Good news for those who hate pressing buttons. There's a new Roku remote control — the Roku Voice Remote Pro — that is the company's first to embrace hands-free voice activation. Just say "Hey, Roku" followed by a command, and it'll do the thing — same as if you press and hold the microphone button that remains on the remote.
The new feature comes thanks to the addition of a mid-field (as opposed to "far-field") microphone that's embedded in the remote control itself.
Another new feature is the addition of a rechargeable battery, so you won't have to swap out those double-As anymore. It's charged via microUSB, which is disappointing in a USB-C world, but you should only have to dig out that cable ever few months. (If you're anything like me you keep the microUSB cable in the same drawer as the AA batteries.) The remote essentially is an upgraded Roku Voice Remote (thus the "Pro" suffix) and still includes a pair of programmable buttons, and four branded buttons that'll take you straight to services like Disney+ or Apple TV+ or whichever happened to pay for the placement.
Just like the Roku Voice Remote that comes with the Roku Ultra, this Pro remote still has a headphone jack for private listening. (You'll have to provide your own headphones, though.) It's got all the buttons you'd need to control a Roku TV as well as a Roku Player, and it supports the "find my remote" feature should the chonky boi find itself between the couch cushions at some point.
And for those of you who don't like the idea of an always-listening remote control, the Roku Voice Remote Pro has a physical hardware switch that will shut off the microphone and require you to use the microphone button instead. (At which point you've relegated the remote back to non-"Pro" status, but that's on you.)
The Roku Voice Remote Pro costs $29.99 and is available from Roku's website. It'll eventually be found at other retailers, too. No word yet on whether it might replace the Roku Voice Remote or start shipping with devices like Roku Ultra or a Roku TV.
Roku Voice Remote Pro takes the already excellent Roku Voice Remote and adds a rechargeable battery, and a mid-field microphone for hands-free voice control. (It also has a privacy switch for those times when you don't want the remote to listen for you.) It also features a headphone jack for private listening.View Deal
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.
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