Our Picks for Best Android TV Boxes To Run Kodi Media Center

By | June 3, 2021


Kodi has become the go-to streaming media center for everyone from cable cutters, to anyone wanting a great media experience.

The basic requirements to run Kodi are listed as 3D capable GPU graphics hardware controller for all rendering, a Dual-core 2 GHz or better CPU, and 2GB of RAM.
Best Hardware Boxes KODI Media Center 2018
Of course, Kodi can be installed and used on slower machines but becomes laggy.

When it comes to Kodi boxes there are many to choose from and can vary wildly in hardware.
best-hardware-boxes-to-run-kodi-media-center-2016
As listed above they should have at least the basic specifications to run Kodi, but ideally faster.

The minimum hardware specification for a Kodi box should be at least 2GB RAM and an S912 CPU or better.
 
Page Table of Contents
Android TV Box CPUs
Best Kodi Media Center Boxes with Details and Review Links
Best High-End Boxes
Best Mid-Range Boxes
Best Budget Boxes
Best Combination Boxes
Summary
 
Android TV Box CPUs
Here are the basic processor’s Android TV boxes currently use and what to look for.

Keep in mind some processors will be better at a certain tasks even if they score lower. For example, while the RK3399 beats the S912 at most tasks, it lacks support for features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range).

M8 family (M805): Obsolete
S8 Family (S805): Obsolete
S905: Obsolete
S905X2: Good low-range CPU.
S905X3 Good mid-range CPU.
S905X4: High Performance
S912: Good low-range CPU.
RK3328: Good mid-range.
Review R99 4K Android TV Box 4GB RAM RK3399 Comparison 2
RK3399: High Performance
S922X: High Performance
NVIDIA Tegra X1: High Performance

After being sent boxes to review for the last few years here is our picks for the best options. The units come in all shapes sizes and price ranges.

In full disclosure some of these boxes have been sent to us from companies to review which we have done with our own honest opinion and results.

As always be sure to read reviews on Amazon, here, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is the right pick for you.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Our Picks For Best Android TV Boxes To Run Kodi Media Center
 
… Best High-End Boxes

  • MECOOL KM6
  • MECOOL Stream 4K ATV KM6 Google Certified Ultra 4K UHD 4G 64G 2.4G 5G WIFI6 Voice Remote Control Chromecast Build in Powered by Android TV Plug-in Smart TV

    Antutu Benchmark Score 101529

    The MECOOL KM6 is an Android TV box that has the S905X4 CPU and 4GB of RAM.

    Many Android TV box owners are familiar with the original S905 processor with the S905X4 a big improvement faster and better.
    Review MECOOL KM6 Android TV Box Deluxe Edition Overview
    It also has dual band WiFi-6, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 5.0, and 64GB of internal storage.

    While testing it played 4K videos @60 FPS and did well at basic game play.

    The WiFi tested at 71Mbps download speed which while not the best is good enough for the minimum 25Mbps 4K video requires to stream.

    The MECOOL KM6 is good for basic game play along with playing 4K videos and is a very good media player.

    Read Full Review Here of the MECOOL KM6 Android TV Box

  • Nvidia Shield
  • NVIDIA Shield TV | 4K HDR Streaming Media Player

    Antutu Benchmark Score 130766

    The Nvidia Shield is a very popular Kodi Android TV box that has many nice features.

    It has an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, 3GB Ram, 802.11ac WiFi, and USB 3.0.

    Two versions can be bought 16GB and 500GB that give more internal hard drive space. Most Kodi boxes don’t give this option and have limited internal space. If you have a large video library you want to store and play a 500 GB hard drive version can be bought.

    There is a new version of the Shield that has improvements over the older version.

    While more costly than other options it is a nice box to run Kodi on. The Nvidia Shield combined with Kodi is definitely a cable TV killer.

  • Beelink GT King Pro
  • TV Box, HSYPC Beelink GT King Pro TV Box , DDR4 4GB/64GB, S922X-H Quad-core ARM Cortex-A73 and Dual-core ARM Cortex-A53, 3D Video Player with Voice Remote Control 4K Android TV Box.

    Antutu Benchmark Score 94811

    The Beelink GT King Pro is an Android TV box that uses the S922X-H CPU along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage.

    It is more compact in size and made completely from metal. It also has 4 USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI, and SD card slot.
    Best Kodi Box Beelink King Pro
    The unit has a new Hi-Fi audio decoding chip which brings support for Dolby and DTS audio

    The bottom line this TV box performs more or less the same as the original Beelink GT King with the same powerful performance along with fast Wi-Fi.

