The Roku remote still has a key advantage over the new Apple TV remote

Roku 3AmazonA Roku 3

The remote control for the new Apple TV, the streaming box Apple announced on Wednesday, is pretty fancy.

Thanks to a gyroscope and accelerometer, it can recognise movement, so it doubles as a motion-sensitive gamepad. It also has a glass touchpad that allows people to interact with the Apple TV’s interface by swiping around the remote.

It even has a microphone built in so you can find movies and TV shows just by asking, or go back in time 15 seconds during a program just by asking “what did she just say?”

But the remote for the Roku 3, the top of the line streaming box from Roku, has Apple’s remote beat in one key area: the headphone jack that allows for private listening.

Roku 3 remote with headphones plugged inSteve Kovach/Business InsiderThe remote control for the Roku 3

I cannot emphasise enough how great a feature this is, as it allows a person to watch something on TV without disturbing other people in the room, especially at night if someone is trying to sleep. A person can stream a TV show while another person sleeps or gets work done in private. And it works incredibly well — my girlfriend and I use it at least once each week when we don’t want to watch the same TV show or movie at the same time.

(PlayStation 4 owners enjoy something similar, since its DualShock 4 controller also comes with a headphone jack so you can play without disturbing others.)

The Roku 3, which is probably the best streaming box available for most people right now because it has the most apps and is incredibly easy to use, is also less expensive than the new Apple TV. It starts at $US99, while the new Apple TV, which comes out in October, will start at $US149. (You can also buy the old Apple TV, which costs $US69, but that doesn’t come with a headphone jack either.)

Apple TVAppleThe remote control for the new Apple TV.

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