Roku made its first entry into the speaker world in 2018 with its Wireless Speakers, and now it’s back with a pair of new products: a Smart Soundbar, which combines a 4K Roku set-top box with powerful sound, and a Wireless Subwoofer accessory for the Smart Soundbar and the original Wireless Speakers.
Where Roku’s original Wireless Speakers were accessories meant to make Roku TVs sound better, the Smart Soundbar is an even bigger living room play: with full-fledged integrated Roku hardware, it’s Roku’s play to take over the entirety of your streaming setup, no matter what kind of TV you have. Just plug the speaker into an HDMI ARC port, and you’ll get 4K video with Roku’s full suite of apps and a decent soundbar with both Bluetooth and Dolby audio support.
The Smart Soundbar is a 32-inch 2.0 setup that has four 2.5-inch speakers. But if you need more power, you can pair it with Roku’s Wireless Subwoofer, which connects via the same proprietary wireless standard that the original Wireless Speakers use. That means it’ll only work with Roku products (just the Smart Soundbar at launch, although Roku promises that you’ll eventually be able to use it with Roku’s Wireless Speakers in the coming months). In exchange, you get the simple plug-and-play setup that was a highlight of the Wireless Speakers.
Currently, the company hasn’t announced plans to expand its living room setup further. While you can use the Smart Soundbar with the Wireless Subwoofer or, eventually, the Wireless Speakers with the Wireless Subwoofer, there’s no options to, say, combine all three for some sort of surround sound home theater setup — at least, not yet.
Both the Roku Smart Soundbar and Roku Wireless Subwoofer will cost $179.99. Preorders start today ahead of an October release.