Have you ever wondered about the Bluetooth connectivity capabilities on your TV, especially a feature-packed device like the Roku TV?
The Roku TV, unlike its siblings, is a one-of-a-kind product that combines the frills of the modern digital era with the thrills of a generation-defining technology- Television.
If you do own or if you are planning to do so, let me tell you that you won't be disappointed. The features onboard offer a significant value proposition in comparison to the other TVs on the market.
Resolutions up to 4K with support for dual-band WiFi for faster and better connectivity, along with the availability of more than 500,000+ channels, make just the tip of the iceberg.
As a long-term user of several Roku products, including a couple of Roku TVs, I have to tell you that it is indeed one of the best streaming devices out there.
And then, we come to the topic of Bluetooth connectivity. Several modern Roku devices natively support Bluetooth connections. But it is limited to mobiles, tablets, and PC connections.
You cannot connect a wireless media device like a headphone or speaker with any Roku device unless it is a Roku product, like the Roku wireless speaker.
Roku TVs do not support Bluetooth connectivity. However, it is possible to use Bluetooth devices with the Roku TV. Connecting a Roku wireless speaker grants Bluetooth support to Roku TV. The private listening feature onboard the Roku app can lend a hand with Bluetooth connectivity. Another way is to connect a Bluetooth transmitter with the TV to make it Bluetooth capable.
Now let's take a look at these methods in detail.
Roku Wireless Speakers - The Recommended Walkaround
Roku Wireless speakers are a great pair of smart speakers with an easy connect feature for pairing with Roku devices, and offer a premium sound for your Roku TV.
It comes two to a box, and each has to be powered separately. The speakers support Bluetooth streaming hence integrating the said feature with the paired Roku TV.
The process of linking/pairing the speakers is a breeze, as advertised.
To pair Roku Wireless speakers with the Roku TV, follow these steps.
1. Once you have unboxed the speakers and plugged them in, a voice instruction will help you pair the device with the TV. If you want to repeat the instructions, press the Pair button on the back of the speaker.
2. Turn ON the TV and press the Home button for about 5 seconds to bring up the pairing screen.
3. The TV will automatically scan and connect the speakers once it recognizes them.
4. It will then check for any updates for the speakers and apply them.
5. Configure the left and right speaker orientation by following the onscreen prompts.
6. Click on Confirm Settings to complete the setup.
7. On the next screen, you will be asked to pair the remote. Since the wireless speakers don't come with a remote, you skip this step.
Now, you have set up the Roku Wireless speakers and can connect a smartphone, tab, or a PC using the built-in Bluetooth capabilities.
To connect a Bluetooth device, follow these steps.
1. On the Home screen, click and open the Settings icon.
2. Select the Remotes & Devices option and then click on Pair a new device.
3. Click on the Bluetooth device option.
4. Open the Bluetooth settings menu on your preferred device.
5. Select the Roku TV from the available devices list.
After the pairing is complete, you can play music or podcasts, or even the radio, on your Roku TV.
Roku Private Listening - The Easiest Alternative
Limited to only some Roku devices, the private listening feature is a great way to isolate yourself from noisy surroundings or a late-night streaming rendezvous.
With this feature, you can use your favorite headphones to stream content from the Roku TV. But you will have to connect the headset with your phone, wired or wirelessly.
A cost-effective, in fact, cost-free method, unlike the one mentioned above, this method effectively lets you connect virtually any Bluetooth device with the TV.
But first, you will have to download the Roku App from the respective application store, within which this feature lies.
After downloading the app, follow these instructions to enable and use Private listening.
1. Once inside the app, click on the Remote option.
2. Select Devices and then select Connect Now.
3. Click on the Roku TV and follow the onscreen prompts to establish a connection.
4. Back in the app, click on the Remote icon.
5. Select the Headphone icon, which is the Remote Listening option. Click on OK.
6. Make sure you have paired the headphone/speaker with your device.
Once you have enabled the Private listening feature, you can stream the content from the Roku TV wirelessly.
Using a Bluetooth Adapter/Transmitter- The Final Straw
Admittedly not the most recommended method, but a viable one nonetheless, you can make your Roku TV Bluetooth sufficient by using a Bluetooth adapter.
Just plug one into the available I/O ports of the Roku TV, like the TOSlink or SPDIF optical ports, or even the AUX or RCA audio jacks.
