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.
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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.
<p>Year 2022: You have 14 speakers in front of your TV as you subscribe to 7 different streaming services and they all require their own smart speaker and virtual assistant. There are no open standards because manufacturers want to lock you into their ecosystem. Welcome to AOL TV. </p>