TV speakers suck. You know this. I know this. Your DAD knows this. But the alternative, soundbars or full-on home theater surround sound systems, can get expensive, often approaching a grand or more. Soundbars in particular also take up a lot more space on your TV stand, and if you’ve got a dedicated streaming device up there already—as many of us do—they’ll make your setup look cluttered too. The Roku Streambar, reviewed by Gizmodo staff reporter Catie Keck just last month, solves both these problems. Measuring 14" x 4.2" x 2.4", it occupies very little console real estate and has Roku 4K HDR streaming functionality built-in.
After weeks with the Streambar, I’m convinced it’s a solid choice for people who would like to improve the sound on a TV without dropping an eye-popping amount of money on a pricey sound system, or even someone in need of a 4K streaming device who is willing to drop a few extra bucks on a connected smart speaker. I want to stress again that this is not a top-of-the-line soundbar option, at least not without a boost from additional speakers. But the ability for this tiny but mighty speaker to be expanded upon for a fuller surround system—all while delivering many of the benefits of premium streaming sticks and boxes—makes it a hell of a steal for the price.
For Cyber Week, the Roku Streambar is down to $100—23% off the list price—on Amazon and at Best Buy. While it doesn’t support many of the bells and whistles that even the Roku Ultra does, it’s a great way to consolidate your devices, which you can’t really say of any set-top box. That said, if you’re unconvinced but still need a way to watch your shows, a bunch of Roku devices are still on sale on Amazon and at Best Buy and Staples.