Roku's Smart Soundbar Puts Dumb Speakers To Shame With 4K HDR Streaming Capabilities

Roku Smart Soundbar
Roku just made it easy to upgrade your television's audio and add streaming capabilities in one fell swoop. The new Roku Smart Soundbar is notable because not only is it the company's first soundbar, but it also comes with a built-in Roku Ultra streamer, allowing users to stream videos in up to 4K Ultra HD with HDR support.

Granted, most modern TVs come with built-in streaming capabilities, so for some it might be a redundant feature. However, for those who prefer Roku to Chromecast (the latter of which is found on many TVs), the Roku Smart Soundbar could serve as a nifty 2-in-1 upgrade, piping out better audio than a TV's speakers with 4K HDR streaming support to boot.

"We’ve been very successful in delivering best-in-class streaming experiences to our customers and we’re constantly innovating in order to deliver on our promise of making TV better," said Mark Ely, Vice President, Players and Whole Home Product Management at Roku. "The Roku Smart Soundbar is a great value and makes it easier than ever to add incredible sound and powerful streaming to any TV. In addition, if you want heart-pounding bass you can easily add that too."

For audio, the Roku Smart Soundbar is armed with four "premium" 2.5-inch full range drivers spread across 32 inches of real estate. It also features advanced volume modes, such as automatic volume leveling, a night mode to lower the volume for louder scenes and boost it for quieter ones, and a speech clarity mode to boost voice frequencies.

As for the streaming capabilities, there is a quad-core processor inside, and it comes with a voice remote with TV power and volume buttons. Roku tosses in an HDMI cable as well. This means it works with any TV with an HDMI port.

For those who crave more bass, Roku also launched a Wireless Subwoofer. The relatively compact subwoofer houses a 10-inch driver inside a sealed cabinet. It kicks out 125W of RMS power, with a peak 250W power rating.

Both the Roku Smart Soundbar and Roku Wireless Subwoofer are available to preorder for $179.99 each, and will ship on October 13.