A soundbar is a great accessory to have if sound quality matters to you at all. Not every TV has a good built in sound system, so the addition of a soundbar can give your audio that much needed boost.
There are so many on the market, but one to consider is the Roku Smart soundbar. Here’s our Roku soundbar review to give you an idea of what you might be looking at if you’re consider it as an option.
Disclaimer: Roku provided us with a free test unit for review.
Roku Soundbar Specs
Unlike other soundbars, this one is an all-in-one streaming player and audio device. It isn’t the first streaming soundbar on the market, but it might be a reasonable choice and is affordable and from a reputable streaming device company that’s been around for quite some time.
It is Bluetooth capable, comes with an HDMI cable and a remote, and can be expanded when you get the optional subwoofer (however, we haven’t tested the subwoofer, just the soundbar itself). Its sleek design is 2.8 inches high, 32.2 inches wide, and 3.9 inches deep. It weighs 5.5 pounds. The audio formats are Dolby and PCM. There are several audio settings including night and leveling modes.
The Roku soundbar works with a number of TVs including HD TVs up to 1080p, many 4K UHD TVs, and 4K UHD HDR TVs. It also has an HDMI output as well as USB.
It’s mountable; however, the mounting hardware is sold separately. The system works with smart home devices like Alexa and Google home, but it doesn’t work with existing Roku devices since it’s also a Roku streaming device of its own.
And you probably also want to know that in February, Roku is releasing and update that allows users to pair the soundbar and subwoofer with their existing wireless TV speakers to create a 5.1-channel surround sound experience.
Roku Soundbar Sound Options
So, what are the sound options available with the Roku soundbar?
- Additional sub woofer available separately
And coming soon, users will be able to pair the whole system with the Roku speakers for a surround sound experience.
The Roku Soundbar boast crisp dialogue with dynamic bass in the overall sound experience. And there are also night modes and a way to level the sound to make it easier to hear parts of your favorite shows and movies. All features are very straightforward and easy to use.
Streaming With the Roku Soundbar
The Roku Soundbar is not only good quality audio device, it is a streaming player, too. This all-in-one device can have you streaming your favorite shows and movies through all of the most popular apps. Roku has been around a really long time and their stick and box options have consistently been top quality in terms of streaming technology. Roku is easy to use and it comes with a remote or it can pair through Bluetooth.
While this soundbar would be considered minimalist by audiophiles, it is a great solution for someone who wants decent audio and access to a streaming player.
We used this soundbar with a TCL Roku TV. This presents a bit of a challenge, since the TV already runs off Roku software. Since the soundbar also runs it’s own Roku software, you end up with two remotes and a Roku interface within a Roku interface. Yeah, it’s a bit confusing. That said, it works and we plan on continuing to use the soundbar with our Roku TV because the sound quality is definitely better than that of the TV speakers.
Roku Soundbar Pros and Cons
If you’re considering a purchase and the Roku Soundbar is on your list, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.
- Affordable at only $180
- Solid audio performance – not the best, not the worst, just reasonably good
- Great media streaming options – Roku is a reliable tool and this format just makes it even more convenient
- Easy controls with the remote or access through the phone app
- For audiophiles, the bass response is kind of weak compared to other soundbars on the market. Not to mention, there aren’t really a lot of options in comparison to some other high-end soundbars
- No Dolby Atmos of DTS:X sound experiences
- If you’re using the soundbar with a Roku Smart TV, it can be a bit confusing
We would have put the “no true surround sound” in the cons list, but the recent announcement that an update will give users that open has changed the game.
So, this is what we know. The Roku Soundbar is an okay speaker but a great streaming device, so if that’s what you’re looking for you’ve come to the right place. If you have any questions, feel free to ask below in the comments. You can learn more about the Roku Smart Soundbar or purchase it here.