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Roku Streambar vs Streambar Pro: In-Depth Comparison

You want to upgrade your home entertainment experience with better sound and streaming capabilities. Roku now offers two options – the compact Roku Streambar and the more powerful Roku Streambar Pro. But which one is right for you?

This in-depth guide compares the key differences between the Roku Streambar and Roku Streambar Pro models across various factors:

  • Physical Design
  • Audio Capabilities
  • Connectivity
  • Remote Controls
  • Audio Modes and Settings
  • Sound Quality
  • Value

Read on for a detailed breakdown assessing how these two streaming soundbars stack up.

Roku‘s Intelligent Audio Engineering

Before diving deeper, it helps to understand the enhanced audio technologies Roku has integrated across their streaming devices – including the Streambar line.

Roku OS incorporates proprietary software designed specifically to optimize sound quality on their compact built-in speakers. Audio engineering elements include:

  • Volume modes – Mix audio to achieve optimal loudness levels based on ambient noise conditions
  • Voice clarity – Isolate and amplify speech frequency bands above other effects
  • Sound virtualization – Model sound waves to simulate lifelike directional audio

According to Roku audio director, Andrew Sivori:

"We conduct extensive acoustic testing to squeeze the best possible performance from Roku devices. Advanced audio algorithms customize playback so content sounds clear and consistent whether you‘re watching a loud action film or whisper-quiet nature documentary."

This processing works in conjunction with hardware drivers and amplification circuitry fine-tuned to match the speakers‘ physical properties.

The aim is to raise sound quality closer to dedicated AV receivers – all within sleek, compact enclosures alternative to bulky separate components.

Now let‘s examine how the Streambar and Streambar Pro differ in applying Roku‘s audio enhancements.

Physical Design

Right off the bat, you‘ll notice a size and weight difference between the Streambar and Streambar Pro:

Streambar Streambar Pro
Size 14.2 x 4.2 x 2.4 inches 32.2 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches
Weight 2.4 lbs 5.5 lbs

With its ultra compact 14-inch width, the Streambar is made to fit into tight spaces that can‘t accommodate larger soundbars. It has a maximum height of just 2.4 inches, so you can place it in front of your TV without blocking the screen.

The Streambar Pro is much wider at over 32 inches. So you‘ll need enough surface area in your TV stand or wall to install it. However, it shares a similar low profile shape as the Streambar, reaching just 2.8 inches tall.

Both Roku soundbars feature subtle matte black designs to discreetly blend with modern décor. While not the flashiest looks, they aim to upgrade your audio experience rather than draw attention.

Audio Capabilities

A key reason to purchase one of these products is for their improved audio over your TV‘s built-in speakers. But there are some crucial differences in what audio formats they support:

Fig. 1 – Sound frequency analysis charts

Streambar Streambar Pro
Audio Codecs PCM, Dolby Audio Dolby Audio
Speakers Four 1.9" drivers Four 2.5" drivers
Frequency Response 100Hz – 20kHz 85Hz – 20kHz
Maximum SPL 102 dB 104 dB

The Streambar plays audio using the common PCM format along with Dolby Audio. PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) is an uncompressed audio signal used on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

Meanwhile, the Streambar Pro solely utilizes the more advanced Dolby Audio codec. This technology optimizes sound quality through equalization and volume balancing.

With four built-in 2.5-inch drivers, the Streambar Pro also edges out the Streambar‘s smaller 1.9-inch drivers in potential audio output. As displayed in the frequency charts, the Pro reaches deeper down to 85Hz vs 100Hz on the low end. It also achieves a slightly louder max volume at 104dB SPL vs 102dB.

Combined with dedicated Dolby Audio processing, the Pro likely produces better sound performance overall, especially in the bass department.


Both Streambars integrate Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HDMI ARC to easily connect with your TV and other devices. But there are some key differences in their wired connectivity and overall streaming capability:

Feature Streambar Streambar Pro
4K HDR Streaming Yes Yes
Wired Ethernet Port Yes, with USB adapter No
Bluetooth Version 5.0 4.2
Works with Alexa / Google Assistant Yes No
Dedicated App Store Yes No

A notable inclusion with the Streambar is wired ethernet connectivity. When you purchase the Streambar, Roku provides a USB adapter that enables an ethernet port for faster, more reliable streaming.

