For TVs that lack smarts, the Roku Streambar offers nice set of sensible options at an inexpensive value and good audio high quality. It sounds greater than its dimension lets on, video streaming is nice, and it has all you want to flip a non-smart TV into a sensible one.
- Good vocal readability
- Area-saving dimension
- Good streaming efficiency
- Nice worth
- No Dolby Imaginative and prescient or HDR10+
- Audio extra suited to TV and apps
- Distant solely works with Streambar
HDR helpHDR10 and HLG
AudioPerforms Dolby audio and PCM soundtracks
The Roku Streambar is a video streamer and a soundbar. Fairly frankly it’s not an concept I’d have ever give you, however now I ponder why it hasn’t been completed earlier than.
Placing Roku’s streaming smarts inside a compact soundbar gives loads of comfort, particularly for individuals who have TVs that lack smarts. However whereas a lot is thought about Roku’s streaming prowess, its foray into house cinema audio is extra of an unknown.
If the combo of streaming and sound in a space-saving bundle appeals, the Streambar may be of nice curiosity.
- Small in stature
- Low-key end
- Appropriate for wall-mounting
The Roku Streambar is small by soundbar requirements. Measuring at 61 x 356 x 107mm (HWD), it’s diminutive in stature. So small that it’d be tempting to cart it over to another person’s home for a streaming night time if the event arises.
It’s well-built, although it appears nondescript in entrance of a TV smaller than 50-inches. It’s slight sufficient to keep away from probably blocking a TV’s IR sign, which is helpful contemplating the various sizes of TV stands and toes.
The black matte end is tidy, with the Roku emblem in the course of a speaker grille that extends to both finish. Behind the grille are 4 1.9-inch full-range drivers, with two positioned as centre audio system and the opposite two angled out to the aspect. Simply above the Roku emblem is the Streambar’s LED gentle. It’s discrete sufficient to not be of hassle however could be turned off whether it is.
Across the again are the connections in addition to sockets for wall-mounting. Buttons on the distant are clearly laid out, with sufficient house so your thumb doesn’t get in a muddle. Plus, there are fast entry buttons to Netflix, Spotify, Rakuten TV and Google Play, though beware that in 2023, solely the Netflix and Rakuten TV buttons look like working.
The distant that comes with the Streambar has an Off button (that may flip the TV on and off), with quantity and mute buttons situated on the aspect. The distant permits for search through voice, and a press of the ‘House’ button directs the consumer again to the Roku homepage from no matter supply or enter you have been on. It’s also possible to management the Streambar with the Roku Cellular app.
Management solely extends over the Roku UI, not your TV, so that you’ll nonetheless want the distant if you wish to use the TV’s capabilities.
- Helps AirPlay 2 and HomeKit
- No built-in voice help
- Dolby/PCM audio help
That the distant doesn’t supply management over your TV factors to the Streambar’s major goal – to make the Roku ecosystem the centre of any house streaming set-up.
That’s aided with help for Apple AirPlay and HomeKit, so customers can stream audio from iOS gadgets or management suitable sensible merchandise from the Apple House app. There aren’t any built-in voice assistants, although the Streambar is ready to “work with” Alexa or Google Assistant through an exterior machine.
Set-up is easy, however entry to a browser is required to finish the method. The Roku platform checks for updates as soon as a day and updates itself within the background. All the things from HDMI and optical cables, in addition to a really lengthy mains cable, is included within the packaging
Connections cowl HDMI ARC, digital optical and a USB 2.0. For wi-fi there’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. A USB adaptor for a wired Ethernet connection is offered individually.
The built-in streamer delivers 4K HDR efficiency (HDR10 and HLG) with the Streambar in a position to upscale 720p and 1080p sources to 4K. The variety of channels and apps in 4K HDR shouldn’t be as many as you could assume, and there’s no HDR10+ or Dolby Imaginative and prescient. For audio the Streambar helps Dolby Audio and PCM soundtracks.
There are over a thousand apps and channels, and due to Roku’s platform agnostic strategy, apps like Netflix, Tidal and Lionsgate+ sit alongside curiosities such because the Canine Rest Channel and Metallic Mania. No matter your pursuits, you’re unlikely to be misplaced for one thing to observe.
- Identical UI as on different Roku gadgets
- Voice recognition has been tweaked
- Platform agnostic strategy to apps
The Roku UI is constant throughout all gadgets. House is the place you’ll discover the principle streaming apps (and you may add as many apps as you need); My Feed retains observe of alerts set for movies once they seem on the varied apps and channels.
Streaming Channels gives entry to the 1000+ channel itemizing. The Roku Channel gives entry to free movies, documentaries and TV episodes.