By doing so, the Bluetooth adapter virtually becomes an audio output device, meaning you can only use audio devices like headphones and speakers.
This method may not be recommended as much as the other two because of the delay issues and the connectivity problems that accompany it.
When shopping for an adapter, make sure it has support for a wide range of I/O connections. The type of DAC and the version of Bluetooth are also things worth noting.
An LDAC along with Bluetooth version 5+ are the recommended requirements.
Once you have procured a Bluetooth transmitter, connect the transmitter to the Roku TV through an I/O port.
Follow these steps to configure the audio settings on your Roku TV.
1. On the Home Screen, click and open the Settings icon.
2. Click on Audio and then select the "S/PDIf and ARC" option.
3. Scroll and select the PCM-stereo option.
Exit the menu and then try streaming content. If you have problems streaming the audio, try turning OFF the TV speakers from the Audio Menu.
And there you have it, three methods through which you can convert your Roku TV to support Bluetooth connections.
Now, let's take a look at some of the problems and solutions associated with Bluetooth connections.
Problems And Solutions
One of the most common issues with streaming content wirelessly is connectivity issues. Whether from interference or outdated software versions, the reasons are plenty.
Another common issue with Bluetooth communication is the delay/sync issue. Reducing the effective distance between the devices may be helpful, but unfortunately, there isn't much to be told about this issue.
Depending on the method you have adopted to employ Bluetooth connections, issues may also vary from one to another.
Here are some of the fixes for various issues troubling a Bluetooth connection.
1. Check for Updates
An essential requirement when connecting the Roku wireless speaker or while using Private Listening is to make sure you have updated the Roku TV to the latest version.
Running on an outdated version may make the connection janky. It can also make the UI freeze at times.
To check and update your Roku TV, follow these steps.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open System.
2. Select System Update.
3. Click on Check now to manually scan and install updates.
Restart the device after updating and then check for any problems.
2. Maintain Close Proximity and Check for Interference
If the paired devices are not close to the Roku TV, cracked and broken audio may trouble you while streaming.
Make sure to maintain close proximity while connected.
Bluetooth connections have a shorter connection radius when compared to other connection protocols like WiFi.
Likewise, the connection can also get affected by wireless interference. Check for wirelessly communicating devices within the vicinity of the Bluetooth device.
Make sure to turn them OFF for better communication.
Restart the devices as an added assurance.
3. Refresh the Connection
Another healthy method to try out whilst having issues is to refresh the connection. Unpairing the devices and then pairing them back again is what we have to do.
To do so, follow these steps.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open Remote & Accessories.
2. Click on Bluetooth Devices and select the device.
3. Click on Forget this device to unpair the device from the Roku TV.
After a quick restart, pair the device back again and check for issues.
4. Turn OFF VPN and Other Network Filters.
Mostly applicable while using the second method, any network filters or VPN can affect the connection.
VPNs can make your WiFi connections slow and laggy. It will also cause buffering issues while streaming. Turn OFF any such masks and filters on your network, especially any IP masking software.
Restart your device and try connecting again.
Although Roku TVs don't have any in-built Bluetooth capabilities, with this guide, you will be able to connect your favorite Bluetooth devices with the Roku TV(maybe a bit costly, with a couple of methods).
If you have any further problems with the connection, try resetting the Roku TV. Go to Settings>System>Advanced System Settings>Factory Reset to do so.
Providing another layer of depth to your streaming endeavors by enriching the audio can be a game-changer, and now, you too can make that enrichment a reality.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a Smart TV and a Roku TV?
Simply put, all Roku TVs are smart TVs, but not vice-versa. A Roku TV is a smart TV that has inbuilt Roku streaming capabilities. Unlike a smart TV, which has an OS and can behave as a standalone device, the Roku TV depends on the Roku OS, which comes standard with every Roku device. Routine updates and a large list of curated channels help distinguish the Roku TV even more from a generic Smart TV.
How do I connect a mobile device with my Roku TV?
You can connect and control your Roku TV through your phone by using the Roku App. Download the Roku app from the supported app store and follow the onscreen instruction to connect with the Roku TV. Connect both the devices to the same network before pairing.
What can I do using Bluetooth on the Roku TV?
After you have connected a device through Bluetooth on your Roku TV, open the Bluetooth channel on the Roku TV to access media on the TV. Though, sharing content from a browser may not be supported. Personal media, music, podcast, radio, and audiobooks are some of the most widely shared content via Bluetooth.