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samroney
Channel Surfer

Roku wireless speakers in 5.1 config

I really think someone from Roku should step in and answer this, as many people are in search of the facts on this. I have yet to purchase my extra speakers and subwoofer, and I await a definitive answer on Roku’s ability to send each separate channel of 5.1 Dolby/DTS to each individual speaker in a 5.1 configuration. Everything documented on their website seems to skate around the issue, and there are conspicuously no instructions available for setting up 5.1 surround using a Roku TV as center channel, a Roku subwoofer, a pair of Roku wireless speakers for front left/right, and another pair for rear left/right channels of Dolby/DTS 5.1 sound. It’s almost as if they purposefully avoid addressing the question.

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8 REPLIES 8
Commodore73
Reel Rookie

Re: Roku wireless speakers in 5.1 config

Hey Sam! I forgot I posted this haha. On a positive note I have been running the Roku 5.1 "system" for about a year or more now and for what it is it works really well. Would a true surround sound system like a Nakamichi system sound better, yes. But having the ability to add as you go and funds allow was the selling point for me. Plus I am a huge Roku fan. If you want a pretty **bleep** good surround sound system go ahead and get those extra speakers. I know the information isn't out there but I am very happy with the setup that I have now(4 speakers, 1 Sub, 1 Sound bar).  That being said I obviously can improve upon it, and as most people who tinker in tech know you always want to upgrade haha. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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RokuDanny-R
Retired Moderator

Re: Roku wireless speakers in 5.1 config

Hi @samroney 

Thanks for posting in the Roku Community regarding your inquiry.

Please be aware that in order to setup a Roku Home setup of a 5.1 with 2 pairs of Roku Wireless Speakers, you will need to be using a Roku Streambar/Soundbar as your center channel.

For more information about the different Roku Home setups available, we would recommend taking a look at our Support page here: Optimal speaker placement

If you have another inquiry in the future, please don't hesitate in posting in the Roku Community again.


Happy Streaming,
Danny

Danny R.
Roku Community Moderator
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samroney
Channel Surfer

Re: Roku wireless speakers in 5.1 config

Apparently there is no way to use actual 5.1 surround. In true 5.1 surround sound, 5 separate channels, each with its own distinct sounds is decoded from a Dolby or DTS encoded data stream and different sounds are distributed, based on perceived location in the video source, to each separate speaker. Only sounds intended to be perceived as behind the listener are distributed to the left or right rear speakers depending on which rear side they are intended for. Separate center, left and right sounds intended to be perceived as in front of the listener position are individual routed to each corresponding speaker. Non-directional low frequency components of all channels are routed to a subwoofer.

Contrary to the above description, Roku seems to erroneously define 5.1 surround as 3.1 stereo plus a rear 2.0 stereo duplication of of the front. 
Since I can’t imagine that no one at Roku understands the true concept of 5.1 surround sound, I can only deduce that they are being intentionally obtuse and misleading.

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samroney
Channel Surfer

Re: Roku wireless speakers in 5.1 config

Thanks. I have actually started with a JVC Roku TV. I was contemplating the Roku wireless products to avoid wall fishing speaker wire from a surround amp and HDMI cable from TV to amp. I already have an excellent 5.1 channel amplifier and passive speaker/active sub system which has spoiled me, but was hoping Roku wireless products would work with my Roku TV to achieve a similar experience with less installation requirements than running speaker cable from the amplifier and an input cable from the TV. That’s actually why I bought the TV. I am OCD about cables not showing, so, for me, installing a conventional surround system involves installing a terminal box in the wall behind the amp, fishing speaker wire up through the wall from the amp, into the attic, and back down the opposing wall to speakers, and the same with outlets for HDMI (or optical) from TV to the amplifier. At first glance, it seemed that I should be able to save all of that trouble by just buying the 4 Roku speakers + subwoofer and linking them up with the Roku TV as center channel, with the expectation that the Roku system would decode the 5.1 audio stream separately for each speaker. I would even consider buying the Roku soundbar as center channel speaker despite the absurdity of needing to do so when the TV is already Roku, if it would achieve actual 5.1 channel sound rather than simply 2.1 channel stereo played through 5 speaker. Apparently, despite deceptive portrayal on Roku’s sales website, it will not. Stereo seems to be the best it can do. 
So, I guess I’ll be climbing around in my attic again with speaker wire, making the switch to a Roku TV a waste for me. I do like their format better than Android TV, but Roku doesn’t link with my google/android devices as well for casting. I was already invested in the Google & Android formats because they sync easily through Google, so switching to Roku was a big move which didn’t even achieve the expectations created by Roku’s misleading product descriptions.
I’m very disappointed ☹️

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51barnone
Channel Surfer

Re: Roku wireless speakers in 5.1 config

Their will be no center channel in the 5.1 set-up. His soundbar became non-existent when he hooked up both pairs of satellites idk if he noticed yet lol. The front L/R become the soundbar or what use ta be the soundbar. The rear play ambient surround. Trust me I know!! I have 3subs and over 4pairs of satellites. He just wasted 700 dollars if you ask me 

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51barnone
Channel Surfer

Re: Roku wireless speakers in 5.1 config

That's crazy because mine decodes it. What are you watching far as app wise?? If it's not compatible it'll only play stereo. When 5.1 is being played your modes will become unavailable 

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51barnone
Channel Surfer

Re: Roku wireless speakers in 5.1 config

@samroney  you need the Roku soundbar to decode 5.1. you hooked the speakers nd sub to the Roku TV didn't chu??. 

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Doub
Channel Surfer

Re: Roku wireless speakers in 5.1 config

I have two full sets. The soundbar does the front left, front right, and center if you don't have the separate front left and front right speakers. If you do have them then  the soundbar only does the center channel voices. The antenna input has some 5.1 channels and some streaming apps do.

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