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Roku Smart Soundbar vs. Streambar: What are the Differences?

Okay, so you’re in the market for a soundbar. But not just any soundbar; you want one that will double-up as a streaming device as well. While you can find several products on the market that fit this category, gravitating toward a known brand in the industry is usually the way to ensure value for money. On that front, Roku has both the Soundbar and Streambar for you to choose from. So, what’s the difference?

Both the Roku Streambar and Soundbar pack in a lot when it comes to streaming features and audio. The Soundbar takes a slight edge over the Streambar in terms of audio quality, while the Soundbar is slightly cheaper, but overall the differences are minimal.

Sometimes you just can’t beat the convenience. Both the Roku options can be set up quickly and have you on track to watch all your favorite shows in no time. But what makes one better than the other? What do you need to know to get the most out of your setup? We’ve got all the answers and more; just read on!

Key Differences Between the Roku Smart Soundbar and the Streambar 

Looking at both the Roku Smart Soundbar and Streambar, you could be forgiven for thinking they look similar. They both follow identical style lines and offer a very similar experience, but what is why you may opt for one over the other?

The main difference between the Roku Soundbar and Roku Streambar is building quality and overall sound experience. Additionally, differences in hardware, especially in terms of voice function and intelligent operations.

The Roku Soundbar (on Amazon) is a fantastic choice for users to get the most out of an audio device. Sure, it still offers quality streaming services, but overall what makes the Soundbar so great is the incredible sound quality. That’s not to say that Streambar is weak in this department, but it certainly doesn’t quite reach the same level. 

The Roku Streambar (on Amazon) is a great addition to any home theatre environment. While this device has slightly lower audio quality than the soundbar, it still has fairly premium sound and can be connected to other speakers for a better experience. When comparing just the Soundbar and the Streambar individually, though, the Soundbar, according to reviews, does tend to produce better sound.

How Much Do Roku Soundbars Cost?

Here’s the thing, when it comes to cost, there really isn’t a terrible difference. You can expect to pay around $100 to $150 for either device. But for that price, you’re getting a lot more than just a speaker; you’re also getting the Roku additional services the brand is known for. This means that you can easily browse all kinds of apps and programs using your Roku device.

Considering which one tends to be cheaper overall, the Stream usually wins. By how much? Well, not that much. Generally, you’ll see the Streambar priced at around ¾ of the overall price of the Soundbar. Keep in mind we are talking about the regular Streambar and not the Streambar Pro (on Amazon), which sits at a higher price point.  

How to Pick Between the Smart Soundbar and the Streambar

When it comes time to make a decision, you really can’t make a bad move. Both devices offer a lot in terms of function and usability. Listing the differences is basically splitting hairs. Nevertheless, thinking about how highly you rank sound quality and compatibility can help steer your decisions.

Best for Large Rooms and High-Quality Audio: The Soundbar

The Soundar is a slightly better choice for those looking for top-of-the-line audio. While you’ll still get a great sound experience from either device, the Soundbar tends to take the cake, especially if your entertainment room is a bit larger. Not only can you connect compatible speakers and subwoofers, but the bar itself produces some pretty killer balanced sound.

Best for Budget Shopping: The Streambar

Look, we know that not everyone is looking for the greatest, regardless of price. If this is you, well, then the Streambar is the perfect addition to your home. It produces great sound, even though it’s slightly lower quality than the Soundbar, and offers a lot in terms of other features. The best of which is access to the Roku platform, meaning you can stream your favorite shows and movies without the need for additional devices or subscriptions.

Are Roku Soundbars Worth It?

With all the options out there for home sound, why would the Roku Soundbar or Streambar win over other legacy brands? Look, we aren’t here to say that the Roku system will be perfect for everyone. If you’re an audiophile looking for clean tones, Roku might not be the brand you gravitate toward.

But overall, the Soundbar and Streambar are definitely worth it if you’re looking for an all-in-one home entertainment option. While you can find similar quality soundbars at a similar price point, they often won’t include the feature-packed Roku platform.

That’s really the beauty of Roku soundbars. Instead of needing another device, like Apple TV, to handle all your streaming, you’ve got the solution you need to be built right into the soundbar. Additionally, the Roku system is easy to use and intuitive. Since they’ve been in the streaming game for quite some time, you can expect most of the kinks have been worked out by now.

Even with all these extra features, the Roku can still give similar soundbars a run for their money in terms of audio. As we touched on earlier, Roku soundbars can easily fill a room with premium sound. Additionally, if you are looking for a more involved audio experience, adding speakers is easy to do — you can even utilize wireless speakers (on Amazon) like these.

What About the Streambar Pro?

The Streambar Pro is the latest addition to the Roku soundbar lineup. While it carries the same name as the entry-level Streambar, it packs a whole lot more than just an extra streaming platform. For starters, it has the ability to support 4K HDR and Dolby Audio.

Additionally, the device comes with an enhanced voice command control, even larger speakers for sound, and looks more like a regular soundbar. The full range drivers of the Streambar Pro also help propel the sound to even richer levels, especially in the midrange.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to high-quality soundbar options, you really can’t go wrong with any of Roku’s products. All of them come feature-packed and ready to set up. With the history of Roku in the streaming game, you can expect some fairly robust options when it comes to app support and the streaming services available.

While you might shake your head at the idea of combining sound with a streaming device, the audio is actually really good. While you can get better performance from the Soundbar, that isn’t to say the Streambar is lackluster; in fact, it sports side-firing drivers that help propel the sound across the room. Both sets can also support extra speakers, so if audio is on your mind, you’ve got plenty of options.

So, between the two, there really isn’t a huge difference. There isn’t a huge price difference either. At the end of the day, you’re looking at subtle differences in audio quality. But, if the sound is really on your mind, there are much better performing smart speakers. But of course, you’ll be sacrificing those great Roku features.