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Roku Ultra vs Ultra LT (2021): What’s the Difference?

Without a doubt, the Roku Ultra is among the best set-top boxes around, delivering solid performance with features to match. Then there’s the cheaper Ultra LT, which is similar but mostly only in form factor and name.

That said, these streaming devices may share the same “ultra” moniker, but there are a few important differences between them. Put simply, the Ultra is relatively more robust, whereas, besides being a Walmart exclusive, the Ultra LT can be considered as a toned-down version.

Roku Ultra vs Ultra LT Comparison Chart

ModelRoku UltraRoku Ultra LT
 Roku Ultra | Streaming Device HD/4K/HDR/Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos, Bluetooth Streaming, and Roku...Roku Ultra vs Ultra LT
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price at Walmart.com
VideoUp to 4K, HDR, Dolby VisionUp to 4K, HDR
AudioDolby Audio and DTS pass through via HDMI, Dolby AtmosDolby Audio and DTS pass through via HDMI
ProcessorQuad-coreQuad-core
RemoteVoice search, TV controls, headphone jack, personal shortcutsVoice search, TV controls, headphone jack
Lost Remote FinderYesNo
HeadphonesIncludedIncluded
PortsEthernet, HDMI (cable included), USB, powerEthernet, HDMI (cable not included), microSD slot, power
BluetoothYesNo
Virtual AssistantGoogle Assistant, Amazon AlexaGoogle Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Performance and Playback

Only the Roku Ultra has Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, not the Ultra LT.

Roku Ultra vs Ultra LT Performance and Playback
Top view of the Roku Ultra (in photo).

Under the hood, the Roku Ultra and the Ultra LT are powered by a quad-core chip. In other words, they have more or less the same processing power, providing a smooth, stutter-free experience.

Both can also stream up to 4K with HDR, but only the Ultra supports Dolby Vision. For the uninitiated, Dolby Vision is basically Dolby’s proprietary HDR. Speaking of, only the Ultra has Dolby Atmos, but both do have Dolby Audio and DTS Digital Surround.

It goes without saying that they have access to pretty much the same services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more. There’s also The Roku Channel, the company’s free ad-supported streaming service, which is available right from the get-go.

Click here to see our comparison between the Roku Streaming Stick Plus and Fire TV Stick.

Features and Connectivity

The Roku Ultra has more features and a longer wireless range than the Ultra LT.

Roku Ultra vs Ultra LT Features and Connectivity
A closer look at the ports of the Roku Ultra (left) and the Ultra LT (right).

The remotes of the Roku Ultra and Ultra LT are similar in that they have voice search, TV controls, and a headphone jack for private listening. However, the former takes it up a notch with personal shortcuts and a lost remote finder. Both do come with a pair of headphones out of the box, so there’s that.

These streaming devices also have Ethernet ports for a more stable and faster wired connection. Needless to say, each one has an HDMI port, but only the Ultra ships with an HDMI cable as standard. 

One noticeable difference between them is the Ultra has a USB port for external hard drives, while the Ultra LT has a microSD slot for extra storage. Last but not least, the Ultra has Bluetooth for casting music and podcast to the TV, as well as a longer wireless range than the Ultra LT.

In short, the Ultra’s remote is better than the Ultra LT’s, and it has better wireless connectivity to boot.

Price and Value

The Roku Ultra LT is more affordable, but that doesn’t automatically mean it gives more value for money.

Roku Ultra vs Ultra LT Price and Value
Here’s what the Roku Ultra (left) and Ultra LT (right) come with.

The price gap between the Roku Ultra and Ultra LT isn’t that wide. To be more exact, it’s only a couple of dollars.

How much bang for the buck you can get really depends on whether the additional features and better specs of the Ultra will be useful to you. To reiterate, that includes better video and audio, a more feature-packed remote, and better connectivity, not to mention there’s the HDMI cable bundled with the streaming device.

Click here to see how Roku’s cheapest devices, the Express and Premiere, compare to each other.

Verdict

The Roku Ultra is essentially a better, beefier version of the Ultra LT.

In summary, the Roku Ultra has more to offer than the Ultra LT. It has Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, a longer wireless range, a lost remote finder feature, personal shortcuts, Bluetooth streaming, and an included HDMI cable. The Ultra LT only has the upper hand in price, but not by much.

On that note, our pick here is the Ultra. Really, the only reason to get the Ultra LT is if money’s tight or if you got a Walmart gift card for Christmas or something like that.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Roku Ultra and Ultra LT?

The Roku Ultra can deliver better video and audio experience than the Ultra LT. It also has better wireless range, more features, and a USB port for external storage devices as opposed to a microSD card slot.

📌 Is Roku Ultra worth the extra money?

Yes, the Roku Ultra has Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, a lost remote finder feature, Bluetooth, and personal shortcuts, all of which the Ultra LT doesn’t have.

📌 What is the Roku Ultra LT?

A Walmart-exclusive, the Roku Ultra LT is a cheaper version of the Ultra. While it has fewer features, it can stream up to 4K with HDR and provides access to popular services like Netflix and Hulu, as well as The Roku Channel.

📌 What’s free on Roku?

Roku devices can get free access to The Roku Channel, which is ad-supported. Other free channels include YouTube, ABC, CBS News, and Smithsonian, among others.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.