    But of course, it has some added upgrades to the audio build quality and the ports.

    All-in-all this is definitely a nice box to use with Kodi.
     

  • X99 Android TV Box
  • X99 4GB 64GB Rockchip RK3399 Android 7.1 TV Box 2.4G&5GHz Dual WiFi BT4.0 1000M LAN USB3.0 Type-c Media Player with Wireless Mini Backlit Keyboard

    Antutu Benchmark Score 76606

    The X99 is an Android TV Box built to play high-resolution 4K UHD videos as well as games and other media.

    It comes with some impressive hardware with a fast RK3399 CPU and 4GB of DDR3 RAM.
    Review X99 4K Android TV BOX RK3399 4GB RAM 32GB ROM Power On Close
    The WiFi test did very good at 163Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload.

    AnTuTu also gave it a very good overall score of 76606 which is higher than the Fire TV Box without the restrictions.

    Read Full Review Here
     
    … Best Mid-Range Boxes

  • HK1 Android TV Box
  • Sofobod HK1 Box Smart TV Box Android 9.0, 4GB RAM 32GB ROM, S905X3 Quad Core 64bit Cortex-A55, GPU G31 MP2, 2.4G/5G Dual WiFi BT4.0 H.265 Decoding LAN 1000 RJ-45, HD 8K:HK1BOX 4+32

    Antutu Benchmark Score 72207

    The HK1 Android TV Box is a low-cost media center built to stream 4K videos at 60fps along with basic game-play.

    It has a S905X3 CPU which is a good processor for budget media players in 2020.
    Review HK1 Android TV Box S905X3 4GB RAM 128GB Internal Storage Overview 2
    It also has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage space.

    This makes it a good unit for those looking for a mid-range low-cost media center box that can play 4K video.

    Read Full Review Here

    … Best Budget Boxes

  • T95Z Plus
  • T95Z plus keyboard Android 7.1 TV Box Amlogic S912 Octa Core 3GB/32GB Dual Band WiFi 2.4GHz/5.0GHz 4K HD TV Box with Mini Wireless Keyboard

    Antutu Benchmark Score 51158

    The T95Z Plus uses the S912 Octa Core processor with 3GB of RAM.

    The S912 is an improvement over the S905 and a big improvement over the S805/S812 many older boxes ship with.
    AKASO T95Z PLUS TV BOX 4K Pre-installed Android 6.0 BEST unit
    While testing the WiFi was fast and maxed out a 50Mbps Download, and 5Mbps Upload connection. It also can play 720p, 1080p, or the new 4K Ultra HD videos.
     

  • T9 TV Box
  • T9 Android 9.0 TV Box 4GB DDR3 RAM 32GB ROM RK3318 Bluetooth 4.0 Quad-Core Cortex-A53 64 Bits Support Dual WiFi 2.4G/5G 4K 3D Ultra HD HDMI H.265

    Antutu Benchmark Score 37843

    The T9 Android TV box is a small unit built for those looking for a budget media center box.

    It has a RK3328 CPU and 4GB of RAM which makes it great for streaming HD videos or basic game-play.

    During testing, the WiFi was slow at 12Mbps Download and 9Mbps upload.

    While it will stream videos it would be best to run an Ethernet cable with the T9 for the best results.

    It had no problems playing HD 4K videos @60fps.

    Read Here for a Full Review T9
     
    Best Combination Boxes

  • GPD Win 2 Handheld Game Console
  • GPD Win 3-5.5 Inches Mini Handheld Video Game Console GamePlayer Windows 10 Laptop UMPC 1280×720 Touch Screen Tablet PC CPU Intel i5/I7 Processor,16GB LPDDR4,1TB NVMe SSD (CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7)

    The GPD Win is a Windows 10 small gaming unit that plays Kodi, games, or almost any Windows 10 software.

    It has roughly the same look as a Nintendo 3DS along with a nice button layout.

    It is a great device for those traveling and needing an all around entertainment device, from playing games to watching videos with Kodi.

    There is a built in battery which last 5-7 hours depending what it is being played.
     

      Summary
      Kodi TV boxes have changed a lot in the last few years going from 1GB of RAM to 3GB of RAM or more.

      A box with 2GB of RAM will still run Kodi but is not ideal for future updates and cost about the same for a box with 3-4GB of RAM.

