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The 7 Best Roku Devices Today

As one of the pioneers in the streaming device market, Roku has built a well-deserved reputation for offering feature-rich, user-friendly products at very competitive prices. Whether you‘re looking to transform an old "dumb" TV into a smart streaming powerhouse or upgrade your streaming experience to vibrant 4K HDR, there‘s a Roku device perfectly suited for you.

Roku‘s lineup ranges from the ultra-affordable $30 Roku Express all the way up to the high-end $100 Roku Ultra. But don‘t let the low prices fool you – even Roku‘s cheapest devices provide snappy performance and access to virtually every streaming app you could want. The more you spend, the more you get in terms of 4K support, voice control, private listening, and other premium features.

After extensive hands-on testing, we‘ve identified the 7 best Roku devices that rise to the top of the pack. Our top overall pick goes to the excellent Roku Streaming Stick 4K, which hits the sweet spot of advanced features and reasonable price. But there are great options for every budget and need.

Here are our picks for the 7 best Roku devices you can buy today:

1. Best Overall: Roku Streaming Stick 4K

For most people, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K will be the ideal Roku to buy. At just $50, it‘s very affordable but packs in a robust set of features including 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10/10+, a long-range wireless receiver, voice remote, and AirPlay 2 support. The slim stick design tucks neatly behind your TV, staying out of sight.

Despite the low price, the Streaming Stick 4K is a performance champ. The responsive interface zips along thanks to the zippy quad-core processor. And the wireless receiver is strong enough to deliver buffer-free 4K streams even with your router in another room. You‘d be hard-pressed to find a better streaming device value.

2. Best Budget: Roku Express

If you‘re on a tight budget, the $30 Roku Express is an unbeatable bargain. It‘s the cheapest way to inject Roku‘s vast streaming platform into any HDTV. While you lose out on 4K and some other premium features compared to the pricier sticks, the Express can still access Roku‘s complete library of apps and channels.

Setup is a breeze thanks to the included HDMI cable – just plug it in and you‘re off to the races. The remote is basic but functional, and the Roku interface runs impressively smoothly given the price. The Express even supports voice commands via your phone or smart speaker. For the ultimate budget streamer, you can‘t go wrong with this little guy.

3. Best Home Theater: Roku Streambar Pro

Soundbars with built-in streaming software are becoming increasingly popular, and the Roku Streambar Pro is one of the best options out there. This unique 2-in-1 device combines a powerful 4K streamer with a high-quality soundbar, giving you immersive audio and video in one convenient package.

On the audio front, the Streambar Pro pumps out immersive, room-filling sound and even supports virtual surround sound when you add optional Roku wireless speakers. Four full-range drivers provide crisp, dynamic audio far exceeding anything built into your TV. And the integration with Roku‘s streaming is seamless – just plug in the Streambar Pro to your TV‘s HDMI or optical port and you‘re getting great sound and a full-featured 4K streamer.

At $180, it‘s pricier than a basic soundbar or Roku streamer alone, but the all-in-one convenience and high-end audio could be worth it for your living room setup.

4. Best Ethernet: Roku Ultra

The Roku Ultra is the most powerful, full-featured Roku player available and the only one to include an Ethernet port for wired streaming. While Roku‘s wireless performance is generally excellent, the Ultra‘s Ethernet connection provides the most consistent, buffer-free streaming for those who prefer a wired setup.

Beyond rock-solid wired performance, the Ultra lives up to its name with a best-in-class feature set. 4K, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and HDR10/10+ are all supported for the highest quality audio and video. The remote is Roku‘s most advanced, with an integrated headphone jack for private listening, a lost remote finder, voice controls, and personal shortcut buttons. It even comes with a set of JBL headphones.

If you want the most premium Roku experience and can take advantage of the Ethernet connection, the $100 Roku Ultra is the way to go. But most folks will be better served by the cheaper Streaming Stick 4K or Express 4K+.

5. Best for 4K: Roku Streaming Stick 4K+

Take the already great Streaming Stick 4K, add a few premium features, and you get the even more capable Streaming Stick 4K+. Its key upgrades include a more powerful long-range wireless receiver, Roku‘s rechargeable Voice Remote Pro, and a USB power cable with built-in Wi-Fi receiver.

