Roku is taking a more subdued approach to the 2022 holiday shopping season. Instead of updating or releasing several new hardware products, the streaming giant is focusing on two new products – a revamped Express and an all-new speaker. Roku Wireless Bass – plus a new software experience for Roku streaming device owners.
The $29.99 Roku Express and $129.99 Roku Wireless Bass Speaker are now available for pre-order, with Express shipping mid-October and the Wireless Bass shipping on the 7th. november. In addition to selling the Wireless Bass alone to upgrade existing Roku systems, Roku also bundles the Streambar with the Wireless Bass for $249.99. The pack is also available to pre-order now, with deliveries starting on the same date of November 7.
What do you get with each new product? And what’s all the fuss about improved software? Let’s dig.
The Roku Express has long been the most affordable streaming device in the Roku lineup, and that won’t change with this year’s update. You can still get the little black streaming device that plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port for $29.99.
For that, you’ll get a device that streams Roku’s own content as well as all the major streaming services in 1080p high definition.
The biggest change Roku has made to the 2022 Express is the addition of dual-band Wi-Fi, which should improve connectivity and speed if you have a home Wi-Fi system that operates on both 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz channels. .
The base model Roku remote to control the Express is still included in the box. You can also add the Express to Apple HomeKit, Google Home or Amazon Alexa to control your TV and what you watch using any of the leading smart home systems.
You can order the Express now for $29.99 from Roku and October 16 at most major retailers. It will start shipping in mid-October, just in time for the holidays.
Roku is expanding its wireless speaker offering with the addition of the $129.99 Roku Wireless Bass. You can pair the new speaker with the Roku Streambar, Roku Wireless Speakers, or Roku TV Wireless Soundbar to improve the overall sound quality and experience.
As the name suggests, the Wireless Bass doesn’t need to be physically connected to Roku devices. Just plug it into power, then follow your Roku device’s setup instructions to add it to your setup. It doesn’t matter where you place it in your bedroom, according to Roku; it just needs to be within 30 feet of your TV.
Roku sells the Wireless Bass as a standalone device for $129.99 or in a bundle with the Roku Streaming Bar for $249.99. The Streambar in the pack doubles as a 4K streaming device and soundbar – and with the addition of a dedicated bass speaker, you’re sure to get the full audio experience.
You can pre-order the bass or the bundle right now from Roku, with deliveries starting November 7.
If you’re not looking for a new Roku device, you’ll still be in for a treat this year. Roku has announced OS 11.5, which will begin rolling out to all compatible Roku devices in the “coming months.”
The update includes several improvements, ranging from a new home screen menu featuring The Buzz that helps Roku owners discover new shows, to posts that highlight content.
A new Continue Watching feature makes it easy to pick up where you left off while streaming a show or movie, with HBO Max, Netflix, Paramount+ and the Roku Channel supporting the new feature at launch .
Save List is exactly what it sounds like – an option to save shows or movies you’ve discovered and want to watch later. Your list is synced across all Roku devices, including the mobile app for easy access later.
One of the biggest features added to OS 11.5 is an extension to Roku’s Private Listening feature. Roku owners will have the ability to connect any Bluetooth-enabled headset or headset to the Roku Ultra, Streambar, and Streambar Pro. Once connected, all sound will be routed to the headset, allowing you to watch a show without annoying your roommate or partner.