Search is textual content based mostly, however contemplating how frictionless voice search could be, its presence feels slightly redundant. In Settings you possibly can add cost playing cards, arrange HomeKit and tweak audio, amongst different elements of the Streambar’s settings.
Voice recognition has been tweaked to recognise extra pure phrases, and voice search is way quicker and responsive than typing. Navigation by means of the interface isn’t out there but. Ask to “open settings” and the response is “display navigation not supported”.
By holding the Search button and uttering a quote, you need to get related outcomes – large emphasis on ought to. In actuality, the voice management is throughout place in that it doesn’t recognise the quote or solely searches for the previous few phrases, citing utterly completely different search outcomes completely. It does help voice management with Spotify, but it surely’s bets to maintain it easy with pause and taking part in tracks.
- Two devoted centres for vocals
- Light-weight bass nonetheless an enhance over TV
- Extra tuned for apps on Roku platform
What’s putting is how large the Roku Streambar sounds. It additionally punches above its weight class in decibel phrases too, with the Streambar in a position to go loud with out turning into overly sharp or harsh.
With two devoted centre channels for voices, the soundbar has a very good grasp over dialogue. Speech is lifted so it sounds prefer it’s coming from the mouths of these talking, although dialogue is prioritised to such an extent that different elements of a soundtrack recede into the background even with Speech Readability set to off. Bass efficiency is punchy slightly than deep or weighty, however an enchancment over a TV – don’t count on miracles from a unit of this dimension.
Audio is extra in tune for apps on the Roku platform. Streaming Woman Bloodfight on Prime Video from the native TV app and Roku model, and bass was a contact tougher on the TV app. Listening to music over a Bluetooth linked is a bit boring and restrained. When you have Spotify Join then that avenue gives a significantly better expertise, delivering a clear, detailed, and clear sound.
The Streambar has a very good stab at creating width by means of its angled audio system, making a soundstage a lot wider than the bar. The scene in Avatar the place Jake is surrounded by viperwolves and the noises they create are successfully positioned both aspect of the soundbar to create a way of house.
Nonetheless, the Streambar isn’t a soundbar for all events. The motion sequence that opens up Terminator: Darkish Destiny leaves the Streambar fighting its complexity. Distortion of bass can be obvious when Grace unleashes a volley of shotgun rounds into the Rev-9 throughout their first encounter.
That mentioned, its supply is obvious and detailed with Whiplash on 4K Blu-ray. There’s a definable sense of punch and readability with crashing cymbals and drums, in addition to a good sense of dynamism. It’s able to subtlety too, getting the pitch of the white noise within the scene after Mark Watney by chance creates an explosion in The Martian. Briefly, it’s a likable effort.
When it comes to video streaming the Streambar depicts a picture properly. It’ll in fact depend upon the capabilities of your TV however streaming in 4K and HD supplied constant ranges of element and readability.
Watching Physician Unusual on Disney+ in 4K HDR and the Streambar attracts out a vibrant efficiency, particularly when Unusual faces off towards Dormammu. Black ranges are strong with no signal of the crushing of blacks that function on the Premiere. 720p streams lack element and readability as you’d count on, however they’re watchable. Go off the overwhelmed path and picture high quality is more likely to differ significantly.
Picture high quality from the favored apps is free from artifacts and streams stand up to hurry rapidly. General, it’s a passable video efficiency.
Do you have to purchase it?
You’re after worth: One of many primary attributes of the Streambar is its affordability. The Roku Streambar gives pleasing audio high quality that’s greater and louder than you would possibly count on from such a small unit.
You need higher sound: An alternate for individuals who do have a good streaming set-up, however need to enhance sound on a price range can be the Wharfedale Vista 200S. It gives higher sound and greater bass by means of its wi-fi subwoofer for the same value.
The Streambar is comfort personified. Not solely can does enhance your TV’s sound, it’s bought all of your favorite streaming apps too. For these with little interest in Atmos or DTS:X frills, the Streambar positions itself as an incredible worth proposition for cheaper TVs with its sensible options and sound, though extra redundant for TVs that have already got loads of smarts.
An alternate for individuals who do have a good streaming set-up, however need to enhance sound on a price range can be the Wharfedale Vista 200S. It gives higher sound and greater bass by means of its wi-fi subwoofer for the same value.
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There’s no help for immersive sound on the Roku Streambar. It may play fundamental Dolby audio and PCM streams.
First Reviewed Date
Audio (Energy output)
356 x 356 x 61 MM
4x 1.9-inch full vary
HDMI, Digital optical out, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple AirPlay 2
Works with Alexa/Google Assistant
PCM, Dolby Audio