How to Control Roku with Your Voice


Typing your Netflix e mail with a Roku distant is a nightmare, and digging by way of each streaming service simply to seek out Wedding ceremony Crashers isn’t well worth the time or effort. Fortunately, Roku streaming sticks and good TVs supply voice management performance, permitting you to carry out easy and complex duties with only a few spoken phrases.

Even when your Roku didn’t include a Voice Distant, you possibly can nonetheless unlock these options by way of an inexpensive improve (or a free app—extra on that in a second). So, let’s get to it; right here’s tips on how to arrange and use voice instructions together with your Roku.

Purchase a Roku Voice Distant or Voice Distant Professional

Roku Streambar voice remote
Justin Duino

The usual Roku distant doesn’t supply voice management performance. And that’s a disgrace, as a result of this disappointingly easy distant comes with most Roku streaming sticks and good TVs. If you wish to management Roku with voice instructions, it’s essential to personal a Voice Distant or Voice Distant Professional.

Roku’s $20 Voice Remote is a necessary improve for any Roku streaming stick or good TV. It permits you to bark out voice instructions simply by urgent and holding a Microphone button, which is handily situated proper below the arrow keys. (Older Voice Distant fashions use a magnifying glass button as a substitute of a microphone button.)

The costlier Voice Remote Pro takes issues a step additional. It prices $30, but it surely permits you to use voice instructions with out urgent any buttons—nice for when your distant is sitting throughout the room or contained in the sofa. Moreover, Voice Distant Professional has two customizable shortcut buttons, a headphone jack, and a chargeable battery.

A Voice Remote with the microphone button highlighted.

And right here’s the opposite massive perk; Roku’s Voice Remotes hook up with your TV over Wi-Fi. That’s an enormous improve from the unreliable, inaccurate IR sensor in the usual Roku distant. (I must also level out that the Voice Distant has quantity buttons. Roku skimps out on these buttons with its funds streaming sticks.)

As a result of the Voice Distant and Voice Distant Professional hook up with your Roku over Wi-Fi, they’ve a special setup course of than the usual Roku distant. Nonetheless, this pairing course of normally kicks off robotically.

To manually begin the pairing course of, press and maintain the small pairing button below your Voice Distant’s battery cowl. Because the Voice Distant Professional doesn’t have replaceable batteries, its pairing button is conveniently positioned on the underside of the distant’s bottom.

Roku Voice Distant Professional


The Voice Distant Professional unlocks hands-free voice instructions in your Roku streaming stick or good TV. Get it now for simply $10 greater than the usual Voice Distant.

Or, Simply Use the Roku App for Voice Instructions


When you don’t wish to spend $20 on a Distant (or simply wish to strive voice instructions first), go forward and obtain the free Roku app. It turns your telephone into Roku distant with all of the performance you care about, together with voice management, non-public listening over headphones, and the power to remotely add channels to a Roku stick or good TV.

Sadly, the Roku app doesn’t allow you to carry out hands-free voice instructions. That function is unique to the Voice Distant Professional.

Download on the Apple App StoreGet it on Google Play

What Voice Instructions Work with Roku?

Some voice commands for the Roku Voice Remote.

Utilizing voice instructions in your Roku Voice Distant is a breeze. Simply press and maintain the microphone button (or magnifying glass button) and inform Roku what you need. Issues are even simpler with the Voice Distant Professional—say “Hey Roku,” then belt out a command.

When you’re like me, you’ll largely use voice instructions to seek out content material and open apps. However there’s a ton of stuff you are able to do with a Voice Distant, so let’s checklist all of it in bulleted kind:

  • Choose Highlighted Content material: In case your on-screen cursor is hovering over a present, film, possibility, or streaming profile, say “okay” to pick it.
  • Cancel Instructions: Say “no,” “cease,” or “fallacious” to cancel a misheard voice command.
  • Management Playback: Inform Roku to fast-forward or rewind by way of content material, pause or play, and even flip the TV off with a timer. (“Rewind” or “flip off the TV in an hour.”)
  • Voice Search: Ask Roku to discover a film or checklist all episodes of your favourite TV collection. It’s also possible to ask Roku to seek out all of the movies involving a sure actor, and even request content material by style. (“Discover each Star Wars film” or “present me youngsters TV reveals.”)
  • Closed Captions: Activate closed captions with a easy “present closed captions” command, or ask Roku to open your closed captions settings and fine-tune every little thing for particular conditions, like robotically enabling captions when muting audio.
  • Open Apps or Channels: Inform Roku to “open Netflix” or “play Pandora” to rapidly open apps or channels. It’s also possible to ask Roku to play particular artists, like or dislike a tune, or determine a tune.
  • Management Music Playback: Roku permits you to management music playback with instructions like “pause,” “shuffle,” and “loop.”
  • Discover Your Distant: Open the Roku app and ask it to seek out your misplaced distant. When you personal a hands-free Voice Distant Professional, you possibly can merely shout this command within the room.

Word that instructions like “rewind half-hour” or “skip 15 seconds” solely work within the Roku Channel app. Different apps don’t help detailed playback directions and solely reply to easy instructions like “quick ahead.”

Some Instructions Are Unique to Roku Sensible TVs

A photo of a TCL Roku smart TV

As a result of Roku good TVs have built-in {hardware} and software program, they provide extra voice management performance than Roku streaming sticks. These voice instructions are extremely helpful, as they let you alter quantity, open channel guides, and change between video inputs.

These instructions are unique to Roku good TVs:

  • Alter Quantity: Ask Roku to “flip the quantity down” or “set quantity to 60%.” (This function requires HDMI-CEC support in your TV.)
  • Swap Inputs: Roku can rapidly “change to HDMI 2 enter” and even “change to PlayStation 4” by way of easy voice instructions. (This received’t work in the event you assign a customized identify to an enter.)
  • Management OTA TV: When you’ve arrange free OTA TV together with your Roku (all you want is a cheap antenna), you should use instructions like “channel up,” “discover PBS,” or “change to antenna TV enter.” Roku will even allow you to “open the channel information” utilizing a voice command.

Right here’s the ironic factor; discovering a Roku good TV that comes with a voice distant is like discovering a needle in a haystack. When you personal a Roku good TV, you most likely want to purchase a voice distant to carry out these unique instructions.

Strive Utilizing a Voice Assistant for Further Performance

Google Assistant running on a smartphone.
Tada Images/

Connecting your favourite good house assistant to Roku can unlock a ton of voice-control performance, to the purpose that you could be lose curiosity in a Voice Distant or the Roku app. These options are a bit restricted, however nonetheless, the vital stuff’s there.

Listed below are the Roku voice management options provided by voice assistants:

  • Google Assistant or Alexa: A speaker or smartphone with Google Assitant or Alexa affords voice-controlled play and pause, quick ahead or rewind, app launching, and title looking on Roku. (When you personal a Roku good TV, these assistants additionally supply voice management for quantity, energy, and enter settings. Solely Google Assistant can management encompass sound settings.)
  • HomeKit and Siri: Apple’s HomePod or the Siri assistant can flip Roku on and off, play or pause media, and seek for reveals.

To arrange these assistants with Roku, merely open the Google Residence, Alexa, or Apple Residence app in your telephone or pill. You must see an possibility so as to add your Roku good TV or streaming persist with the app.

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