3rd-gen Fire TV Cube announced with improved performance, WiFi 6E, new ports, and more

Amazon has announced the all-new 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube with huge improvements to performance, connectivity, and port selection. Being the shape of a cube and having hands-free voice capabilities like an Echo Dot is about the only thing similar between the new and previous Fire TV Cube, as numerous other aspects have changed including the addition of built-in Ethernet, WiFi 6E, HDMI-in, and more.

The new Fire TV Cube loses the glossy black exterior of the previous generation in exchange for a black fabric wrap that resembles what you find on Echo speakers, which makes sense considering the Fire TV Cube still has a built-in speaker for Alexa communication while the TV is off. On top are still the familiar volume buttons for said speaker, a microphone mute button, and an action button for summoning Alexa manually. Around back is where things have changed drastically. Gone is the micro USB port of the old Fire TV Cube, which accepted the included Ethernet dongle, and in its place is finally a built-in Ethernet port and a full-sized USB-A port. Unfortunately, the Ethernet port is still just a 10/100 Mbps port, so there is no gigabit capabilities, and the USB port is still just a USB 2.0 port. As you’d expect, there is still a power port, HDMI out port, and IR extender port. The unexpected addition is a new HDMI in port for connecting other video sources to the Fire TV Cube, such as a cable box for better hands-free control of live TV.

Of course, the new Fire TV Cube is capable of 4K UHD video at 60 fps and supports all the best high dynamic range formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG. New with this model is support for AV1 video decoding which is quickly gaining in popularity over H.265 video thanks to a strong push from Google and YouTube. Powering the new streamer is an Amlogic POP1-G octa-core CPU with 4x 2.2 GHz CA73 cores and 4x 2.0 GHz CA53 cores, along with an ARM G52 MP8 800 MHz GPU. All together Amazon says the new Fire TV Cube is 20% more powerful than the outgoing model and 2 times as powerful as the Fire TV Stick 4K Max. As well as just making apps launch faster and the experience of using the device smoother, the additional power is said to facilitate what Amazon is calling Super Resolution Upscaling, which Amazon says will make HD video look better on 4K screens with “better detail, contrast, and clarity.” Supported audio formats include Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, and HDMI passthrough for other formats.

The Fire TV Cube continues to have 2GB of RAM and remains the only Fire TV model with 16GB of internal storage. What has been upgraded, however, is its WiFi capabilities with the addition of WiFi 6E, which is a step up from even the Fire TV Stick 4K Max’s included WiFi 6. Of course, the new Cube is still compatible with the usual 802.11ac and older WiFi 5 routers.

Included with the new Fire TV Cube is the same remote that comes with Fire TV Smart TVs, which is a first for a stand-alone Fire TV device. Compared to the 3rd-gen Alexa Voice Remote that the other Fire TV devices come with, the remote included with the Fire TV Cube 3 gains channel up/down buttons, as well as dedicated buttons for settings and recent apps. Amazon has also announced a new Alexa Voice Remote Pro being sold separately, which I’ll cover separately in another article. The Cube still has an array of 4 microphones for hands-free control if you don’t want to use a remote at all. The Cube continues to have built-in 360-degree IR blasters for controlling TV and soundbar power, volume, and input. There is still an IR extender port on the back, for when the built-in blasters can’t see a device or you put the Cube in a cabinet, but the external IR Blaster itself is no longer included and sold separately for $14.99.

The all-new Fire TV Cube is available to pre-order now for $139.99 and will be released on October 25th.

Pricing & Availability:

Update: This article originally incorrectly stated that the included remote was the same as other stand-alone Fire TV models. It has now been corrected to state that the included remote is the same one that comes with Fire TV Smart TVs.

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  1. William Bedford says:

    Wow – dual HDMI ports, GB ethernet, AV1….. Im in!!

  2. Greg says:

    Ordered!! I did not see the Alexa Voice Remote Pro (pictured) on the Amazon pre-order page. They had some other remote pictured. Hopefully, it will be the Pro.

  3. Jeff says:

    Can you play audio from this for movies, TV shows, live TV, like you can with Echo Dot from for example Fire TV 4K/Max?

  4. clocks says:

    The fabric cover looks nice, but makes it really hard to keep dust off.

  5. Strang says:

    What do you think will be done with HDMI input? Another new OTA device coming that requires Cube to work? Or will they support direct control of a cable box? Or something with game consoles?

    I assume a USB-A port means that we can use USB sticks plugged in directly to increase storage. Hopefully it is USB 3.0.

    Built-in Ethernet is more convenient.

    Too bad they still didn’t increase the internal storage or RAM.

  6. clocks says:

    This came with everything I wanted. Primarily a faster SoC, 4k upscaling(like the Shield), and AV1. The USB port, wifi 6e and ethernet are nice pluses also, though internet speeds have never been an issue for me on my streaming devices. I guess the only think I can think of that I didn’t get was a backlite remote, but I guess now I can buy that separately.

