Bring your old Roku back to life with a voice remote. Sarah Tew /
Roku boxes and sticks are some of the most popular streaming players approximately. With a selection of channelsand applications which includes pretty much all major services , a simple interface and an affordable price range, they have long been a favorite of.
As people get stuck at home due to coronavirus pandemic, broadcasting more TV than ever before , looking for ways to make things better at home is now part of the routine. If you have a basic Roku player or Roku TV , one way to do it quickly and easilyilement is to switch to the improved Roku remote. Find out more Subscribe to the How To newsletter, receive notifications and view related articles at.
With an upgraded remote, starting at just $ 20, your Roku can start enjoying new features like voice control, pri vate listening through the headphone jack and, my favorite, not having to point directly at the Roku TV, box or broadcast key . Here is how you can do it.
Knowku the remoteku
The Roku Enhanced Remote Control, on the left, provides some important additional features over the company's " simple "option on the right. Sarah Tew /
Let's start by breaking down Roku's three different remotes.
Simple remote : this controller is included with older Rokus, cheaper streaming sticks like the Express and Premiere and Roku cheaper or older televisions . It uses basic infrared, also called IR, to send commands to the Roku, so it will not work not if you don't point it directly at your Roku or something is getting in your way. This remote also doesn't have a microphone, so if your Roku remote doesn't have a mic button then it is a Simple version.
Voice remote control : This remote, available for $ 20 (see below for retailers), has three upgrades:
- Does not rely on IR, so you can "point anywhere " to control your Roku
- A built-in mic so you can search and issue voice commands
- Power, volume and s keysurdine to control your TV, so you don't have to use your original TV remote
Note that the last item only applies to players in streaming; all Roku TV remotes (single and otherwise) have volume and power control.
The Roku Enhanced Voice Remote has customizable shortcut buttons labeled 1 and 2. Sarah Tew /
Enhanced voice remote : this remote, available at The Roku site for $ 30 , has all the functionality of the voice remote above as well as three other extras:
- A headphone jack that allows you to listen in private, using your own headphones without disturbing others
- Two shortcut keys that can be Customized to open apps and perform other functions
- A small speaker that allows it to emit sound, so that it can be used with the rangefinder feature of the Roku app
Roku also sells a "telecGame Control "on its site, but since it's basically the same as the Enhanced Voice Remote (minus the customizable shortcuts), also costs $ 30 and is largely unnecessary because Roku devices don't support many games. We'll ignore it, but if Roku's Enhanced Voice Remote is exhausted and you don't want to wait, it can take its place by offering many of the same features, including private listening and voice search.
How to add a new remote to an old Roku or Roku TV
By pressing a button below the battery slot, you can pair your Roku with a teeorder him. Sarah Tew /
One of the best aspects of Roku is its multi-compatibility devices - you'll get pretty much the same simple exp whether your Roku is a few years old or new. This compatibility also extends the remote controls. The new remotes listed above will likely work on your old Roku as well, even if it is no longer listed as a compatible device on Roku's own site.
For our tests, I used a few different remotes and a few Rokus. To represent the old Rokus, I dusted off a data link Roku 2 which was originally announced in 2015 and ldrunk with a simple remote control. I was able to pair it with a new and improved voice remote and the process was just as easy as on newer devices.
Here's how to do it:
1 . Turn on the Roku and the TV.
2 . Using your old infrared remote control or the Roku app on your phone, go to Settings .
3 . Scroll down to Remotes .
4 . Click on Add a new remote control .
5 . On your new improved remote, insert the batteries and hold the button down on the battery compartment for five seconds.
The TV and the remote will then be paired.
Even though the Roku 2 is almost five years old, the remote could still use all the new features, including the rvoice search, shortcuts and headphone listening. He was also able to power on and control the volume on the Samsung TV to which it was connected.
I have previously performed a similar test the association of a Roku Improved ultra remote control for my 2017 TCL P605 Roku TV and had similar success.
How to add a new remote to a new, cheaper Roku or Roku TV
Most new Rokus ship with voice remote but the company's cheapest options, the Express and Premiere, still rely on the weaker remote. Some more recent Rokus, like our choice of editors choose the Streaming Stick Plus ( 29 $ at Amazon ) , comes with the voice remote, but not the enhanced voice remote with the private listening feature for headphones.
HappyOf course, upgrading to either remote control is straightforward and the same as for older Rokus. Just follow the steps above and you will be able to add either of the new remotes to your existing Roku.
Which upgraded remote should I get?
For those who don't mind private listening mode, the standard upgraded remote is a quick $ 20 upgrade. Sarah Tew /
If you I have been frustrated with constantly having to point your remote directly at the TV - and don't worry much about private listening - the computer voice remoteary at $ 20 is a quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive upgrade.
Roku's site currently has the $ 20 voice remote on " order pending ", but the company now also sells the accessory at Walmart , B&H Photo and Video , Rakuten and Amazon for about the same price.
Best Buy and Kohl will also sell you the voice remote, but for a reason any, both currently charge $ 30.
Those who would like to be able to watch TV with their own headphones without disturbing others will find the upgraded voice remote worth $ 10 more than the regular $ 20 voice remote. Yes, any Roku device can use the Roku app to allow the private list by connecting your phone to a pair of headphones, but having the plug on the remote itself is better.s convenient for frequent users. David Katzmaier has been using an old Streaming Stick on a bedroom TV for a few years, combined with an improved voice remote control from a Roku Ultra. "I don't mean 'wedding saver', but it really is a worthwhile update for us," he says.
He was also delighted to find that the remote search feature also worked on the new remote.
Eli Blumenthal /
Although you may not be - be not as happy as Katz with upgrading your Roku remote, hope the new remote can help you improve a phad your streaming experience.