I am using a Roku Ultra (SKU# on the box is 4661R) purchased about 2 1/2 years ago. I almost always use it with the headphones to not disturb my husband. A couple days ago, I got a low battery message, replaced the batteries and continued to get the message. I usually can anticipate the batteries dying because the audio starts getting scratchy first. I always react quickly to that because if I don't, the remote dies and the audio starts playing from the TV (and I will be in trouble). Same thing happened last night. I just experimented. When I check through settings my batteries show about 50% though I am pretty sure they are new. If I watch using the TV Audio, I have no problem. If I insert the headphones, I get a low battery warning very quickly. It repeats in about 30 seconds and after a coulpe times, the remote dies, the TV continues playing but with NO audio at all (doesn't rever to TV speakers like I would expect). I removed a battery, put it back in and regained my TV audio. Please help me confirm the problem is with the Remote and not the Roku unit. I suspect it is just the headphone portion of the remote and that a new remote will be required, but do not want to throw good money after bad.
Sounds like it is just the "private listening"/headphones is just draining the batteries in your remote. As the battery levels in the Roku remotes drop, they get kind of wonky in performance. Sometimes just removing the batteries and putting them back in the alternate slots will show you a better battery life remaining. In essence, wouldn't rely on the "remaining life remaining %" as a reliable indicator.
Since you use the Private Listening feature a lot, it may be worthwhile to try the official Roku Mobile Remote app that is available from the Play/Apple stores that you download to a mobile device. (phone/tablet, etc.)
You can then plug your headphones into your mobile device (phone/tablet) or connect via bluetooth with ear buds. Your cell phone battery will handle this better anyway and you won't be changing batteries in your remote as often. You can also still use the physical Roku remote for navigating while simultaneously using the mobile app (phone) for the "private listening". You don't have to abandon one for the other.
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
I'll certainly give that a try. But the remote has worked well for me for 2 1/2 years. In the early days I was draining the battery constantly before I figured out you have to unplug the headphones when you turn off the TV or they do run it down in just a short period of time. Once I did that they lasted weeks. And now, not even minutes. So something is wrong
As you discovered, leaving the headphones plugged in will drain the battery. As such, it could be that the contacts inside the remote are worn down and not thoroughly disconnecting/releasing when you now remove your headphone plug. Probably contributing to both battery drain and not signaling to Roku device that it has been unplugged resulting in the audio miscommunication.
Highly likely a new remote will fix your issue (or disassembling and attempting cleaning or repair if so inclined), but still think you should try the app before just buying the new remote. Just my two cents.
I just prefer the app method for listening because I can be recharging phone battery also but like the feel of the physical buttons over the app screen remote buttons. And of course, I no longer have to change batteries as often.
If you definitely want a new remote, you can look at Roku's new rechargeable Voice Remote Pro ($30) that allows for private listening. No more battery changes.