Our Tech Editor’s #1 Pick for Black Friday This Year

Here's what our Tech Editor is adding to her cart ahead of Black Friday (and you should too).

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It may be hard to believe, but Black Friday is almost here! If you’re counting down the days until the biggest holiday sales of the year, you’re probably scouring ads, turning over the age-old Target vs. Walmart debate for the best deals to score, and readying gift lists.

The good news? Some of the best Black Friday tech deals are already here, and as a Tech Editor, there’s one sale I’m particularly excited about: the Roku Ultra Streaming Device with JBL Headphones.

I spend countless hours on streaming devices evaluating the hottest new shows and the set-top boxes that enable everyone to enjoy it. I’ve tried it all, from affordable Chromecasts to pricy Apple TVs and more. But it’s this unassuming Roku device that wows me. Not only does it offer impressive quality, but it’s affordable and functional in ways that even devices for double and triple the price just aren’t. Plus, it’s already on sale ahead of Black Friday.

What is the Roku Ultra Streaming Device?

Roku Ultra Streaming Device Via Roku.comVia Roku.com

The Roku Ultra Streaming Device with JBL Headphones is one of Roku’s newer streaming devices. It comes with everything you need to make every night a movie or TV night (Christmas movies, anyone?). The set-top box offers lightning-fast menu browsing, channel surfing, and media loading for your favorite streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney Plus, Spotify, Peacock, and everything in between. The Roku is a quick and easy way to organize and play all of your favorite content.

The Roku kit has a voice-enabled remote and a pair of JBL headphones for private viewing and listening. You also get two AA Duracell batteries, a power adapter, and a premium HDMI cable. That’s everything you need to get started and queue up Seinfeld reruns.

What makes the Roku Ultra Streaming Device so special?

The Roku Ultra is one of the simplest and easiest ways to watch your favorite content. The device offers crisp, colorful 4K streaming with Dolby Vision picture and immersive Dolby Atmos sound. You won’t have to deal with cut-rate image quality or sound that makes it hard to follow conversations. You just get awesome-looking TV.

There’s no complicated setup required. Simply hook up your Roku device via the included HDMI cable, power it up with a wall outlet, and you’re ready to go. Connect to your Wi-Fi network with Roku’s fastest, best wireless connectivity yet, and you’ll have smooth and reliable TV streaming in any room in the house. You can also opt to watch via wired Ethernet connection, or even connect to an Amazon smart plug to further automate your Roku viewing experience.

The included voice-enabled remote also comes jam-packed with features. Use your voice to control the TV volume, search through channels, or create shortcuts to your favorite shows. You can also use the remote as a listening device. Simply plug in the included premium JBL headphones for a silent watch party while family or friends are asleep. Here are some of the best wireless headphones, if JBL isn’t your brand.

You’ll never lose this remote, either. Simply press the button located on the Roku set-top box and a sound will play to help you locate your remote. Pretty awesome, right?

Why I’m gifting it this year

I’m crazy about the Roku Ultra. I’ve already picked up a couple of devices for each bedroom in my home, and two to give as holiday tech gifts. I’ve spent so much time with more expensive, lower quality devices with fewer features and lengthier setup processes—only to be disappointed. This Roku device is small and unobtrusive, and it just works.

It functions with all the TV models I’ve used, including hotel and Airbnb TVs that I know nothing about. It really was simple to get started and watch my favorite shows miles away from home without the TV settings I recognize.

Watching streaming media should be easy. This Black Friday buy makes it extremely fast, affordable, and enjoyable to get started on that show you’ve been meaning to try.

Where can I get the Roku Ultra Streaming Device on sale for Black Friday?

The best thing about picking up this budget-priced, brilliant streaming device? You can buy it on sale right now on Amazon. You can also pick one up on the official Roku website, or at Kohl’s, Walmart, Best Buy, or Target. It’s currently on sale as part of Amazon’s early Black Friday deals for just $69. That’s $30 cheaper than its regular price of $99.99, which makes it a fantastic and affordable gift for anyone on your holiday list.

Again, so you know what you’re getting: the package comes with the Roku Ultra 4K streaming set-top box, a voice remote with one-touch control, and a pair of wired, premium JBL headphones so you can watch your favorite shows with private, discreet audio if you want to avoid disturbing others. And don’t forget to browse some of the other best sales this week as we inch closer to Black Friday. Santa’s sleigh is going to be filled with Rokus this year.

Roku Ultra Streaming Device Via Amazon.comVia Amazon.com

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Brittany Vincent
As Tech Editor at Large at Reader’s Digest, Brittany is an expert in smart devices, gaming consoles, and home tech with 14 years of experience in the industry. She’s been tinkering with tech since she was a young girl building PCs with her father.