Best Roku devices 2024

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The best Roku devices get your feet in the door on all things entertainment, streamlining your content curation through a robust ecosystem. Roku is marked among some of the best streaming devices on the market and brings your TV to life in interesting ways, ensuring you don't need to upgrade to one of the best TVs to get a sleek interface. 

Roku streaming devices don't just work in favor of making your older display more intelligent or even a newer model more Roku-based. They also offer a more personalized content curation setup when on-the-go, meaning you can bring your Roku Streaming Stick 4K with you and never have to worry about logging in to all of your streaming apps. 

Off the heels of its brand new Roku Pro Series, Roku is taking massive strides in ensuring your TV interface experience is as frictionless as possible. It launched a new Samsung The Frame-like feature that turns your TV into a wall of art, so you never have to show off an ugly black screen when guests are around. 

With tons of TV reviews and streaming device tests under our belt, we know a thing or two about which among them are the best Roku products. We've spent hours testing each of Roku's many streaming boxes to see which of them truly stack when it comes to price, performance, and overall features. 

You've come to the right place in search of the best Roku devices, so read on to find which one to buy right now.

The quick list

Here's a quick overview of the best Roku devices you can buy right now based on our testing and reviews. And keep up on scrolling if you want to see our in-depth analysis of all the top streaming devices for every user and budget. 

The best roku devices you can find today

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The best roku devices you can find today

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)
The best Roku device overall

Specifications

Size: 3.7 x 0.8 x 0.5 inches
Max Resolution: Up to 4K UHD at 60 fps
Ports: HDMI, USB
Remote: Voice Remote
Device Type: Stick

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent 4K HDR quality
+
Dolby Vision, finally
+
Snappy perfomance

Reasons to avoid

-
No Dolby Atmos
-
Amazon offers better live TV

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is our pick for the best streaming device, so it's no wonder it's also the best Roku device. While it's not a huge leap over the older Streaming Stick Plus, it keeps everything we loved and fixes one of the biggest flaws of its predecessor by adding Dolby Vision. Roku has also added a new quad-core processor in the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, which it claims provides 30% faster app boot times. That's a bit hard to measure, but the Roku Streaming Stick 4K felt snappy and fast enough. Major apps opened within 11 seconds. If you find your Roku not working at some point, don't worry, as it's easily fixed.

Now that the stick supports Dolby Vision (along with HDR10/+), you can stream all your shows and movies just as beautifully as anything else. The picture plays in crisp UHD image quality. However, the device is lacking when it comes to audio standards, missing the spatially-focused Dolby Atmos sound technology. And the standard remote works fine, but if you want the superior Voice Remote Pro, check out our write-up of the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ further down this list. Don't forget to check out our Roku Streaming Stick 4K vs. Chromecast with Google TV face-off to see how it fares against Google's contender for the best streaming stick.

Read our full Roku Streaming Stick 4K review.

The best value roku device

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(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Henry T. Casey)
The best Roku device under $40

Specifications

Size: 3.3 x 1.5 x 0.7 inches
Max Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Ports: None
Remote: Network Voice remote
Device Type: Box

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent 4K HDR performance
+
Decent navigation
+
Improved remote

Reasons to avoid

-
Awkward design
-
No Dolby Vision or Atmos

Getting crisp 4K streaming at under $40 is rare, and always comes with a caveat or two. The new Roku Express 4K Plus fixes one of the big annoyances of the Roku Premiere it replaces, by giving you a better remote. This remote doesn't require a direct line of sight, so you can point it in whichever direction you please. That upgrade, plus fast performance and UHD streaming makes the Roku Express 4K Plus a great option for those trying to get a 4K Roku (and all the apps that it comes with)  at the lowest price.

That said, we still have two reasons to consider paying a little more. Its design is a little too light, so you might spend a minute fiddling with it to have it lie flat on a surface — making the Streaming Stick Plus' easy-to-use design even better by comparison. Also, there's no Dolby Vision or Atmos Audio, but some might not see that as worthy of going higher up the price chain. 

There is a cheaper 4K streaming device, though, so check out our onn 4K Google TV streaming box review. That said, that model is hard to find, and the Express 4K Plus is not.

Read our full Roku Express 4K Plus review.

