Did you recently get yourself a new Roku TV?
Do you find yourself in a situation where you crave to watch your favorite show in the wee hours, without disturbing your sound asleep family? It’s natural to reach for your Bluetooth headphones.
But wait, can Roku TVs even connect to Bluetooth?
In this article, I’ll clarify whether Roku TVs have Bluetooth capabilities and walk you through the steps to connect your Bluetooth headphones to your Roku TV.
Do Roku TVs have Bluetooth?
Indeed, Roku TVs do sport Bluetooth. However, it’s limited in its support to only Roku TV Wireless Speakers and the Roku Smart Soundbar.
Which essentially means you can’t pair your Bluetooth headphones directly to your Roku TV.
But don’t worry, you can still tune in via the Roku app. Simply synchronize your Bluetooth headphones with your smartphone, and then make use of the “private listening” feature on the Roku app.
How to use private listening on the Roku app
Just because Roku TVs exclusively support Roku TV Wireless Speakers and the Roku Smart Soundbar doesn’t mean you can’t connect your Bluetooth headphones.
There’s a handy workaround – the private listening feature in the Roku app.
To kick start, download the Roku app onto your smartphone. Just pop in “Roku” in the search bar of the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and hit install.
Proceed by pairing your Bluetooth headphones to your smartphone. (Reminder: Make sure your smartphone and Roku TV are on the same Wi-Fi network.)
Once your headphones are paired, open the Roku app. Hit the “Remote” at the base of the app, then tap on the headphones icon, marking the private listening button.
When you trigger private listening, a dialogue box will pop up on your phone’s screen saying “Private Listening Activated”. Hit OK. You’ll also see a minor change in the headphones icon on the app — a sound or volume icon will show up inside the headphones.
After activating private listening, the audio from your Roku TV should flow through your Bluetooth headphones.
When you’re done binge-watching, just tap the headphones icon on the Roku app remote again to turn off private listening.
Can multiple people use the private listening feature at once?
You bet! Up to four people can hop on and use the Roku app’s private listening feature at the same time.
To put it simply, four smartphones can simultaneously connect to your Roku TV.
For this to work, your Roku TV needs to be running the latest software (Roku OS 8.1 or newer), so keep that software up-to-date.
All four smartphones should also have the most recent Roku app and be on the same Wi-Fi network as your Roku TV.
(Note: You can’t juggle private listening on both your Roku remote and Roku app at the same time. Stick to the Roku app if you want multiple people to tune into the private listening feature.)
How to connect Bluetooth-compatible devices to my Roku TV
As stated earlier, Roku TVs only pair with Roku Wireless Speakers and the Roku Smart Soundbar.
If you have either of these, pairing them with your Roku TV is a breeze.
First, plug your Roku Wireless Speakers into power outlets. Don’t worry about them being near your TV – as long as they’re within 30 feet of your Roku TV, you’re good.
Next, look for flashing lights on the back of both speakers. Flashing lights mean they’re ready to pair.
Turn on your Roku TV, making sure it’s connected to Wi-Fi and running the latest software.
To sync the Roku Wireless Speakers with your Roku TV, press and hold your remote’s Home button for around 5 seconds.
Choose Speaker, and adhere to the instructions on your Roku TV screen. Pair the speakers one at a time.
After they’re paired, you’ll be prompted to designate the left and right speakers. And voila, your Roku Wireless Speakers should be successfully connected.
One last thing, you might want to activate the Fast TV Start feature on your Roku TV. This allows you to use your wireless speakers to play audio from your smartphone even when your Roku TV is off.
Roku TVs indeed come with Bluetooth, but there’s a catch. Unlike other Bluetooth-enabled smart TVs, they only pair with Roku TV Wireless Speakers or the Roku Smart Soundbar.
As for connecting your Bluetooth headphones, there’s a clever workaround – you can use the private listening feature on the Roku app.
Just remember to keep a few things in check. Your Roku TV needs to have the most up-to-date software, and your smartphone should carry the latest version of the Roku app. Plus, both your Roku TV and smartphone need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
Here’s a fun fact: up to four smartphones can connect to and use the private listening feature all at once. Quite a party, right?