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Roku Streambar Review: Is it really a Game changer? (The Truth) 2023

Roku Streambar Review: Is it really a Game changer? (The Truth) 2023

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Roku Streambar Review is the focal point of our blog post today. This nifty sound enhancement device has caught the attention of many electronics enthusiasts and users looking to enrich their audio-visual experience.

The Roku Streambar and Roku Streambar Pro models cater to a broad audience, from tech geeks scouring for premium features to casual viewers seeking a value-for-money solution to augment their entertainment set up.

Did you know that Roku Wireless Speakers were created to pair to the Roku Streambar & Streambar pro models?

In our coverage here, we dive deeper into its design, performance, user interface, and aspects that set the device apart or handicap it against its competitors.

Note:

The Pro model of the Roku Streambar is nearly the same device as the Standard streambar, but it’s larger (fills the room up with more sound), has personal shortcut buttons plus a headphone jack, and most notably: Four 2.5-inch full-range drivers… it’s also $50 more (see all the differences here)

We aim to provide our readers an in-depth understanding of whether this gadget deserves a place in their living rooms – Stay tuned as this engaging Review of the Roku Streambar & Roku Streambar Pro unveils.

At a Glance – Roku Streambar Features

Table of Every feature of the Roku Streambar
Every feature of the Roku Streambar is clearly laid out in this above photo

Pros and Cons of Roku Streambar

The Roku Streambar is a promising gadget that appeals to viewers who are specifically looking for a compact solution to upgrade their television’s audio capabilities while enriching the media streaming experience. However, every product has its own set of strengths and areas of improvement.

Here’s a list of the Roku Streambar’s pros and cons that could help determine if it’s the right fit for your needs.

Pros:

  • You can stream just like a Roku stick does with the streambar
  • Compact and easy-to-install design
  • Integrates 4K streaming device and soundbar into one.
  • User-friendly remote and interface featuring voice control.
  • Affordable and delivers impressive sound quality for its size.
  • Bluetooth connectivity allows streaming from other devices.

Cons:

  • Lack of Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos support.
  • Ethernet requires an adapter if you’re using a wired connection for internet rather than Wi-Fi connection
  • Bass power could be improved.
  • The absence of aptX support for Bluetooth.
  • Middling musical performance.

Related: How to Connect Roku to Bluetooth Speakers or headphones

Keep in mind, theres also the pro model of the roku streambar

 To understand more about Roku’s offerings, read our post on the best Roku devices.

Example of specs the Pro model of the Roku streambar has
Example of specs the Roku Streambar Pro has compared to the standard model

Also see: How to Fix a Roku Remote Volume Not working

Roku Streambar Limitations:

Limitations of Roku Streambar model
Also keep in mind, using ethernet instead of Wi-Fi on the Roku Streambar requires an adapter.
LimitationDescription
Dolby Vision®Does not support Dolby Vision®
Speech ClarityDoes not have Speech Clarity feature
Dolby Audio™ and DTS pass through via HDMI®Does not support Dolby Audio™ and DTS pass through via HDMI®
Screen MirroringDoes not support Screen Mirroring for Apple, Android & Windows devices

Why get a Roku Streambar instead of a regular Soundbar?

Why get a Roku Streambar instead of a regular Soundbar 1

The Roku Streambar expands on the basic features of a regular soundbar. It provides an all-in-one media hub with an integrated 4K media streamer

This means You get the benefits of a Roku stick and a soundbar all in one device. (So you won’t need a Roku stick for streaming movies and TV shows if you have a Roku streambar
).

Roku streambar better than regular soundbar

Comparison between Roku Streambar and Streambar Pro

Roku Streambar vs Streambar Pro Features side by side
Side by Side features of the Pro model Roku Streambar vs the Standard Roku Streambar

For a more detailed, in-depth comparison, see our post Roku streambar vs Roku Streambar Pro

FeatureRoku StreambarRoku Streambar Pro
Price$129.99$179.99
SizeCompact, fits smaller spacesLarger
Bluetooth5.05.0
Ethernet ConnectivityYesYes
HDMI2.0a2.0a
Optical OutputsYesYes
CompatibilityApple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google HomeApple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home
4K HDR StreamingYesYes
Sound ModulationYesYes
Audio DriversFour 1.9-inch full-range driversFour 2.5-inch full-range drivers
Enhanced RemoteNoYes, with personal shortcut buttons and a headphone jack

Besides enhancing your TV’s subpar speakers, it provides access to a vast array of streaming channels.

