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Amazon Updates Fire TV Stick 4K Max with Wi-Fi 6E, Ambient Experience, and More

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Here's some great news for fans of Amazon's Fire TV ecosystem.

Yesterday, September 20, 2023, the online retail giant announced a range of major updates to the product line. They include two refreshed streaming sticks, a new soundbar, better AI-based voice search, and the new TV Ambient Experience.

Update: The review of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max 2nd Gen is now available.

The All New Fire TV Stick 4K Max
The All-New Fire TV Stick 4K Max has rounded corners and is slightly more compact than the previous version.

All-New Fire TV Stick 4K Max: Now with the Fire TV Ambient Experience, more processing power, 2x storage, and Wi-Fi 6E

The first new hardware is the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max that replaces the previous version of the same name.

This new 4K Max is the replacement hardware -- it seems Amazon no longer sells the original version. While that alleviates the confusion, the old hardware won't get what the new one offers via a simple firmware update.

The new 4K Max is slated to be the most powerful add-on Fire TV Stick yet. Per Amazon, it comes with an upgraded 2.0 GHz quad-core CPU, an 850MHz GPU, doubles the storage space to 16GB to hold more apps, and has enough hardware power to support 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos audio.

Additionally, it's the first stick that features Wi-Fi 6E with up to 2400Mbps of lag-free wireless connection speed and the new Fire TV Ambient Experience.

Fire TV Ambient Experience: turning your TV into an artwork display and more

Fire TV Ambient Experience, previously only available on the Fire TV Omni QLED Series, transforms the big screen into more than just a TV.

This feature can be activated via the Alexa button, voice command, or a shortcut on the menu to replace the blank TV screen with helpful information -- calendar items, reminders, sticky notes, control smart devices -- or beautiful artwork.

The latter functions similarly to the Netgear Meural without a subscription. Amazon says it currently has some 2,000 free, gallery-quality artworks from famous artists worldwide and notable institutions, including MusΓ©e d'Orsay in Paris, Museo del Prado in Madrid, and Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Florence. More arts are added regularly. Users can choose from motion graphics, landscape art, personalized and always-evolving dynamic art, and personal photos.

The Ambient Experience features will soon allow users to create art via AI Art. This free feature is slated to be first available in the US by the end of the year. You can use it to generate personalized backgrounds by giving Alexa a prompt, such as "Alexa, create an image of cherry blossoms in the snow," and watch that command being translated into a unique artsy result on the screen.

Overall, these updates make the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max the ultimate add-on streamer of the ecosystem. It's available now for pre-order for $60, and start shipping before the month is out.

Fire TV Stick 4K: A lesser hardware unit for less

If $60 seems high, you opt for the all-new Fire TV Stick 4K, which is $10 cheaper.

Amazon says this less hardware unit supports Wi-Fi 6 and "features an updated 1.7 GHZ quad-core processor, making it nearly 30% more powerful than the previous generation."

The Stick 4K doesn't have the cool Fire TV Ambient Experience feature above, but it has enough to deliver 4K Ultra HD picture quality with Dolby Atmos audio, Dolby Vision, HDR, HLG, and HDR10+. Alexa Home Theater enables it to wirelessly connect to compatible Echo devices for audio across multiple speakers and inputs.

Amazon Fire TV Soundbar
The all-new Amazon Fire TV Soundbar.

Fire TV overall experience updates and a new soundbar

Besides the two new replacement streamers above, Amazon announced today its upgraded Fire TV experience via firmware updates.

The company says the new experience "enhances search, browse, and recommendations by combining generative AI with Fire TV's extensive entertainment content and app libraryβ€”enabling customers to find and discover content in a natural, contextual, and conversational way."

You now can talk to the remote using open-ended questions about TV shows using natural and conversational language instead of using rigid commands, such as "action movies with car chases," "comedies for a rainy day inside," or "animated movies that are free to me." Or you can tell Alexa what you're in the mood to watch and view a selection of recommendations.

Finally, the Fire TV family gets an all-new Soundbar, a two-channel compact 24-inch companion device supporting DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Audio. Amazon says the Soundbar is simple to set up and compatible with all Fire TV devices. It can also be used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker.

Pricing and Availability

As mentioned, the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max and TV Stick 4K are available for pre-order today for $59.99 and $49.99, respectively. They'll start shipping before the month is out. The new Fire TV Soundbar is shipping today for $119.99.

Their prices will likely go down during special sale events.

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6 thoughts on “Amazon Updates Fire TV Stick 4K Max with Wi-Fi 6E, Ambient Experience, and More”

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  1. Hi Dong,
    Great review, very succinct. Do you have an opinion on the new Fire Stick 4K Max vs the Fire Cube? I’ve checked the comparison on the Amazon website and still can’t decide.
    Thank you,
    David

    Reply
    • They use the same platform (firmware) so are similar, David. The Cube is larger and can house more hardware so it’s faster and is also has an echo (speaker) built-in. And that’s about it.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the speedy reply! Since I already have an Echo, I decided to buy a Fire Stick during the sale. Now, for coolness factor, all I need is an inexpensive wifi 6e AP to pair with the speedy new Stick!

        Reply
          • Dong, I’m still happily in the Dark Ages with a Netgear R7000 that has been solid as a rock for maybe 10 years now. I really don’t feel much of a real-world difference between my O.G. Nighthawk and the blistering fiber optic speeds we have at work, even with 4k and whatnot. BUT, maybe it’s time to upgrade to the cool factor of wifi 6/6e. Interestingly, for another $110 dollars, I could get the BE550 you reviewed earlier today, use the 6GHz band for my newer devices {like the Fire Stick), and also take advantage of the four 2.5 Gbps LAN ports, while increasing the throughput on the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, all just to have wifi 7 bragging rights!

            Thank you for taking the time and effort to make us all a little smarter. I tried to buy you a cup of coffee via PayPal but I don’t see “the button.” On my way back to look for it now. Thanks again!

          • That R7000 is a good router, David. I remember it well. If you refresh the page, the button will appears, David. Thanks for letting me know and the support.

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