Roku devices are incredibly popular nowadays. In this article, we will discuss the comparison between Roku 4 vs Roku Ultra to help you choose the right model for your home. Roku 4 and Roku Ultra indeed look similar, and they do have similar connectivity options. But there are still several distinctive features and qualities that set them apart.
What we will discuss in this article include:
– The similarities between Roku 4 and Roku Ultra
– The size and weight of each model
– The distinctive features of Roku 4 vs Roku Ultra
– The performance comparison between these two models
– Which Roku device that is generally more recommended
The Common Features
First of all, let’s see what common features that both Roku 4 vs Roku Ultra offer. They are indeed available in the same price range. This will help you understand what things that you will get regardless of the model that you choose. See also: Roku 4 vs Roku 3.
Both Roku 4 and Roku Ultra support 4K content. So, with either model, you can enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies in the highest quality. Both models also have similar processing power. They both are armed with quad-core processors, and there is no noticeable difference in the processing speed and overall performance between the two models.
Both models offer similar connection options. Each of them features a Micro SD slot, a USB port, an optical audio jack, and an HDMI port. You can find these connection options on the side of the unit. There is also a headphone jack on each model’s remote control. You can use this headphone jack for private listening.
Roku 4 and Roku Ultra also have similar remote controls. They both have RF remotes. Some low-end Roku models come with a traditional infrared remote that needs to be pointed precisely towards the unit to work. But the RF remotes of Roku 4 and Roku Ultra can be pointed anywhere to work. This is very convenient. In addition, both remotes have built-in mics to allow voice control.
So far, the remotes of Roku 4 and Roku Ultra are the only ones that have gaming buttons. Each remote here has A and B buttons that you can use for gaming. These buttons are not really important for most streamers, but they are quite nice if you are interested in Roku’s gaming apps.
The first difference between Roku 4 vs Roku Ultra that can be noticed right away is the size. Roku 4 is much bigger. It is wide and thick. It measures 8.15” x 8.15” with a thickness of approximately 2.68”. This model takes a chunk of surface area. The weight is about 2 lbs.
Not many people like the bulky shape of Roku 4, so it is a great thing that Roku Ultra comes with a streamlined design. This model is much slimmer and more compact. According to CNET, Roku Ultra measures 4.9” x 4.9” x 0.8”. The weight is also lighter at about 1 lbs. Roku Ultra requires less surface area, so this model is more space-friendly and easier to fit in.
Nowadays, HDR support has become one of the major bullet points for TV features. It is also one major difference between Roku 4 and Roku Ultra. If your TV supports HDR, you should choose Roku device that supports the feature as well in order to get the most out of your setup.
Roku 4 indeed supports 4K, but unfortunately it is not capable of HDR. So, it is less than ideal if you have an HDR-capable TV. On the other hand, Roku Ultra not only supports 4K but also supports HDR.
HDR actually stands for “High Dynamic Range”. It is a technology that allows video content to exceed the dynamic range limitations of broadcast and media standards. HDR allows you to enjoy enhanced contrast range. The colors will be more vibrant and vivid. The images will have even better details. However, if your TV doesn’t support HDR, choosing an HDR-capable Roku won’t give any effect.
The next difference between Roku 4 and Roku Ultra is about their audio features. Of course, both models here support Dolby Audio and DTS with HDMI pass-through. However, there are two additional features may make you prefer Roku Ultra better.
First, Roku Ultra is able to decode Dolby Audio through its HDMI and optical audio input. It is able to convert Dolby Digital Plus into the older Dolby Digital audio format. Nevertheless, this feature is only beneficial if you are using an old audio receiver that doesn’t support Dolby Digital Plus. Roku 4 doesn’t have this capability.
Second, Roku Ultra comes with the Night Listening Mode. Roku 4 doesn’t have this mode. The Night Listening Mode is especially useful when you want to watch something without disturbing other people nearby. The Night Listening Mode will increase the volume of soft sounds, such as whispering and footsteps, while reducing the volume of louds sounds like gunshots and explosions. So, you can hear everything happening on the screen without having to up your system’s volume.
It has been said that Roku 4 and Roku Ultra are similar in terms of processing speed. Both devices are fast and reliable. You don’t need to wait for the display to load when switching screens, and the loading times are also minimum.
What sets them apart is the noise level. Roku 4 has been criticized for the noise of the internal fan. Well, to be fair, the fan noise isn’t particularly deafening. But it is indeed audible. It may be a little annoying when you are trying to get immersed into the film.
On the other hand, Roku Ultra doesn’t have an internal fan. It can stay cool without one. So, there is no whirring noise to disrupt your favorite TV shows and films.
Roku 4 vs Roku Ultra
Between these two models, Roku Ultra is much more recommended. It comes with a better design and features. It has HDR support and Night Listening Mode. More importantly, it works very quietly without any fan noise, so that you can enjoy your TV shows and movies better.