Related: Roku No Sound: Fix Volume Not Working

If you’re pondering whether to go with a regular soundbar or the Roku Streambar, consider that the compact Roku device saves space and simplifies your setup by eliminating the need to connect a separate media streaming device to your TV.

 If you’re considering other options, you might find our comparison of Roku vs Firestick useful.

Whats the difference between Roku Streambar and the Roku soundbar?

Whats the difference between Roku Streambar and the Roku soundbar

Roku offers two options that fix your TV’s audio and streaming simultaneously: a streambar and a soundbar. The Roku Streambar and Roku Soundbar both replace your TV’s speakers and serve as streaming media hubs. However, there are notable differences between the two.

A Side-by-side comparison photo of the Roku Streambar and Roku Soundbar in a living room on a TV
Side-by-side comparison photo of the Roku Streambar and Roku Soundbar

The Streambar is physically smaller and budget-friendly with a retail price of $130, whereas the Roku Soundbar sports a larger size for better audio quality and somewhat pricier at around $180.

The diminutive Streambar outshines its larger sibling in spaces that are limited, as its compact build can easily fit under most televisions.

On the flip side, if you have a larger space and want an audio enhancement, the Roku Soundbar warrants a closer look.

 For more comparisons, check out our post on the difference between Roku devices.

What features does the Roku Streambar Pro model have that the standard Roku Streambar doesn’t?

What features does the Roku Streambar Pro model have that the standard Roku Streambar doesnt

Both devices feature Bluetooth 5.0, Ethernet connectivity, HDMI 2.0a, optical outputs, and compatibility with Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. They provide 4K HDR streaming and modulate sound for loud commercials and voice dialogues.

However, the difference between the Pro model and the standard Roku Streambar is that the Pro model offers superior audio with its four 2.5-inch full-range drivers and an enhanced remote with personal shortcut buttons and a headphone jack. The decision between the two depends on personal preference, budget, and space.

Features of Roku Steambar pro

Desiring an upgrade from the standard Roku Streambar model? The Roku Streambar Pro offers some noteworthy enhancements. The Pro model boasts a larger size, which (in this case) does translate to a more potent and resonating sound.

The appreciable audio qualities of the Streambar Pro are accompanied by programmable buttons to customize your viewing experience, and a built-in headphone jack for private listening.

It means a slightly steeper investment at a price of around $180, but the improved performance and features deem it a worthy contender. With the Streambar Pro model, not only do you get the sound enhancement, but you also have a truly personalized streaming experience

For a detailed review of the Pro model, read our Roku stream bar Pro review.

Other important things to note about the Roku Streambar

Other important things to note about the Roku Streambar
  • The Roku Streambar is a compact, 2.0 bar, sound enhancement device that doubles as a media streamer, allowing access to multiple streaming services through a single interface.
  • Although versatile and user-friendly, the Streambar sacrifices immersive sounds quality, unable to play content supporting Dolby Atmos format, a popular feature across its streaming platforms.
  • Users can expect robust features such as support for 4K resolution, HDR10+ and HD content, high-speed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and volume leveling.
  • The Streambar is priced competitively at $129.99, making it a budget-friendly choice for consumers looking to enhance both their TV’s audio quality and streaming capabilities.
  • Despite lacking in bass power, the device is praised for delivering clean, clear audio, significantly greater than the TV’s built-in speakers.
  • For users desiring deeper bass, the Streambar can be paired with Roku’s wireless subwoofer or a pair of Roku TV Wireless Speakers.
  • Interested buyers should note minor drawbacks such as the absence of Dolby Vision support. However, the overall value proposition of the Streambar, as a soundbar and a media streamer in one, appears promising.

