New Roku Streambar promises 4K HDR streaming and cinematic sound

Brenda Watkins
September 29, 2020

Roku said the Streambar is meant to be a kind of "gateway soundbar", maybe for someone who's relatively new to the space, doesn't want to drop a lot of money on a traditional soundbar setup (which can get quite pricey), or wants an affordable option for even screens outside the living room.

Finally, the soundbar will produce sound beyond its size but it is easily expandable with the Roku Wireless Subwoofer and Roku Wireless Speakers.

Roku promises that the sound quality hasn't been compromised in the smaller design.

At its recent video product announcement, Roku also announced it's adding Airplay 2 and HomeKit capabilities on select 4K Roku Streaming Players and Roku TV Models too. There are four high-excursion 1.9in full-range drivers, with two facing forward for clarity and two angled to the side to fill the room.

Specifically, Roku announced a couple of 4K streaming boxes that serve different purposes on Monday.

There's also a new setting that makes it possible to fine-tune the volume of multiple Roku speaker setups.

AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Coming to Select 4K Roku TVs and Devices Later This Year

Following a new batch of product releases by Amazon last week and one on the way from Google later this week, Roku has introduced its latest wave of streaming devices, including a new, integrated soundbar, along with an operating system update and a mix of enhancements to its underlying streaming platform. For example, if you have a Streambar and the wireless speakers, you can lower the speaker volume, independent of the Streambar, to your liking. Reps also say that most of the company's 4K devices will support AirPlay 2, except for the aging Roku 4.

You can pre-order the new Roku Ultra and Streambar today on Roku's website, and they're expected to ship in October. The timing of the release isn't clear, with Roku saying only that the new feature is coming later this year. They can securely control thei Roku device with HomeKit, using the Home app and Siri.

With so many subscription services out there, you're going to need a device to stream them with. Though much smaller in size than a traditional sound bar, it's created to fill a room with space and can be used with even larger flat screen TVS. Although, we wonder how it will look sitting below a 75-inch TV.

Various reports indicate that the new Roku Ultra won't be available immediately.

By contrast, smart TVs that support HomeKit have fully supported these capabilities since the very beginning, making it even more unusual that Apple hasn't added this to the Apple TV, which at this point can only be played or paused from within the Home app and its related home automation routines.

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