Roku Express vs. Roku Streaming Stick

What's the Difference?

The Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick are both popular streaming devices that offer a wide range of entertainment options. The Roku Express is a compact and affordable option, perfect for those on a budget or looking for a basic streaming experience. It offers HD streaming and comes with a simple remote control. On the other hand, the Roku Streaming Stick provides a more advanced streaming experience with 4K HDR picture quality and a voice remote for easy navigation. It also offers a more powerful processor, allowing for faster and smoother streaming. Overall, while the Roku Express is a great entry-level option, the Roku Streaming Stick offers more features and a higher quality streaming experience.


AttributeRoku ExpressRoku Streaming Stick
ResolutionUp to 1080p HDUp to 1080p HD
Streaming QualityStandardStandard
Wireless Connectivity802.11 b/g/n802.11 b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMO
Remote ControlBasic IR remoteEnhanced voice remote
AudioDolby AudioDolby Audio
PortsHDMI, micro USBHDMI, micro USB
Dimensions3.3 x 1.4 x 0.7 inches3.7 x 0.8 x 0.5 inches
Weight1.3 ounces0.6 ounces

Further Detail


Roku has established itself as a leading brand in the streaming device market, offering a range of options to cater to different user preferences and budgets. Two popular choices among Roku's lineup are the Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick. While both devices provide access to a wide variety of streaming content, they differ in terms of design, performance, and additional features. In this article, we will delve into the attributes of each device to help you make an informed decision on which one suits your needs best.

Design and Setup

The Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick differ significantly in terms of design. The Roku Express is a small, compact device that connects directly to your TV via an HDMI cable. It is a simple and straightforward setup, making it ideal for those who prefer a hassle-free installation process. On the other hand, the Roku Streaming Stick is a sleek, portable device that plugs directly into your TV's HDMI port. Its compact design allows for easy portability, making it a great choice for frequent travelers or those who want to use the device across multiple TVs.

Both devices come with a user-friendly remote control, allowing you to navigate through the Roku interface effortlessly. However, the Roku Streaming Stick's remote offers additional features such as voice control and TV power and volume buttons, which can be convenient for those who want to control their TV and streaming content with a single remote.

Performance and Streaming Quality

When it comes to performance, both the Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick offer smooth and reliable streaming experiences. However, there are some differences in terms of processing power and streaming quality. The Roku Streaming Stick is equipped with a more powerful processor, resulting in faster channel loading times and smoother navigation through the Roku interface. It also supports higher resolution streaming, including 4K Ultra HD and HDR content, providing a more immersive viewing experience for those with compatible TVs.

On the other hand, the Roku Express is designed for users who prioritize affordability and basic streaming needs. While it may not offer the same level of performance as the Streaming Stick, it still provides reliable streaming in standard HD quality. If you have an older TV or don't require advanced features like 4K streaming, the Roku Express can be a cost-effective choice without compromising on the streaming experience.

Additional Features and Connectivity

Both the Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick offer a range of additional features to enhance your streaming experience. One notable feature available on both devices is the Roku Channel, which provides access to a selection of free movies, TV shows, and live news. Additionally, both devices support popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, ensuring you have access to a vast library of content.

When it comes to connectivity options, the Roku Streaming Stick has an advantage. It supports dual-band Wi-Fi, allowing for a more stable and faster internet connection. This can be particularly beneficial if you have a crowded Wi-Fi network or if your TV is located far from your router. The Roku Express, on the other hand, supports single-band Wi-Fi, which may be sufficient for most users but could result in occasional buffering or slower streaming speeds in certain scenarios.

Price and Value for Money

Price is often a crucial factor when choosing a streaming device, and both the Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick offer excellent value for money. The Roku Express is the more affordable option, typically priced at around $30. It provides a reliable streaming experience at an affordable price point, making it an attractive choice for budget-conscious users.

On the other hand, the Roku Streaming Stick is priced slightly higher, usually around $50. While it may be more expensive, it offers additional features such as voice control, TV power and volume buttons, and support for 4K streaming. If these features are important to you, the extra investment in the Streaming Stick may be worthwhile.


Both the Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick have their own strengths and cater to different user preferences. The Roku Express is a compact and affordable option, ideal for those who prioritize simplicity and basic streaming needs. On the other hand, the Roku Streaming Stick offers a more powerful performance, additional features, and support for 4K streaming, making it a great choice for those who want a more advanced streaming experience.

Ultimately, the decision between the Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick depends on your specific requirements, budget, and the features you value the most. Whichever device you choose, you can be confident in Roku's reputation for providing a user-friendly interface, a vast selection of streaming content, and regular software updates to ensure a seamless streaming experience.

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