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Roku just unveiled a $180 soundbar that can stream content to your TV

September 4th, 2019 at 3:39 PM
Roku soundbar

Roku’s hardware portfolio just got a little larger, thanks to the unveiling Wednesday of the company’s new Smart Soundbar that functions as both a TV speaker as well as a Roku media player that can serve up a ton of content without the need for a separate device.

Among its key features, the soundbar houses four different drivers to help it deliver a big improvement over your existing TV speakers. You’ll also get “automatic volume leveling” with the new soundbar, which retails for about $179.99 and which means you shouldn’t have to use a remote anymore to keep adjusting the volume because of loud and then softer volume and dialogue.

The soundbar, which should be available starting in October, also supports Bluetooth and the Roku OS. Additionally, users can enjoy a “night mode” that will lower the volume during louder scenes, along with a speech clarity function that boosts voice frequency to make the dialogue more crisp and clear. The soundbar’s software will update automatically, and it also works with Google Assistant as well as Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

Meanwhile, the soundbar isn’t the only new piece of hardware Roku revealed on Wednesday.

An optional Roku Wireless Subwoofer, which likewise will retail for $179.99, will also be available starting in October and will serve as an extra way consumers can expand the premium audio capabilities of the soundbar to make for a more movie theater-like sound experience in their home. The subwoofer will add powerful bass to complement the soundbar — without needing an extra audio cable, to boot.

“We’ve been very successful in delivering best-in-class streaming experiences to our customers and we’re constantly innovating in order to deliver on our promise of making TV better,” said Roku vice president Mark Ely in a release about today’s announcements. “The Roku Smart Soundbar is a great value and makes it easier than ever to add incredible sound and powerful streaming to any TV. In addition, if you want heart-pounding bass you can easily add that too.”

Both the soundbar and subwoofer are available for pre-order at starting today and will start shipping in October. General availability at Best Buy and is also set for October.

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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