The best premium roku device

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The best premium Roku device

Specifications

Size: 4.9 x 4.9 x 0.9 inches
Max Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Ports: Ethernet, USB
Remote: Roku Voice Remote Pro
Device Type: Box

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Includes Roku Voice Remote Pro
+
USB port

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Almost nothing new from last year's model

The Roku Ultra is expensive but true to its name, it will give you the most comprehensive Roku experience that money can buy. As with other high-end Roku devices, you get thousands of channels, full 4K resolution and extremely fast navigation. But with the Ultra, you also get an Ethernet port for a steadier Internet connection, as well as a USB port to provide your own videos and music. 

Also, the 2020 Roku Ultra is a bit faster in places (though you might not notice it all the time) and offers improved wireless streaming range. The included Roku Voice Remote Pro has many great features, but our favorite is the fact that it doesn't require batteries. Oh, and it also has hands-free voice controls — crucial if you can't find yours. It also has two programmable buttons and a headphone jack for private listening.

Maybe a bit too expensive for most, the Roku Ultra is our former streaming editor's preferred streaming device these days, after they ditched Apple TV 4K for the Roku Ultra. Not only does it have comparable features (just missing Twitch on the app front), but its version of Netflix proves more stable when it comes to Dolby Atmos than the Apple TV 4K.

Read our full Roku Ultra (2020) review.

The best Roku soundbar

(Image credit: Roku)
The best Roku device that's also a speaker

Specifications

Size: 14.0 x 4.2 x 2.4 inches
Max Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Ports: Optical audio, HDMI, USB
Remote: Voice remote with TV volume and power controls
Device Type: Soundbar

Reasons to buy

+
4K streaming
+
Clear, loud sound
+
Compact design

Reasons to avoid

-
Bass could be stronger
-
Lacks Ethernet port

When you want the excellence of the Roku platform, but your TV doesn't have the strong sound you want? Well, the Roku Streambar is a great solution that's often on sale. Its design won't take up too much space on your countertop or entertainment center but also provides quality sound with both loudness and clarity. Its bass leaves something to be desired, but that's not a problem for most TVs. And this way, you can combine your streaming device and soundbar into the same package, and save more space.

Read our full Roku Streambar review.

The best cheap Roku

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
The best cheap Roku device

Specifications

Size: 3.0 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches
Max Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Ports: None
Remote: Standard IR remote
Device Type: Box

Reasons to buy

+
Remote no longer requires accurate aiming
+
Good performance
+
Customizable interface

Reasons to avoid

-
No included power adapter
-
No HDR (which Chromecast HD has)

Roku improved the remote for its 2022 edition of the Express, but this streaming device entered a more competitive market. Sure, if you only compare it against other Rokus, you'll see it as a competent $30 HD streaming device. The kind of streamer you buy to upgrade a 'dumb' TV or display that doesn't have any apps. Its performance is relatively snappy for its price point (but by no means as fast as the above models), and it's still a Roku, so you still get all the standards like a customizable home screen and all the apps. Plus, that Remote app allows for wireless private listening.

But, at $30, it's got to contend against the Chromecast with Google TV HD, which has a better remote, as well as the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite, which has a voice-enabled remote. While it's a good streaming device, it's not our favorite Roku by far, and it's not the best $30 streamer either.

Read our full Roku Express (2022) review.

How to choose the best Roku device for you

Figuring the right Roku device for your needs can get a little complicated since the most affordable ones are not too visibly distinct. While we believe the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is best for most people, your mileage may vary. If your budget is tight, the Express 4K Plus is just as good at delivering crisp imagery, but its quality isn't as strong thanks to a lack of support for certain standards.

That said, we love the Roku Ultra for its dedicated Ethernet cord. In areas with highly congested Wi-Fi, it allows you to ensure super-steady streaming. It's also nice that it's got the premium Roku Voice Remote Pro, which is rechargeable (fewer batteries to buy) and includes wired headphones (ever scarce as they are) for private listening. But if you don't want to keep your listening private the Roku Streambar is a great way to get audio worth showing off.

How we test the best Roku devices

We test Roku devices like we test all streaming players: watching movies, shows and more on them. Of course, Roku devices all offer the same operating system, so they all share the same software and access to the same apps, which is a pretty wide range of content.

So, primarily, we test Roku devices by seeing how fast and snappy they are. If one can stand out from the rest by loading 4K content faster than the others, that's worth some points in our scorecard. 

We'll also watch a few different shows on a variety of services to gauge the quality of the video and audio, to make sure they look good regardless of if you have one of the best TVs or not. That said? Check out our guide to the best cheap TV deals if you need a discount.

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.

With contributions from
  • isamuelson
    We have both the Streaming Stick+ (in our living room) and a Fire TV 4K (in my man-cave where I have the surround sound set up, reclining couch, etc).

