I’ve been contemplating getting a soundbar for quite some time now. Unfortunately, there’s never really been a single one that was within my budget without taking too much away from quality of audio. Then came an invite to chat with the people working on Roku’s next big release…
I didn’t really know what to expect when I headed to the virtual demo. What I absolutely didn’t think I’d see was the combination of a media player and a soundbar in a package that would cost just £129.99. Surely, there had to be some small print? The quality would HAVE to be off, right?
Then, as October came to an end, a package arrived at the front door. My very own Roku Streambar to test and review.
So, let’s break this down into a handful of different sections. We won’t throw a load of specs at you that many of us struggle to understand, but instead, give you a realistic and honest overview of our experience with the product. Here goes…
The Roku Streambar comes fully packed along with a remote, power adapter and cable, premium high-speed HDMI cable, two AAA batteries and an optical cable, which is for optional use depending on which television set you’re connecting to.
Setting up the Roku Streambar
If you’re somebody experienced with setting up new home gadgets, you’re not going to face much trouble here. Even if you’re not, the simple steps laid out on the pages of your set-up leaflet are very easy to follow.
So long as you can comfortably get behind your television and locate either your HDMI (ARC) port, or pop the included optical cable into one of your regular HDMI ports, you’re all set to go!
Pop your batteries - also included - into your remote control and follow the instructions you see on your screen, and voila. Easy as one, two, three.
A powerful visual experience
So, just how does it look? In short: absolutely stunning.
Consumers are able to stream in HD, as well as 4K and HDR picture with the sharpest resolution and vivid colours ever optimised on a Roku device.
This means that all of your beloved streaming platforms available on the device, such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Hayu, will be displayed in beautiful fashion, as you would expect.
Of course, seeing a picture is one thing. Adding sound to that image is essential if you’re to deliver a memorable experience.
If you look at a picture of somebody opening a can of Coke, you can imagine the sound of the pull-top cracking. Actually hearing that sound in high definition is enough to make the hairs on your arms stand to attention.
That’s the idea Roku had in mind when creating their Streambar.
A cinematic audio experience
Without adding any further gadgets and gizmos, the sound that blasts out of the Roku Streambar is immediately impressive.
I was taken aback by just how clear the audio coming from such a small device really was, bringing an immersive experience to any viewing party no matter the size of your room.
The sound of films and television shows enveloped me in a way I hadn’t experienced without testing super-pricey kit out in the past, or by buying a cinema ticket. It’s genuinely mind-blowing just how engineers have put this together.
The Streambar boasts four full-range audio drivers, two of which are directed in front of the device, whilst the other two are tasked with pushing sound out around the rest of the room. They work to brilliant effect.
What's really great about this is that the audio doesn't just work with the Streambar, but with any other devices connected to your television. My Xbox gaming has never been so exciting!
Bluetooth also means that you can connect a single device to the speaker at any one time, so if you’re getting ready for a night out (post-lockdown of course) in your bedroom, and you fancy listening to some tunes on your mobile, simply link it up to the Streambar and you’ve got your very own personal nightclub DJ.
If you’ve recently been spending your lockdown going for a minimalist approach at home, then you can help clean up your entertainment spaces around the house by combining your sound and streaming devices in one sleek package.
Combining the excellent quality of visual and audio along with the ease of moving from one application to the other means that this is the perfect addition to any casual set-up.
Those who want to add to their audio experience can do so, adding devices to the Streambar that will amplify everything that’s on offer - and likely for a slither of the price of a premium soundbar.
A thousand thumbs up to Roku; they’ve hit this one out of the park.
The Roku Streambar is available to purchase now from UK retailers including Amazon, Argos, Currys PC World and Very.
Tagged in Television