New TV, wall mounted, Roku stick, want a soundbar but with one remote.
January 25, 2022 5:22 PM   Subscribe

We bought a Samsung AU8000 to hang on our wall. No problem. We have a Roku Steaming Stick+. No problem. I want to mount a small sound bar under the TV on the wall mount so that the sound isn't coming out of the back of TV, which sucks.

I've found this comment about ARC connections, and I know there is something about the back and forth between/among the TV, the stick, and the soundbar to make it all work with one remote.

I know that I want and need a small sound bar (~24-36 inches) to mount under the TV, using one of those soundbar mounts that attaches to the TV wall mount, and that can work with the Roku remote we already have. I don't want a subwoofer.

What do I need to consider for buying the soundbar (hopefully under $130) to make sure that I can use the Roku remote ONLY? We've been using a non-smart TV with the Roku remote, and that is great. It turns everything on and off and controls the volume. I really don't want to use two remotes. Suggestions for the soundbar?
posted by Snowishberlin to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I looked at prices there were no soundbars in that range except … the Roku soundbar. I have one now and it sounds great. No idea how the mounting options work, ours is sitting on the cabinet in front of the tv. You can import your channels to the new Roku, you may have to re-activate some paid channels on it, and then it will just work as you expect.
posted by expialidocious at 5:37 PM on January 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have a Vizio sound bar that connects to my (Samsung) TV over ARC and it works fine with my Roku remote. Fine, but no better than fine. When it’s working, it works great but, far more often than I’d like, the soundbar and TV just decide to stop talking to each other. Fixing it just involves unplugging and replugging the soundbar power, but it’s annoying and happens far more often than it should (maybe 5% of the time). I don’t know how much of this has to do with the brand mismatch between my soundbar and TV, but it’s worth considering. The Roku remote is never a problem, though.
posted by Betelgeuse at 5:53 PM on January 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

For what it's worth, I have an LG TV and a Denon home theater receiver (connected to the TV via HDMI) with ARC, and I can control the volume of the receiver with the Roku remote trivially (and even power on the receiver when the Roku comes on). Agree with Betelgeuse that every now and then the receiver loses the plot and needs to be manually powered on when the TV comes on, but it's a small price to pay for a single small, simple remote. 95%+ of the time.
posted by Alterscape at 5:59 PM on January 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don’t know how much of this has to do with the brand mismatch between my soundbar and TV, but it’s worth considering.

I think ARC is kludgy. It has to be reset on my (reasonably high-end OLED) TV and actual receiver with some frequency.

To answer the remote question: if you can get your hands on a Harmony remote, that was the solution. They've been discontinued but only recently; you can check to see if your brand(s) are supported.
posted by praemunire at 6:01 PM on January 25, 2022 [4 favorites]

I use soundbar this with a smart tv and roku remote. It works 99% of time with ARC. I use one remote, unless you need to switch to Antennas. Soundbar sounds great.
posted by sandmanwv at 7:21 PM on January 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

Samsung has the S series soundbars that may fit the bill. The mid-grade S50 is 30 inches wide, and is a 3.0 soundbar (with a center channel), compatible with expansion surround speakers and subwoofer (available separately). However, it is also like $250.

As it's a Samsung product, your Samsung TV remote would work with it... supposedly.

The budget 2.0 version, the S40T, is $140, but it does not seem to have the unified remote like the S50.
posted by kschang at 7:27 PM on January 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

Correction to above, S40 DOES have the unified remote. They moved the listing around so I can't quite find it. It's listed as "One Remote Control".
posted by kschang at 7:33 PM on January 25, 2022

We have a Vizio soundbar and Apple TV and Samsung TV. I operate the soundbar with my Apple TV remote over IR and the TV inputs with the Sideclick attachment. Here is one for roku. It just clicks onto your remote and can be programmed. So you can likely just program that for sound!
posted by Crystalinne at 7:55 PM on January 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

I've had the spiritual predecessor to this this Samsung soundbar for at least 10 years. It continues to perform well hooked up to a brand new LG OLED. In fact, ARC works better with the new LG than the old Samsung. I picked it because it was the cheapest Samsung soundbar that had a subwoofer.

I've connected it by ARC (which works great for a soundbar) as well as optical. On my Samsung TV, it was be able to control volume and on/off via optical as well as ARC. I haven't gotten on/off to work with the LG via optical.

Anyway, you'll find it a lot easier and that stuff kinda just "works" if you buy the same brand soundbar as TV. They'll use the same vocabulary both in documentation and "technologies".

If you can currently turn on the TV and control volume with the Roku remote, then I would be very confident a Samsung sound bar would work exactly the same as the TV speakers did. Going much cheaper or "off brand" will probably yield OK but less stable results.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 4:50 AM on January 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

Seconding expialidocious . Get a soundbar from Roku since that's going to have the Roku stuff built in. The base model is $99.
posted by advicepig at 7:45 AM on January 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Ignore my advice if you like Roku, it's your primary streamer, and the soundbar is good.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 8:54 AM on January 26, 2022

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