We recently took a closer look at Roku’s Soundbar that, in addition to offering respectable sound, doubles as a Roku streaming box. But that’s not the only audio accessory that Roku makes. There’s a pair of Roku TV Wireless Speakers and a Wireless Subwoofer.
You can mix and match any of the audio devices, or in the case of the speakers and soundbar, use them as standalones to improve your TV’s audio quality.
You can order the Roku TV Wireless Speakers for $149.99 through the end of July. After that, the price goes to $199.99.
After using the Roku Soundbar for a few weeks, we switched to the Wireless Speakers, and were immediately impressed.
Now it’s their turn for a closer look.
Design and setup
The black cylindrical speakers have a pair of buttons on the back and a threaded mounting socket. The top button is for pairing the speakers to a Roku streaming device, the other is to factory-reset the speaker.
The included power cable plugs into the bottom of the speaker, and that’s all you have do to connect to it. They truly are wireless outside of a power cable.
We have just enough room on our TV stand that the speakers don’t touch or block the screen, but for someone who has a smaller stand, you’ll want to place the speakers on their own stand or even mount them to the wall, if your TV is also mounted. Roku offers different options for a mount or stand.
Because of that control, the setup and pairing process takes just a few minutes. It’s seriously easy.
With one speaker on the other side of your TV and powered on, hold the Home button on your Roku remote for a few seconds. You’ll be asked what kind of device you want to connect. Select the speaker and then let the Roku take care of the rest.
After a couple of minutes, you’ll hear a sound from one speaker and a prompt on your TV will ask if it’s the left or right speaker. Once you select its placement, the second speaker will play a sound and you’ll have to confirm it.
That’s it. You’re done.
Roku sells a bundle that includes two speakers, the power cables, a Roku Voice Remote and a Roku Touch tabletop remote, which looks more like a puck and should be hard to lose between couch cushions. Four AA batteries are also included.
We received a bundle that only included the speakers and power cables, so we can’t vouch for the tabletop remote, but it looks like it would add convenience for controlling playback.
Sound quality and overall performance
The speakers feature a 0.75-inch high-frequency tweeter and a 3.5-inch low-frequency woofer.
We’re torn. One moment, we find ourselves enamored with the sound quality and depth that the wireless speakers provide. The next, we feel that the speakers separate the soundstage into two sides of the room, causing those sitting in front of the TV to miss a part of the experience.
It’s not always noticeable, and the disparity seems to go away at higher volume levels, but it’s something we noticed on occasion.
That said, the wireless speakers bring the noise. After you set up the Roku speakers, there’s a small audio preview that’s played to demonstrate their capabilities. With the soundbar, the preview sounded good, but with the wireless speakers, it sounded great. We could hear the sound move across the room and feel the bass that the soundbar lacked.
Playing video games with the speakers was a robust experience, as well. Nearby footsteps in Call of Duty weren’t blown out and we could generally discern the direction of the sound. Nearby gunshots were almost too loud, but in a good way, and far-off explosions also had a sense of direction to them.
As for movies, we can’t wait to watch the new Tom Hanks flick “Greyhound” on Apple TV after watching the trailer. The speakers kept up with the various scenes and battles, adding depth with the improved bass and direction to the creaking ships as they moved through the water.
The speakers also have built-in Bluetooth, allowing you to connect a smartphone or computer to them and stream music. As with video content, the speakers sound great while blasting your favorite Spotify playlist.
If you already have a Roku TV, these wireless speakers offer a seamless setup process and fantastic sound, and we’re inclined to recommend them over the Soundbar.
However, if you don’t have a Roku streaming box or TV, the soundbar is the way to go. Either way, you always have the option of combining the soundbar, speakers and wireless sub to create a 5.1 surround sound Roku system.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.