    Now if Amazon would just stopped pushing my “Recently watched” list down on the GUI for their football and rings of power crap, I would be really happy.

  7. 666 says:

    Anyone knows what processador it is? Amlogic?

  8. Shirley Dulcey says:

    Looks like a worthy successor all around. Most of the things that were on wish lists for the upgrade are present, plus the bonus of upscaling of HD content. More storage would have been welcome.

    So far as I know, the HDMI input will just be something you can switch to; there won’t be any special control of it included in the Cube. It will be handy if you’re running out of HDMI inputs on your TV or AV receiver.

    Might have to wait a while for discounts. It’s launching after the October Prime Day, and I would be surprised to see it show up with a significant discount on Black Friday.

  9. Xiaolei says:

    A must upgrade! Can we trade-in the old model?

    • Shirley Dulcey says:

      You can trade in any model of Fire TV or Fire TV Stick for a 20% discount. Whether that’s enough of an incentive is your call. You might do better to keep your current Cube for a secondary TV setup.

      Picking up a old model of Stick cheaply on Craigslist or eBay just to trade it in might be worthwhile; it will save you $28 on the new Cube.

      • Xiaolei says:

        I have a 2nd fire tv box (2015 version), a fire tv stick 4k, and a 2nd fire tv cube. It looks like they don’t accept fire tv cube just yet..

        I tried to trade-in the box and the stick. It just offers a flat 20% off no matter whether I trade-in them together or just one of them. That’s a bit disappointing. I was hoping to trade in all three of them for a higher discount..

        • Gregory says:

          I was able to trade in my 1st gen Cube. I had to select the basic 3rd gen cube, apply the trade-in then select the 3rd gen with Pro remote.

          Like someone else mentioned, I’ll now get two remotes. The basic 3rd gen remote and the optional Pro remote – how bogus is that?

  10. Martin Phillp says:

    I’m sold! It’s everything I think most of us wished for.

    Inbuilt Ethernet adaptor, a new remote with custom app preferences, upscaling as with the current Nvidia Shield.

    The trade-off is no longer suppling the IR blaster which I’ve never used with my 2nd gen Cube.

    I don’t think I’ll trade my 2nd Gen cube though, it’s still a decent streaming device which can be used in a secondary room.

  11. Bacon says:

    I’m interested in what kind of passthru the HDMI In/Out ports have. Would be nice if it’s HDMI 2.1 compliant and can pass 4k120 VRR signals.

  12. Charlie says:

    Built in Ethernet, without the awkward dongle and a USB port. At 140.00 the expectation should be high. Not sure what you do with HDMI in. I have three 2’s, but October is the month to be impulsive over streamers.

  13. Ian William McKinney says:

    I’ll definitely be upgrading, but I’m going to wait and see if it will be a deal next month on October Prime Day. I’m in good shape now with what I have, so I can be patient for a deal.

  14. roligov says:

    Still only 100MB Ethernet, FireOS 7 and same memory and storage…Pass.

    You called it @Elias…Model is AFTGAZL: https://developer.amazon.com/docs/fire-tv/device-specifications-fire-tv-cube.html?v=ftvcubegen3

    • clocks says:

      Why does someone need 1gb ethernet for a streaming device? 4k is well under 100meg. I suspect the only reason this has ethernet is for the people in apartments than struggle with congested wifi. Wifi 6e should easily be able to handle what this cube would be used for. I would love to see the metrics on how many people actually use ethernet on their streaming devices. I suspect is is 2-4%.

      • Shirley Dulcey says:

        Gigabit is useless for streaming current content; nothing even gets close to 100 Mbps. Future content like HFR 4K video might get closer. But it’s useful for people who have a NAS and use Plex to play content from it; that local video might have higher bit rates.

        The real advantage of wired is that it always works. Also, it doesn’t use up air bandwidth that you might prefer to keep available for portable devices like laptops, tablets, and phones.

      • Pawdog says:

        If you have tried to playback 4k remuxes from you local collection you would know why. They often peak at well over 100Mbps and usually wifi can’t handle it so it’s common for us to use Ethernet.

      • BobR says:

        At this price, I’d expect GbE. Sure the WiFi can handle it, but I use Ethernet whenever possible. While you don’t need GbE to stream normal 4k, even YouTube TV pulls down content on my Apple TV (GbE) at 180+ Mbps vs. 90+ on Fire devices (10/100)

    • clocks says:

      Also, I wonder if that doc is entirely accurate, since it does not list AV1.

  15. The Skulls playlist says:

    not worth the money that’s for sure kind of low end specs too

  16. leaperk says:

    I have a USB Headphones that work with GOOGLE TV with Andriod. I am wondering if USB Audio will be enabled via the USB port.