      The processors have also changed with new units using the S905X3, S912, S922X, or better.

      Many of the older boxes are still sold so be wary of these older boxes, especially since the new ones cost almost the same.

      If you want the best one available most would agree that the Nvidia Shield is still the top box to get.

      Many of the lower-end cheap boxes run Kodi well but do require some technicality.

      For example, during a major update there will be almost no support, if any.

      With that said and having reviewed many units they do work and continue to work. I know people who bought a cheap box 2-3 years ago and continue to use it daily.

      Just keep in mind if a low-cost box has a problem you will need to get a bit technical. There are lots of YouTube videos and tutorials that can help.

      When buying a Kodi box read the reviews on Amazon to be sure it meets your technical ability.

      While any of these boxes will run Kodi they often come with some degree of setup that may not be for everyone.

       
       




       

13 thoughts on “Our Picks for Best Android TV Boxes To Run Kodi Media Center

  1. Kisse

    CAN someone explain to this Octageneran. I have a Global media android box which was sold to me by a Streaming provide who charges me &15 a month to be able to access BBC TV in the UK,& USA, ITV, Sports ie cricket, Rugby etc and lots of Asian Channels which I don’t watch.
    If I purchased a Newer Monster Box or Tanggula Box, do they come with the 1000 Channels and would I have to pay to access these channels? Is there a Website to Locate which Box provides access to which countries channel?

    Reply
    1. joseph dotson WI8Y

      you should have log in password and url for the app on your device, any box will work you just need the information to log in and download the app to use their service.

      Reply
  2. Gregory Peris

    I have an MyAB TX3mini 7.1 Android box from 2017, which is now lagging and need to download the Firmware update, but I cannot seem to find the firmware download from the internet, all I see is that for the Tanix TX3 mini Android box. Can someone help me with the update download file and also is it possible to update with the latter Tanix TX3 firmware or will I brick my box? Thanks.

    Reply
  3. Harold

    Is Kodi and its addons already installed on the Nvidia Shield box

    Reply
  4. Andreas Reiter

    One urgent criteria you may have forgotten to mention is the “HDMI passthrough” capability. Many boxes produce an anoying sound if you try to push DTS or higher to your AV-receiver.
    It would be really nice to take this criteria into the testing.

    Reply
  5. charley

    I Bought the Dolamee A95X boxfrom and love it 8.1 Oreo Quad core would buy again

    Reply
  6. MARK MORELLI

    Any ideas what to buy i currently have an Amazon firestick i think first generation and it laggs a lot freezes when playing videos ….i downloaded Kodi to my phone have no problems playing from galaxy i think my firestick hardware is too old but now with all these options dont know what to buy. I just want something to stream movies without the freezing and lagg please help

    Reply
  7. Wozza Hill

    I have 3 android boxes. T95z , H96max plus & X99. Bought the later 2 out of ignorance despite reading and researching.
    The H96max & the x99 are rubish if your looking to stream 4k. Have had a multitude of issues with them . I would steer away from anything using the Rk chipsets!
    The T95z, despite being older and having inferior hardware ,runs 4k beautifully. It uses an Amlogic chipset.

    Reply
  8. Shannon

    Nice article. Is it possible to create a server that can connect to each TV in my house either by Ethernet cord or wireless allowing my family to watch their own KODI or surf internet. If so, please let me know hardware needed and how it works together.

    Thanks
    Shannon

    Reply
    1. Carl R

      Hi Shannon,

      If you have ‘Media Center” installed (or Kodi) use the DLNA or Airplay (for Apple/I-devices) functions. In Media Center simply open app & choices are immediately visible – in Kodi go into Settings then to Service Settings. Scroll to UPnP/DLNA (in Kodi scroll to bottom & select Expert).

      In Kodi go to UPnP/DLNA & turn on all items in list (subtitles are optional, they will use a lot of storage space so I leave that one off).

      Select whether unit will be player or renderer. The unit that will act as server/host should be the one where the media is stored. The other unit will be players.

      All devices must be on same network.

      I personally use PC for server/host. Installed all media to my PC then go to any device (that has been configured) go into UPnP/DLNA select PC & begin playing media from PC as if it was installed on every device.

      If using tv box as server/host you will need external HDD to store media. TV box should be powerful with good hardware specs. You could also connect HDD to router & select router as server/host (requires extras config). Then there is PLEX an all in one web-based app. Plenty of video to walk you thru the steps above.

      Hope it helps

      Reply

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