Roku Streambar | Elite Review

One of the top soundbars available today, the Roku Streambar, certainly deserves that distinction. The best of all terms are combined in all-in-one devices, which provide an excellent soundbar and a fantastic 4K streaming device in a single tiny, reasonably priced box.

Small is what we mean when we say it. The Streambar’s four drivers generate a clear, room-filling sound while slightly larger than a bread loaf. It’s not as robust or portable as the most excellent Bluetooth speakers, as seen in my Roku Streambar review.

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Still, it is an appealing alternative for anybody wishing to enhance their television sets (likely poor) audio while enjoying high-quality, ultra-high-definition 4K video. We’ve been pleased with Roku’s top-notch streaming devices throughout the years.

 With the Smart Soundbar, they already compressed one into the same area as a pretty good speaker; now, they’ve shrunk one even more. The Streambar is one of the greatest streaming gadgets and can be a dream come true for those who want to keep their electronics as clutter-free as possible.

Pros

  • Improved design.
  • Excellent performance.
  • Uses HDMI ARC.
  • Configurable user interface that makesΒ .
  • Excellent speakers.

Cons

  • It is not the most potent soundbar available.
  • Too light to remain seated for long.
  • Thousands of poor-quality applications.
  • Lacks Ethernet port.

Price and Availability

The Roku Streambar is now available for $109, which is $30 less than its original retail price of $130. It is available purchased at Amazon) and a variety of other big stores. This soundbar is less expensive than the Roku Smart Soundbar, which retails for $150 and is notable for its bigger size and more powerful audio speakers.

6.2 Roku Streambar
Image credit Amazon

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Roku Streambar Design

The dimensions of the Streambar are 14.0 inches in length, 4.2 inches in width, and 2.4 inches in height, which puts it at almost 1/2 the size of the Roku Smart Soundbar. This product is not very big. Sitting under your television or mounted to the wall, it is highly inconspicuous due to its streamlined shape and appearance, which is entirely black.

On the chassis itself, there are no interface keys; instead, there are connections on the rear for an optical cable, HDMI, and USB power. You will need an adaptor if you wish to connect the Streambar to Ethernet. It was not a problem for me, but it could be a problem for you if you prefer hardwired connections.

The Roku Voice Remote, rectangular in shape and black in color, is included with the Streambar. It is equipped with a directional pad, buttons for power, home, voice control, and playback, and shortcuts for Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Sling. Even though I use all those services, it would be wonderful if they could instead be programmed.  The voice-enabled control included the Fire TV Stick, and the new Chrome with Google TV is similar to the one with this device.

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Interface

The Roku Streambar setup took a bit longer than I had anticipated since many restarts and software upgrades were required. But overall, it’s a quick and easy procedure. Anyone who has used another Roku device must be able to navigate the User experience easily.

And for those who haven’t, it’s simple to use even if it isn’t elegant or smooth. You can download various themes, including matching screensavers, ringtones, and wallpaper. The Roku Streambar‘s menus are relatively simple. Your entertainment applications, like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify, are housed on the Roku home screen.

These are also reorderable, precisely as on Apple TV and Fire TV. The emphasis on Roku-only titles has significantly decreased. Yes, the Roku Channel is highlighted on the User experience. You can browse its cost-free movies and TV series library under the Featured Free area. However, it is less overt than Fire TV’s promotion of Amazon content.

You can personalize your experience by following different movies and TV series under the My Feed tab. Compared to Streaming Channels, an app shop, the Movie and TV Stores allow you to rent and buy movies via Fandango. Search and Settings are the last navigational components that serve the same purpose as you would expect.

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I don’t dislike the UI’s simplicity. Still, it would be wonderful if Roku’s interface combined the content from your applications into one display, similar to how Apple TV or the Chromecast with Google TV does. A collection of applications would be far more appealing than a massive, scrolling advertisement for Instant Video.

Streaming Services

Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Sling, Peacock, ESPN, Spotify, Peloton, Pluto, CBS All Access, Fubo, Showtime, Tubi, and other streaming services are compatible with Roku. The most notable exclusion from the list is HBO Max. You won’t be able to watch People on any Roku device since Roku and WarnerMedia are still unable to agree.

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Streaming Performance

The Streambar functioned very well because it shares the same capabilities as a Roku Ultra. It was capable of uninterrupted, crystal-clear 4K streaming and quick navigation with little to no latency. After connecting it to a TCL Roku TV via the HDMI Arc port, I found that the two devices operated faultlessly. Even though it supports 4K at 60 frames per second and HDR formats, the Streambar does not support Dolby Vision.