  17. Brantome says:

    No mention of whether it supports eArc like the 4K max stick so other audio can be played on an echo home theatre group.

  18. BobR says:

    Lots of cool additions and the remote looks like a winner. When I first read 2 HDMI ports, I was thinking cool 1 HDMI out for the AVR and one HDMI out for the TV, but alas one is IN. I hope you can turn off the upscaling in software (match the input). However, my biggest issue is the price. Last week I picked up 2 more Apple TVs at $120 just in case. Not sure which way I’ll go, but I won’t get the new remote + cube at that price.

  19. Sunrise495 says:

    Will is support / really play 10 bit video… the gen. 2 box says it will…. but I can’t make that happen…

  20. clocks says:

    So any chance this SoC is powerful enough to run a Plex server off of, similar to the Shield can do?

  21. fired says:

    Support for 4K on the hdmi input? Also would be nice if it could do picture in picture with fire tv content / hdmi input?

  22. LedHed says:

    Will Gen3 support Kids Profiles? They pulled this feature from the Gen2 Cubes.

  23. Careca says:

    No mention of Dolby Vision Profile 5 in the specs? Specially with proper FEL support, like offered by CCwGTV (but with no lossless sound support)?

    Also, I saw TrueHD/Atmos in the spec but nothing about DTS. IS DTS-HD MA supported?

    • Careca says:

      Meant profile 7

    • Pawdog says:

      I missed the TrueHD part where was that? That would be a game changer.All I saw was Dolby Atmos where I was looking.

      • Ckought says:

        Yeah, One of the big disappointments with the 2nd gen was that it doesn’t support lossless surround sound codecs even though they heavily marketed that it does Atmos, which is why I bought it. Then I get it and hook it up to my surround system, and none of my movies with Atmos encoded sound play unless they’re transcoded down to a lossy format. I guess the disappointment continues . . .

        • Shirley Dulcey says:

          I would imagine their main focus is streaming, and nobody streams lossless audio with movies because of bandwidth limitations. If they were going to use that many extra bits they would probably be better spent on improving the video encoding. It’s not like discs where you have room for both.

        • Red says:

          Streaming Atmos – Dolby Digital Plus + Atmos – should work.

          Could you elaborate on playing TrueHD?

          How are you playing the media – Plex, Emby, etc?

          What is your audio gear?

          To what was TrueHD transcoded – PCM, EAC3, Opus, etc?

          Reason I’m asking is that the spec sheet mentions Dolby MAT and TrueHD.

          Wondering if the box might support using MAT for TrueHD + Atmos. This converts the TrueHD to PCM and then sends PCM + Atmos to the sound equipment. However, not all equipment supports this.


      • Careca says:


        AC3 (Dolby Digital)/ EAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus) /Atmos(DDP+JOC)/AC4(Atmos)/Dolby TrueHD(Atmos)

        • Pawdog says:

          Thanks, but does this mean they totally skipped DTS? That’s like one step forward and two steps back. Oh well they almost made a great device.

  24. Ckought says:

    Disappointed on the 10/100 ethernet. I can spike over 100 when playing high bitrate 4K video from my local server. Here’s hoping that it’ll allow a gigabit ethernet adapter to be plugged into the USB port. Even though the USB is 2.0 (so won’t do the full gigabit) it would allow it to go to almost half a gigabit.

    I wonder how they justified putting a chip in it to do WiFi 6E, but couldn’t justify putting in a chip to do gigabit ethernet and USB C (3.0 or above).

    • clocks says:

      Maybe a lot more people use wifi than ethernet. Literally everyone I know IRL uses wifi to connect their streaming devices.

      • Pawdog says:

        Most people are also not using the $140 device so Amazon is halfway going for the advanced user and missing out. Same with the USB 2.0 port. It’s like they are afraid to be great.

    • Pawdog says:

      Wifi 6 is a current buzzword but how many people even have a full wifi 6 network? Amazon is all about the marketing.

    • sunrise495 says:

      Are you able to play a 10-bit video via your 2nd gen. box?? My will not play it… but my internal “built into the Tv” Android OS will???? And I believe I am using the correct hdmi cable.

  25. badbob001 says:

    Disappointed about the 10/100 ethernet. Perhaps most people just use the faster wifi?

    For my current gen1 cube, I have a third-party gigabit ethernet to microusb adapter (up to 480mb/s due to usb 2.0) that can match my 300mb/s internet connection. Do you think I can ignore the cube3’s built-in 10/100 ethernet and use my third-party ethernet adapter with a microusb-female to usb-a male adapter?

  26. RG Geiger says:

    This hardware package rocks. But, to make me upgrade I need to see the software upgraded with ambient intelligence. Alexa widgets;-)

  27. Amazon wants full control of the TV. So Alexa will be used to handle it all with those 2 HDMI ports in/out.

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