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Can I use a soundbar with my Roku Ultra

I like my Roku Ultra 4660X device, I've read that the Roku soundbars have less memory and are reported to have sluggish responses as compared to the Ultra. I have a Panasonic TV that has the hdmi ARC connection. Can I connect a non Roku soundbar to the hdmi ARC port and my Ultra device to another hdmi port and be able to control volume with my Ultra remote? Would other devices (ie DVD player, PC connected via other hdmi ports on the TV) be able to use the soundbar ?

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Retired Moderator

Re: Can I use a soundbar with my Roku Ultra

Hi @TomG126

Welcome to the Roku Community!

Great question, we'll offer some guidance, and other Community members may be able to weigh in. @Tivoburkee and @makaiguy are Streaming Experts who have a lot of experience here and may be able to help.

The Roku Streambars have fantastic UI performance, they're zippy, and they sound great and work flawlessly with the Roku platform. You wouldn't need the Ultra on the same TV, you could move the Ultra to a different TV or even gift it to someone else.

But, if you want to stick with your Roku Ultra and use a different soundbar, just know that typically ARC will pass through sounds to other connected devices, just double-check with your specific TV model to ensure this capability.

Read up a bit here, under "What is ARC?" And don't forget that every TV enables this in a different way, refer to your owner's manual or the TV's online product support pages: https://support.roku.com/article/360034303013

Let us know if we can be of further assistance and we will do our best to assist you.

Happy Streaming,

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Community Streaming Expert

Re: Can I use a soundbar with my Roku Ultra

If the TV and soundbar support CEC or whatever term Panasonic may use then the Roku or TV remote would be able to control the volume.  The remote communicates with the TV and the TV communicates with the soundbar and changes the volume.

Yes, any device connected to the TV would use the soundbar for audio.  This has nothing to do with whether or not you have a Roku device connected.  You're really looking for a soundbar that's compatible with your TV and its remote and disregard the Roku component.

You may hear about "secret screens" and controlling audio equipment instead of TVs, but I wouldn't rely on that.  It doesn't work for everyone and anything in a "secret screen" isn't officially supported and may go away at anytime.

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Re: Can I use a soundbar with my Roku Ultra

Roku stream bars are not "zippy."