Amazon sells many different Fire TV streaming devices, from stick-shaped players to the big Fire TV Cube, and many smart TVs have the same software. Today, Amazon revealed the third-gen Fire TV Cube as its best streaming player to date.
Like the previous model, the Fire TV Cube is a media streaming box and Alexa-powered smart speaker in one device. Fire TV OS software includes access to the most popular streaming services, as well as some games; the company has been heavily promoting its Luna game streaming service. Fire TV Cube can listen for voice commands and, if the TV is off, it can broadcast a response through the built-in speaker.
The new Fire TV Cube drops the Borg Cube-like plastic casing, in favor of a black felt material that mirrors Amazon’s Echo speakers. However, most of the improvements are under the hood. It’s 20% faster than the previous model and supports 4K audio, Dolby Vision, HDR, and Dolby Atmos. Amazon also added Wi-Fi 6E support, which should help with streaming…provided you also have a Wi-Fi 6E router.
There’s also an HDMI input for the first time, in addition to the regular TV out, which is designed primarily for use with a cable box. Amazon says you can use voice commands like “Alexa, tune to ESPN on cable.” Over-the-air TV integration was a selling point for previous Fire TV Cube models: You could buy a Fire TV Recast box, hook it up to an antenna, and watch local stations from any Fire TV. However, that device was discontinued earlier this year and there is no replacement in sight.
You can pre-order the new Fire TV Cube starting today for $139.99. That’s a slight price increase over the previous model, which started at $119.99. Fortunately, Fire and Echo product sales are frequent, like next month’s big sale event.