How to Set up the Roku Smart Soundbar

Get started streaming and also get better sound for your TV

Roku is well-known for its streaming devices (sticks, boxes, TVs), but they also offer a soundbar that combines a Roku 4K-compatible media streamer with a soundbar which is referred to as the Roku Smart Soundbar (Model 9101R). Here's how to set up your Roku Soundbar and start streaming.

What You Need to Set up Your Roku Smart Soundbar

The smart soundbar comes with a power cord, remote control with batteries, and HDMI and digital optical cables. Other things you need are a TV, Wi-Fi, PC or Smartphone.

Roku Smart Soundbar – Included Accessories

Roku Smart Soundbar Setup Instructions

Setting up a Roku Smart Soundbar is slightly different from other soundbars and other Roku devices.

The following steps for connecting the Roku Smart Soundbar to any non-Roku smart TV. If you have a Roku TV, the setup is mostly automatic.

  1. Connect the HDMI or digital optical connection of the soundbar to the HDMI-ARC input or digital optical output of your TV.

    If the HDMI input on your TV isn't ARC compatible, use the digital optical connection for sound. However, the HDMI output of the soundbar still needs to be connected to your TV so you can see the Roku menu options and streaming content on your TV screen.

    Roku Soundbar – Connections
  2. Enable HDMI-ARC and CEC on your TV. Depending on brand and model number of your TV, CEC may go by several names, such as Anynet/Anynet+ (Samsung), Simplink (LG), Bravia Sync/Bravia Link (Sony), Toshiba (Regza Link, CE-Link), CEC (Vizio), or Device Control. Set up steps may vary.

    TV HDMI-CEC and HDMI-ARC Activated
  3. On the TV, select the input (HDMI 1, 2, etc...) the smart soundbar is connected to.

    TV Connections – HDMI, USB, Digital Optical, Earphone
  4. Connect Soundbar to Power. The Roku Splash Page (Roku Logo) should appear on the TV screen.

  5. Insert batteries in the remote. The remote should automatically pair with the sound bar. If it does not, you may need to pair the remote manually.

    Roku Soundbar – Remote Pairing

    A green light inside the battery compartment will flash during pairing. When paired the light will stay on.

    Roku Soundbar – Remote Pairing - Green Light
  6. After remote pairing is confirmed, select your language.

    Roku Soundbar – Let's Get Started/Choose Language
  7. The Roku Soundbar will search for wireless networks. Select your network from the provided list.

    Roku Soundbar – Choose Network
  8. Enter your network password.

    Roku Soundbar – Enter Network Password/Connect
  9. Wait for Network connection confirmation.

    Roku Soundbar – Network Connection Confirmation

    If you can't connect the Roku Smart Soundbar to Wi-Fi, check out some possible solutions.

  10. A Software Update Notice may appear. Select OK. Don't do anything or turn your TV or soundbar off during the update process. The Soundbar will restart when the update is complete.  

    Roku Soundbar – Software Update in progress
  11. Select Auto Display Type. An HDMI connection message will confirm the resolution, HDCP, and HDR capabilities of your TV if any.

    Roku Soundbar – HDMI Connection Analysis

    The Roku sound bar is compatible with resolutions up to 4K.

  12. Select Yes, screen looks good or choose a different resolution and HDMI setting. 

    Roku Soundbar – Resolution Confirmation
  13. If HDMI-ARC or HDMI-CEC is not confirmed you will see a warning that prompts you to try again.

    Roku Soundbar Setup – HDMI Retry

    Before you retry, check your HDMI connection, TV HDMI settings, and other factors that may result in a problem.

  14. If your TV doesn't support ARC, connect the digital optical cable from the TV (photo example below) to the soundbar (if you haven't done so already) so you can get sound from the TV and other sources connected to the TV.

    TV – Digital Optical Output Connection

    Keep the HDMI connection plugged in as that is needed to see the Roku features and streaming apps on your TV.

  15. After making the connections between the soundbar and TV, you may be prompted to verify that everything is plugged in.

    Roku Soundbar Setup – Everything Plugged In
  16. Next, the Roku Account Activation Screen appears, which includes a link to a website where you will enter the Device Link Code.

    Roku Soundbar – Link Code/Complete Setup on Web
  17. Go to Roku.com/Link using a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone and enter the code number.

  18. If you need to create an account, on your PC or mobile phone follow the activation steps.

    If you already have a Roku account, log-in with your username and password. 

  19. When you see the 'All done' message displayed on your TV screen, you can enjoy the content from the apps you selected and experience improved sound for your TV.

    Roku Soundbar – Setup Done
  20. The Roku Home Page should appear. Some apps are already pre-installed, but you can add other channels using the Add Channel options on your Soundbar or PC. The Roku Soundbar provides access to the same selection of apps as other Roku devices.

    Although most apps and streaming channels can be downloaded and installed free, not all provide free access to content. Apps and Channels such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and others may require added subscription or pay-per-view fees to watch content.

Roku Smart Soundbar Audio Settings

Once the soundbar is set up, you gain access to its Audio Settings.

Roku Soundbar – Sound Settings
  • Menu Volume: This sets the volume of alert click and beep noises when you chose menu items. 
  • Sound Mode (Bass Boost): This allows adjusting the amount of Bass coming from the soundbar and/or a subwoofer (if paired).
  • Volume Mode: This allows you to lower volume on loud scenes and boost volume on quieter scenes.
  • Speech Clarity: This allows you to boost the dialog level in a movie or program so that it stands out from the background and special effects sounds. 
  • Audio Preferred Language: This allows you to choose the primary language for listening. 

Subwoofer and Wireless Surround Speaker Options

Roku also offers an optional wireless subwoofer that can be paired with the soundbar.

To set up the subwoofer, go to the Pair New Device page, select Subwoofer, and follow any additional prompts.

Roku Soundbar – Subwoofer Pairing

Beginning in February 2020 a Roku update that allows the pairing of compatible wireless surround speakers to the Roku Soundbar, enabling 5.1 channel surround sound listening. 

Roku Smart Soundbar Wireless Surround Speaker Pairing

Bluetooth Setup

The Roku Soundbar also allows you to play music from Bluetooth sources, such as a smartphone. 

Select the Bluetooth icon on the homepage. This will take you to the Pair New Device page where you select Bluetooth.

Roku Soundbar – Bluetooth Device Connection Page

Screen Mirroring Setup

You can set up wireless screen mirroring between an Android smartphone and the Roku Smart Soundbar. When you screen mirror to the soundbar, it will pass the mirrored signal to a TV via HDMI connection.

The Roku Mobile App 

In addition to using the remote control, you can also download and install the Roku Mobile app on your iOS or Android smartphone. In the mobile app, you can select the Roku Soundbar as your device.

Roku Mobile App – Select Roku Soundbar

Once the Roku Soundbar is selected, you can use the mobile app for most soundbar and app functions (including Roku voice search and control) in place of the Roku remote control.

If you have more than one Roku device, select the soundbar from your list of devices on the mobile app. You can only control one Roku device at a time using the mobile app. However, you can switch between devices by selecting them from the list as needed.