Best Roku to Buy in 2023: Tested and Reviewed

$100 at Roku

Roku Extremely

In order for you Voice Distant Professional and built-in Ethernet

$30 at Roku


Roku Voice Distant Professional

For bettering your Roku expertise

Roku makes lots of streaming gadgets, as do AmazonApple and Google . There are many good choices to selected from,  however Roku’s gadgets stay our clear favorites because of their handy options, spectacular efficiency and inexpensive costs.

Units vary from the superior Roku Extremely, which just lately obtained some good upgrades, to the inexpensive Roku Categorical, which you’ll snag for simply $30. Roku additionally makes a few of its personal soundbars and audio system, which make it straightforward to construct an all-in-one leisure setup. We have spent hours over the course of months testing these gadgets side-by-side that can assist you discover the appropriate one in your dwelling.

Greatest Roku General

Roku’s lineup will be complicated, and there are two streaming gadgets on the high of our checklist which can be very comparable. The primary is the Roku Categorical 4K Plus. This small field sits subsequent to your TV and is the most cost effective Roku gadget that gives full 4K HDR streaming help, which typically makes it our favourite. Sure, it lacks Dolby Imaginative and prescient, however we are inclined to assume that this is not too massive of a deal, because the service solely works with appropriate TVs and would not provide any actual distinction in image high quality over different HDR codecs. All 4K TVs with HDR help a number of HDR codecs and you probably will not be lacking out on something by skipping Dolby Imaginative and prescient. 

That stated, there are specific occasions of the 12 months when the Roku Categorical 4K Plus is not the very best purchase. That is as a result of the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is commonly on sale for much less and is subsequently the higher choice. The Streaming Stick 4K is nearly an identical to the Categorical 4K Plus — the one distinction is the form of the gadget and the truth that the Streaming Stick 4K presents Dolby Imaginative and prescient help, which is what makes it barely dearer. We do not advocate spending more cash on one thing with Dolby Imaginative and prescient, however do not be afraid to seize the Streaming Stick 4K when it is the most cost effective choice. 

Greatest Roku’s of 2023

Roku Express 4K Plus
Sarah Tew/CNET

The Categorical 4K Plus is likely one of the most cost-effective streaming TV choices with 4K HDR. (Even when your present TV would not help these codecs, your subsequent one in all probability will.) Because of the AirPlay replace, this Roku gadget is likely one of the least costly methods to attach your iPhone or different Apple gadget to your TV. It lacks Dolby Imaginative and prescient help, however we expect most individuals will likely be fantastic with out that.

This Roku streaming gadget is generally cheaper than the corporate’s Streaming Stick 4K and different 4K HDR streamers, so it is normally our high Roku choose. It is a fantastic selection for these seeking to get essentially the most out of streaming with out breaking the financial institution. Roku Categorical works with in style voice assistants Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant.

Learn our Categorical 4K Plus evaluation.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K and 4K Plus on a purple background
Sarah Tew/CNET

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is a really shut runner-up to the Categorical 4K Plus. It has many of the similar options as our best choice, but in addition consists of Dolby Imaginative and prescient help. Usually we do not assume that Dolby Imaginative and prescient is value the additional money, however for those who desire the streaming stick design — or really feel like Dolby Imaginative and prescient is necessary — the Streaming Stick 4K is a superb selection. In the event you’re debating between the 2, our recommendation is to seize whichever mannequin is at present most cost-effective.

Learn our Streaming Stick 4K evaluation.

You are receiving worth alerts for Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Roku Ultra 2022
Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku’s costliest streaming field is greater than twice the worth of our high streaming gadget choose, however perhaps you will admire its additional options sufficient to need the improve. The 2022 mannequin nonetheless prices $100 and is almost an identical to earlier variations, besides it now comes bundled with the Voice Distant Professional. 

However for those who actually love the distant and wish to save a bit of cash, you would strive Roku’s different bundle, the $70 Roku Streaming Stick 4K Plus, which additionally consists of the Voice Distant Professional. The Streaming Stick 4K’s processor is not fairly as beefy because the Extremely’s, however it could actually do almost all the identical methods reminiscent of Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR, and it prices $30 lower than the 2022 Extremely.

In any other case, the Extremely continues to ship Dolby Imaginative and prescient video, sooner responses than the Streaming Stick 4K, improved Wi-Fi and a wired Ethernet port — significantly welcome if your property Wi-Fi is overloaded.

Learn our Roku Extremely (2022) evaluation.

roku streambar
Sarah Tew/CNET

On the lookout for an audio improve in addition to a brand new Roku? Take a look at the Streambar. This compact soundbar plugs into your TV’s HDMI ARC port, bettering the sound for all your sources from cable packing containers to recreation consoles. The perfect a part of this Roku participant is that it is also a 4K HDR-capable Roku streamer itself. We have discovered the Streambar straightforward to arrange, and it sounds good for the dimensions, significantly with dialogue. In order for you stronger bass, nevertheless, contemplate including Roku’s wi-fi subwoofer ($180).

