We are reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Roku Soundbar vs Streambar (2021): Comparing Soundbars with Built-In Streaming

Compared to the Roku Soundbar, the Roku Streambar is like a streamlined version. In other words, it’s more or less the same but in a smaller, cheaper package. The trade-off is it doesn’t have speakers as big as its older sibling, but it does have a few advantages besides the lower price point.

Between the two, it’s more of a mixed bag. That said, we compare both not only to clear things up but to also help you make a more informed buying decision.

Roku Soundbar vs Streambar Comparison Chart

ModelRoku Smart SoundbarRoku Streambar
 Roku Smart Soundbar, 4K/HD/HDR Streaming Media Player & Exceptional Audio Includes Roku Voice RemoteRoku Streambar 4K/HD/HDR Streaming Media Player & Premium Audio, All In One, Includes Roku Voice...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
VideoHDR10, HLGHDR10, HLG
ResolutionUp to 2160p (4K requires HDMI input with HDCP 2.2 support)Up to 2160p (4K requires HDMI input with HDCP 2.2 support)
AudioDolby Audio, PCMDolby Audio, PCM
Speakers4 x 2.5″ speakers4 x 1.9″ speakers
Sound ModesNormal, Reduce bass, Bass boost, Bass offNormal, Reduce bass, Bass boost, Bass off
RemoteVoice remote with TV controlsVoice remote with TV controls
Virtual AssistantGoogle Assistant, Amazon AlexaGoogle Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Connectivity802.11ac dual-band, MIMO wireless, Bluetooth 4.2, Ethernet via USB adapter802.11ac dual-band, MIMO wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, Ethernet via USB adapter
Dimensions (W x H x D)32.2″ x 2.8″ x 3.9″14″ x 2.4″ x 4.2″
Weight5.5 lbs2.4 lbs

Audio

The Roku Soundbar has bigger 2.5-inch speakers than the Roku Streambar’s 1.9-inchers.

Roku Soundbar vs Streambar Audio
Here’s a look at the Roku Streambar’s (in photo) speaker layout.

Both streaming soundbars support the same audio formats, namely Dolby Audio and PCM. Along a similar vein, they also feature the same sound modes: Normal, Reduce bass, Bass boost, and Bass off. Moreover, they have Low and High Speech Clarity settings, as well as Leveling and Night mode Volume Modes.

However, the Roku Soundbar boasts stronger sound, thanks to four 2.5-inch speakers. Following a more traditional setup, these are all forward-facing, so you’ll be getting a direct and rich listening experience.

On the other hand, the Roku Streambar has two forward-facing speakers and two side-firing ones, all of which measure 1.9 inches. While it may not be as powerful compared to the Roku Soundbar, its layout does make for a more far-reaching soundstage. 

Click here to see how the Roku Express compares to the Roku Premiere.

Video

The Roku Soundbar and Roku Streambar are equal in terms of video streaming.

Roku Soundbar vs Streambar Video
The Roku Soundbar (left) and the Roku Streambar (right) improve not only your audio but also ups your video game.

When it comes to video playback, the Roku Soundbar and the Roku Streambar are the same. Both support HDR10 and HLG, and the two can stream with a resolution of up to 4K. Each one can also upscale 720p content to 1080p and 720p or 1080p to 2160p.

However, you’ll need an adequate TV to get the most out of them. For one thing, the TV should have an HDMI ARC input with HDCP 2.2 support or optical outputs, and needless to say, it has to be a 4K TV for 4K streaming or a 4K HDR TV for 4K HDR10 streaming.

Click here to see our comparison between the Roku Ultra and Roku Ultra LT.

Features

The Roku Streambar has Bluetooth 5.0, while the Roku Soundbar has Bluetooth 4.2.

Roku Soundbar vs Streambar Features
The Roku Voice Remote with TV controls (left) and the Roku Voice Remote Pro (right).

A Voice Remote with TV controls is bundled with the Roku Soundbar and Roku Streambar as standard. In other words, you can issue voice commands for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa through it and power on the TV. However, it doesn’t have a headphone jack for private listening, lost remote finder, or personal shortcut buttons. You can always upgrade to the Roku Voice Remote Pro or Enhanced Voice Remote down the line for these features, though.

Both can also be used with a wired Ethernet port for a more stable connection, which is perfect for streaming 4K HDR content. This is made possible by using a third-party adapter that connects to the soundbars’ USB 2.0 port. Straight from the horse’s mouth, Roku says that the Plugable USB 2.0 to Ethernet Fast 10/100 LAN Wired Network Adapter and TRENDnet USB 2.0 to 10/100 Fast Ethernet LAN Wired Network Adapter are compatible with the Roku Soundbar and Roku Streambar.

Now one advantage the Roku Streambar has over the Roku Soundbar is it sports Bluetooth 5.0 as opposed to Bluetooth 4.2. For the uninitiated, the newer version has a longer range and faster speeds of up to 2 Mbps as compared to 1 Mbps of the older version. What you can expect here is a more reliable connection, meaning there’ll be little to no interruptions when you’re streaming music, say, from your smartphone to the Roku Streambar.

You can also play local songs saved in a USB drive through the soundbars’ USB ports, for the record.

Verdict

The Roku Streambar edges out the Roku Soundbar.

These streaming soundbars may be the same in a lot of ways, including video quality, audio protocols, and sound modes, but we’ll have to go with the Roku Streambar here. That’s because it has Bluetooth 5.0 and a lower price tag. And if nothing else, it’s easier to find a spot for it since it’s more compact. However, the Roku Soundbar is still a decent pick if you’re really sold on its bigger speakers and traditional forward-facing layout, but that’s pretty much the only advantage it has.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Roku Soundbar and Roku Streambar?

The Roku Soundbar has more powerful audio since it has four 2.5-inch forward-facing speakers. Meanwhile, the Roku Streambar has 1.9-inch speakers, two of which are front-facing and two are side-firing, as well as Bluetooth 5.0 instead of Bluetooth 4.2.

📌 Is the Roku Streambar worth it?

Yes, the Roku Streambar is a relatively affordable soundbar with streaming capabilities. It can handle content up to 4K and even supports HDR10, making it one of the best cheap smart soundbars around.

📌 Does the Roku Soundbar support 4K?

Yes, the Roku Soundbar can stream content up to 4K, and it also has HDR10 support.

📌 What does the Roku Streambar do?

The Roku Streambar can turn any “dumb” TV into a smart one with streaming capabilities, offering 4K HDR content playback. Not only that, but it can also improve audio a lot.

Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

RELATED  JBL Pulse 4 vs Charge 4 (2021): What Are The Differences?
Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.