    We first got the Streaming Stick+ as I already had the 3rd gen Fire TV Pendent which was working fine for me. When I saw how the remote worked on the Streaming Stick+ to control our TV, I wanted to get one for my TV in the man-cave.

    But after numerous tests with my DTS decoder, I found that various MKVs that I ripped from my Blu-Ray collection would refuse to play from my Plex media server with the Roku Plex player app. I like to rip my audio as a full copy (rather than convert it to AC3, etc) so that when DTS is being passed through to my DTS decoder, I'm hopefully getting the best possible sound. My DTS decoder doesn't have an HDMI input/output so I have to feed it from the optical out from my TV to the decoder via pass-through.

    The Roku Plex app would play the video with no sound for some reason and I was unable to ever get it to work. However, my Fire TV 3rd gen had no issues what-so-ever with passing the DTS signal through to the DTS decoder. Also, the Fire TV Plex app had the option of doing either HDMI or Optical pass-through which might be the reason.

    Most of the movies are ripped in AC3 (since that's the original audio track), but for some reason, even some of those refuse to play through the Roku Plex app. I don't know if it's an issue with the Plex app on Roku or a Roku hardware/software limitation or a combination of both. I also discovered that some movies (John Wick 2) would refuse to play at all through the Roku but John Wick 1 and 3 worked fine on the Roku and they were all ripped the same way. For the Fire TV, all 3 movies played with no issues.

    So with that, I ordered the Fire TV 4K stick and I have been very pleased with it. Also, the voice commands with the remote allow me to switch from one HDMI port to another as well as to the cable port (where I have a digital antenna attached) so I no longer need the TV remote for anything, unless I want to change channels when watching over-the-air channels which is rare on my man-cave TV. Roku, when I try to tell it to switch to a different HDMI port, just tells me that the function is no implemented.

    The Roku works great for the upstairs living room though except when we want to watch some of the movies from the Plex media server that refuse to work on the Roku for some reason. It's going to depend on what you like (Amazon pushed content UI vs. a cleaner interface on the Roku).

    One thing I do like with the Roku is that when I want to search for free movies, it looks across all the different channels that would provide it and shows them first. For Amazon, it will only show content via Amazon Prime which is a shame but I understand that Amazon is trying to run a business with their Prime Video service. I also wish on the Fire TV I could actually tell it to use the "All Apps" view as the default where I can see all the apps I have installed as opposed to being forced the Amazon suggested videos to watch and having to scroll through my apps. A hold on the "Home" button will bring up a menu where I can then choose "All Apps" or you can scroll down to the carousel apps list and navigate to the left to find the "All Apps" button there. I find the "Home" button short-cut is faster, especially depending on where you've scrolled through all of Amazon's suggestions and are far down below the "Apps" list.

    Overall, I do like both devices. Each has their pluses and minuses and for our house, they each serve a purpose in the room they are in. The family TV is used more by my family to stream Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ whereas my man-cave is more for the movie experience via my Plex server so we don't have to go to the shelf to pull out a Blu-Ray and turn on the Blu-Ray player, insert the disc and wait for it to load up and possibly have to skip through dozens of previews before we can even get to the movie itself. Works great for the TV shows I have on Blu-Ray too. No disc swapping (and it saves wear and tear on the discs). Roku can play most of my content, but for others, I'd either have to re-rip them, possibly downgrading the audio, or else just not be able to watch them. Fire TV seems to handle all of my ripped Blu-Rays without an issue.
    Reply
  • CpnCrunch
    admin said:
    Here are the five best Roku devices for your entertainment center, recommended based on functionality and price.

    Best Roku devices 2023 : Read more
    If you don't want hdmi handshake and DRM issues, then the best roku device is a chromecast 4k. And Roku is terrible at customer service but that's probably true with all of them
    Reply
  • Heywood Jablome
    admin said:
    Here are the five best Roku devices for your entertainment center, recommended based on functionality and price.

    Best Roku devices 2023 : Read more
    The Ultra 4802 is poorly designed, made and specd. Setting it up can take hours if you have a good AVR/Audio setup and you either get DD+ or all of the other formats, but not both. They don't have any real support - so plug it in - if it works, great. It may not continue to and if it doesn't, your only recourse is to dispute the charge with the credit card company. The Ethernet port is only 100megs and they've devolved into an ad company and not a hardware company. If you have an old TV and no special sound, a Roku device might work. Otherwise, go with one of the other ones
    Reply