Roku today announced its first step into the smart speaker market with its Roku TV Wireless Speakers. But as its name suggests, this solution addresses a very limited part of that market.
“With Roku TV Wireless Speakers, we’re able to offer our customers a simple and affordable way to further immerse themselves into the TV, movies, and music they love, while providing them with a better whole-home entertainment experience,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood notes in a prepared statement.
What he doesn’t say, at least not very clearly, is that the Roku TV Wireless Speakers only work with Roku TV-branded smart TVs that are sold by a handful of hardware makers. That is, the speakers don’t work with the far more popular Roku set-top boxes, or with most smart TVs.
Looking beyond this limitation, the Roku TV Wireless Speakers appear to work much like other TV-attached soundbars and speakers. They improve on the audio provided by the TV and offer a simplified setup experience. They’re also not very expensive, and are on sale from the get-go: If you order today, you’ll pay just $150, about $50 off from the normal price.