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Roku Replaces Premiere with Roku Express 4K+, Launches Rechargeable Roku Voice Remote Pro

Jason Gurwin

Roku is launching a brand-new 4K streaming player for less than $40 with the all-new Roku Express 4K+. You can buy it today on Roku.com. The $39.99 device will replace the Roku Premiere, but unlike the Premiere, it comes with a Roku Voice Remote with TV controls. The Roku Express 4K+ offers HD and 4K, with HDR, HDR10, and HDR10+ support. It doesn’t include Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos, which still requires the latest Roku Ultra (2020) model.

Roku Express 4K+

With the addition of the Roku Voice Remote with TV Controls, the device is extremely similar to the Roku Streaming Stick+ ($49.99). The main difference is the form-factor, in that the Express 4K+ is not Stick, and that it has dual-band (instead of quad-band) Wi-Fi. The device will be available in-store and at various online retailers for $39.99 on May 16th.

  • HD & 4K up to 60 FPS
  • HDR, HDR10, HDR10+
  • Supports Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Includes Roku Voice Remote with TV Controls
  • Dual-Band Wi-Fi & microUSB

There will also be a Walmart-exclusive Roku Express 4K, which includes just a basic Roku remote for $34.99.

“We are dedicated to providing users the simplest way to stream entertainment to their TV at an affordable price,” said Mark Ely, Vice President, Retail Product Strategy at Roku. “The new Roku Express 4K+ is a huge value in 4K streaming as 4K has become a benchmark in technology and entertainment.”

With the $39.99 price point, it is now the cheapest 4K streaming device that includes a Voice Remote with TV Controls. In comparison, the Chromecast with Google TV and Amazon Fire Stick 4K are both $49.99.

Roku Voice Remote Pro

In early-February, we leaked that Roku was testing a brand-new rechargeable voice remote. That device is now officially here in the Roku Voice Remote Pro.

  • Rechargeable battery: Keep the remote powered for months on a single charge. It works with any standard MicroUSB charger
  • Lost remote finder: Say “Hey Roku, where’s my remote?” or use the free Roku mobile app (available for iOS and Android) and listen for a little chime to locate everyone’s favorite TV companion.
  • TV controls: Power the TV, adjust volume and mute.
  • Personal shortcuts: Save favorite voice commands for one-touch control (press and hold after giving a voice command to save).
  • Private listening: Don’t wake the house, just plug headphones (sold separately) into the headphone jack and the TV will mute automatically.
  • Hands-free: Forget about reaching for the remote. Just say “Hey Roku” and a command to turn the TV on, adjust the volume, control playback, and more without lifting a finger.
  • Push-to-talk: Prefer not to have always on listening devices in the home? Leverage the hardware switch to turn off the hands-free voice feature and use push-to-talk voice controls.

At $29.99, it can be added to any existing Roku Player or Roku TV. The two main differences between the Roku Voice Remote and Roku Voice Remote Pro is that it is rechargeable and includes hands-free voice access.

That means you can control playback simply using the command “Hey Roku.”

Voice commands allow you to launch channels, turn on the TV, and control volume and playback. If you don’t want the remote listening, there is a hardware switch to turn off hands-free mode. You can even quickly find the remote by just saying “Hey Roku, where’s my remote” and it will chime for you to find it.

The rechargeable battery can be charged using MicroUSB, and will last for about two months on a single charge.

Just like the remote that comes with the Roku Ultra, it includes personal shortcuts to save your favorite voice commands, along with private listening which can be accessed by just plugging in a pair of headphones.

The device is available on Roku.com starting today, and will launch at various retailers in mid-May.

Roku Streambar Pro

After launching the Roku Streambar last Fall, the company is rebranding the Roku Smart Soundbar to the Roku Streambar Pro. From a hardware perspective, the device isn’t changing, nor is the price at $179.99. However, you will now get a Roku Voice Remote, similar to what ships with the Roku Ultra, that includes personal shortcuts and private listening.

Additionally, the Roku Streambar Pro, along with the Roku Smart Soundbar will get Virtual Surround as part of the Roku OS 10 update. That makes content feel more immersive, without the need of additional speakers or a subwoofer.

The device will be available on Roku.com at the end of May and other major retailers in June.

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