Roku Streambar Review

Roku Streambar Review

This post serves as a detailed review of the Roku Streambar – an innovative product that attempts to combine impressive sound output with media streaming capabilities in a compact package.

Roku Streambar Package Contents

ItemDescription
Roku StreambarMain device
Voice RemoteFor controlling TV power, volume, and streaming
HDMI and Optical CablesFor connecting the device
Two AAA BatteriesFor powering the remote
Power Cable and AdapterFor powering the device

As we dive deeper into the Streambar’s usage and performance, we’ll discuss its key features, assess its design and build quality, comment upon the setup process and user interface, and finally look at its streaming capabilities and overall performance.

Key Features of Roku Streambar

Key Features of Roku Streambar
FeatureDescription
Picture QualitySupports 4K, HDR10+, and HD content on compatible TVs
Streaming ChannelsAccess to the most popular streaming channels
ConnectivityHigh-speed, long-range Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity
Remote ControlComes with a voice remote that also has TV controls
SpeakersFour built-in speakers, each measuring 1.9 inches, for full-range sound
Local PlaybackSupport via USB
HDMI® CableCan connect to a TV with the premium HDMI® cable that is included. It also supports 4K video via HDCP 2.2 HDMI
Voice AssistantsCompatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant
Apple SupportSupport for Apple AirPlay and HomeKit
ProcessorPowered by a quad-core processor
Video PlaybackSupport for 1080 HD, 4K, and HDR (High Dynamic Range) video playback
Ethernet PortHas an Ethernet port which can be accessed via a USB adaptor (sold separately)
USB PortComes with a USB port
Wi-Fi®Equipped with long-range Wi-Fi®
Audio FeaturesVolume leveling, night mode, and Dolby Audio™
Free TVProvides access to free TV on The Roku Channel
Search and UpdatesOffers fast and easy search across top channels and provides entertainment availability updates with Roku Feed™
Hotel & Dorm ConnectFeature
Mobile AppComes with a free Roku mobile app for iOS and Android
Phone as RemoteYou can use your phone as a remote control
Voice Search and ControlOffers voice search and control
Private ListeningFeature with your wired or wireless headphones
CastingAllows you to cast personal photos and videos to your TV

The primary advantage of the Roku Streambar isn’t just its sound output but also its embedded 4K media streamer. In a nutshell, this means that you can access entertainment directly from popular platforms like Netflix and Hulu. Also, since it’s Roku, users get a vast line-up of specific ‘Roku channels’.

Another factor that sets the Roku Streambar apart is its compact size. Don’t let that fool you though, within this slim device are four 1.9 inch drivers which help it deliver a sound that fills the room. And, if you want to pump up the bass, you can pair it with Roku’s wireless subwoofer, although that’s sold separately.

On top of all these features, the Streambar also supports Bluetooth and Spotify Connect, so users can seamlessly stream music from their devices. Overall, the Roku Streambar packs in a substantial amount of functionality in a small package.

To learn more about Roku’s features across devices, see our post on Roku tips and tricks.

Design and Build Quality

Design and Build Quality 1

One look at the Roku Streambar, and you’ll notice that it’s thoughtfully compact. Measuring just 14 inches in width, its size makes it ideal for small living spaces or those who want to limit clutter. Despite its petite build, it carries four drivers distributed across its frame, giving it a solid sound punch in a small package.

As mentioned earlier, The Pro model of the Roku Streambar is nearly the same as the Standard streambar, but its larger, has personal shortcut buttons plus a headphone jack, and most notably: Four 2.5-inch full-range drivers

A simple and matte black aesthetic dominates the Roku Streambar, which can seamlessly blend with most TV setups. The Streambar itself feels sturdy to touch, with no noticeable rattling or loose parts. It definitely passes the test in terms of build quality!

For more on Roku’s design philosophy, see our post on the Roku Ultra review.

Setup and User Interface

Setup and User Interface

Perhaps one of the biggest strengths of the Roku Streambar is how easy it is to set up and use. Once plugged in and turned on, the startup screen will guide you through a step-by-step setup process. From here, the instructions are simple: you connect to your Wi-Fi network, log in (or create) a Roku account, and start adding channels.

