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Can I use a Roku Streambar with a monitor?

Roku Streambar
Screen friendly: the Streambar does work with computer monitors

If you’ve got a computer monitor, you might have been tempted to pair it with a Roku Streambar. The Streambar is a compact soundbar with streaming capabilities built in, theoretically allowing you to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime and other channels without a computer connected to the screen. It’s a perfect companion for a monitor without its own speakers.

However, if you’ve ever attempted to connect a Roku Streambar to a monitor you may have been put off during the setup procedure, which seems to suggest the Roku Streambar will only work with televisions supporting HDMI ARC. Don’t worry – that’s not the case. You can use a Roku Streambar with a monitor and we’ll show you how.

How to use a Roku Streambar with a monitor

As long as your monitor has a spare HDMI port – it doesn’t have to be HDMI ARC – then you should be fine. Just connect your Streambar to the monitor with the supplied HDMI cable.

When you get to the part of the setup that asks you to connect via HDMI ARC or to use a separate audio cable, choose the audio cable. Don’t worry, you won’t need one of these either.

On the next screen it will ask you to confirm that all the cables are connected. Just tell the Roku they are and the setup should complete as normal.

When you go to use the Roku, the picture should display on the monitor and audio will play through the speaker.

Can I stream audio through the Roku Streambar without turning the screen on?

Yes, you can, as long as your phone/tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi network. If you open an app such as Spotify on your phone, look for the icon to connect to external devices, as highlighted by the red arrow here:

When you click that, you should find your Streambar listed among the available devices. You can now play audio through the speaker without having the screen on, although it will display a Spotify menu with track info etc if you do power up the monitor.

You can also use the Roku Streambar as a Bluetooth speaker. To set this up, open the Streambar’s settings, choose Remotes & Devices and then Pair new Bluetooth device. You should then be able to find the Streambar from any nearby phone, tablet, computer or other device.

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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