If you have bought an external soundbar to enjoy quality sound from your TV, it can be frustrating trying to operate two remotes simultaneously. Fortunately, if you own a Roku streaming device, you can use the Roku remote to control the soundbar instead of dealing with two remotes all the time.
You can control your soundbar using the Roku remote control through a technology referred to as HDMI-CEC. But for this to work, all your devices need to be connected through HDMI, and they also need to support HDMI-CEC.
The process involved in setting up your remote control and soundbar is not difficult. In just a few steps, you can control your soundbar using the Roku remote.
Can the Roku Remote Control My Soundbar?
As mentioned, yes, you can. Some features of HDMI technology that you need to be aware of are Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) and Audio Return Channel (ARC). They enable two-way communication between external devices and your TV.
If you use ARC to connect your TV to your soundbar over HDMI, Roku can use Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) to adjust the soundbar’s volume. Note that the soundbar must support ARC for this to work. If you have connected the two devices using an optical cable, this will not work.
How to Control a Soundbar Using a Roku Remote
Here are the steps you will follow to control your soundbar using the Roku remote control.
Go to your home menu, scroll down until you find the setting options, and then select it. The settings will appear on your TV.
Go to Audio
Select the audio option, after which you will see the menu for audio preferences on your screen.
Select the Audio Mode
Choose the audio mode option, then set it to ‘Auto (DTS).’ This is to allow your Roku to detect any output speaker that may be connected.
Set ‘S/PDIF’ and ‘ARC’
On the same audio menu, select the ‘S/PDIF’ then the ‘ARC’ settings. Open the auto-detect option, and this will immediately detect your speaker. Once you do that, exit the audio settings.
Open System Setting
In the settings menu, scroll down till you find the ‘system’ options, then open it.
Select Control Other Devices
On the system settings, scroll down to the ‘CEC’ option. Once you select it, the various CEC preferences will pop on your TV.
Select the ideal optimum CEC preference by ticking the ‘checkboxes for ARC (HDMI),’ system standby, and system audio control. This will allow you to control your soundbar using your Roku remote. You can increase or reduce the volume of your soundbar using the Roku remote volume buttons.
What Should I Be Able to Control My Soundbar?
After getting a soundbar and completing your setup, here are the aspects you can control on your soundbar using the Roku remote:
- Volume and mute: You can use the side buttons on your Roku remote to mute the volume or adjust it. You will see a visual indicator on your screen which matches the volume level of the soundbar.
- Sound modes: When watching a movie, playing video games, or listening to music, press the start button, then go to the sound setting. From there, you will get the option of various sound modes, and you can choose the one you want.
Why Won’t My Roku Remote Control My Soundbar?
If your Roku remote control is not working, check the visual indicator on your TV when adjusting the volume. If you cannot see it, the issue may simply be that you need new batteries for your remote to work.
What if This Does Not Work?
If the issue persists, then confirm that the soundbar has been connected properly to the HDMI ARC port on the TV. Also, ensure that you complete the setup process to enjoy quality sound. If the soundbar has not been set up correctly, you cannot mute, control the volume, or various modes on the soundbar.
Is the IR Receiver Blocked?
Check that you have not blocked the IR receiver (infrared receiver) in front of the TV. The IR receiver should never be blocked even partially, as this will affect how you control your TV and soundbar.
What is an IR Receiver?
Your Roku remote uses IR light to send a signal from the remote to the TV where the IR receiver is located. Also, this light is invisible, so don’t go looking for a red or blue light. Remember that a Roku remote controls the TV, and the TV controls the soundbar over the HDMI cable. That is why if the IR receiver is blocked, then you will not be able to control the soundbar.
The IR receiver is usually located on the TV’s bezel at the base. Some IR receivers may even light up when you are controlling the remote. But if you cannot locate the IR receiver, check the TV’s manual.
How Do I Resolve the Issue?
To ensure that the remote can control the TV, point directly to your TV. Ensure nothing is blocking the signal. If it is the soundbar blocking it, then move it. If you cannot move the soundbar, you may have to get an IR repeater system.
The system transmits IR signals from your remote to a location that it would not have been able to reach.
Check That the Soundbar Software Has Been Updated
If the suggestions mentioned above do not work, you may need to update the soundbar’s firmware. This can be done through a wireless connection or by plugging in a USB drive with the downloaded update. If you are not sure how to do this, contact the support team of your soundbar’s manufacturer.
Can I Program My Roku Remote to My Soundbar?
Yes, you can. You can set up the audio output settings for your TV and control the volume using your Roku remote control.
Once the output setup is complete, you can connect the HDMI cable to the soundbar.
Can You Use the Roku Remote to Turn On and off a Soundbar?
Your Roku remote control cannot turn your soundbar on and off because it has no control over external audio devices.
As earlier stated, your Roku remote controls the TV, and the TV controls your soundbar through HDMI-CEC. So your remote cannot send any direct commands to devices connected to your TV.
Which Roku Remotes Can Control Soundbars?
Here are some Roku remotes that you can use to control the soundbar.
Roku Simple Remote
It is the simplest of all official Roku remotes. Usually, it comes bundled with affordable Roku streaming sticks like the Premier or Express. It is also included in some affordable Roku TV models.
Roku Voice Remote
This is a next-level remote from the simple remote. Usually, it is bundled with certain TV models or Roku media players. As the name suggests, the Roku Voice remote has voice command support.
Roku Voice Remote Pro
This is an upgraded version that has rechargeable batteries and an always-listening microphone. It comes with a headphone jack, allowing for private listening.
Roku Enhanced Voice Remote
The Roku enhanced voice remote is an upgraded version of the Roku voice remote pro and the Roku voice remote. It also features built-in headphones, enabling private listening.