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Is Roku Ultra Worth the Extra Money?

Last Updated Jun 27, 2022
TV showing ESPN+

The Roku Ultra is Roku’s premium streaming device. The closest product to the Ultra, the streaming Stick 4K+, costs about $30. This begs the question of whether this extra cost is worth it.

The short answer is that the Roku Ultra when compared to other Roku streaming devices like the Streaming Stick 4K+, which costs about $30 less, is not worth it unless the extra features are important to you.

The long answer? Let’s dive in. By looking at both Ultra’s features and the places it’s lacking, we will compare it to its competitors and try to see if it is worth the price.

Features of The Roku Ultra

The Roku ultra is an inconspicuous black box that packs a punch. The Ultra can access over four thousand apps Roku calls channels, and it includes many of the major streaming channels like Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV +, and Amazon Prime Video. The 2022 Ultra now has voice remote pro features, including a headphone jack, remote finder, and hands-free voice control.

The Ultra has Bluetooth features. However, you can only use Bluetooth to stream audio from other devices like phones or computers, and you can’t use it to connect to Bluetooth headphones. It supports Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, giving you excellent audio and visual output. It has 4K/HDR support, supports hard-wired Ethernet internet, a USB media port, and also has a quad-core processor.

Slights of The Roku Ultra

It is known that no product is perfect, after all. One stick to beat the Ultra with is the lack of significant upgrades in the yearly releases over the past few years.

  • It doesn’t support WiFi 6 and Bluetooth headphones: For a top-end device, it is quite disappointing that the Roku Ultra doesn’t allow the use of Bluetooth headphones to connect directly for a private hearing. Also, it is more than enough time for WiFi 6 to be incorporated.
  • Its voice support is weak for a top-line product: This is another place where the Ultra compares unfavorably with top products like Apple’s and Amazon’s. While admittedly, both of these benefits from having an established ecosystem, Roku is big enough to have one itself, and it is a disappointment that it lags so far behind.
  • It is not much of an Upgrade on the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+: Here is the main crux of the matter. Almost all the features of the Ultra can be found in the streaming stick too. This is bad for such a premium product.

These are the main issues with the Ultra. But before the final verdict, let’s compare it to the closest competition.

Comparison with the Competition

The main competitions for the Roku ultra are Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. When looking at their qualities compared to the Ultra, it is clear that the latter is more than enough to match the products of these industrial heavyweights. However, those two have a decisive edge over the Roku Ultra with their additional features that are exclusively for Apple and Amazon users.

Ultimately, your taste determines if you want those exclusive services. But if streaming is all you are after, the Roku ultra gives you more than enough compensation. Of course, the price factor should always be taken into consideration.

 Apple TV+Fire TV StickRoku UltraRoku Streaming Stick 4K+
Voice controlIt has excellent voice support with SiriIt has an excellent voice command system with AlexaIts voice support is weak.Its voice search features are weak
RemoteSiri remote with a wide array of featuresAlexa remote with excellent featuresThe remote is top of the line with a remote finder and other useful featuresThe remote is top of the line with a remote finder and other useful features
Audio/video qualityIt supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos  It supports Dolby Vision and Dolby AtmosIt supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos  It supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
EthernetYesNoYesNo

The information in the above table shows that the Ultra, while a very good streaming device, just isn’t special enough.

The Ultimate Answer – Is Roku Ultra Worth It?

Now, it’s time to look at the big question. Is the Roku Ultra value for money when we look at the almost $100 tag compared to the Roku streaming stick 4K+, which costs $30 less with just features like Ethernet and USB ports for wired connection and playing media off USB drive missing. Our verdict is that it is not worth it for most people. However, if you consider these extra features important, it is then up to you to decide if they are worth the additional money.

Conclusion

Looking at the Roku ultra’s features and juxtaposing them with the features of its closest competition leads to a favorable idea about the Ultra. However, the difference in quality between the Ultra and the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ isn’t worth the $30 difference. If you are only concerned with your streaming and consider features like Ethernet and USB port frivolous, you are better off with the Streaming Stick.

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