Roku Streaming Stick 4K vs. Roku Express 4K Plus: Is One Better Than the Other?

Roku makes a variety of streaming units. It at present sells 5 completely different streaming gamers and two streaming soundbars. We have reviewed all Roku’s streaming units, together with rivals from GoogleApple, and Amazon, and picked the Roku Specific 4K Plus as our finest general streaming gadget. That stated, the newer Roku Streaming Stick 4K gives Dolby Imaginative and prescient help and is usually equally priced. Which one do you have to get?

Earlier than we get began, it is vital to notice that the Roku Specific 4K Plus and the Roku Streaming Stick characteristic the identical Roku working system. Roku’s interface is simple to navigate and allows you to shortly begin streaming your favourite reveals and films from Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu and different streaming providers. The easy setup course of, glorious search performance and wealthy characteristic set assist to propel Roku units forward of their worthy rivals.

However the Roku Specific 4K Plus and the Roku Streaming Stick have much more similarities than simply the working system. Let’s examine the 2 so you possibly can select which one is healthier for you.

The Specific 4K Plus helps 4K HDR streaming media and, because of the AirPlay replace, can join your iPhone or different Apple gadget to your TV. Historically, it has been the most affordable Roku to supply 4K HDR, which is the primary cause we picked it as the most effective streaming gadget general. 

No, it would not help Dolby Imaginative and prescient, however that characteristic is barely helpful for individuals who personal TVs that additionally help Dolby Imaginative and prescient. If you happen to personal a Samsung TV, for instance, do not hassle — your TV would not help it. And even on TVs that do help Dolby Imaginative and prescient, its enchancment over commonplace HDR is often minimal.

As an alternative of a stick, the 4K Plus is a small field that may be affixed to any spot close to your TV, such because the wall behind it. Not like the Streaming Stick 4K, you possibly can hardwire the field to the web via a secondary dongle to offer Ethernet help.

Recently, we have seen aggressive pricing on streaming units. Relying on whenever you learn this, the Specific 4K Plus is likely to be the identical worth or much more costly than the Stream Stick 4K. We’re all about saving cash right here at CNET, so our greatest recommendation is to select whichever one is at present cheaper. If that is the Specific 4K Plus, know that you just’re solely lacking out on Dolby Imaginative and prescient, which in all probability will not have an effect on you anyway.

Learn our Specific 4K Plus assessment.



The Streaming Stick 4K additionally helps 4K HDR and Apple AirPlay. The primary spotlight of this newer gadget is that it consists of help for Dolby Imaginative and prescient. When you’ve got a TV that helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient and need to stream Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material, then that is the choose for you.

This gadget may also enchantment to those that favor a stick design to a field. You possibly can simply plug the Streaming Stick 4K into the HDMI port behind the TV and neglect about it — excellent for these wall-mounted TVs. 

The Streaming Stick 4K cannot be related to the web by way of an Ethernet cable, however that is hardly a deal-breaker for most individuals. 

Usually, the Streaming Stick 4K is barely costlier than the Specific 4K Plus, however that is not at all times the case. We typically do not suppose it is value paying extra for the Streaming Stick 4K, but when it is priced the identical as or lower than the Specific 4K Plus, go for it. Even when you do not have a TV that works with Dolby Imaginative and prescient, you may nonetheless get 4K HDR and the handy stick design. The one factor you may miss by getting the Stick over the Specific is the choice to get an Ethernet connection utilizing a dongle — which, frankly, is not a giant loss.

Learn our Streaming Stick 4K assessment.


In the end, the Specific 4K Plus and the Streaming Stick 4K have extra similarities than variations. Both can be a good selection in your residence. When you’ve got a particular want for an Ethernet connection, then get the Specific 4K Plus. If you happen to favor a stick design or Dolby Imaginative and prescient, then the Streaming Stick 4K is for you. In any other case, save your self money and time by selecting the one which’s cheaper.

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