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Does Roku TV Have Bluetooth? Sortof…

With all the capabilities that a Roku TV does have, it’s worth noting that at the end of the day this is just a streaming stick built into the TV. It can’t automatically “do it all” and one of the things that confuses Roku users time and time again is simply trying to figure out if their Roku TV has Bluetooth.

Most Roku TV’s don’t have Bluetooth built in. To connect bluetooth devices, first pair them to your phone before using the Roku app to trigger private listening and channelling the audio to the device you want through the app.

Sure, there are a few other nuances to this conversation (like whether or not the Roku Streambar is a good solution). We’ll look at this and other questions as we unpack the problem and get you connected. Let’s get started!

How To Use Bluetooth Speakers with Roku TV (Using The App)

Roku TVs & Bluetooth

If your Roku TV has BT build in (see our list of devices below), you can connect directly to a few devices. For everything else, and for the Roku devices with Bluetooth built in, you can use the Roku app and the ‘Private Listening’ feature to get the behavior you want.

What is Private Listening?

Private Listening is a feature that allows you to listen to the audio from your Roku device through a pair of headphones or earbuds. This feature is available on select Roku streaming devices, and it allows you to enjoy your favorite shows and movies without disturbing others around you

To use Private Listening, you can either connect your headphones or earbuds directly to your Roku device via Bluetooth or use the Roku mobile app to listen through your phone or tablet.

How To Connect Bluetooth Speakers Using Private Listening (Using the App)

If you’re working with a Roku TV, your remote may have a way to plug in and do private listening right there. But that doesn’t help us in this context. Let’s look at how you can use the smartphone app to connect headphones, or, indeed, bluetooth speakers to your Roku:

  1. Download and install the Roku mobile app (iOS or Android) on your phone or tablet.
  2. Open the app and tap the remote icon at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the headphones icon to turn on Private Listening.
  4. Choose your Bluetooth speakers from the list of available audio devices.
  5. Start streaming your favorite content, and the audio will play through your Bluetooth speakers.

Note that you’ll need to pair your Bluetooth speakers with your phone or tablet before you can use them with the Roku mobile app. To do this, put your Bluetooth speakers in pairing mode and go to the Bluetooth settings on your phone or tablet to complete the pairing process. Once your Bluetooth speakers are paired, you can follow the steps above to use Private Listening with the Roku mobile app.

Which Roku Devices Have Bluetooth Built In?

Not all Roku devices have Bluetooth built in, but many of the newer models do. Here are some of the Roku devices that have Bluetooth:

  • Roku Streaming Stick+
  • Roku Premiere
  • Roku Ultra
  • Roku Smart Soundbar

If you’re not sure whether your Roku device has Bluetooth, you can check the specifications on the Roku website or in the user manual. It’s safe to say that if you purchased your unit before 2020, it’s probably not one with Bluetooth built in.

Especially the streaming sticks, which expect you to take the audio on your TV and manage it with your TV’s bluetooth.

What About Roku TVs and Bluetooth?

Obviously, if you have a RokuTV the conversation is a little different. Many Roku TVs have bluetooth built in, but it’s not built into the Roku, it’s built into the TV.

So, an example like this Phillips Roku TV (on Amazon), has Roku built in, but the Roku it has built in is different than any of the models listed above, and from the product listing (which doesn’t mention Bluetooth at all) this is more of a case where Phillips didn’t include Bluetooth on their TV, not one in which the Roku in the TV didn’t come with Bluetooth.

This detail is important, because if you’re shopping around for a Roku TV, you should know that most manufacturers skimp on Bluetooth on these models, because they figure you won’t need it: after all, you’re already comitting to using Roku’s ecosystem on the device.

How Does Connecting To The Roku Streambar or Streambar Pro Work? (No Bluetooth)

Roku Streambar

The Roku Streambar and Streambar Pro (both on Amazon) are Roku soundbars that combine streaming capabilities with high-quality audio. To connect to the Streambar or Streambar Pro, you can use the HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) port on your TV. This is a way to bypass the Bluetooth issue. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Connect the Streambar or Streambar Pro to your TV using an HDMI cable.
  2. Turn on your TV and set it to the HDMI input that the Streambar or Streambar Pro is connected to.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup process.

Once your Streambar or Streambar Pro is set up, you can use the Roku remote or the Roku mobile app to control your streaming and audio experience. If you want to use Private Listening, you can still connect your headphones or earbuds directly to the Streambar or Streambar Pro via Bluetooth or use the Roku mobile app to listen through your phone or tablet.

Using A Bluetooth Transmitter With Your Roku TV

Using a Bluetooth transmitter can be a great solution to add Bluetooth to your TV. A Bluetooth transmitter is a device that can convert the audio signal from your TV into a Bluetooth signal that can be transmitted wirelessly to compatible devices such as headphones or speakers. To do this, follow these generalized steps:

  1. Connect the Bluetooth transmitter to your TV’s audio output. Use an RCA or 3.5mm audio cable to connect one end to the audio output on your TV and the other end to the input on your Bluetooth transmitter.
  2. Turn on your Bluetooth device and put it in pairing mode. This will allow your TV to detect the device and pair with it.
  3. Once paired, you should be able to enjoy high-quality audio wirelessly from your Roku TV.

And if you need to understand the details more, have a look at our article on how these Bluetooth transmitters work and how to use this tactic. And note that, as some users found, you can even use a battery-powered receiver on the other end, in the case that a speaker (for instance) doesn’t have a Bluetooth receiver built in. And note that the receiver’s quality matters. As discussed here (forum), you need one with lower, AptX latency to prevent lip sync issues and other audio mismatch issues.

Bluetoothing The Night Away (conclusion)

By now, hopefully you’ve gotten your device connected and have a solid Bluetooth signal getting from your Roku to wherever it needs to go. If you have other issues, like your Roku restarting over and over again, or it has sound or connectivity issues, be sure to check out our other guides. With these tools, our hope is that you can get through ANY issue with your Roku TV and get back to enjoying your home theater!