Roku Just Announced a New Line of Wireless Speakers for Roku TVs

Joanna Estrada
July 16, 2018

Roku has a new speaker system designed for use with its Roku TVs, and it isn't a soundbar.

According to Roku, 1-in-4 smart TVs sold in the USA are powered by Roku, but that still means that 75% of smart TV buyers won't be able to use the speakers.

Roku promises high-quality audio with dialogue enhancements and automatic volume leveling with its speakers.

"With Roku TV Wireless Speakers, we're able to offer our customers a simple and affordable way to further immerse themselves into the TV, movies, and music they love, while providing them with a better whole-home entertainment experience", Roku CEO Anthony Wood notes in a prepared statement.

Like its competitors, Roku's Smart TVs, which are owned by one in four smart TV owners in the U.S., according to the company, will sound better if you hook up dedicated speakers instead of just going with the built-in speakers.

Roku wants to grab audiophiles with its new wireless speakers for Roku TVs
Roku is going beyond TVs with its new wireless speakers

The speakers use technology from Dynastrom, the Danish multiroom-audio startup Roku acquired last fall for $3.5 million, as first reported by Variety.

The Roku TV Wireless Speakers work with any model of Roku-based television that has shipped since 2014, Smith said. Believe it or not, I have a smart Samsung TV, but I don't connect it to the internet. Why? For the first week of presales (July 16 through July 23), a bundle consisting of two Wireless Speakers, a Touch remote, and a Roku voice remote will be available for $149. We haven't had the chance to hear Roku's new speakers in action, so we can not comment on quality yet, but the proper balance of audio quality and price will be key to the success of Roku's Wireless Speakers. From the end of that week until October, the price will be $179.

The wireless speaker bundle includes a new Roku TV Voice Remote, which controls both the Roku TV and the speakers via Wi-Fi. They also come with the new Roku Touch: a battery-powered voice remote control meant to sit on tabletops that features a press-and-hold design for voice commands, playback control buttons and programmable preset buttons. The Roku Touch remote has no navigation pad for working with Roku TV menus, but features dedicated audio input and playback buttons for controlling music through the speakers, without the TV.

The speakers are about the size of square upright tissue boxes. And for ease-of-use, the entire setup process is done via the TV itself. "It really makes it foolproof".

Roku told Ars in a briefing that the speakers will play optimized audio from anything connected to the paired Roku TV, including cable boxes, antennas, and even Bluetooth devices like your smartphone. Also, many AV receivers and soundbars can be expensive and hard to install-two qualities that Roku is hoping will not define its new wireless speakers. The company was able to keep costs down with techniques including optimizing digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms, according to Smith: "We pack a lot into a small package".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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