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Roku Streaming Stick Plus 4K HDR streamer drops to $50

CNET's favorite media streamer now costs $10 less and adds a mute button to the remote.

Roku Streaming Stick Plus
Sarah Tew/CNET

With a CNET review rating of 9.6 out of 10, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus is my favorite media streamer overall. The little stick hides behind your TV, puts out 4K HDR video, 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. 

In 2019 it's still part of Roku's streaming player lineup and 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 Ultra and has enough worthwhile extras to be worth the money over the $30 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

The Streaming Stick Plus' closest competition is the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, which also costs $50. Its advantages over the Roku include Dolby Vision HDR and superior voice support, thanks to Alexa. The main reason I like the Roku better than the Fire TV 4K 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 add the Apple TV app in advance of the launch of Apple TV Plus 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.