The best streaming sticks, boxes, and set-top streaming devices are designed to bring connected visual entertainment into your living room with minimal setup and super-simple use.
From going back to back with your favorite TV box sets to bringing 4k, content into your living room, the best streaming devices from the leading names in the business are transforming the smart visual home entertainment market.
If you’re putting together a smart home entertainment setup, it’s likely that you’ll want to be including some form of streaming service if movies and shows are going to be part of the mix. Where this is the case, unless you already own a smart TV with the functionality built-in, then the chances are you’re going to be looking at a streaming stick or similar device that can be hooked up to your set to unlock access to a huge range of streaming content from some of the biggest service providers out there.
In this guide we’ve plugged in the best streaming sticks on the market and kicked back to run through the top choices for bringing smart show bliss to your regular viewing schedule.
Streaming Sticks – The Essential Considerations
When it comes to choosing the best streaming stock for your needs, the major consideration you’re going to want to think about when picking the device that’s right for you comes down to the streaming services you’re most interested in watching – for example content by Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu.
If this is the beginning and end of your requirements, then at the simplest level, you then just need to grab one of the awesome, value streaming sticks on the market and you’re good to go – just plug and play.
If you’re looking for a little more on the specification and functionality front (voice control and inter-device compatibility for example), then you’ll probably want to go slightly beyond the basics.
Extra features doesn’t equate to extra digits on the price tag however, and the great news with the latest streaming sticks, boxes, and devices is that they offer a ton of functionality at exceptional value.
The Best Streaming Sticks and Devices
We’re starting with the easiest way to get into smart home entertainment streaming – the humble streaming stick.
With one of these connected beauties, all you need to do is plug into your visual medium of choice (like a compatible TV or HDMI-ready monitor) and you’re ready for action.
The best streaming sticks and similar streaming devices on the market offer content from the biggest names in internet-streamed visual content and if you’re looking for an out of the box solution for watching shows and movies from the likes of Amazon Prime Video or Netflix, then this is a great place to start.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is a solid choice if you’re looking for a streaming stick that delivers high quality visual output, providing both 4K and support for HDR10.
Performance is also impressive with this stick which doesn’t suffer from streaming speed issues thanks largely to an upgraded onboard WiFi offering which results in a speed increase. provides a range up to four times greater, and results in a stronger signal for a smoother streaming experience.
As with all visual streaming devices, more speed equals less buffering meaning you’re going to get a high quality image with minimal to zero interruption to your actual viewing.
The inclusion of a remote for powering on TVs (as well as adjusting the volume) is a nice addition to the Roku Streaming Stick+ package and makes this an excellent out of the box solution if you’re thinking of pairing a streaming stick with an existing TV.Learn More About the Roku Streaming Stick+ Here
The Fire TV Stick 4K is Amazon’s answer to smart streaming and it’s little surprise that the device is one of the best on the market when it comes to high definition bang for you buck,
As with most of Amazon’s connected devices, you know some of the smart connectivity features you’re likely to get right out of the box such as Alexa voice (which is activated through the remote) and the ability to pair up with other voice assistants in Amazon’s Echo family.
From the visual entertainment point of view, the Fire TV Stick provides 4K streaming, and HDR10+ capability and support for Dolby Atmos if you’re looking for an immersive audio experience.
In terms of the streaming services you’re going to get access to with the Fire TV Stick, while geographic restrictions apply, the entry level offerings are Prime Video (obviously), HBO, Netflix, and Hulu, as well as BBC iPlayer, Disney, Plex and a lot more besides.Learn More About the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD Here
The Fire TV Cube is an all-in-one streaming media player that works in a similar way to the regular Fire TV Stick, but with a few exceptions.
Without a doubt the main selling point of the Fire TV Cube is the inclusion of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built into the device itself meaning access to hands-free functionality with your connected TV as well as control over all of the other compatible devices in your smart home ecosystem.
As with the other high-end smart speakers in Amazon’s Alexa-enabled range like the Echo, the Fire TV Cube utilizes a combination of far-field enabled microphones for voice recognition meaning you don’t need to shout to be heard, wherever you are in the room.
The hands-free voice control provided by the Fire TV Cube basically allows you to ditch the traditional TV remote and carry out all of the usual commands (power, volume, search, play, pause, fast forward etc) using just your voice.
On top of the smart functionality that Alexa integration brings, the Fire TV Cube also delivers on the visual side with capability for both 4K Ultra HD up to 60 fps as well as HDR.
As you’d expect, the Fire TV Cube features the same starting lineup of streaming service names as smaller streaming sticks from Amazon which means you’re going to be able to access the likes of Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO as well as many more.Learn More About the Amazon Fire TV Cube Here