You do not have to use the new Streaming Stick 4K from Roku to take advantage of the latest software features. The update to the Roku OS 10.5, which will be launched to gamers and TVs in the coming weeks, is packed with features to make your streaming life easier. There is extensive Roku Voice support, which allows you to ask players (with supported remote control) to start playing content from Netflix, Spotify and most other channels. And the company has added a Live TV Channel Guide to find free TV content (so far there are over 200 live channels to sift through).
But more importantly for the Roku believers, there are even more configurations for the enterprise wireless speakers. With Roku OS 10.5, you can use any of the company’s audio bars – the Streambar, Streambar Pro and Smart Soundbar – as a middle channel using Roku wireless speakers. Put the setup together with two more rear speakers and a wireless sub, and voila, you have a full-fledged 5.1 surround solution. Previously, you could only use the sound bars of Roku as all your front channels (left, right and center).
From what I remember of Roku’s earlier surround solution, it sounds more than adequate for a small room. I have not heard the 5.1 setup of the company yet, but in general it is always better to have more speakers. You can at least expect clearer dialogue and better separation of the front channels. I can ‘t say if it’s worth paying up to $ 630 for all the Roku speakers ($ 300 for four wireless speakers, $ 180 for the StreamBar Pro and $ 150 for the wireless subwoofer), but it’s worth it. nice to have the flexibility to have a complete system if you have already invested in a few of them.
Roku OS 10.5 will also add some audio enhancements for headphones. When you connect a wireless headset to the Roku mobile app, it adjusts your sync settings based on the type of headphones you use. You can also use your smartphone camera to adjust the audio delay even further. This is a useful feature for anyone using a Bluetooth headset, where audio delay issues occur fairly frequently.
Coinciding with extensive Spotify voice support, Roku is also adding a new music and podcast drive to its system search. You can see results from the entire Spotify library, but more importantly, it opens the door for better audio app support on Roku OS.
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