The Roku Voice Remote, which lets users control their streaming device with their voice (and perform voice searches), is now available as a stand-alone purchase in the UK.
This means that owners of most of the cheaper (or older) Roku devices sold in the UK, will now be able to upgrade their devices with voice capabilities (see the full list below).
It’ll come at a cost, of course – the standalone official voice remote costs £19.99 (as of this writing), and can be purchased at Amazon.
Roku is one of the leading manufacturers of streaming devices in the US, and has been gaining some popularity in the UK as well.
On our side of the pond, Roku normally sells four separate devices – the Roku Express (see our review) the Roku Express 4K (see our review) which replaced the Roku Premiere this year, the soundbar-with-a-streamer, Roku Streambar (see our review), and the brand new Roku Streaming Stick 4K.
Additionally, there are two Roku TV models sold in the UK – from TCL and Hisense.
Of the devices mentioned, most come with Roku’s “Simple” remote, which relies on Infrared and DOESN’T have a microphone and voice control/search capabilities.
The only three devices that come with Roku’s Voice Remote in the UK are the Roku Streaming Stick+, the new Roku Streaming Stick 4K, and the Roku Streambar.
Curiously, even the two Roku TV models that are sold in the UK, from TCL and Hisense don’t come with a voice remote.
But now – you can “upgrade” these devices by buying the official voice remote (it’s also useful if you simply lose your existing voice remote).
What Can I Do With The Roku Voice Remote?
The Voice Remote has a Voice/Search button, that – when pressed – activates the remote’s built-in microphone.
Roku’s voice capabilities are not as robust as those found on Amazon Fire TV devices (which use Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant), but they’re still useful.
The Global Voice Search function lets you say the name of an actor (or a director), and see all the films and TV programmes he took part in.
You can also use some basic voice controls with the remote – say “Netflix” and the app will run instantly, or say “Replay” and the content you’re watching jumps back 7 seconds.
You can even use the voice capabilities to dictate usernames and passwords (by pronouncing the letters and numbers), instead of having to key them in with the on-screen keyboard.
Furthermore, the new Voice Remote comes with TV control buttons – so you can turn the TV on and off, and raise/lower/mute the volume, saving you the need for an extra TV remote.
Which Roku Devices Are Compatible With The Voice Remote?
The standalone voice remote can work with most Roku devices sold now – and in the past – in the UK (plus some that were never sold here) –
|Roku TV||All models|
|Roku Express||3900, 3930|
|Roku Express+||3910, 3931|
|Roku Express 4K||3940|
|Roku Express 4K+||3941|
|Roku Streaming Stick||3600, 3800|
|Roku Streaming Stick+||3810, 3811|
|Roku Streaming Stick 4K||3820|
|Roku Streaming Stick 4K+||3821|
|Roku Premiere||3920, 4620|
|Roku Premiere+||3921, 4630|
|Roku Ultra||4640, 4660, 4661, 4670, 4800|
|Roku Ultra LT||4662, 4801|
|Roku 3||4200, 4230|
Roku Voice Remote Pro Still Absent In The UK
Sadly, the Roku Voice Remote Pro, which is sold in the US, is still missing from Roku’s UK roster.
The Pro remote has a rechargeable battery and a built-in headphone jack, so you don’t have to use Roku’s app for Private Listening with headphones.
It also has two customizable shortcut buttons (in addition to the 4 pre-set shortcut buttons), and an always-on microphone that can respond to the “Hey Roku” command without you having to even press a button.
You can also say “Hey Roku, find my remote” – and the remote starts beeping. A very useful feature for those of us who tend to lose remotes under the sofa cushions…
In the US, the Roku Voice Remote Pro currently costs $29.99 – but there’s no word on whether we’ll ever see it in the UK.