When it comes to its user interface, the Roku Streambar excels with a non-cluttered and intuitive format. Navigating through your library or exploring new channels is a breeze due to its responsive, straightforward menus. Combining these factors, it’s safe to say that Roku has hit a home run in terms of user experience.

 If you need help setting up your Roku, our guide on how to set Roku up for installation can help.

Streaming Capabilities and Performance

Streaming Capabilities and Performance

Side note: The Roku Streambar provides high-resolution 4K and HDR10 streaming capabilities, and this is where it truly shines as a competent media streaming device. It offers smooth, uninterrupted, and high-quality streaming experience which can please even the most demanding 4K content enthusiasts.

The real game-changer is the audio performance. Although this isn’t a full-fledged soundbar and won’t shake the room with bass, it’s commendably superior compared to most built-in TV speakers. Dialogues are crystal clear and it handles high frequencies quite well.

So, whether you’re catching up on your favorite series, streaming a blockbuster movie, or grooving to some tunes, the Roku Streambar is capable of delivering enriched audio-visual experience that can revamp your home entertainment setup.

 To understand Roku’s streaming capabilities, read our post on what is Roku and how does it work?

Sound Quality and Audio Features

Roku Streambar brings a whole lot of sound from a very small package. This compact sound bar is outfitted with four full-range drivers that deliver powerful, room-filling sound. Regardless of its pint-sized figure, the Streambar genuinely exceeds in dialogue clarity. The sound effects seem more dispersed across the room, creating a significant auditory experience. However, the lack of robust bass response results in the explosions and car engine sounds appearing less impactful.

For such a small soundbar, the Roku Streambar channels a solid degree of mid-high frequency power, things like the roar of engines in action-packed movies or the strum of a guitar in your favorite songs will hit your ears with surprising resonance. Keep in mind, it doesn’t quite have the punch of larger soundbars when it comes to bass power, but to tackle this issue, there’s always the option to add Roku’s wireless subwoofer for that extra sprinkle of bass.

 For more on Roku’s audio capabilities, see our post on Best Wireless speakers for Roku.

Connectivity Options: HDMI and Others

The Roku Streambar features several connectivity options to ensure seamless setup and use. If your TV has an HDMI-ARC port, plugging your Streambar into this will offer the best connectivity. With this connection, audio from the TV is directly channeled to the Roku soundbar, and you also get the convenience of controlling the volume directly from your TV’s remote.

Side note: If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI-ARC port, you’ll need an optical audio adapter for the soundbar to function.

Apart from HDMI, the Roku Streambar furnishes other connectivity options as well. One unique advantage it showcases is the provision of Bluetooth and high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to stream music directly from your mobile devices. This ensures you have all the options you need for high-quality sound and streaming experience.

 If you’re having trouble connecting your Roku, our guide on How to connect your Roku to Wi-Fi can help.

Compatibility with Other Devices

Roku Streambar doesn’t disappoint in terms of compatibility. One unique feature is its compatibility with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, which allows Apple users to stream content directly from their iOS or Mac devices to the Streambar, a win for the Apple camp. And if you’re worried about Android, don’t fret! Android streaming is also supported.

The Roku Streambar is not just limited to televisions; it’s also compatible with other Roku speakers. The audio device can be coupled with a Roku Wireless Subwoofer for enhanced bass or paired with Roku TV Wireless Speakers for a surround sound experience. So if your existing Roku setup is itching for a sound upgrade, Streambar slots right in.

Comparisons with Other Soundbars

Comparing the Roku Streambar with other soundbars in its class gives us a clear idea of its strengths and potential areas of improvement. Standing up against the likes of the Vizio M-Series 2.1 and the Yamaha SR-C20A soundbars, the Roku Streambar excels in offering a well-balanced synergy of compactness, price point, and performance. These small yet fierce competitors may offer richer bass, but Roku’s clear dialogue reproduction and room-filling sound makes it a not-to-be-overlooked contender.