 Applications launched in seconds, and most videos and television episodes resolved to HD in the same amount of time.  Its performance is comparable to that of most of Roku’s competitors’ devices, such as Chrome with Google TV and Fire TV Stick.

Roku Streambar Specs

Channels2.0
BluetoothYes
Wi-FiYes
Device TypeBox
Built-In Voice AssistantRoku Assistant
Size3.0 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches
Max Resolution1920 x 1080
RemoteStandard IR remote
PortableNo

Audio Performance

The Streambar is not just a media player but also a speaker; compared to its cost and dimensions, and it is a capable device. It is not a high-quality speaker at all. It has adequate power to fill a modest living room, but the bass is not very strong without a subwoofer. It would seem that Roku wants the Streambar to function as a gateway speaker for customers, allowing them to improve the sound quality of their televisions. 

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The firm also encourages customers who desire a more powerful bass response to pair the Roku Streambar with the Roku TV Wireless Speakers and the Roku Wireless Subwoofer. The Streambar is equipped with four 1.9-inch speakers, two of which are positioned to face forward while the other two are set to face the side, producing a somewhat surround sound illusion. 

The operating system that powers Roku provides users with various sound modes, volume levels, and voice quality settings. I was pleasantly surprised by how clear and powerful the music was despite the speaker’s small size when I used the default setting. By adjusting the different stages, the speech in the TV program could be sharper, and the background sounds could be even more prosperous.

However, without a subwoofer, even the bass boost mode could not generate the type of planet roars that music lovers may desire. As a test, I watched “Inception,” and the conversation and the action sounds came through quite well.

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Roku’s search functionality is lacking compared to other streaming media players such as Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast. These three are furnished with fully functional voice assistants that provide reliable results and share standard features. I performed app requests using Roku’s search, and the results either opened the applications themselves or sent me to the appropriate app store.

But the responses I got when I asked for movie and TV program names and persons were all over the place.  When I searched for “Reese Witherspoon,” I received results for several of the most current movies and television series starring her. But when I mentioned “Taylor Swift,” Roku sent me to the iHeartRadio app rather than the Spotify app that was already installed on my device.

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Roku Streambar Features

You can now utilize Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit with the Streambar, as it has been updated to Roku OS 9.4. The Streambar can also function as a Bluetooth speaker, allowing you to play music from your mobile device by connecting it to the Streambar. Because the Streambar is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, you can operate it with other smart home devices you already have.

Conclusion

The Roku Streambar is a compact soundbar that acts as a 4K video streamer. It offers a significant upgrade in sound quality compared to the standard speakers on your tv set. In my review of the Roku Streambars, I addressed how the device is a solid choice just for streaming, and it’s a reasonable option just for the speaker; the fact that both options are available in such a small container is noteworthy.

The Roku Streambar is not suitable for someone who wants to fill a large room with pounding bass music since this is not one of its intended uses. However, it is an ideal solution for anybody still depending on the speakers built into their TV set. You don’t need to spend much money on an expensive sound system to get better sound out of your television. Streaming in 4K Ultra HD and the dependable Roku operating system is also available.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Roku Streambar worth it?

You won’t get mistaken for thinking it’s a full-size soundbar. Still, it does provide crisp, clear audio that, when compared to the speakers on your TV, may unquestionably elevate the quality of your watching experience. In addition to its acoustic qualities, the price of $130 is pretty appealing, and it provides all of the advantages of using a 4K Roku media streamer.

What is the difference between the Roku Streambar and soundbar?

The Roku Smart Soundbar is a 2.0 soundbar that is superior to the Roku Streambar in terms of sound quality. These soundbars contain the same kinds of physical inputs and the same types of functions that improve sound. On the other hand, the Smart Soundbar features a sound profile that is noticeably more well-balanced, and its performance with surround sound is also greatly improved.

Does Roku Streambar work on any TV?

Any television with an accessible HDMI port will work with a Roku Streambar Pro or Roku Smart Soundbar. Still, if you want to keep the connecting process as simple as possible, experts suggest utilizing a specific HDMI connector known as an ARC port.

How does a Roku Streambar work?

Your Roku Streambar can establish a direct connection to your television, enabling you to stream movies and television programs from the internet with unparalleled and immersive sound. You can also experience the same fantastic sound from the tuner built into your TV and any other device connected to your tvs, such as a gaming console, a cable set-top box, or a Blu-rayTM player.


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Jennifer
By Jennifer

Jennifer is an expert in computers. She developed a fascination for reviewing the most recent technological gadgets. She enjoys going through each and every piece of Hardware.



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