At CES last year, Roku launched Roku TV Ready, a plan to make it easier to connect soundbars and receivers to its TVs. It includes partners such as TCL, which has just launched a series of soundbars, and Sound United, the parent company of Polk and Denon.
Now, the company is developing further. Roku announced the wireless soundbar reference design, which other brands can use to build their own Roku TV Ready hardware.
Of course, it is not difficult to connect the soundbar to the TV with a cable, but wireless soundbars also have some advantages.
If you want a minimalist setup, it is best not to hide other wires. Roku said that the reference design uses the company’s proprietary Wi-Fi-based wireless audio technology, which has been used with Roku TV wireless speakers.
Since it uses a TV-ready platform, a soundbar built using the reference design should be easily connected to a Roku TV.
The representative told us that the reference design relies on a lossless audio codec, so you should still expect high-quality sound.
It provides reliable audio/video synchronization, which is a potential problem with all wireless hardware. Of course, you can also add these Roku TV speakers to the rear channel with one of the wireless soundbars.
Although Roku can easily build its own wireless soundbar (now it has become the top smart TV operating system in the United States), the reference design helped the company reduce the burden of building and distributing more audio hardware.
Roku just released the Streambar, a line-shaped speaker priced at $130, and last year launched a Smart Soundbar priced at $180, both with streaming player functions.
Roku said that TCL plans to announce its own wireless soundbar at CES on January 12 using the reference design.
The company also announced that Element will soon launch 2.0 and 2.1 Roku TV Ready soundbars and the latter includes a subwoofer.
Roku also plans to bring its “TV Ready” program internationally later this year, although it has not announced partners or hardware.