Roku Smart Soundbar: Price, Specs, Release Date

Once simply the maker of humble streaming packing containers, Roku is slowly spreading into each side of the house theater expertise. First got here the Roku TV, with the streaming platform constructed into modestly priced 4K units. Last 12 months, the San Jose–primarily based firm got into the audio game, releasing a pair of wi-fi audio system. If that was like a shot throughout the bow of entrenched house theater manufacturers, then Roku is poised to unleash the total barrage: Today, the corporate unveiled two new Roku-branded audio system in your tv.

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The Roku Smart Soundbar is the principle attraction. It’s a twofer: a speaker with a Roku participant inbuilt. It plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, and also you get a 4K streaming platform and booming audio all by one cable. It’s vital to notice that this new Smart Soundbar works with any model of TV—you might do not forget that Roku’s earlier wi-fi audio system had been suitable solely with a Roku-branded TV. If you have already got a Roku TV, you possibly can nonetheless use the soundbar with it, however you’d be getting redundancy in options, since each merchandise have Roku streaming gamers inbuilt. And if you have already got Roku’s wi-fi audio system, it’s best to know that the brand new soundbar is not going to pair with them. Really, the soundbar is aimed squarely at new prospects who don’t have any Roku merchandise already.

The participant constructed into the soundbar is equal to Roku’s present Ultra participant. It presents 4K, HD, and HDR video, with help for Google Assistant and Amazon Echo. The soundbar additionally comes with a Roku distant, which has devoted buttons to change to the consumer’s linked Netflix, Hulu, and different streaming accounts. If you need to hook up with the soundbar through Bluetooth and stream songs out of your cellphone, you are able to do that too.

Roku’s new subwoofer, additionally $180, connects wirelessly to the Smart Soundbar.


I got the prospect to demo the Smart Soundbar final month. The precise sound that comes out of the bar is crispy Dolby audio, delivered by 4 drivers. Roku says that the listening expertise was designed with TV-viewing in thoughts. To that finish, there are three presets geared toward optimizing the audio as you watch. The “speech clarity” preset is precisely what it feels like, making it simpler to discern what the characters are speaking about. An automated quantity leveling function goals to maintain you from scrambling in your distant each time there’s a soar or dip within the quantity when the scene modifications. (Also: No extra blaring commercials assaulting your eardrums when a present cuts away to pay the payments.) The “night mode” preset does the identical type of smoothing out, however in a extra excessive trend, so a sudden explosion or swell in music gained’t wake your housemates. The soundbar additionally pulls audio immediately from the TV, so there’s no must plug a game console into the speaker. Just join every part to the TV and the soundbar detects the audio sources robotically.

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