Roku Voice Remote Pro review: 'Hey Roku' only goes so far
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Roku Voice Remote Pro review: 'Hey Roku' only goes so far

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Roku new voicemail. Pro has a great new feature. Wait, where did I put it? Hey Roku find my remote. There it is. Roku $30 voice remote pro looks pretty much identical to all of brokers' other remotes as the same similar layout including this big triple D pad and if you have one of Roku enhanced remotes the accessory that could be purchased for $30 from its site, or the remote that's included with its fancy ultra premium box It even has the same one and two shortcut keys that can be used to open up apps that aren't on the bottom like HBO Max, or to do specific tasks on a Roku TV, like open up the Xbox or Playstation input. And of course the famous for streaming buttons that Roku has had for years are still here on my remote. It's Netflix Disney plus, Hulu and Sling TV. The Sling TV button actually is going away on this remote and on other Roku remotes it's going to be replaced with Apple TV that hasn't been done yet. The remote I'm using clearly has Sling TV But over time, that should change to being an Apple TV plus, but I love the remote finder function that hey Roku find my remote, which you'll see over my shoulder here that plays a little Ping. Once it recognizes it and there's a midfield microphone that recognizes commands from up to 12 feet away. On the sides things are once again pretty much identical. You have the volume controls by multiplying down you And then on the other side you have the headphone jack for private listening. Right above the headphone jack is where we see that one of the new features on this remote and that's the switch for turning on or off. The always listening microphone. Roku says this midfield mic and listen to commands from up to 12 feet away. The ability to say hey Roku find my remote has been my favourite feature with this remote by far even buried under a pile close with a baseball game in the background at full volume. I was able to say hey Roku, buy my remote and have this thing start beeping again. Roku says this could hear you from around 12 feet away. So if you're in a different room, it's not gonna be able to find it. And if your TV's on really loud and it still can't hear you, you may wanna use the Roku app on your phone to mute the TV first. But the fact that this exists is great, I really hope that other manufacturers put it into their products. [MUSIC] Unlike other Roku remotes, this one finally has a rechargeable battery. Roku says that a two to three hour charge should last few a couple of months. I've only been using this remote for about a week now. So I haven't had a chance to fully put that to the test but it has so far been working well. Because of how fast these things go through batteries. The fact that I can now just plug this in and have a charge two to three hours and have it last in theory a few months. Is a nice feature and for some could justify the $30 on its own if you're going through batteries seemingly every other week. Unfortunately a lot of that good is undone by a few questionable decisions. The first of which is the choice of using micro USB as opposed to USB C. USB C is everywhere now, with the exception of Apple devices, you have it on your phones, tablets. The Nintendo switch, you can find a cable really easy. It's 2021. And with USBC so readily available, it's really hard to justify this thing, which you're supposed to keep for several years, having such an old standard. Roku's voice remote also isn't as smart as rivals like Amazon Alexa, Google assistant, or even Apple Siri. It has no Smart Home control so you can't have it turn off the lights if you're about to watch a movie. And you also can't ask it for basic things or seemingly basic things like what a sports score is, or even what the weather is outside these tests, especially when you have access to a television, which is what the Roku system lives on. Seems like simple and basic table stakes features and the fact that it can't do that. It's a little bit disappointing to me right now. One other concern for me is privacy. So while you have that switch on the side and it's great that they have a physical switch for turning off that midfield microphone. If the TV is off, you really don't get any type of feedback on if Roku is listening. There was one time during my testing where It heard something not to hate Roku, but just something random and started doing its own search for the alchemist, which was kind of odd to have the TV just turn on and start searching for that type of sorcery. It would be great if especially when the TV is off the remote play to sound anytime it heard the words Roku. Right now, it relies solely on the TV, so if the TV is off It's still listening but you don't really know. It will play sound through the TV speaker or soundbar but nothing through the actual remote. If it played some kind of chime, that would be great. Although there's a lot to like in Roku is voice remote Pro, it's $30, not 60 which is what Apple charges for its new Siri remote. And those features like the rechargeable battery and the ability to find it by saying hey Roku are really really nice. Unfortunately, the smart assistant isn't smart enough to make this a must have Roku upgrade. So what do you think? [MUSIC] Are these features enough to get you to upgrade your Roku to this new voice remote pro? Since everyone seems to be updating their remotes right now is there any type of features you want to see that will make it a must have upgrade for your Apple TV Roku Google Chromecast? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more from CNET.

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