In the spring of 2021, Apple released a new Siri remote for Apple TV 4K (2nd generation), which is also compatible with Apple TV 4K (1st generation) as well as Apple TV HD. There are a few problems with the first generation Siri remote, which this new remote fixes. So for those who can afford its ($59 purchase price), the new Siri remote is worth it.

Comparison chart

Apple TV Remote (1st Generation) versus Apple TV Remote (2nd Generation) comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartApple TV Remote (1st Generation)Apple TV Remote (2nd Generation)
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Appearance Black aluminum casing and glass Touch surface Aluminum silver casing with a clickpad
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.0 and IR transmitter Bluetooth 5.0 and IR transmitter
Battery Rechargeable internal battery (not user replaceable) Rechargeable internal battery (not user replaceable)
Charging port Lightning port (same as iPhones) Lightning port (same as iPhones)
Compatibility Apple TV 4K (1st generation) and Apple TV HD Apple TV 4K (1st and 2nd generation) and Apple TV HD
Ships with The 1st generation Apple TV remote ships free with Apple TV 4K (1st generation) The 1st generation Apple TV remote ships free with Apple TV 4K (2nd generation)
Power button No Yes
Mute button No Yes
Siri voice control button Yes, on the remote with all the other buttons Yes, on the side of the remote
Menu button Yes, performs the function of the Back button in most apps No, replaced by a Back button
Back button No Yes
Clickpad ring No Yes
Price Free with Apple TV 4K (1st generation). No longer sold separately. Free with Apple TV 4K (2nd generation). $59 when sold separately.

Problems with the first generation Siri remote

The 1st generation Siri remote for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K
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The 1st generation Siri remote for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K
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There were a few usability issues with the first generation Siri remote:

  1. It was perfectly symmetrical, so it was hard to know without looking which end was up. People often accidentally hit the Siri button.
  2. There was no way to easily fast-forward or rewind a few seconds. You could pause the video and use the scroll bar to but this does not give you fine-grained control.
  3. The Menu button was ambiguous. It worked as a Back button in most apps but was not consistent.
  4. The trackpad or touch surface of the remote is overly sensitive; it is easy to graze and can pause what you are watching.

Advantages of the second generation Siri remote

2nd generation Siri remote for Apple TV
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2nd generation Siri remote for Apple TV

The 2nd generation Siri remote for Apple TV is really the only remote you need. You can chuck away your other remotes like the Roku or TV remote.

  1. The clickpad ring on the second generation remote makes navigation a lot easier.
  2. The Mute button on the remote is very handy.
  3. It is less likely to be lost in couch cushions. It is easier to find compared to the tiny black first generation remote that tended to become easily hidden in couches and recliner crevices.

The new remote is a little heavier, bigger and colder, though. So some people may not like it. But for most people it is clearly the better choice.

Should I splurge on a standalone remote?

If you have an older Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, should you go out and buy the new second generation Siri Remote? If you can afford to, and if you pretty much use Apple TV rather than Roku or Fire TV, then yes, the second generation Siri remote is worth buying (check Amazon deal). The new remote makes it easier to navigate and use your Apple TV.

Navigation Differences

The 1st generation generation Siri remote only has a touch surface, which responds to both taps and swipes. The 2nd generation remote has both a clickpad, which responds to touch/swipes, as well as a clickpad ring that you can press or click.

Navigating the Apple TV with the second generation Siri Remote

Navigating with the first generation Siri Remote

References

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"1st vs 2nd gen Siri Remote for Apple TV." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 18 Jul 2021. < >