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joemaine
Level 7

NEW Bluetooth Private Listening

According to your press release...

"Roku is expanding Bluetooth Private Listening to be compatible with our newest Roku Ultra, Roku Streambar, and Roku Streambar Pro. Users can simply pair their headphones from the Sound Setting menu and start listening to content privately. This is an update to Roku’s Private Listening feature, which currently allows users to listen to their TV through headphones connected to Roku’s premium remotes or paired through the Mobile App."

 

Will this update in 11.5 apply to the 9102R Streambar and the 4802R Ultra? What about other Roku legacy devices? When will the software update be ready?

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6 REPLIES 6
AvsGunnar
Community Streaming Expert

Re: NEW Bluetooth Private Listening

@joemaine 

According to the Roku blog, the only devices capable of using the new Blutooth feature will be the Ultra (4800/4802/presumably 4801), the Streambar (9102) and Streambar Pro (9101).

From the Roku developers page, a little more info (Roku® OS software release notes)

  • Note: Bluetooth private listening will be available on Roku Ultra (4800X, 4801X, 4802X), Roku® Streambar®(9102R), Roku® Streambar® Pro (9101R2), Roku Smart Soundbar (9101R), and onn.™• Roku Smart Soundbar (9100X) devices.

The new feature is being made available by 11.5 and will start to roll out over the coming "months".  Also, not all features are always immediately available simply with the release of a Roku update.  The update merely allows the feature to operate on the Roku.  Sometimes the feature is included with the initial update, other times the feature is released after the update in a subsequent build.

Roku rarely comments about "when" a feature will become available (still don't understand why all the secrecy), other than to say it is forthcoming.

(https://www.roku.com/blog/roku-os-11-5)

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Each of the above mentioned devices now have a descriptor "Bluetooth® private listening & music streaming" under its product description so safe to say look for that descriptor if this is a requirement for you. ( https://www.roku.com/products/players ). 

As for the legacy devices (or other devices), there is no existing bluetooth function capability, so Private Listening will still have to be done through the Roku mobile app on a mobile device connected to the Roku device on the same network. 

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Roku Community Streaming Expert
Just another Roku user... I am not a Roku employee.
Insignia RokuTV, Ultra 4660, Premiere+ 3921, Express 4k+ 3941, Streambar 9102

joemaine
Level 7

Re: NEW Bluetooth Private Listening

Great reply - thanks for the links! I hope the update release is sooner rather than later!

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joemaine
Level 7

Re: NEW Bluetooth Private Listening

Will the new Bluetooth Private Listenting mute the TV audio (streambar) the same way that the mobile app does or will the update allow for the TV audio (streambar or other TV audio) to play? The bluetooth is a great way to supplement audio in the room. Can you clarify the way that this will work? 

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AvsGunnar
Community Streaming Expert

Re: NEW Bluetooth Private Listening

@joemaine 

I only know what the available documentation states, but I am assuming it will perform similarly as the mobile app.  This new feature seems to indicate that it will directly connect to the Roku device via Bluetooth, eliminating the need to go through the Bluetooth of the mobile app.

There used to exist the possibility to use both Private Listening and external audio (at least TV speakers) in previous RokuOS, but this became disabled in Roku OS10 or so.  Private Listening now mutes the TV speakers.  (There was a setting in a hidden menu, but that has been removed as well).

There are some Bluetooth receivers like offered by Avantree (https://avantree.com/blog/hearing-audio-through-tv-speaker-and-headphones-at-the-same-time.html) that can be incorporated into a system to allow this feature if you want speakers in addition to Private Listening. (useful product for those with Bluetooth hearing aids and such).

I am thinking that the Bluetooth connection will likely only be used for Private Listening and perhaps the Roku wireless speakers.  As with any Roku update, really have to wait and see what is hyped, and what is delivered. (and then, if it works as intended).

Roku Community Streaming Expert
Just another Roku user... I am not a Roku employee.
Insignia RokuTV, Ultra 4660, Premiere+ 3921, Express 4k+ 3941, Streambar 9102

CS_Phipps
Level 7

Agree! Roku needs to rethink this feature!!!

Me too.  I want to Use headphones for my hard of hearing self, but still have audio on tv as well for every one else.  Otherwise, as you pointed, I need to buy an alternative/additional product to accomplish this.  This is a common situation addressed by various products ..So, why not Roku?  I guess Roku see’s this as a private listening need but it is more than that because speech is often much more intelligible over head phones - especially if one has hearing issues (headphone capability also addreses accessibility issues).  ..would be a win for Roku to configure and promote such a feature as accessibility capability - could take business away from businesses that sell Products exclusively for this purpose (tv head phones for hearing impaired [avantree, tv ears])

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Jofearr
Level 8

Re: Agree! Roku needs to rethink this feature!!!

Add me to the list that wants a hearing aid option for the Roku app. I find spearhead much easier to understand when listening to the tv program through the Roku app and my hearing aids. But, this eliminates the ability for anyone else in the room to hear the audio. 

Néed an option to play audio simultaneously.  They could get credit for helping the hearing impaired. 

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