Channel Surfer

Giving up on Roku Streambar

After almost two years of ownership, we're giving up on the Roku Streambar due to the many issues we have with it that we just couldn't fix or get help for. Model 9102CA, Serial number YL00A3134043, Software version 13.0.0 build 4312-95, Device ID 2C115A134043

#1 issue (by far) is the audio issue. The sound mix on most shows isn't being properly rendered by the Roku (especially on the show Saturday Night Live), and this is an issue on every sound setting available.

In scenes where there is music, the sound level of the music is far below what was originally intended, and the vocals and other sounds are far higher. Or to be more precise, the vocal and sounds are at the proper level, but the music volume is pushed far below them to the point where there is more than 20dB difference between the two. This happens whether sound leveling is on or off, and it happens in every sound setting ("Dialogue", "Movie", "Music", "Night", and "Standard"). Nothing we've tried has ever corrected this issue, it has nothing to do with the speech enhancement feature (that I know of), and it makes watching shows and movies annoying to watch because whenever music occurs, the overall volume of just the music is pushed far below the dialogue, sound effects, and foley sounds to the point it's noticeably distracting. The music almost disappears, like it's being hyper-compressed. When the music ends, the sound goes back to semi-normal. It's almost like there are entire channels of sound missing or severely reduced in volume for periods of time. It's definitely a mix compatibility issue between shows' mixes and the Roku Streambar ability to decode them. I don't know if it's just our unit, or all Streambars. The issue causes frustration and loss of enjoyment when watching shows. It's the exact opposite issue most people have with the music and sound effects being so loud, they overpower the dialogue. 

#2 issue: No physical buttons on the device itself. Cannot tell you how many times I've needed to turn the sound down for whatever reason (phone calls, someone else trying to talk to me, etc), but I'm much closer to the Roku than the remote, and cannot do so because there are no physical buttons on the device. This causes me to have to travel across the room to look for the remote just to do something I should have been able to do on the device itself. This may not be an issue for others, but it's a big issue for me, and this scenario is never going away, so I've decided that buttonless TV devices cannot fit into my lifestyle, and will never be purchased by me again. In cases where I need to turn down or mute the sound, 8/10 times I'm closer to the Roku than the remote. I need physical volume buttons.

#3 issue: Screen goes dim, and there's an overlay that won't go away when pausing a show, but mostly just when using Crave app. Have already investigated this with both Roku and Crave, and it seems like it's more of a Crave app issue, but only when used with Roku Streambar. Apple TV box does not do this with Crave.

#4 issue: Overall sound levels rise and fall randomly, but only occasionally, and only on certain channels.

#5 issue: Can't fast forward or rewind shows on the Roku channel

#6 issue: Bluetooth headset wouldn't auto-connect for a very long time, but just started doing so, so may not be an issue anymore. Cannot connect more than one Bluetooth headset at a time.

There are several other minor issues as well.

These issues are insurmountable to the point we need to investigate switching to another brand of sound bar.

Labels (2)
0 Kudos
Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Re: Giving up on Roku Streambar

Thank you for keeping us updated, @McBobaks!

We appreciate you taking the time to share the specific issues you've encountered with the Roku Streambar and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Based on the information provided, your Roku Streambar is currently running software version 11.5.0. However, the most recent automatic software update available for Roku devices is version 0S 13. In the meantime, could you please try a manual software update and check if it makes any difference? 

Follow the instructions below to check for software and app updates manually.

  1. Press Home on your Roku remote
  2. Scroll and select Settings
  3. Select System
  4. Select Software update
  5. Select Check Now to check for updates manually
  • Tip: The System update screen displays the current software and build version, along with the date and time of the latest update.

If new software or updates are available for your channels or device, your Roku device will automatically download and install them. Following the installation, your device will reboot.

Please let us know if the issue is fixed or reply to the thread for further assistance; we will gladly help you.

Best regards,

Jharra Q.
Roku Community Moderator
0 Kudos
Channel Surfer

Re: Giving up on Roku Streambar

I am actually not running the 11.5.0 version. That was a mistake. That's what was written in my notes from when we first purchased the Roku. It has been updated many times since then, and is currently running the current version. No update has ever made a difference to the issues described. The audio mix on most TV and streaming shows is still very unusual and unacceptable. The audio issues are not present during playback of DVDs.

0 Kudos
Need Assistance?
Welcome to the Roku Community! Feel free to search our Community for answers or post your question to get help.

Become a Roku Streaming Expert!

Share your expertise, help fellow streamers, and unlock exclusive rewards as part of the Roku Community. Learn more.