Amazon Fire TV
The Fire TV streaming-media box is an impressive living room debut for Amazon, with standout features like voice search, gaming, and superfast video streaming, but it falls short of being an elite streamer -- at least for now.
Roku Streaming Stick ( 2014)
Roku's Streaming Stick offers tons of apps, a real remote, and a compact design for just $50, making it the best streaming stick and an outstanding value.
Bose SoundTouch 20
The Bose SoundTouch 20 is a likeable streaming speaker with capable performance and great sound, but it needs to support more music services.
Samsung Shape M7
The Samsung Shape M7 is a versatile streaming speaker that sounds better than the Sonos Play:3 but lacks a rich ecosystem of products and supported services.
Roku LT ( 2013)
The Roku LT is the best budget streaming-media device, easily topping the $35 Chromecast.
Phorus PR1 Receiver
While the Play-Fi standard offers plenty of potential, the Phorus PR1 is currently too limited in its scope and performance to warrant buying over a Sonos.
Plair 2 is an interesting Chromecast alternative that offers access to the full suite of Android apps, but it's just not reliable enough to recommend.
The Roku 1 offers the same excellent experience that's found on other Roku boxes at a new low price, but there aren't many reasons to choose it over the new Streaming Stick or step-up Roku boxes.
The Roku 2 offers tons of content sources and an innovative remote with built-in headphone jack for just $80, but the Roku 3 is still our favorite pick.
Sonos Play:1 ( black)
The Sonos Play:1 finally brings the company's wireless audio magic to the masses, in a fantastically designed compact speaker that's just $199.
Apple TV ( 2012)
While it's still a step behind the Roku 3, the Apple TV is an excellent streaming box, especially for those invested in the Apple ecosystem.
Google's $35 Chromecast stick is a cheap and easy way to add streaming video and music to your TV, but it still isn't as fully featured as similarly priced Roku boxes.
PLAiR ( passion)
PLAiR is a neat-looking streaming device, but it's buggy, unreliable, and short on content.
The TiVo Mini is an easy way to give another TV in your home access to your TiVo DVR, live TV, and streaming services. But if you're not in a hurry, you may want to wait till more features and services arrive.
The Roku 3 is the best streaming-video box yet, with tons of content sources, lightning-fast performance, and an innovative remote with built-in headphone jack.
Roku Streaming Stick
While the number of devices that support it will probably grow, the Roku Streaming Stick is still a niche item when compared with every other Roku device.
Roku LT ( 2012)
The Roku LT is a killer streaming-media box, offering tons of streaming content -- including favorites like Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, and Pandora -- for just $50.
The Sonos Connect brings effortless wireless media streaming to existing hi-fi owners, but it's not the first Sonos system we'd recommend.
For TiVo Premiere owners with iOS devices, the TiVo Stream is a cool addition to your AV setup and mobile life.
Google Nexus Q
The Nexus Q's striking, orblike hardware can't outweigh the extreme limitations of this Android-only, Google-only media streamer.
The Sony NSZ-GS7 has sleek hardware and an innovative remote, but it's hampered by the still too-limited and frustrating Google TV software.
Logitech Squeezebox Touch
The Logitech Squeezebox is an excellent digital-music device that offers good sound quality and a great variety of source options, but it's not for casual users.
Roku HD ( 2012)
With its ability to stream hundreds of audio and video channels (including Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and Hulu Plus), the $60 Roku HD would be our top pick for those seeking an ultra-affordable Internet media box -- if not for the fact that it's nearly identical to the slightly cheaper Roku LT.
As the first "affordable" hi-fi streamer, the Pioneer N-30 puts on a good performance, but the controls could be so much easier to use.
Netgear NeoTV ( NTV200)
While it's a capable streamer the lack of any expandable memory and its limited connectivity really limit its universal appeal. It's also priced too high compared to the most recent Roku offerings.
WD TV Live ( 2011)
The WD TV Live (2011) offers a solid combination of must-have streaming services and excellent USB and network file support, making it one of the best devices of its kind available for under $100.
Sonos Play:3 ( white)
While it doesn't sound quite as good as the larger Play:5, the Sonos Play:3 delivers a superior streaming-audio experience that you can control from any iOS device or Android smartphone.
While we recommend the Uebo M400 to the DIY streaming and content guru, the M400 is certainly not for novices. It's also desperately in need of some sort of QWERTY input remote.
While it sounds like a great device on paper, the Bigstream suffers from numerous performance issues that ultimately make for a below average experience.
Roku XDS ( 2100X)
Thanks to its wide range of content offerings--including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, and Pandora--the Roku XDS is the best all-around streaming media box you can get for less than $100.