many an IR handset is no longer required. You do it all from your phone or tablet. I suspect that eventually the IR Universal Remote may become a legacy product .

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I agree that the dCS remote is designed for the units that have CD transports, hence all the buttons. I just wish they also offered a simpler option for those of us who use our dCS products (Rossini, Bartok) as preamps (so, volume, input select, mute).

And while I appreciate the Mosaic app, I think it’s a mistake to make that the primary control method, especially where the whole family is expected to use it. When I’m listening with Roon, then an app-based solution makes sense. When the family just wants to watch TV, well, it’s a lot to expect them to fish out a phone and navigate Mosaic just to switch input and control volume.

I’ve ordered a few simple, 5 button learning remotes from Amazon. These are the ones that just copy codes from any remote, not the fully programmable remotes like Logitech. I will report back!


Since the only use I have it to change the listening volume, I use this.


Yes! I’ve ordered one almost exactly the same. Glad to hear that’s working for you. I will report on my experience.

Mosaic being the primary method doesn’t work for me either, Fred — with you there. The further I am from my phone, the better my stereo sounds.

The Plank works well for me though, despite me not using the huge majority of its buttons. (Or mass :-)) I think of it mainly as a mobile instance of my DAC’s volume knob that’s easy to find in the dark.

My darTZeel’s remote does a decent job, but I prefer turning knobs to prodding buttons. Looks fun though (smaller box):

I must admit that when I started reading about the Nuimo I got excited, but the support looked like hard work in the end. And maybe — maybe — the extra features might have worked against it in the end anyway. (For me.) Must get fingers on a Devialet remote now :blush:

Looking forward to hearing how you get on with the bumper order of remotes.

Ben, you’ve certainly got the most minimal remote! I’m enjoying your Rossini, remote control travails notwithstanding! Hope your antipodean move went smoothly!

I only need to control a dCS transport, and use a Philips Prestigo programmable remote that I bought 10 years ago to control a Puccini player. I have little affection for ‘the plank’, on the basis of size/tiny buttons/cost, and have never used mine.

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For my listening chair, I use a second iPad on a stand to control everything. For my desk, I wanted to get a Nuimo to use with RooExtend, but as production of the Nuimo stopped a while ago, everyone seems to have completely sold out.

In place of the Nuimo, I’m using a Microsoft Dial, but the hardware has some minor issues as the Dial goes to sleep after a few (short) minutes and takes a few seconds to wake up again.

PS I forgot to mention the dCS remote. I love the volume control, but I must admit it’s a bit bulky to permanently sit on my desk.

Mostly dcs and Roon apps in my iPad. Though I have the brick like dcs remote.

OK, I’ve had good luck with this small, cheap, 6-button learning remote. Lots of Amazon sellers have essentially the same one under different brands and with slightly different button colors, ranging from $8-15. Near as I can tell, they are all the same.

Because this is a “learning remote,” you’ll need the official dCS remote to train it. The training process took a bit of trial and error, but I finally got all the relevant functions working. Six turns out to be the perfect number of buttons to duplicate the key functions of the dCS remote as applied to the Rossini DAC (and I assume also the Bartok). And this is a lot easier to explain to the family for TV watching than the dCS Plank.

Here’s how I’m using the 6 buttons, :

  • Power: ON
  • CH UP: OFF (it seems that dCS uses a different signal for short press and long press, so you’ll need one button for ON and another for OFF)
  • VOL UP: Volume up (mapping the volume dial to a button is a bit tricky, but I eventually got it to be 1.5db for each button press)
  • VOL DOWN: Volume down
  • MUTE: Mute

Jeremy, glad to hear the Microsoft Dial works for you, even if sleep and waking it are an annoyance. The Nuimo has sort of the opposite problem – it stays awake for as long as Roon is active, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad.

One question about the Microsoft Dial – do you find that you can control the dCS DAC volume even on non-Roon inputs, like SPDIF? I find that the Nuimo works for volume on SPDIF inputs, which was a surprise. And the Nuimo can’t duplicate other dCS remote functions, like changing inputs. But overall, I find that the Nuimo is fantastic for volume, track selection, and essentially anything you can do in Roon. It’s a pity they are now so hard to find.


It appears to - I’ve just tried this (albeit without an input connected) with the SPDIF port selected and Roon is still passing the volume control adjustments from the Microsoft Dial to the Rossini.

So, if you have Roon (connected to the dCS via ethernet) and RooExtend linked to Roon, the Microsoft Dial appears to be able to control the volume regardless of which source is being used for the music.

If I have a moment, I’ll try testing this properly using the AES output from my K50, but I need to find my AES cable first!

Hope this helps

I’m going to add to my earlier comment on the Microsoft Dial to say that I’ve stopped using it because of the sleep issue.

[It typically falls asleep before the beginning of the next track, so you can’t adjust the volume without first waking it, waiting two seconds for it to reconnect, then adjusting the volume]

I’ve now switched to the SpaceMouse Wireless from 3DConnexion. It doesn’t give you the feel of using an analogue volume control (in the way the dCS remote can), but it does stay connected. So, my vote for alternatives to the dCS remote currently goes to the SpaceMouse (assuming you can lay your hands on a Raspberry Pi to run rooExtend).

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I thought I’d update this thread to say the author of RooExtend appears to have found a way to make the Microsoft Surface Dial work without the annoying ‘wakeup’ delay.

It’s just a shame my lifetime license for it got lost when updating my Raspberry Pi, so I’ve had to buy it a second time (my other licenses got transferred, so I’m not sure what happened there).

In any event, I can now recommend the Microsoft Dial again!