We recommend this soundbar for most people
Roku Streambar Review 2023
If you’re looking for a soundbar, why not consider the Roku Streambar? It’s a reasonably priced soundbar with a built-in Roku player that works with most TVs.
However, if you want a cinema-grade experience, the Roku Streambar may not fit your needs.
Is Roku Streambar right for you?
If you love Roku, saving money, or not buying a new TV with your new soundbar, you’ll love the Roku Streambar.
If you want thundering bass or have a setup that won’t quite work with the streambar, a different soundbar would be a better choice.
Roku Streambar price
The Roku Streambar used to go for $129.99 but now you can get it for just $99.99. Is that a lot? For some things, yes, but for a soundbar, no. We’ve seen soundbars that cost waaaay more, so this is a steal.
This streambar works with many different televisions, so you likely won’t have to drop money on a new TV unless you want to.
We do recommend splurging on a subwoofer, though, because the bass isn’t all there. Unfortunately, it looks like the only subwoofer that works with the streambar is the Roku Subwoofer, which is significantly more expensive than the bar itself. Go figure.
Roku Streambar equipment
The Roku Streambar looks good and mostly works well, and really, what more could you ask for?
We prefer visible hardware that looks nice, and the Roku Streambar fits that bill! It won’t ruin the look of your IKEA entertainment center. In fact, it’s pretty unobtrusive. Most guests probably won’t notice it at all.
The Roku Streambar also has compatibility on its side. It works with most TVs that have an HDMI or HDMI-ARC port. You don’t need a Roku TV to use it.
Ironically enough, the more Roku stuff you have, the harder it might be to get the Streambar working. Our resident Roku stan, Craig, couldn’t get the Roku Streambar to work at first with his Roku TV, speakers, and subwoofer. He figured it out eventually, but be warned that it could be a bumpy road.
Roku Streambar features
Roku calls this a “streambar” because there’s a Roku player built right into it. You won’t only get Roku-branded sound—you can also wirelessly stream Roku channels and most streaming services without a separate device. That’ll simplify your streaming setup for sure.
The streambar has some other neat features, like Night Mode. According to Roku, you can use Night Mode to “reduce the volume level for louder scenes and boost it for quieter ones, letting you watch late-night TV without disturbing others.” That’s cool and useful.
The Roku Streambar also comes with a voice remote for easy searchability. For instance, instead of navigating to the Netflix app, you can just say “Stranger Things” into the remote microphone.
The biggest non-feature for the Roku Streambar is the lack of bass. If you like to feel that rumble when watching an action movie, you won’t be satisfied with the bar alone. You’ll want to invest in a subwoofer.
Roku Streambar home automation
Although Roku works with a lot of different televisions and devices, compatibility isn’t the same thing as ease of use. We tried out the Roku Streambar with a Vizio smart TV, and it wasn’t always the best experience. We couldn’t integrate the Roku remote with the TV and had to constantly switch between the Vizio and Roku remotes. The only way we found to solve this was to use only the Roku platform and not the TV’s.
Not the end of the world, but before you buy, it’s worth doing some research to see how smoothly your chosen TV will work with Roku.
The Roku Streambar also works with Bluetooth, Alexa, and Google (although Roku has said that’s subject to change).
With the Bluetooth connection, you can cast music from your smartphone, tablet, or computer to the streambar. And with Alexa and Google, you can pause and play your content and change the volume with easy voice commands. We found it was easier to change volume with Alexa than with the Roku remote control. Be sure to ask Alexa to adjust the volume on Roku, not the TV.
Roku Streambar installation
We tested this out, and it took only about 10 minutes to install. We spent five minutes connecting all the cords and five more working on the metaphysical stuff (remote pairing, software updates, customization).
Overall, we had no major issues and were pretty impressed, but from Craig’s experience, we know that your mileage may vary depending on your existing equipment.
Roku customer experience
Our guy Craig spent some time on the phone with Roku customer service. Although they accidentally gave him incorrect information the first time, they were more than willing to help and even walked him through his setup the second time.
We thought it was an encouraging experience despite the initial mixup. If Roku is always this patient and willing to revisit issues they’ve already addressed, that’s a good sign.
Recap: Is the Roku Streambar a good soundbar?
Casual music listeners and movie-watchers will be more than happy with the Roku Streambar. It’s reasonably priced, has good quality except with the bass, and comes with the bonus of a built-in Roku device.
If you’re intense about your sound or use a specific setup, you might need to do a little more research to see if you can make the Roku Streambar work for you.
- Pricing: The Roku Streambar is one of the more affordable soundbars on the market.
- Equipment: The Roku Streambar looks nice and will probably work with your existing TV equipment.
- Features: There’s a Roku player built right into the Streambar and some other cool features like Night Mode.
- Home automation: Roku works with most home theater devices and also works with Bluetooth, Alexa, and Google.
- Installation: The installation process is quick and easy.
- Customer experience: Roku was willing to hop on multiple calls to figure out some equipment issues.
Roku Streambar FAQ
Without the subwoofer, the Roku Streambar sound quality isn’t up to scratch for most audiophiles and movie buffs. Sure, it’s better than the TV sound and will work for casual users, but we noticed a distinct lack of bass.
Most folks looking for soundbars want to replicate cinema sound quality in their home theaters, and this streambar comes up short minus the subwoofer. You can probably find better sound with a different brand that doesn’t require extra pieces.
But if you love Roku and want to get the most out of that Dolby Atmos sound while using your favorite brand, investing in the subwoofer will help. Add a few more Roku speakers, and you can even enjoy surround sound.
According to user reviews, the Roku Smart Soundbar looks a little different, works a little different, and sounds a little better than the Roku Streambar.
There’s also the Roku Streambar Pro, which is a more updated version of the Roku Smart Soundbar.
If you’re all about the streaming part of the streambar and less about the sound, you might want to opt for the or another cheaper, more basic Roku player.
Data effective 08/17/2023. Offers subject to change.