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Best Roku

Which Roku is best?

Roku makes a handful of media streaming devices for watching your favorite shows on Netflix, Hulu and other services. However, it can be tricky to know which model will suit your needs best, especially if you don’t know what you want. For the ultimate option, Roku offers streaming devices for quality up to 4K and non-visual accessories like speakers and more. The Roku Ultra offers high-resolution video quality and bundled headphones and the service’s entire range of streaming platforms.

What to know before you buy a Roku

Use

The best Roku devices depend largely on the user and their needs. If you need a straightforward platform for various streaming services, Roku is a great way to go. Most use their Roku devices for streaming TV and video, though you can also buy varying levels of Roku video streaming devices based on your needs. For those that need audio hardware, you can also buy a Roku soundbar.

Roku sticks vs. Roku boxes

The cheapest, simplest and most portable Roku option is going with a Roku stick. Roku sticks are essentially a simplified version of the company’s streaming devices. Roku sticks offer basic streaming services, plugging straight into a TV’s HDMI port. However, upgrading to Roku’s boxes offers additional USB and ethernet ports, as well as upgraded functionality with speakers and other audio hardware.

Resolution

Another important difference between Roku devices is in what resolution they offer. Many of Roku’s entry-level devices offer the company’s basic services, while premium Roku devices also offer 4K streaming resolutions and high dynamic range. You can find both Roku sticks and boxes with 4K streaming, though it’s also important to make sure your hardware supports the hardware you purchase. If you have a 1080p TV, for example, buying a 4K Roku device won’t matter since your TV can’t display higher resolution than 1080p. For those with a 4K TV, buying any Roku hardware with lower resolution than 4K will only do a disservice to your device’s visual output potential.

What to look for in a quality Roku

Compatible with hardware

Most importantly, it’s worth considering what hardware you plan to use with your Roku device. Your experience is dependent on the hardware you have, and you won’t be able to watch high-resolution media on devices that don’t support those formats. If you don’t have a 4K television, for example, it’s not worth upgrading to 4K-friendly Roku hardware since you won’t be able to harvest the benefits.

Streaming services

Roku devices offer a wide range of common video streaming apps, like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and Peacock, among others. Still, the device has a few missing apps amongst the commonly used streaming platforms. The most significant high-profile streaming service many miss out on with Roku is HBO Max.

Audio

While Roku is known for its video streaming devices, you can also find audio streaming software on the app, like Spotify. Regarding hardware, most of the company’s devices also work with either mono or stereo audio output options. If you have a speaker setup already, it should be easy to set it up using the Roku system’s settings menu. If not, the company also has its own Bluetooth soundbar that’s perfectly optimized for use with its video streaming devices, whether using wireless or wired connections.

How much you can expect to spend on a Roku

You can buy a cheap Roku stick for as low as $30, with the company’s more expensive Roku boxes costing from $40-$70.

Roku FAQ

Can Roku work on any TV?

A. Roku works on any TV that includes an HDMI port, no matter if it’s a Roku stick or a Roku box. Some Roku devices can also use a USB port to connect if your TV has a USB port.

Does Roku have a web browser?

A. While Roku does not have its own onboard web browser, there is still a way to get a web browser on the platform. There are two separate web browsers that can be downloaded from Roku’s app store.

What’s the best Roku to buy?

Top Roku

Roku Ultra Streaming Device With HD, 4K, HDR And Dolby Vision Support

What you need to know: This is Roku’s top-tier streaming set, letting users consume media in 4K and Dolby Vision formats.

What you’ll love: This Roku set includes built-in Wi-Fi, support for Dolby Atmos sound and high dynamic range for optimal color. It also comes with an ethernet port and a remote finder. Purchase also comes with headphones that can be plugged directly into the remote.

What you should consider: This is more expensive than most Roku sets.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Roku for the money

Roku Express 4K+ Streaming Device With HD, 4K And HDR

What you need to know: For those on a budget that still want high-resolution streaming, the Express 4K+ offers what you need to get started.

What you’ll love: This unit includes dual-band wireless internet for powerful Wi-Fi connections. It also offers HDR and 4K streaming for vivid displays. The smart remote includes voice controls and this unit also works with Airplay.

What you should consider: This Roku doesn’t come with an ethernet port.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Roku Express HD Basic Streaming Media Player With HDMI Cable And Remote

What you need to know: This is a basic media streaming set that works great for guest bedrooms and other secondary uses.

What you’ll love: With support for Roku’s basic streaming services, this offers HD images and comes with an HDMI cable and remote control. It also includes a small, convenient design that makes it easy to keep on any mantel or media stand. 

What you should consider: This doesn’t support 4K streaming and the remote doesn’t include voice control. It also doesn’t have an ethernet port.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

 

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