Roku's Tiny Soundbar Is the Perfect Cheap Upgrade for Your TV

The Roku Streambar is a tiny compact soundbar with an integrated 4K HDR streaming player. It costs $130 and can turn any TV into a Roku smart TV.

roku streambar
Roku

Roku just announced the Streambar, a tiny compact soundbar that's just 14 inches in length and weighs 2.4 pounds. It's essentially a smaller version of the Roku Smart Soundbar, which was released last year and costs $180. The Streambar has a built 4K HDR streaming player that supports Dolby Audio, which is equivalent to the Roku's $50 Streaming Stick+. This means that in addition to improving your TV's sound, it also has the power to turn your "dumb" TV into a "smart" TV that's able to stream apps like Netflix, HBO Max and Peacock (the latter of which Roku just rolled out this week).

The Streambar is a 2.0-channel soundbar that comes with four 1.9-inch full range drivers. It doesn't have quite the power or the soundstage of Roku's larger Smart Soundbar, which is also a 2.0-channel soundbar, but it has four 2.5-inch full range drivers. Like its larger sibling, the Streambar has HDMI Arc and optical connections, so it plugs into your TV via a single cable, so installation is super simple. The Streambar is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, and will be gaining support for Apple's HomeKit and AirPlay 2 later this fall. The Streambar also comes with Roku's popular Voice Remote.

roku streambar
Roku

The other neat thing is that Streambar is compatible the Roku's Wireless Speakers and Wireless subwoofer — you can sync them together so that you get a full sound system. This is great for people who already have Roku's other audio products, or for people who might want to upgrade to a more immersive sound system down the road.

The Roku Streambar is available for preorder right now and it's expected to hit shelves starting in mid-October.

Additionally, Roku made two other big announcements alongside the Streambar.

First, it announced that the Roku Channel is getting a free app for iOS and Android. The Roku Channel comes built into every Roku streaming device and gives people access to free movies and shows. The fact that it's getting a free app means that anybody can access its free movies and shows — no Roku streaming device needed.

And second, Roku announced a new updated model of its flagship Roku Ultra streaming device. It costs $100, which is the same price as the previous generation model, and comes with improved Wi-Fi performance, support Dolby Vision HDR (a first for a Roku streaming player) and an HDMI cable in the box (another first for a Roku streaming player). The new Roku Ultra is available for pre-order now, with it expected to hit shelves starting in mid-October.

Pre-order Now: $130

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