With a CNET review rating of 9.6 out of 10, the favorite media streamer overall. The little stick hides behind your TV, puts out , has a voice remote that can control your TV's volume and power, and runs on Roku's dead-simple operating system. The Stick earned that rating when it debuted in 2017 at a price of $60.is my
In 2019 it's still part ofand starting Sunday, Oct. 20, Roku permanently reduced the price to $50, making it an even better deal. It also will receive a slight feature update: in addition to buttons to control volume and power on your TV, the remote adds a mute button. (Unfortunately, the new model and the old one have the same model number -- 3810R or 3810RW -- so you'll need to check that the remote with the mute button is showing on the box if you want that version, until or unless online retailers update their model descriptions.)
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Otherwise the Streaming Stick Plus is unchanged and still my favorite. It's a better deal than the $100 Roku Express. Among Roku's 2019 models is also a version of the Streaming Stick Plus that adds a headphone jack to the remote -- it's available for $60 at exclusively at Best Buy and called (wait for it) The Roku Streaming Stick Plus Headphone Edition.and has enough worthwhile extras to be worth the money over the $30
The Streaming Stick Plus' closest competition is the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, which also costs $50. Its advantages over the Roku include and superior voice support, thanks to Alexa. The main reason I like the is Roku's interface, which puts all apps on an equal footing. Fire TV's menus are more modern-looking, but they steer you toward Amazon's own TV shows and movies rather than remaining neutral like Roku or Apple TV.
And speaking of Apple, this week Roku became the first non-Apple media streamer to in advance of the launch of on Nov. 1. Apple says that Fire TV, along with smart TVs from Vizio, LG and Sony, will get the app "in the future."
This story was originally posted on Friday. Updated to add store links now that the price has dropped, and to note that you need to check the box if you want the mute button version.