Thursday, November 26, 2020

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Roku Streambar review: Making old TVs feel new again

: old TVs new

Roku’s to be one-stop-shop for all things home entertainment. You probably know the company best for its set-top boxes and smart TVs, but it’s been expanding into content curation and audio devices over the past few years. Its latest speaker, the $130 Roku Streambar, is designed specifically for people like me: those who want to upgrade their current TV setup without spending a lot of money or wasting a bunch of space.

That ask is more complicated than it seems when you’re talking about a home theater. You can easily drop hundreds (or even thousands) building the right setup for your game days and movie nights. But the Streambar attempts to deliver a streamlined, all-in-one solution that’s not just a soundbar, but also a 4K HDR streaming set top box and a Bluetooth speaker too.

Engadget Score

Poor

Uninspiring

Good

Excellent

Key

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Solid audio quality
  • Dolby Audio support
  • 4K HDR streaming tech built in
  • Works as a Bluetooth speaker
Cons
  • No Ethernet port
  • Weak bass
  • No Dolby Vision

Summary

The $130 Roku Streambar combines a soundbar, 4K HDR streamer and Bluetooth speaker in one device. Roughly the size of a carton of eggs, the Streambar is compact enough to fit into most TV setups be it in your living room or another part of the home. But don’t let its size fool you — the sound it pumps out is much better than most TVs’ internal speakers. If you’re happy with your current television’s picture quality, the Streambar is an excellent way to give its sound a boost. While it lacks thumping bass when using it to play music from your smartphone, it’s hard to deny the convenience of having basically three devices all in one.


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