Amazon is upgrading the remote control for its $40 Fire TV Stick, giving it the same volume and power controls as the company’s Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube streamers.
The new remote has a built-in infrared emitter and buttons for power, volume, and mute, allowing it to control TVs, soundbars, and A/V receivers. You can also use Alexa voice commands to change channels on cable and satellite TV boxes, and the remote can even pass along commands from a separate Amazon Echo speaker, allowing you to control the TV hands-free.
Although the remote is getting an upgrade, the Fire TV Stick itself remains the same. This is still the second-generation model that launched in late 2016, and its performance already felt a bit sluggish back then. Even if you don’t have a 4K TV, there’s still a strong case for spending $10 more on the much faster Fire TV Stick 4K.
Amazon also sells the remote by itself and is knocking price down from $30 to $15 for a limited time. This would be a good time to upgrade if you already have a Fire TV Stick, have a third-generation Fire TV pendant, or purchased the Fire TV Cube before Amazon began bundling the new remote with it.
Why this matters: Amazon recently boasted of having 30 million active Fire TV users, and the Fire TV Stick was the best-selling product among Prime members in 2018. Clearly, not having TV volume and power controls hasn’t been a dealbreaker for lots of people, but it really is a revelation when you’re able to leave other remote controls behind. If you’re cutting the cable cord, and consolidating to a single TV device, the new remote will be a major upgrade.