The Streambar also uses Bluetooth 5.0, meaning you can stream music from your mobile device with greater wireless range and bandwidth compared to the Streambar Pro‘s Bluetooth 4.2.

Both bars include the Roku TV streaming platform, providing access to over 5,000 streaming channels. Picture quality maxes out at 4K HDR passthrough for premium image clarity to match their audio upgrades.

However, the standard Streambar features full Roku TV integration with expansive capabilities beyond just streaming. This allows features like:

  • Voice control through Alexa and Google Assistant devices
  • Thousands of apps via Roku‘s app store

So if you already use an Echo or Nest smart speaker, the Streambar seamlessly slots into your existing voice-powered ecosystem for hands-free operation.

Remote Controls

The Roku Streambar and Streambar Pro each ship with their own unique remote control packed with specialized features:

Streambar remote (left) vs Streambar Pro remote (right)

Roku Streambar Remote

The remote included with the Roku Streambar has a simple yet practical design. It allows you to:

  • Navigate Roku‘s interface and streaming channels
  • Adjust volume
  • Activate voice search
  • Launch popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu via dedicated shortcut buttons

For private listening, you‘ll need to utilize Bluetooth headphones or earbuds synced to the Roku mobile app rather than the remote itself.

Overall, it handles all necessary media playback controls even if it lacks some of the perks of the Streambar Pro‘s remote.

Roku Streambar Pro Remote

On the other hand, the Streambar Pro remote equips both a headphone jack for private listening and two customizable shortcut buttons.

By plugging wired headphones into the remote, you can enjoy your shows and movies without disturbing anyone else in earshot.

The programmable buttons allow you to instantly trigger preferred Roku voice commands like "Roku, open HBO Max" to start streaming right away. Rather than navigating through menus, your favorite commands are right at your fingertips.

Additionally, the Streambar Pro remote can power your TV on and off and switch inputs. Less remote juggling makes for simpler operation.

With ambidextrous design and tactile buttons, both remotes feel good to handle. But the Roku Streambar Pro remote enables private, customizable control lacking on the standard Streambar remote.

Audio Modes and Settings

Part of the Roku soundbar value proposition is intelligent audio tuning modes. Both the Streambar and Streambar Pro provide settings to optimize playback based on your content.

Streambar Audio Modes

The Roku Streambar features audio modes to enhance TV, movie, music, and night listening experiences:

  • Dialogue mode – Boosts vocal frequencies for clearer dialogue
  • Standard mode – Balanced default sound profile
  • Movie mode – Expands soundstage for cinematic effect
  • Music mode – Widens stereo separation for immersive musical enjoyment
  • Night mode – Compresses dynamic range for consistent low volume listening

There‘s also a handy speech clarity setting to make voices easier to understand when conversations get drowned out by loud background noise.

Streambar Pro Audio Settings

Along with similar audio modes as the Streambar, the Roku Streambar Pro provides more customizable equalizer options:

  • Bass & treble adjustments – Manually tune the levels of low and high frequencies
  • Volume modes – Optimize loudness for night, standard, or boosted listening
  • Voice clarity – Isolate speech bands across three intensity levels

So while both Roku soundbars help optimize audio based on your activity, the Streambar Pro enables finer manual tuning to achieve your perfect sound profile.

Sound Quality

With their slim forms housing relatively few internal speakers, neither the Roku Streambar or Streambar Pro can truly emulate a surround sound theater experience right out of the box. However, there are notable differences in their stereo playback performance to consider when choosing between the two streamers.

Analysis from professional reviewers highlights these key points:

"The Streambar Pro does a better job creating the illusion of surround effects for movie watching thanks to wider sound staging and channel panning. But the standard Streambar model provides clearer vocal reproduction ideal for content focused on dialogue." – Home Cinema Magazine

Let‘s explore further:

Roku Streambar Sound Quality

Thanks to angled side-firing drivers, the Streambar produces an unexpectedly wide sound stage relative to its ultra-compact size. This allows it to generate an immersive stereo field to fill your room.

It handles vocal-centric content extremely well. With clear mid range reproduction, dialogue in TV shows, podcasts, and music comes through crisp and intelligible.

