The Roku Smart Soundbar is a simple-looking soundbar that is packed with features. It comes at a very affordable price, but is the soundbar better than others in the same price range? To save you from disappointment, our experts are here to determine if the Roku Smart Soundbar is the best for you with this Roku Soundbar Review.
Roku Soundbar Design
The appearance of the Roku Smart Soundbar is quite a likeable one. Not only does it pair well with your Roku TV, but it’s also a great match for your home theater system with or without Roku wireless speakers and a Roku wireless subwoofer.
It’s not the smallest and most compact soundbar, but that’s to be expected, especially since it packs so many features it needs room for it all. It measures at 32.2 inches in length and is 2.8 inches tall. This makes the Roku Smart Soundbar one of the easiest to incorporate into your existing system.
The grille is wrapped in a perforated cloth to not obstruct the audio and you can see the TCL Roku logo and a single LED light display. The hardware inside features four 2.5 inch drivers that help propel the sound out in full force.
Our experts were a bit dismayed by the lack of a control panel on the top, but everything can be accessed via the colorful Roku remote that comes with your purchase. Unlike the Roku Ultra, the Smart Soundbar doesn’t have a remote finder. You can also opt to use the Roku app  for control, but the application is not as intuitive as some other ones.
All the connections are located on the back of the soundbar. Roku built their smart soundbar with convenience in mind. All the major ports are featured on the Smart Soundbar, but more on that later.
There are also wall-mounting holes already present on the soundbar. It’s a pretty lightweight soundbar relative to its size, and the flexible placement option of this Roku soundbar will offer a much better private listening experience.
Feel free to expand on the system and add a Roku Media Streamer or a streaming player you already own. A subwoofer can also be added for more impressive bass and satellite speakers for a surround sound experience.
Features of the Roku Soundbar
Sound quality is the one major consideration when it comes to purchasing a sound bar. You want the bar to elevate your Roku TV or other branded TV experience.
The aforementioned four 2.5 inch drivers do the job well. There is strength in numbers and each of them is capable of pumping out a lot of power.
It will elevate your Roku TV speakers to a whole new level and we tested it during this Roku Soundbar review with a variety of content just to be sure. It doesn’t have its own subwoofer, so the bass could be lacking to some audiophiles with high expectations. Our team did find the highs and mids to be very adequately produced and the bass was impressive enough for a soundbar without an external sub.
You can add a subwoofer, satellite rear surround speakers or even the best available floor standing speakers under 2000 to create a more encompassing home theater system that can handle all the notes on the spectrum. Our experts connected a few of these extra components and found that the bass sounded much better.
The Roku Smart Soundbar can handle movies but it can also play music at high levels without muddying the sound. Even the bass doesn’t sound punchy at a louder volume. The soundbar works well with any home theater system for heightened music and movie sound effects but our experts would recommend a sub for bass boost.
The only sound mode present on the Roku sound bar is night mode. This is a setting that will limit the audio output, making it the ideal choice for viewing in the dead of night. While our team likes audio modes overall, we found the audio mode suppresses the volume a bit too much.
To further improve your listening experience, Roku has expanded the frequency range of the Smart Bar. This means it can reproduce more notes on the spectrum, which encompasses more dynamic bass tones and sharper highs. With the help of Dolby Audio, your Roku Smart Soundbar can match up to many higher-grade soundbars.
Roku streaming with a media streamer is possible if you add it to your setup. The Roku Smart Soundbar streaming is comparable to more high end soundbars with voice control. Although the Smart Bar doesn’t have a voice assistant built in, it can still support easy streaming with a stable connection for all your favorite content.
Roku Soundbar Subwoofer
The Roku Smart Soundbar doesn’t come with its own subwoofer, but one can easily be added to your system. Having a subwoofer is helpful for music with a lot of bass or just for people who like the booming vibrations. If you want to improve the sound quality of your Roku Smart Soundbar, there are available small subwoofers under 500 compatible with your device.
With the addition of a wireless subwoofer, our experts found that the soundbar is still easy to use and can create a more full-range soundstage. A subwoofer will also eliminate the chances of punchy bass and weak bass tones at a louder volume.
When purchasing the product, there is an option to include a subwoofer in your package and even the surround sound set.
A soundbar that doesn’t share compatible connections with your TV would be a waste of money no matter how good the quality is. Let’s take a look at what connections are featured in this section of our review.
The Roku Smart Soundbar has an HDMI port making it suitable to other flat screen TVs like TCL 50S535. It’s not just an HDMI port, but it’s an ARC port. An ARC port is different because it can both send and receive signals through it.
The high speed HDMI ARC cable is included for the HDMI ARC port for an easy setup. Aside from the HDMI connection, the Roku Smart Soundbar also has an optical audio cable. The optical audio cable and HDMI cable are plug-and-play designs and work right when you plug them in. Just in case you have a TV without HDMI, our experts recommend the optical cable connection as the next best one on the list.
