- Roku announced its new $US180 Smart Soundbar and optional $US180 Wireless Subwoofer on Wednesday.
- The Roku Smart Soundbar works with any TV, and comes with a Roku media streamer built in that can stream 4K HDR video with all the apps in the Roku ecosystem.
- The Smart Soundbar also comes with a remote that can be used for voice searches, which is incredibly useful. It’s also compatible with your existing smart voice assistants, including Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
- The Roku Smart Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer are available for preorder starting Wednesday for an expected October delivery. The devices will be available to buy in October from Roku’s website and Best Buy in October.
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Roku announced on Wednesday its new $US180 Smart Soundbar that comes with a Roku media streamer built-in, as well as the $US180 Roku Wireless Subwoofer that can connect to the sound bar wirelessly.
The Roku Smart Soundbar is a 32-inch 2.0 soundbar, and it has four 2.5-inch speakers.
Along with the four speakers, the Smart Soundbar boasts Dolby audio and should offer significantly better sound than your TV’s built-in speakers. To note, it doesn’t specifically support the Dolby Atmos standard, which other more expensive soundbars offer and is often known as the peak in cinematic home entertainment audio. Still, Dolby audio is nothing to scoff at.
Unlike the company’s previous Roku TV Wireless Speakers that works exclusively with Roku-branded TVs, the Smart Soundbar works with any TV.
The Roku Smart Soundbar connects to TVs via HDMI, and also acts like a Roku media streamer with all the streaming apps that are typically available in Roku media streaming devices like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play Video among several others, and it supports 4K resolution and HDR.
Seeing as the Smart Soundbar has a Roku media streamer built in, it also comes with a remote to navigate around the Roku operating system and menus. The remote has a built-in microphone that lets you search for video content, and it searches throughout all the apps available in the Roku ecosystem. Speaking from personal experience with a TCL Roku TV, this remote voice search function is exceptionally useful to find a specific titles without going through all the apps.
You can even talk to Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa smart voice assistants using the remote’s microphone. Note that these smart voice assistants aren’t built into the Smart Soundbar – you’ll need a smart speaker or device with either of those assistants to link to the Smart Soundbar.
If you already have a smart TV or a media streamer you like to use, you can bypass the built-in media streamer and connect the Roku Smart Soundbar with an optical cable instead of HDMI.
The wireless subwoofer
The optional Roku Wireless Subwoofer is an extra $US180 on top of the Smart Soundbar, and connects wirelessly to the Smart Soundbar. It should deliver extra bass for better cinematic audio with its 10-inch driver and 250 watts of audio output.
Unlike the Smart Soundbar, the Roku subwoofer will eventually be compatible with Roku’s previous TV Wireless Speakers, but it’s not compatible with the Roku TV Wireless Speakers at launch.
The Roku Smart Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer are available for preorder starting on Wednesday with an expected shipping date in October. The devices will be available to buy from Roku’s website and Best Buy starting in October.