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.
Of course Kodi can be installed and used on slower machines but becomes laggy.
The minimum hardware specification for a Kodi box should be at least 2GB RAM and a 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
Android TV Box CPUs
Here are the basic processors Android TV boxes currently use and what to look for.
Keep in mind some processors will be better at certain task even if they score lower. For example while the RK3399 beats the S912 at most task, it lacks support for features such as HDR (High Dynamic Range).
M8 family (M805): Obsolete
S8 Family (S805): Obsolete
S905X2: Good low-to-mid range CPU.
S905X3 Good low-to-mid range CPU.
S912: Good low-to-mid range CPU.
RK3328: Good low-to-mid range.
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 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 The Best Kodi Media Center Boxes
… Best High-End Boxes
- Beelink BT3-X Mini PC
- Beelink GT King Pro
- Beelink GT King
- X99 Android TV Box
- NVIDIA Shield
- T95Q Android TV Box
- H96 PRO PLUS
- R10 R-TV
- T95Z Plus
- Sunvell T9
- Docooler MX9 PRO
- GPD Handheld Game Console
- KDLINKS A400
Mini PC Beelink BT3-X 4GB RAM LPDDR4 64GB eMMC Intel Apollo Lake Celeron Processor J3355 HD Graphics 500 Dual Screen Display 4K Desktop PC, VESA Mount,Dual WiFi
The Beelink BT3-X is the only non Android TV box on the list.
The Beelink BT3 Pro is a good unit that has the same hardware as a mid-range laptop at a lower cost.
The resolution can play up to 4096 X 2160 @60Hz, so it has no problems playing the new 4K Ultra HD videos.
While Android TV boxes are nice, the BT3-X is a good box for those who like to use a familiar Operating System as a home entertainment system.
TV Box Beelink GT King Pro Hi-Fi Lossless Sound 4K TV Box with Dolby Audio DTS Listen,Amlogic S922X-H 4GB RAM 64GB ROM Android 9.0,Support 4K 60fps Resolution/BT 4.1/Dual-Band WiFi 2.4G+5.8G
Antutu Benchmark Score 94811
The Beelink GT King Pro is 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.
The unit has a new Hi-Fi audio decoding chip which brings support for Dolby and DTS audio
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.
The Beelink GT King is an Android TV box that has the S922X CPU.
The S922X CPU is a processor for ARM-based hardware such as Android TV boxes.
Overall, the Beelink GT King is a very good new unit that with a few Firmware updates would make for a very nice high-end box.
The X99 is an Android TV Box built to play high resolution 4K UHD videos as well as games and other media.
AnTuTu also gave it a very good overall score of 76606 which is higher than the Fire TV Box without the restrictions.
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 a NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, 3GB Ram, 802.11ac WiFi, and USB 3.0.
Two version 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 improvments over the older version.
While more costly than other options it is a nice box to run Kodi on. The NVIDIA SHIELD Pro combined with Kodi is definitely a cable TV killer.
… Best Mid-Range Boxes
Android 9.0 TV Box, Smart Box 4GB RAM 32GB ROM Network Set Top Box Amlogic S905X2 Quad-core Cortex-A53 Support 2.4G/5G Dual Band WiFi 1000M Ethernet/Bluetooth 4.1/H.265 Decoding/4K HDR
Antutu Benchmark Score 57546
The T95Q is an Android TV box that has the new S905X2 CPU and 4GB of RAM.
It is a new box for 2019 with the new S905X2 Android TV box CPU.
While testing it played 4K videos @60 FPS and did well at basic game play.
The WiFi tested at 48Mbps download speed which while not the best is good enough for the minimum 25Mbps 4K video requires to stream.
The T95Q is good for basic game play along with playing 4K videos and is a good basic media player for 2019.
The H96 PRO PLUS is a nice Kodi android TV box that performed very well in our test.
It uses the S912 CPU with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
The WiFi is also very good using dual band 802.11ac which during test gave download speeds of 142Mbps at 5GHz, and 47MBps at 2.4 GHz.
Many units now use the S912 CPU but most use less RAM and internal storage. The 3GB of RAM gives it a nice boost when needed.
Android TV Box 4G+32G Bluetooth WIFI, DHong R-TV BOX R10 RK3328 RAM 4G EMMC 32G
Antutu Benchmark Score 57935
The R10 R-TV is an Android TV box with some good basic hardware.
It did very well during test with no problems running Kodi along with fast WiFi at 138Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload speeds.
The back has all the ports with 3 USB, SD card slot, HDMI, Ethernet, AV, and Optical.
… Best Budget Boxes
EASYTONE T95Z Plus Android TV Box 3GB 32GB,Android 7.1 TV Box Amlogic Octa-Core,Dual-Band Wi-Fi 2.4/5.8G Smart Boxes Android Mini PC with Wireless Keyboard Remote (Backlit)
Antutu Benchmark Score 41158
The T95Z Plus uses the S912 Amilogic 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.
In 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.
The S912 CPU, 3GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage made it easily able to run Kodi 17.6 Krypton.
The Sunvell 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 uplaod.
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.
The MX9 PRO did surprisingly well for a budget unit and a good buy for the money.
If you are looking for a good box at a reasonable cost the MX9 PRO is a good unit that is worth a look.
Read Full Review Here of the MX9 Pro
Best Combination Boxes
Handheld Game Console,GPD Win 2 Mini Laptop Gamepad 6″ Touchscreen Win 10 Intel m3-7Y30 2.6Ghz HD Graphics 8GB RAM/128GB ROM
DroidBOX has made some nice units over the years from projectors to portable all with good support.
The Win 2 is a Windows 10 small gaming unit that plays Kodi, games, or most 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.
KDLINKS A400 4K Android Quad Core 3D Smart H.265 HD TV Media Player with HDD Bay, WiFi, Dolby 7.1, Gigabit LAN, 2GB RAM, 16GB Storage, 4 Core CPU, 8 Core GPU
The KDLINKS A400 is an Android TV box with many nice features.
The main nice feature is the ability to quickly snap in a SATA hard drive which makes it a good unit to store lots of videos, music, or games.
It also has dual band WiFi which can run on the new 5 GHz 802.11ac protocol. If you have a dual band router you will have no problems with a fast internet connection, at least to the router.
The KDLINKS A400 is not a cheap box and on almost the same level as the Nvidia Shield.
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 1GB of RAM will still run Kodi but is not ideal for future updates and cost about the same for a box with 2-3 GB of RAM.
The processors have also changed with new units using the S905X2, S905X3, 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 with Kodi there will be almost no support, if any. Also many of them have less than desirable WiFi, so running a Ethernet cable may be necessary.
With that said and having reviewed many units they do work and continue to work. I know people who bought a cheap box 1-2 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.