Those enhancements translate to even smoother 4K streaming and a more convenient user experience. While the standard Streaming Stick 4K is no slouch, the 4K+ and its better Wi-Fi will have an easier time delivering stutter-free 4K streams in rooms far from your router. And not having to replace your remote‘s batteries is a nice little luxury.

The 4K+ is usually $20 more than the regular 4K, so it‘s only worth it if you‘ll make use of the added range and rechargeble remote. But it‘s still an excellent value and a top pick for 4K streaming fiends.

6. Best Entry-Level 4K: Roku Express 4K+

Want to make the jump to 4K HDR streaming but don‘t need the fanciest options? The Roku Express 4K+ has you covered. At just $40, it‘s one of the cheapest 4K streamers out there, undercutting the Streaming Stick 4K by $10. You miss out on Dolby Vision, a voice remote, and some other bells and whistles compared to the 4K stick, but the core experience is comparable.

With the Express 4K+ you still get sharp, colorful 4K HDR streaming, a user-friendly interface, and a strong selection of apps. Dual-band Wi-Fi keeps things running smoothly and AirPlay 2 allows easy streaming from Apple devices. The included remote is basic but functional and the compact design is unobtrusive. For a wallet-friendly way to dive into the world of 4K streaming, the Express 4K+ gets the job done nicely.

7. Best Roku TV: TCL 5-Series

The 5-Series from TCL provides outstanding bang for your buck in a Roku TV. You get the intuitive Roku interface and app selection built right into the TV, along with 4K QLED performance that punches well above its price point. This is currently the best balance of picture quality and value in the Roku TV lineup.

With quantum dot technology for enhanced color, full-array local dimming, and support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG, this TV‘s picture is a genuine treat for the eyes. Brightness is solid and the 60 local dimming zones provide excellent contrast. Gamers will appreciate the auto game mode and variable refresh rate. And Roku‘s simple, customizable home screen makes it a breeze to access all your favorite streaming apps.

You can get the 5-Series in sizes ranging from 50" to 75", but the sweet spot is the 55" model. At well under $1000 for a high-performance QLED 4K TV, it‘s one of the most appealing Roku TVs on the market.

Whether you‘re a new cord-cutter diving into streaming for the first time or a power user looking to upgrade your setup, Roku almost certainly has a device well-suited for you. Their streamers and Roku TVs offer some of the best mixes of price, performance, and features in the industry. And thanks to Roku‘s relentless focus on simplicity, all of their devices are refreshingly easy to set up and use.

You really can‘t go wrong with any of our top Roku picks, but there are a few key factors to consider when making your choice:

  • 4K HDR: If you have a 4K HDR TV or plan to upgrade to one, you‘ll definitely want a Roku that supports those advanced formats. The Streaming Stick 4K, Express 4K+, and Ultra all fit that bill nicely.

  • Advanced Wi-Fi: The Express and some older models use basic 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, which is more prone to buffering and signal drops. The Streaming Stick 4K, 4K+, and Ultra use more robust dual-band 802.11ac for faster, longer-range streaming.

  • Wired vs wireless: For the vast majority of users, Wi-Fi will provide great streaming performance, especially with the higher-end Rokus. But if you have the option to run an Ethernet cable to your TV and want guaranteed stability, the Roku Ultra is your best bet.

  • Voice control: Roku‘s standard remotes are simple and effective, but if you prefer the convenience of voice commands, you‘ll want a model with enhanced voice control like the Streaming Stick 4K, 4K+, or Ultra.

  • Audio: If you want to connect your Roku to a larger home audio setup, pay attention to the audio output options. The Streambar Pro has the best built-in audio, but the Ultra also supports Dolby Atmos and has an optical audio output.

Ultimately, the overall user experience will be very similar across all current Roku devices. The iconic grid of app tiles is colorful and easily customizable, letting you put your favorites front and center. Basic actions like launching apps and searching are speedy on every model we tested. And Roku‘s channel store is second to none in terms of app selection – all the heavy hitters like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Apple TV+, and HBO Max are accounted for, plus tons of more niche options.

Roku has long been one of the top names in streaming, and their current lineup demonstrates why. Between the simple but capable budget models, full-featured 4K powerhouses, and impressive Roku TVs, they offer something compelling for everyone. Premium options from companies like Apple and Amazon promise fancier interfaces and deeper smart home integration, but for pure, user-friendly streaming goodness, Roku is still tough to beat.