However, bear in mind that without the added subwoofer or satellite speakers, Roku Streambar does struggle with low bass and getting loud. So if you’re a fan of ground-shaking bass, you might need to look elsewhere or consider expanding your audio set up. That said, despite these limitations, the Roku Streambar would be an excellent choice for those in search of a compact, budget-friendly, TV and audio enhancement device.

Final Verdict: Is Roku Streambar Worth It?

To cut to the chase – the Roku Streambar does turn out to be a solid bang for your buck. It’s a compact all-in-one that caters to your streaming needs, amping up audio playback, and livens up your home theater experience.

With a resilient performance, packed features, and overall simplicity, it’s designed to seamlessly bridge the gap between impressive audio and superior streaming. Keep in mind, though, like any other gadget, it has its limitations. But for what it offers at its price point, it’s quite a steal.

Price and Value for Money

The Roku Streambar, priced at around $130, offers some serious value for money. Think about it – it’s not just a soundbar to enhance your TV sound, but also a media hub that unites varied streaming services under one roof. The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled device with its 4K HDR abilities and the ease of setup make it a worthy investment for folks looking to spruce up their TV viewing encounters

Can the Roku Streambar support Dolby Atmos for a more immersive audio experience?

The current version of the Roku Streambar does not support Dolby Atmos. This may be a dealbreaker for some users looking for an immersive, theater-like audio experience. However, for its size and price, the Streambar does offer remarkably clear and room-filling sound. And while it may not fill your room with multi-dimensional Dolby Atmos sound, it’s a definite upgrade from your standard TV speakers.

What features does the Roku Streambar Pro model have that the standard Roku Streambar doesn’t?

The Roku Streambar Pro model differentiates itself with superior audio from its four 2.5-inch full-range drivers and an enhanced remote with custom shortcut buttons and a headphone jack.
Boasting Bluetooth 5.0, Ethernet, HDMI 2.0a, optical outputs, and compatibility with major smart home systems, both Roku Streambar and its Pro variant provide 4K HDR streaming and adjust sound volumes for commercials and dialogues.

Thinking of an upgrade from the standard Roku Streambar model? The Roku Streambar Pro’s larger size translates to better sound, while programmable buttons and a headphone jack offer a personalized viewing experience.

Although the Pro model comes with a higher price tag around $180, the improved performance and features make it a worthy investment, offering a truly enhanced streaming experience.

What makes a Roku Streambar a unique compared to a standard Soundbar?

The Roku Streambar offers more than just the fundamental capabilities of a typical soundbar – it’s a comprehensive media hub with a built-in 4K media streamer. This means it combines the functionalities of a Roku stick and a soundbar into one device.

Therefore, if you have a Roku Streambar, you wouldn’t need a separate Roku stick for streaming your favorite movies and TV shows.

Can the Roku Streambar function as a standalone speaker without a TV?

A quick answer to that would be – yes, it can. Owing to its built-in Bluetooth capabilities, the Roku Streambar can be put to use as a standalone Bluetooth speaker. So, you can enjoy streaming music directly from your smartphone or any other Bluetooth-enabled gadget without needing a TV. Side note: In this configuration, you’d use the Streambar in the same way as you would use any standard Bluetooth speaker.

Is it possible to stream 4K content using the Roku Streambar?

Absolutely! Streaming 4K content is a breeze with the Roku Streambar. It effortlessly handles 4K HDR content, essentially enabling you to enjoy your favorite content in high resolution. What this means for you is that, with a reliable internet connection, you will enjoy crisper images, greater detail, and brighter colors, thereby delivering a superior viewing experience. One advantage here is that it supports HDR10 and HLG formats, ensuring stunning picture quality.

Can I use the Roku Streambar with a TV that doesn’t have an HDMI port?

If your TV lacks an HDMI port, do not fret. You can still connect your Roku Streambar using the optical audio port. The Streambar comes equipped with an optical audio port in addition to HDMI, providing compatibility with almost any TV. However, remember that using HDMI ARC connection (if available) is often the preferred route as it allows you to control volume and power on your TV with the same Roku remote.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