How to Control Sound Bars With a Roku TV Remote

Dan Price 22-08-2017

Considering televisions are so expensive, the speaker systems on them are surprisingly poor. The problem is primarily caused by the space available. As TVs become progressively thinner, the speakers themselves have less room to work with, so we end up with a shallow “tinny” sound.


As such, audiophiles and cinephiles have taken to external sound bars What Is a Soundbar and Why Do You Need One for Your TV? Improve the sound from your TV with a soundbar! What is a soundbar? How does a soundbar work? Here's what you need to know. Read More . In many cases, they provide fuller and richer sounds than TV sets are capable of. And you don’t have to spend a fortune The Best Soundbars for Audiophiles on a Budget Soundbars are a great way to upgrade your home audio experience. Here are the best affordable soundbars. Read More on top-end models like Sonos! Mid-range models are more than excellent.

However, if you use a media streaming box like Roku Chromecast vs. Apple TV vs. Roku: Which Media Streamer Suits You? Media streaming devices are simply awesome. Those little boxes that connect to your TV can add a wealth of entertainment options to your living room. But which device is best for you? Read More , not being able to control the volume with your remote is annoying. Here’s how to get your Roku remote working with a sound bar.


Audio Return Channel (ARC) is an infrequently mentioned audio protocol. Today, it’s becoming increasingly prevalent in HD televisions.

If you use ARC over HDMI to connect your sound bar to your TV, Roku TV can use Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) to control the sound bar’s volume. Unfortunately, if you use optical cables to connect, you’re out of luck.

No ARC? No Worries

Even if the sound bar doesn’t have ARC support, the Roku TV remote could still work as long as the speaker supports HDMI. Navigate to Settings > System > Control other devices and turn on System Audio Control. If ARC isn’t being used on either end, the remote might still work.


If neither of these two methods works for you, you might be forced to buy a universal remote. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate is one of the best.

Logitech Harmony Ultimate One – 2.4” Touch Screen Universal Remote for 15 Devices Logitech Harmony Ultimate One – 2.4” Touch Screen Universal Remote for 15 Devices Buy Now On Amazon $74.99

On a related note, make sure you know how to troubleshoot your Roku remote 8 Fixes for a Roku TV Remote That's Not Working Is your Roku remote not working? Here are some useful fixes that'll get your Roku remote working again. Read More if it stops working.

Related topics: Roku, Soundbars.

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  1. Ju
    November 17, 2018 at 3:34 am

    we have invented a remote that would fit both need mentioned above , and it now selling on amazon , we will give some sample away right now , PM me if any one need , thanks !
    Much more better than sideclick , I bet!
    Seats limited !

    • Kelsey
      December 4, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      What's the name of the remote? I'm interested in looking at it on Amazon.

  2. Kevin Respecki
    August 22, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Ditto on the Sideclick

  3. Tom
    August 22, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    What worked really well for us is the Sideclick remote. It has a clip on the right for the Roku remote and a single row of 8 or so IR buttons that you can learn from the existing remote(s), so you effectively still only have one remote to keep track of.

    • Aleta Moore
      October 8, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      I have Roku Ultra - will the sideclick control a soundbar system that connected via optial audio cord?

      • Tom
        October 8, 2018 at 10:14 pm

        I don't think it matters what the audio source is to the sound bar, just that it is IR and compatible with the SideClick. My bar is a Vizio, connected via optical via HDMI -> TV -> optical -> sound bar.