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Roku Streambar review

A small soundbar that upgrades any cheap TV

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There are lots of streaming stick that you can shove into the back of your telly to upgrade your watching experience, but sometimes you want more. The Roku Streambar puts the 4K streaming capabilities of a streaming stick in a compact soundbar.

The two-in-one device is a cheap way of improving the sound of your telly without taking up a lot of space. It connects to your TV, and using one of the HDMI inputs, will create a streaming entertainment portal where you can navigate to channels like Roku Channel, Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV, among others. It also amplifies sound for better audio quality.

Opening up the box reveals; Roku Streambar, Voice remote with TV controls, Premium High-Speed HDMI Cable, Optical digital audio cable, Two AAA batteries, and a power cable and adapter

Setting up is a cinch; connect it to your TV using either the HDMI cable or optical audio cable. We linked it up to our LG 4K OLED TV. Once connected, go to the HDMI input you’ve connected it to and follow the on-TV prompts. The Streambar will walk you through everything you need to do.

At the back, there are h HDMI 2.0 with support for ARC (audio return channel), HDR10, and HGL high dynamic range information pass-through (but not Dolby Vision); an optical digital audio (Toslink) input; and a USB 2.0 port that can be used to access music and video files stored on a USB drive.

Despite its size, the Roku Streambar has a big sound. Four full-range speakers fill the living room with Dolby Audio compatible sound. Two of the Streambar’s four drivers are mounted in the front of the enclosure, and the other two are mounted at the side. The centre channel is designed to kick out crisp, clean dialogue. The 48mm paper cone drivers feature neodymium magnets, and each one is powered by a discrete Class D amplifier producing 8 watts RMS each (total output of 32 watts RMS or 64 watts peak power).

Channels featured on the device include iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4, Demand 5, UKTV Play, Now TV, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, Plex, YouTube and lots more.

The device supports 4K HDR streaming including HDR10 and HLG but doesn’t support Dolby Vision like the new 2020 Roku Ultra. The device can also use AirPlay 2 (and HomeKit).

For just £129.99, the Roku Streambar will give you a significant improvement over the built-in speakers in your television. And at its size, it has a surprisingly powerful sound. More details here on Amazon.