Roku Streambar vs. Roku Streambar Pro: Which One Should You Buy?Reading Time: 4 minutes
Both the Streambar and the Streambar Pro offer amazing video and audio quality, but which one is the best for you?
Roku has made a name for itself in the world of streaming players, and the company has added a ton of unique devices to its catalog since its first boxy player was released in 2008. Among those devices are Roku’s Streambar and Streambar Pro devices.
These two devices simply look like a soundbar you’d place under your TV. While they act as an enhanced speaker system for your TV, the Streambar and Streambar Pro can stream all your favorite content through Roku TV.
If you’re trying to decide between buying Roku’s Streambar or the Streambar Pro, here are all the major differences between them.
Streambar vs. Streambar Pro: Price
There’s only a relatively small $50 difference between these two Roku products at full price. But what exactly differs between the two devices to make the Streambar Pro worth an extra $50?
Streambar vs. Streambar Pro: Size and Design
Both the Streambar and the Streambar Pro from Roku resemble a soundbar, and either one will look great under your TV. However, the basic Streambar has a more compact design that’s great for small spaces, whereas the Streambar Pro has a larger footprint reminiscent of most TV soundbars.
More specifically, Roku’s Streambar weighs 2.4 pounds and measures 14.2 inches wide, 4.2 inches deep, and 2.4 inches high, while the Streambar Pro weighs two times more at 5.5 pounds and measures 32.2 inches wide, 3.9 inches deep, and 2.8 inches high.
Streambar vs. Streambar Pro: Features
If you compare the Streambar and Streambar Pro visually, they appear incredibly different. But when you look at the technical specs inside each device, they’re actually more similar than they are different.
Both of Roku’s Streambar devices support Bluetooth 5.0, are capable of a wired Ethernet connection with a separately purchased USB adaptor, and connect to a TV with an HDMI 2.0a port or optical outputs. You can even mount both products with separately purchased hardware, though the size of mounting sockets required differs to match each Streambar’s dimensions.
Each device is compatible with Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home, so you can give easy voice commands to control the Roku device itself and what you’re watching on your TV. Moreover, they offer the classic features of any Roku-designed product, like an intuitive user interface, an awesome mixture of free, live, and premium content on the Roku Channel, and customizable sound options that automatically lower loud commercials or boost the volume of voices.
Even the picture quality is the same on both the Streambar and Streambar Pro. As long as the content you’re watching supports it; you can stream a 4K HDR picture. The sound quality, however, is better on the Streambar Pro.
Streambar vs. Streambar Pro: Sound Quality
Inside Roku’s basic Streambar device, there are two front- and side-firing 1.9-inch drivers for a total of four. While this provides a pretty wide audio presence that fills a room, it’s not nearly as full and immersive as the speaker setup on the Streambar Pro.
The Streambar Pro has four larger 2.5-inch full-range drivers that are capable of producing a richer, deeper sound experience than the Streambar. All four drivers face forward but still achieve more room-filling sound than the Streambar’s combo of front- and side-firing drivers.
Neither of these Roku products has a subwoofer or discrete speakers, so don’t expect an exceptional sound experience with strong bass. However, both the Streambar and Streambar Pro will certainly sound better than the speakers your TV comes with. If you want a more dynamic sound stage, you can also buy the right Roku device for you, like Wireless Speakers, the Wireless Bass, or the Bass Pro unit.
Both Roku’s Streambar and Streambar Pro utilize Dolby Audio in conjunction with their respective speakers for quality cinematic sound. So while the speakers certainly sound different because of their unique driver setups, they’ve got the same technology working on the inside.
Streambar vs. Streambar Pro: Remote Control
The Streambar has a simpler remote than the one with Streambar Pro. For the basic Streambar, there’s a standard voice remote with TV controls. On the other hand, the Streambar Pro’s remote has the same TV controls and voice command capabilities, but it also comes with personal shortcut buttons and a headphone jack for private listening. You even get a pair of headphones to use right away when you purchase a Streambar Pro.
Should You Buy the Streambar or Streambar Pro?
If you have the extra cash to spend, Roku’s Streambar Pro is the better option. You’ll get a deeper sound stage, a decent pair of headphones, and a more advanced remote—all for only $50 more. Just make sure you have enough room on your TV stand for its larger footprint.
That said, the Streambar is still a solid option that can achieve a wide, room-filling sound by compensating for its weaker drivers by making two side-firing drivers. It’s also super compact, making it the perfect option for small bedrooms or dorm rooms that don’t have as much space to spare. Regardless of which device you go with, you’ll get the Roku experience—speedy streaming, beautiful 4K resolution, the handy Roku mobile app with a built-in remote, and tons of awesome free content through the Roku Channel.