Roku Launches Branded Soundbar, Subwoofer

Roku Sept. 4 announced it is expanding its portfolio of premium audio products to include a sound bar and wireless subwoofer.

The Roku Smart Soundbar is an easy way to add premium sound movie, TV and music streaming to any TV with an HDMI input. The optional Roku Wireless Subwoofer expands the Roku Smart Soundbar with deeper, richer bass.

Both products can be pre-ordered from Roku.com for $179.99 each. General availability at Best Buy and Roku.com is also expected in October.

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“The Roku Smart Soundbar is a great value and makes it easier than ever to add incredible sound and powerful streaming to any TV. In addition, if you want heart-pounding bass you can easily add that too,” Mark Ely, VP, players and whole home product management at Roku, said in a statement.

The Roku Smart Soundbar is powered by the Roku OS. Four premium drivers offer distinctive clarity, immersive depth and dynamic bass response.

Advanced volume modes enable consumers to reach for the remote less often. Automatic Volume Leveling offers uniform audio level across various types of content, including quieting loud commercials. Night mode lowers the volume for louder scenes and boosts it for quieter ones. Speech Clarity boosts voice frequencies to address intelligibility for crisp, clear dialogue. Automatic software updates will deliver new capabilities over time.

Additional features include: Roku Connect: A wireless protocol that seamlessly connects the Roku ecosystem, Dolby Audio, Bluetooth connectivity, HDMI/Optical Support inputs; Roku Search: cross-channel search offers results ranked by price; Roku Voice search for entertainment, replay, turn closed captions on and off and more through the Roku Voice Remote.

Voice Assistant Compatibility: The Roku Smart Soundbar works with Google Assistant and is compatible with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices
Roku Voice remote: The point-anywhere remote features channel shortcut buttons and TV on/off buttons.

 

LG Announces Sound Bar Lineup for CES

LG Electronics announced a new 2019 sound bar lineup to be showcased at CES 2019.

The bar lineup is equipped with artificial intelligence and features two CES Innovation Award recipients (models SL9YG and SL10YG), according to an LG press release. LG’s premium SL9 took home the Best of Innovation title, the company announced.

LG models SL10YG, SL9YG and SL8YG were created in collaboration with Meridian Audio.

“The collaboration goes far beyond basic fine-tuning or the adoption of feature-sets, with both companies joining forces to engineer sound delivery for a truly unrivalled listening experience,” according to the release. “Drawing on 25 years of experience as the Master of Digital Signal Processing, Meridian’s Bass & Space technology improves the soundstage and envelops listeners in rich, uncompromising sound and strong bass. Together with its Image Elevation technology, designed to lift the soundstage in a more lifelike way to boost listeners’ sense of immersion, Meridian creates a true cinematic experience, delivering powerful surround sound like no other.”

Able to up-mix two-channel audio to multiple, distinct channels without generating any distortion, the Meridian Upmix technology increases sound immersion by improving the sound field while upgrading the clarity of vocals and lead instruments, according to LG.

LG’s sound bar models SL10, SL9 and SL8 support both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Users can add the Wireless Rear Speaker Kit (sold separately) to achieve a more cinema-like experience, according to LG.

The new sound bars also offer AI smart connectivity and voice recognition with the built-in Google Assistant. Users can control their LG sound bar and get information with a command such as, “Hey Google, increase the volume,” or, “Hey Google, what artist is playing?” Compatibility with Google Assistant-enabled smart products make it possible to control connected devices throughout the home via voice command. Users can say, “Hey Google, ask LG to turn on the air purifier,” to the sound bar to make adjustments.

The sound bars “have a sleek, understated design that perfectly matches the chic style of LG’s exceptional OLED TVs,” according to LG. At 57mm (2.25 in) deep, the LG SL9 can also be installed flush to the wall. An integrated gyroscope sensor gauges the position of the product (fixed to a wall or on a flat surface), adjusting sound directionality to guarantee the optimal listening experience, according to LG.

“LG’s 2019 sound bars deliver amazing performance tuned in close partnership with Meridian Audio with the convenience of smart AI connectivity,” said Kim Dae-chul, head of LG Home Entertainment Company’s audio and video business. “The high-quality sound and versatility of our newest lineup takes home entertainment to a whole new level and satisfies a growing demand for premium sound bar solutions that provide impressive listening experiences, greater convenience and stylish, modern aesthetics.”