Roku is joining the speaker business with today’s declaration of Roku TV Wireless Speakers.

Mark Ely, the company’s vice president of product management, said Roku is trying to concentrate on a growing consumer problem — the fact that as TVs get thinner, you end up buying “this beautiful TV, but it sounds bad.” To address this, you may end up buying a soundbar or creating a more intricate home theater setup, but Ely argued that many consumers find this process confusing and intimidating. The process need not be difficult as there are plenty of reviews on a selection of affordable soundbars under $200.
So as the name suggests, Roku has created wireless speakers specifically for Roku TVs, the company’s lineup of partner-built smart TVs. Ely described them as speakers that deliver “really premium sound in a really compact package,” and at an affordable price.

Roku says it is relatively easier to pair these speakers wirelessly with a Roku TV using Roku Connect, and since the company controls both the video and audio experience, it can guarantee that they’re sync’d up perfectly, without lag. To decrease those moments when you’re frenetically reaching for the remote to adjust the volume, the speakers also come with Automatic Volume Leveling to lower the sound in particularly loud scenes and boost the sounds when it gets too quiet.

Ely said the product takes advantage of Roku’s acquisition last year of Danish audio startup Dynastrom: “The goal has been to have audio be a real center of excellence for the company.”
“Our fundamental belief here is that by delivering a better sound experience, you get a better entertainment streaming experience,” he added.

The speakers also come with a new remote called the Roku Touch, which is created in such a to highlight voice controls without fully giving up the benefits of a regular remote — you can press-and-hold to deliver voice commands, but it still has buttons for playback control and others that you can preset.

 

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