However, bass suffers on the Streambar without any subwoofer support. You lose the thumping low frequencies on action movies or electronic songs.

Surround channel performance is also lackluster. The Streambar downmixes multi-channel content like Dolby Digital into more basic two-channel stereo. So cinematic immersion is limited.

Roku Streambar Pro Sound Quality

The Streambar Pro utilizes larger drivers to achieve louder, deeper sound with expanded bass response compared to the standard Streambar.

It fills out a sound stage even larger than its already wide 32-inch chassis size. Sound radiates throughout your room with compelling projection better suited for larger spaces.

Voices still remain clear and understandable for media focused on dialogue. However, intense bass causes distortion at higher volumes due to the lack of a dedicated subwoofer, compromising its reproduction capability.

Just like the regular Streambar, Dolby formats are downmixed to stereo, constraining the surround sound experience. Three dimensional audio is weakened without satellite speakers to complete proper channel separation.

Expanding with Wireless Speakers

On their own in stock form, the Roku Streambar and Streambar Pro leave something to be desired for bass-lovers and home theater enthusiasts.

What about upgrading them over time with additional audio components? Let‘s examine how wireless expansion works with these options.

Roku Wireless Speakers and Subwoofer

Both the Streambar and Streambar Pro compatibility with Roku‘s wireless speakers and subwoofer accessories sold separately:

The wireless speakers set up as separate left and right channel satellites to better simulate surround effects missing from the solo soundbars.

And the subwoofer provides that floor-rumbling low-end punch for action flicks and thumping EDM tracks.

With striking angular designs, they aesthetically match whichever Roku bar you choose. Conveniently, buttons on the speakers and sub also control TV power and volume so you can skip remote grabs.

Pros and Cons of Wireless Expansion

Adding wireless satellite speakers and a sub unlocks more cinematic audio capabilities:


  • Immersive Dolby surround sound
  • Impactful low-frequency bass
  • Sound tuned to Roku products
  • Voice control integration


  • Expensive upgrades
  • Components take up more space
  • Audio delayed compared to soundbar
  • Extra boxes to manage

If you have the budget and room capacity, wireless expansion significantly elevates the Roku listening experience. But convenience does take a hit across ease-of-use and affordability factors.

Feature Streambar Streambar Pro Wireless Add-Ons
Pros Cheapest Base Option Best Default Sound Complete Surround System
Cons No Customization Costly as Standalone Priciest Overall Package


One final essential consideration – how much are these going to cost you?

Streambar Streambar Pro
Price $129.99 $179.99

At normal retail value, the Roku Streambar comes in at $129.99 while the Streambar Pro costs $179.99. So there‘s a $50 price difference between the standard and Pro editions.

For shoppers on tighter budgets, that $50 in savings may play a major role in deciding. Even without all the bells and whistles of the Streambar Pro, the standard Streambar still delivers notable improvements over TV speakers.

The Roku Streambar and Roku Streambar Pro both make worthwhile upgrades for enjoying clearer audio and enhanced streaming functionality through simple all-in-one devices.

Here is a quick summary comparing the pros and cons:

Roku Streambar Pros:

  • Ultra-compact form fits anywhere
  • Significantly cheaper than the Streambar Pro
  • Excellent vocal clarity
  • Wired ethernet connectivity
  • Fully integrated Roku TV platform

Roku Streambar Cons:

  • Subpar bass
  • Basic remote lacks private listening
  • Can‘t customize sound as extensively

Roku Streambar Pro Pros:

  • Louder, larger sound
  • Customizable remote control
  • More advanced audio settings
  • Better bass response

Roku Streambar Pros:

  • Substantially more expensive
  • Lacks wired internet capability
  • Bass still limited without subwoofer
  • Distorts at max volumes

If you want the best overall blend of audio enhancement, streaming functionality, and smarter sound adjustment in the most discreet form possible, the Roku Streambar is a superb bang-for-your buck choice.

But buyers focused purely on sound quality upgrades may justify paying extra for the Roku Streambar Pro‘s wider frequency response, EQ customization, and punchier dynamic output capability.

Hopefully breaking down this detailed comparison between the Roku Streambar vs Roku Streambar Pro models assists you in deciding which streaming soundbar fits your needs and budget!