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Roku’s new voice remote is perfect for fans of Apple TV+

April 13th, 2021 at 6:09 PM
Roku remote

Roku made a handful of big product announcements on Tuesday, some of which should make Apple users pretty happy — and all of which are geared toward streaming consumers across a range of use cases, from budget-conscious cord-cutters to people just diving into streaming as well as those who are pretty serious about their audio and video setup.

The three products Roku introduced are the Roku Express 4K+ streaming player; the Roku Voice Remote Pro that comes with its own dedicated Apple TV+ button, as well as buttons for Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+; and the Roku Streambar Pro. “For existing Roku users looking to upgrade or replace their remotes,” Roku’s Mark Ely explained in a company blog post tied to the announcements, “the Roku Voice Remote Pro offers a more full-featured experience and solves major consumer pain points with its rechargeability and voice activated lost remote finder. We’re also rolling out Roku OS 10, the latest version of our operating system, which exciting updates to improve your overall streaming experience on the Roku platform.”

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Roku Express 4K+

This player will be available for $39.99 in the US and promises a “smooth streaming experience with a more powerful processor, dual-band wireless performance and additional storage for quicker channel start times.” With the Roku OS, you also get a big selection of free and live TV, plus a customizable home screen and regular free software updates that bring new features.

Setup is pretty simple, with a Premium High-Speed HDMI cable included in the box, so that all you need to do is plug in and connect to the internet. The player is optimized for powerful clarity and sharp resolution and colors in HD, 4K, HDR, HDR10 and HDR10+, and you can also control the Roku Express 4K+ by using your voice with Alexa- or Google Assistant-enabled devices. With Apple AirPlay2, users can also stream, control, and share content directly from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Additionally, Roku Express 4K+ supports Apple’s HomeKit.

Roku Voice Remote Pro

This remote comes with a rechargeable battery, is compatible with all Roku TV models, audio devices, and select streaming players, and retails for $29.99.

Roku is promising the remote can be kept powered for “months” on a single charge, and it works with any standard USB charger. Other key features include a lost remote finder (just say “Hey Roku, where’s my remote?” or use the iOS or Android Roku mobile app and listen for the chime); the ability to save favorite voice commands for one-touch control; and private listening — just plug headphones into the headphone jack to mute the TV.

Roku Streambar Pro

This sound bar features 2-in-1 4K streaming and includes a Roku Voice Remote, Roku headphones, and the new Virtual Surround feature for $179.99. From the company’s announcement today: “Virtual Surround is a feature in Roku OS 10 and will be rolling out to both the Roku Streambar Pro and the Roku Smart Soundbar offering a rich and immersive sound experience. This setting creates spacious sound that moves around the room for an enhanced audio experience.”

As far as availability, the Roku Streambar Pro will be available on at the end of May and at major retailers in June. The Roku Express 4K+ will be in-store and available online in mid-May at major retailers across the US, while the Roku Voice Remote Pro is available at today and will be coming to other major retailers in May.

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Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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