Roku 3 vs. Roku 2 XS: Which Streaming Device Reigns Supreme?

Understanding the differences between Roku 3 and Roku 2 XS can be quite crucial for anyone looking to purchase a streaming device. The task set out by the prompt is to compare and contrast these two Roku models, breaking down their features, benefits, and limitations. This article will guide you through the key points of comparison, ultimately helping you decide which device is the right fit for your streaming needs.

After completing this comparison, you’ll have a better understanding of which Roku model fits your preferences and usage requirements. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or simply looking for an easy way to access your favorite streaming services, this article will provide you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.


In the world of streaming devices, Roku has consistently been a front-runner. Known for their user-friendly interfaces and wide range of available channels, Roku devices are a popular choice for cord-cutters and streaming enthusiasts alike. But with various models available, it can be tough to decide which one to purchase. That’s where the Roku 3 and Roku 2 XS come into play. These two models, although not the latest in Roku’s lineup, are still widely used and offer a range of features that appeal to different users.

The Roku 3, released in 2013, brought with it a faster processor and a remote with voice search and motion control for gaming. On the other hand, the Roku 2 XS, released a couple of years earlier, still holds its ground with essential features and a lower price point. Understanding the differences between these two models is crucial for anyone in the market for a streaming device. It’s not just about picking the newest model; it’s about finding the right balance of features, performance, and cost. Whether you’re streaming Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video, or even looking for gaming capabilities, choosing between the Roku 3 and Roku 2 XS can significantly impact your streaming experience.

Roku 3 vs. Roku 2 XS Step by Step Comparison

This section will help you compare the Roku 3 and Roku 2 XS in terms of features, performance, and user experience.

Step 1: Compare Processing Power and Speed

The first step is to look at the processing power and speed of both devices.

The Roku 3 boasts a faster processor than the Roku 2 XS, which means it can load channels and content more quickly. This is particularly noticeable when navigating the menu or playing games that require a responsive interface.

Step 2: Evaluate the Remote Controls

Examine the features of the remote controls for both devices.

While the Roku 2 XS has a standard remote control, the Roku 3’s remote includes voice search, which allows you to find content by speaking into the remote, and motion control for gaming, a feature that’s great for more interactive entertainment.

Step 3: Assess Channel Availability and User Interface

Check the channel availability and user interface on both models.

Both the Roku 3 and Roku 2 XS offer access to thousands of channels, but the Roku 3’s interface is more user-friendly and intuitive, making it easier to find and access your favorite content quickly.

Step 4: Consider the Additional Features

Consider any additional features that each model offers.

The Roku 3 comes with a headphone jack on the remote for private listening, which is a convenient feature if you don’t want to disturb others while watching. The Roku 2 XS, while lacking this feature, still offers all the essential functions you’d expect from a streaming device.


Faster ProcessorThe Roku 3’s faster processor allows for quicker navigation and loading of content, providing a smoother user experience compared to the Roku 2 XS.
Enhanced RemoteWith voice search and motion control for gaming, the Roku 3’s remote offers additional functionalities that enhance user interaction and convenience.
Private ListeningThe headphone jack on the Roku 3’s remote is a unique feature that allows for private listening, making it ideal for watching without disturbing others.


Higher CostThe Roku 3 is generally more expensive than the Roku 2 XS, which might not be justifiable for those who don’t need the additional features.
Limited Game OptionsWhile the Roku 3 has motion control for gaming, the selection of games is still relatively limited compared to dedicated gaming consoles.
Obsolete ModelsBoth the Roku 3 and Roku 2 XS are older models and may lack some of the latest features and updates found in newer Roku devices.

Additional Information

When considering the Roku 3 vs. Roku 2 XS, it’s important to look at the current landscape of streaming devices. Since the release of these models, Roku has introduced newer devices with more advanced features, such as 4K streaming capabilities and improved wireless performance. However, for those on a budget or with specific needs, the Roku 3 and Roku 2 XS may still hold value.

One key point to consider is the compatibility with your current television and home setup. Both models work well with most HDTVs, but if you have a newer 4K TV, you might want to consider a newer Roku model that supports 4K content. Additionally, the Roku 3’s faster performance might be more appealing for those with larger channel libraries or who frequently switch between apps.

Remember, the Roku ecosystem is known for its simplicity and ease of use. Both the Roku 3 and Roku 2 XS maintain that user-friendly experience, making them accessible to all ages and tech-savviness levels. Plus, with access to Roku’s extensive channel store, you’ll have no shortage of content to stream, from movies and TV shows to music and live sports.


  1. Compare processing power and speed.
  2. Evaluate the remote controls.
  3. Assess channel availability and user interface.
  4. Consider the additional features.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Roku 3 stream 4K content?

No, the Roku 3 does not support 4K streaming. For 4K content, you’ll need to look at newer Roku models.

Is the Roku 2 XS still a viable option for streaming?

Yes, the Roku 2 XS is still a viable option for basic streaming needs, although it lacks some of the newer features and updates found in recent models.

Do I need a Roku device if I have a smart TV?

While many smart TVs come with built-in streaming capabilities, a Roku device can provide a more extensive selection of channels and a potentially more user-friendly interface.

Can I use the Roku 3’s remote with the Roku 2 XS?

No, the Roku 3’s remote is not compatible with the Roku 2 XS due to the different features and technologies used in each model.

How do I decide between the Roku 3 and Roku 2 XS?

Consider your budget, the features that are most important to you, and whether the additional capabilities of the Roku 3 are worth the higher cost compared to the Roku 2 XS.


In the showdown between Roku 3 vs. Roku 2 XS, the decision ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences. The Roku 3, with its faster performance, enhanced remote control, and convenient private listening feature, is a compelling choice for those seeking a more advanced streaming experience. However, for those on a tighter budget or with more basic streaming needs, the Roku 2 XS still holds its own as a reliable option.

As streaming technology continues to evolve, it’s essential to consider not only the features of the devices but also their longevity and compatibility with future updates and content. Whether you choose the Roku 3 or Roku 2 XS, you’ll be joining the Roku family, known for its ease of use and expansive content library. Happy streaming!

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