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Does the Roku Ultra Have Optical Output?

Last Updated Jul 7, 2022
TV and soundbar on stand

The Roku Ultra is one of the most sought-after Roku devices because of its many mouth-watering features. Amongst other things, recent models of the Roku Ultra have a better capacity for Wi-Fi connectivity and Dolby Vision capabilities. The Roku Ultra also has a USB slot and remote finder. But, many users wonder: does this device also come with an optical output?

The Roku Ultra device is the only Roku device that comes with an optical output. This means you can use your Roku Ultra to output surround sound to devices like soundbars and A/V receivers.

While the newest Roku Ultra streaming boxes have an optical output, not every model includes it. Keep reading to learn which Roku Ultra devices include this special output and what you can use it for!

Do Roku Ultra Devices Have an Optical Output?

The Roku Ultra device was first introduced in September 2016, alongside several other models, including the Roku Express and Roku Premiere. The Roku Ultra does include an optical output, as do some other recent Roku models. However, any Roku streaming sticks or boxes released before 2016 will not feature an optical output to connect surround sound devices.

Although the Roku Ultra is one of the company’s most expensive players, many users believe it is worth every cent. It provides 4K capabilities, Dolby Atmos and Vision compatibility, and more storage space overall.

Features that make these devices so popular among users include their Apple AirPlay capabilities, which allow you to mirror your iOS devices to the screen. In addition to this, the optical output lets you connect a sound bar or A/V receiver to your device for a better overall viewing experience.

If you’re looking for a way to recreate a true cinematic experience right from the comfort of your living room, the Ultra’s optical output provides a great way of doing so. To achieve significantly better sound from your device than what your TV’s speakers can provide, all you have to do is connect your Roku Ultra to a soundbar or receiver!

How to Connect Your Roku Ultra to a Soundbar

Before you purchase your soundbar or invest in an entire surround sound system, it’s important that you first gather all the necessary tools and ensure your TV and device will support it. First, check to ensure that your Roku device actually includes an optical output.

Older device models, as well as other Roku players, may not feature an optical output. Without this port, you will not be able to connect a soundbar or receiver to your device.

In addition to a Roku Ultra with an optical output, you will also need a soundbar with an optical input and a TV with at least one HDMI input. After ensuring you have everything necessary for a complete setup, you can follow these simple steps to connect your Roku Ultra device to a soundbar:

  • Plug the power cable into your Roku Ultra
  • Connect your Roku Ultra to your TV
  • Connect your optical audio cable to your soundbar
  • Adjust your TV’s settings

Below, we will explain each of these four steps in more detail.

Plug the Power Cable into Your Roku Ultra

The first step, as simple as it sounds, is to ensure the Roku Ultra streaming box is properly connected to an outlet. Most of the issues users have setting up their device come from improper cable setup, so ensure everything is correct before moving on. Specifically, ensure that the power cord is securely connected to both the player and the wall outlet.

Connect Your Roku Ultra to Your TV

After you connect the power to your Roku Ultra, you need to connect the device to your television. The easiest way to do so is with an HDMI cable, which is included with all new Roku Ultra players. Ensure that the HDMI cable is attached correctly to the HDMI ports on both the Roku Ultra and your TV.

Connect Your Optical Cable to Your Soundbar

Once the Roku Ultra is properly connected to your television, the next step is to connect your player to your soundbar. To do this, you will need an optical audio cable. Connect this cord to the soundbar’s optical input first, then connect the other end of the cord to your Roku Ultra’s optical output.

Adjust Your TV’s Settings

After all the connections are complete, you will need to adjust your TV’s settings to accommodate the soundbar. Open your TV’s settings and ensure that the audio return channel (ARC) is set to pulse code modulation, or PCM stereo.

If you diligently follow the steps listed, connecting your Roku player to a soundbar should not pose any problems or difficulties.

Conclusion

The Roku Ultra device does include an optical output to connect a soundbar or A/V receiver to your device. Connecting a soundbar is a relatively simple process, and the only additional cable you should need is an optical audio cable.

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