Roku, the corporate finest identified for its cheap-but-good video streaming merchandise, introduced in January that it is including audio to its product combine. And despite the fact that it might be late to the multi-room audio get together, the primary Roku Join product definitely feels as if it may ultimately rival Sonos and Apple’s AirPlay.
The place the Roku TV Wi-fi Audio system differ from different multi-room audio system is that they are TV primarily based, and use the streaming apps on a Roku TV relatively than in your telephone. These $200 stereo audio system are additionally voice operated, and include a tabletop distant with an built-in microphone.
The audio system come as a stereo pair with every unit roughly the dimensions of a Sonos One ($189 at Amazon.com) — about six inches tall — and the one wires it is advisable to fear about are the ability twine for each. On the again is a pairing button and a threaded gap for a wall mount, that is it. The audio system are designed to pair along with your Roku TV over Wi-Fi and provide A/V lip-sync as effectively. The corporate says that the audio system will play something that is enjoying in your Roku TV — whether or not its audio from one of many streaming channels, or coming in through HDMI.
The audio system do provide the flexibility to pair through Bluetooth to your telephone, however do not suppose you should buy them as a easy Bluetooth speaker. Roku representatives stated that the system solely works you probably have Roku TV, and so they would not elaborate on whether or not they would pair with Roku streamers someday sooner or later. The corporate did say that that is the beginning of a brand new ecosystem with rears and different add-ons deliberate.
Samsung provides a system known as TV Sound Join which is meant to do an analogous factor, nevertheless it will get misplaced among the many billion of different issues a Samsung speaker tries to do. What Roku’s answer seems to be to have going for it’s simplicity. In case you have a Roku TV– such because the TCL 55R615 — the audio system provide the promise of plug and play operation: Plug them into an influence socket, press the pair button on the again and simply comply with your TV’s onscreen prompts. If this speaker certainly negates the necessity to trawl on-line boards, dig by means of obscure TV menus or discover the proprietary app it is a large win for Roku TV house owners.
We listened to the audio system and so they did appear to generate an honest quantity of bass for such a small enclosure, and sounded so significantly better than the built-in audio system on the TCL Roku TV they in contrast it to. Dialogue appeared to be each crisp and comprehensible, nonetheless because the audio system have been pre-production fashions it is unimaginable to attract any conclusions but.
In the meantime, TCL and Roku introduced a Sensible Soundbar primarily based on Roku’s multi-room system at CES 2018, nevertheless it would not seem that product will come to fruition. Although the representatives stated that they are “extremely pleased with [their] collaboration with TCL” it is now unclear if we’ll see the product this yr, if in any respect.
If the Roku TV Wi-fi Audio system are as simple to arrange as they seem, and sound in any means first rate they might be the brand new go-to for all Roku TV house owners. We’re excited to have a look at these after they arrive in late October 2018.
The audio system go on sale at this time at an introductory value of $149.99 for per week. From then till the October the value will increase to be $179.99, after which on the time of launch it’s going to be $199.99. Do not search for them on Amazon although — the audio system will solely be out there from Roku.com.