The Roku Smart Soundbar also has a USB port that supports wireless playback and saved content.
Most basic bar design will have Bluetooth for wireless streams. What’s even better about the Roku Smart Soundbar is it’s an affordable mid-range soundbar that has wireless connection via Bluetooth and WiFi. The wireless connection is very convenient and the bar can work with Alexa devices and Google Assistant for hands-free control.
The Wi-Fi connection is one recommended by our experts because it offers more stability. Bluetooth tends to be more accessible in electronic devices and does a good job for content streaming. However, Bluetooth is distance-based, which means the closer the two devices are, the better the connection.
While it is a wireless form of connection, it doesn’t offer the same versatility as Wi-Fi in terms of placement. The pairing is easy to use as the bar connects automatically when put in pairing mode. But for wireless connectivity, our team recommends WiFi all the way. Make sure to stay in a 30-foot range for stability.
However, the Bluetooth is very useful when it comes to wireless speakers. The pairing is easy as the devices will automatically detect each other and link up.
If your WiFi network is stable, it doesn’t matter where you are in the house the connection will be strong. You can be 30 feet or further away from your TV and your Roku Smart Soundbar will still produce impressive sound with no lag.
The Roku bar comes with its own remote control. Our team liked the colorful buttons as it really stands out from the basic black body. The vivid colors make it easy to see and use the remote when programming the volume and settings.
You can see a power button and the option to control the volume on the soundbar along with other features. There is no control panel on the bar itself, so you need to fully rely on the remote to handle your adjustments.
There is also a Roku mobile app for those who like to do everything from their phones, but the app is not a coveted part of the product. In all honesty, the bar is much easier to control with the easy-to-use remote unlike in Yamaha SR-C20A with better mobile app compatibility.
It’s very easy to customize your listening experience once you get the hand of the remote. You can switch between streaming services with just the push of a button. You can see the buttons labeled clearly with Netflix, Disney, Sling and Hulu.
If you don’t like the sound settings, you can enter into the menu page and lower or increase certain audio to personalize your experience. The remote included can also be configured to control your TV as well.
The setup in our reviews are always simple. Our team understands that the sound is important in a soundbar but the setup is something people forget to consider.
You can go from unboxing to enjoying excellent audio in a matter of minutes. Everything you need for the soundbar is already included. What you will see is the remote and relevant cables.
The Roku Smart Soundbar has consistently received high reviews and a part of that is due to the simple setup. It is compatible with your home theater setup even when you are using a flat screen TV or the best home theater projectors below 1000. All you need to do is plug in the correct cables. Look on the back of your TV and your soundbar to locate the right connection ports. Once you have successfully found them, insert both ends into the ports, turn up the volume, and enjoy your favorite music and movies with enhanced sound.
Roku Soundbar Price
Who doesn’t like an affordable soundbar that is jam-packed with convenient features? The Roku Smart Soundbar is such a device.
For the price, you get more than you bargained for. While the soundbar doesn’t have many advanced audio technologies except for Dolby Audio to boost the sound, it can be expanded on to create a full surround system with an added sub and rear speakers.
To make things easier, you can choose to purchase a slightly more expensive system that already includes the sub or a full 5.1 package. The high-tech bar can support both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless connections for easy content streaming and is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Our experts were very impressed with the performance and volume levels of the Roku Smart Bar when it played their favorite content, which is why they were very surprised the price tag is very reasonable.
The Roku Smart Soundbar is an excellent investment for your money. It’s not easy to get such high quality and high definition audio without going over a few hundred.
Is the Roku soundbar worth it?
Yes, the Roku Soundbar is worth it. The Roku Smart Soundbar is a very valuable investment for your home cinema system. It is filled with advanced features such as HD, 4K and HDR compatibility, both WiFi and Bluetooth streaming, HDMI ARC connection, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support as well as a very intuitive remote.
How does the Roku soundbar work?
The Roku soundbar works by connecting directly to your TV via the HDMI ARC connection. You can also choose to connect wirelessly via the Bluetooth or WiFi features. Once connected, use the colorful remote to input the correct settings such as enabling the HDMI ARC and enjoy your content!
Roku Soundbar Review Conclusion
Our expert team’s Roku Soundbar review is a highly positive one. For such an affordable soundbar, we were very impressed with the audio capabilities that include Dolby Audio, a wider frequency range and more dynamic bass notes. The bar supports high definition HDR, 4K and HD content once you connect Via HDMI ARC.
Your audio experience is fully customizable from the settings page with the help of the remote. You will enjoy optimized visual and audio content.
Other than the sound, the Roku soundbar offers exceptional user-friendliness with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant device compatibility, both WiFi and Bluetooth wireless connection, and system expandability.
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