Learn our Roku Streambar evaluation.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Voice Distant Professional is not a streaming service participant, but it surely can provide your Roku streaming gadget a pleasant enhance. The Voice Distant Professional provides new options like a chargeable battery and a 12-foot midfield microphone. The latter is especially helpful. You may say, “Hey Roku, discover my distant,” and the gadget will beep so you will discover it if it is misplaced beneath the sofa cushions.

It now comes bundled with the 2022 Roku Extremely, however will be bought individually and paired with any appropriate Roku gadget.

Learn our Voice Distant Professional evaluation.

Sarah Tew/CNET

That is the one and solely Roku mannequin we do not advocate. Frankly, there are higher entry-level streamers from Google and Amazon. We predict that the Chromecast with Google TV HD is by far the only option for a $30 HD streamer. It is speedy and presents a distant that does not want line-of-sight to work and may seamlessly management your TV’s energy, quantity and inputs. It additionally comes with a built-in button to entry Google Assistant. Even the Amazon Fireplace TV Stick Lite presents a greater worth than the Roku Categorical. At the least the distant on that mannequin consists of built-in voice search and management powered by Alexa. 

The benefit of the HD-only Roku Categorical is that it could actually use all of the apps on Roku’s platform. However the included Roku TV distant is the bare-bones IR choice that lacks Roku distant voice controls and requires you to level on the tiny field. It additionally will not management your TV’s energy, quantity and inputs, so you will additionally want your common TV distant. And so as to add insult to harm, the Categorical would not include an influence brick within the field. You will have to offer your individual, or plug it into your TV’s USB port in an effort to energy the gadget. It is best to simply keep away from this mannequin, for those who can. Both spend a bit of extra to improve to the Categorical 4K Plus or seize the Chromecast with Google TV HD for a similar worth as this one. We promise you will be glad that you simply did.

How we check Roku gadgets

Each Roku we evaluation receives hours of hands-on testing. Sometimes, this entails putting in the gadget on a number of TVs, evaluating the setup course of, including in style streaming channels and utilizing the product as if it have been our personal. We use all the main options accessible and be aware how they stack up towards different Roku fashions within the firm’s lineup. To do that, we hook up a number of Roku streaming gadgets to the identical TV so we are able to swap backwards and forwards simply to match the experiences.

Our metrics that we take a look at to price a tool embrace {hardware} design, distinctive options that differentiate fashions, distant capabilities and design, general ease-of-use, efficient layouts and design, search capabilities, privateness settings, the variety of apps and their efficiency and the general velocity and reliability of the system.

Roku FAQs

Aren’t all Rokus form of the identical?

Sure and no. All Roku gadgets run the identical software program and subsequently have the identical entry to onscreen search, channels, settings and layouts. 

Roku fashions differ with regards to the bodily form of the gadget, its capability to supply playback at varied resolutions and HDR codecs — reminiscent of 4K and Dolby Imaginative and prescient — in addition to the additional {hardware} options on the gadget itself together with the distant included within the bundle. 

For instance, the entry-level Roku Categorical is a small field that plugs into your TV, however sits beside it. The gadget can entry all of Roku’s content material, but it surely solely presents playback in customary 1080p HD, not 4K. Moreover, the distant could be very primary and may’t flip your TV on and off. The distant additionally lacks different superior options like voice management or distant finder capabilities. In the event you’re on the lookout for 4K streaming, entry to Dolby Imaginative and prescient, or a extra highly effective distant, you will have to decide on a extra superior Roku. 

Do I want a separate Roku if I’ve a Roku TV?

No, you do not. Roku TVs include the Roku working system baked into the system. Which means you will be introduced with the Roku interface the second you hit the ability button.

Roku TVs additionally include Roku-branded distant controls. Relying in your TV mannequin, you’ll both get a Easy Distant or a Voice distant. Each will can help you absolutely navigate your TV, however Voice remotes have a microphone button for voice activation. In the event you really feel such as you wish to improve your distant expertise, you would possibly wish to try the Voice Distant Professional listed above. 

Will I be capable to entry all of my streaming providers on my Roku?

Principally possible, sure. 

Roku is understood for having an enormous number of streaming channels and has positioned itself as a service-agnostic platform. Consequently, it presents all the hottest streaming providers, together with Hulu, Disney Plus, Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Showtime and Starz, amongst others. However it additionally has channels from smaller providers and suppliers that aren’t accessible on each platform. For instance, sure cable suppliers, reminiscent of Spectrum and Comcast Xfinity, have a tendency to supply their apps solely on choose streaming platforms, and Roku is nearly all the time considered one of them. 

Chances are high excessive that for those who’re on the lookout for a particular streaming app, Roku could have it. 

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings