While it’s likely best known for its line of media streamers, Roku does offer a line of audio gear, including a soundbar and wireless satellite speakers. If you’ve recently added a Roku speaker to your home theater setup, you might be wondering how to get the most sonic bang for your buck. In this how to guide, we walk you through adjusting the settings for Roku’s audio devices.
Roku divides its audio settings into a few key sections: sound modes, speech clarity, and volume modes. Sound modes let you adjust the amount of bass you hear and/or feel. As its name implies, speech clarity deals with dialog levels and ensuring you can hear people speaking over other sounds, like music and sound effects. Meanwhile, volume modes help you adjust overall sound levels, including options to tailor levels for late-night viewing.
It’s also worth pointing out that not all these settings are available to all devices, but we’ll get into that below. And the Smart Soundbar’s audio settings can only be adjusted while watching streaming content, and not when an external device is being used, like a Blu-ray player.
Adjusting Roku Audio Settings
In general, you can access settings via the star (*) button on your Roku remote. One quirk: Some streaming channels use the star button for other purposes, so you may not be able to adjust sound settings directly. One way to work around this is to fire up another streaming channel (the company recommends its own Roku Channel), press the Star button and adjust settings that way before returning to the original streaming channel.
Roku Audio Settings Explained
Sound Modes: Bass can add a dramatic dimension to your audio, but it helps to fine-tune levels for the best experience. After all, too little can be underwhelming, and too much can get unpleasant. For the company’s audio devices, you have a few options: Reduce bass, Normal, Bass boost, and Bass off. Each option does what you’d expect them to, and you can adjust them to suit your tastes and the content you’re watching.
In addition to its speakers, Roku TVs also have access to sound mode options, but the company notes specific settings and modes may vary depending on the TV manufacturer.
Speech Clarity: As you might imagine, the speech clarity settings let you adjust audio to make voices stand out against other sounds. Simply turning up the volume affects all audio, so a more focused approach could be handy for really busy scenes, or perhaps if you’re trying to follow along in an action movie without disturbing others in the house. Your choices are Off, Low, and High. The Off setting doesn’t add any modifications to the content’s sound mix. The Low and High settings boost dialog levels compared to other sounds and to better separate them from the background.
The speech clarity option is only available on the Smart Soundbar and Wireless Speaker.
Volume Modes: If the difference in audio levels are a bit too jarring, it might be time to enable volume modes. These come in handy if you’re looking for a more even sound level so you’re not constantly turning up quiet scenes and quickly turning down big crashes or explosions. It can also help if there are big volume changes during a commercial break. The Automatic Volume Leveling option aims to make audio levels more consistent and even, and can help guard against surprisingly loud ads or changes in volume when switching content. The Night Mode feature boosts quieter audio levels and drops louder ones, which make late-night movies easier to watch without accidentally waking your family members.
Beyond the speakers, the volume mode options are also available on Roku’s streaming devices and TVs, with or without the company’s audio gear attached.
Hopefully, this guide helps you get the most out of your Roku audio gear. Of course, different settings work for different types of content and individual tastes, but if you’ve found a great setup that works for you, feel free to share your findings in the comments below!
Did you know we have a YouTube Channel? Every week we have a live Cord Cutting Q&A, and weekly Cord Cutting recap shows exclusively on our YouTube Channel!