The Roku 3 Remote… Sports A Headphone Jack!?


Sadly, I’ve got no imagery to share (at this time). But we believe our intel to be rock solid… and have learned the incoming Roku 3 remote control includes a headphone jack that “makes it easy for anyone to enjoy a private listening experience.” While I contemplate if that innovative feature is actually useful, let me also share that the RF remote retains motion control capabilities for a Wii-esque experience. For use with the pre-loaded Angry Birds Space… and whatever else suits your fancy from the Channel Store. Speaking of which, we do have confirmation that the UI has been refreshed – featuring new Search functionality front and center.  On the hardware front, the Roku 3 sports 1080p and dual-band wireless, in addition to ethernet support. And hopefully this “fast” and “powerful” new hardware provides additional capabilities such as Miracast and additional codec support for that USB port. Stay tuned…

UPDATE: And the Roku 3 is now official!

25 thoughts on “The Roku 3 Remote… Sports A Headphone Jack!?”

  1. Great news. Let’s hope they don’t leave us Roku 2 owners behind when it comes to the new UI.

  2. Interesting. “Private listening” only? Wonder if they would entertain the idea of a headphone set for VOIP applications.

  3. ” On the hardware front, the Roku 3 sports … dual-band wireless”

    Woo-hoo! Users score a rare win over the marketing/bean-counting departments!

    Now, if they implement the SuperSearch™ functionality on the iOS/Android remote, as well as better implementing the SuperSearch™ UX in the lean-back workflow, then they just might induce me to upgrade relatively soon after buying a Roku 2.

    Angry Birds: Muncie, Indiana Edition, I’m ready for you…

  4. Ha. Seems like some (new) channels are still being confirmed or perhaps developed… But I suspect YouTube is the done deal. The only question is when – now or later this year.

  5. Hopefully more codec support so that an app can be made to turn the new roku 3 into a true SageTv extender!

  6. Mike, interesting thought on the VoIP (or video chat?) front. Hm.

    Corgan, the remote that ships with the Roku projector does have a volume rocker. But it’s obviously mated to the hardware. I agree it’d be nice if this new remote includes similar ALONG with some sort of programable IR-out feature. TV power button too?

  7. Dave: We can dream.

    Although I suspect there are arguments to be made regarding audio fidelity from adjusting the volume within the Roku itself, my setup (utilizing an /old/ Sherwood S7100A to power the speakers) would benefit from control of some sort. I grab at whatever straws of hope I can, haha.

  8. Sue has access to a clear Roku 3 prototype and offered to sell us photos, videos, or the device itself. While we of course love scoops, paying people to presumably violate a NDA of some sort (given her reference to “risk”) is territory we do not, will not venture. Thanks, but no thanks.

  9. Headphone jack on the remote? Doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. How about building the “personal listening” feature into the mobile app? Then we can just use our phone headset.

  10. I like the idea of a headphone jack in the remote. Presumably it would use something like bluetooth to send the audio from the Roku to the remote, so sound quality should be fine. But it does sound pricey.

  11. dwgsp , given the lay of the land, I’m not sure they could go much above $129.99. It’s not clear if or which of the Roku 2 models will be sticking around – that would have some bearing I’d imagine.

    Ben, so many of these apps/channels are already on mobile devices … so it’s interesting. But after sleeping on it, I like the idea and believe this will have practical application in many households.

  12. “given the lay of the land, I’m not sure they could go much above $129.99”

    But what if that purported headphone jack is actually a 3D printer? Just wave the remote at any object you see on the teevee, and it extrudes that object from the ‘headphone jack’?

    I think they could get away with charging $169.99 for that.

    (Obviously, sitting on such hot info is what motivated ‘Sue’ to try to profit from breaking the NDA.)


    “I agree it’d be nice if this new remote includes (a volume rocker) ALONG with some sort of programable IR-out feature. TV power button too?”

    Programmable IR buttons for volume, TV power, and TV input would obviously be super-cool, and make the ‘3’ a must-upgrade over the ‘2’. Imagine using your Roku with just one remote! What a concept! But considering that we’re at least finally getting a 5ghz radio in the unit, I think that all may be expecting too much…

  13. I already use my Roku 2 boxes with one remote. I use my Harmony One remotes with my Roku2 boxes. No need to use the actual Roku 2 remote unless I want to play Angry Birds.

    I wish they offered a Roku box without the remote. I have no need for anymore of their remotes. Then the price could be lowered by $10 or so.

  14. And I wish my wife’s iPad didn’t have cameras so we could save $15. ;) Back in the old days, I was bitter when TiVo raised rates from $10 to $13/month and didn’t think I should have to pay as much since I was OTA at the time, receiving far, far less guide data. (Back then, I lived alone and only subscribed to cable during college football season.)

  15. “I already use my Roku 2 boxes with one remote. I use my Harmony One remotes with my Roku2 boxes.”

    Well that certainly is a viable solution, if you’re willing to go down the Harmony One road. Unfortunately, I’m not willing to go down that particular road, for various reasons.

    So, like most folks, I need to use two remotes to use my Roku 2.

    My TiVo programmable remote nicely does the job of the second remote. But it sure would be nice if a Roku remote added the teevee volume, power, and input programmable buttons that everyone needs to use it solo. Being a friendly guy, I’d even pay extra for such a Roku remote as a separate SKU, thus sparing you from having to subsidize my particular use-case scenario…

    (The ‘solo Roku remote’ concept seems far more widely useful than a headphone jack to me.)

  16. And it’s available for $99. Wow. I think I’m in for (at least) one. That headphone-in-remote is a genius idea. My question is, will it also be sold separately and backwards-compatible?

  17. “So is the Roku2 XS gone now? I don’t see it listed in the comparison chart.”

    Best I can tell from the chart and website, the Roku “3” is just a very minor upgrade in the Roku2 XS slot.

    Lose the component output while gaining the 5ghz radio receiver and the headphone remote.

    (Also, the Roku “3” seems more aerodynamic, which should help lower wind resistance when traveling at high speed.)

    Everyone seems to get the new OS version.

  18. Given that the Roku 3 also has a faster processor, it’ll be interesting to see if the (forced) OS upgrade to all the older Roku’s out there will make them perform unacceptably in a drive to force folks to upgrade.

    This will be an interesting test of Roku’s priorities…


    And Cnet reports:

    “It’s hard to tell what the real story is behind the Roku/YouTube rift, but I got the impression it wasn’t going to be resolved anytime soon.”

    Weirder and weirder. I can’t even come up with a imaginary scenario to explain what the hell the corporate issue is here. Makes zero sense to me.

  19. If you asked me, I would say that the really big elephant in the room regarding Youtube and Roku that neither company seems quick to admit…

    Is Money…

  20. “I would say that the really big elephant in the room regarding Youtube and Roku that neither company seems quick to admit… Is Money…”

    But how? I can’t figure that out.

    I can’t imagine that Roku wouldn’t let YouTube put whatever ads up on its channel that it wanted. Roku has other ad-sponsored channels.

    Does YouTube want a per/box fee for its channel? And if so, is that how it works for every other lean-back box that has YouTube? I’m under the impression that’s not YouTube’s economic model, though I could be wrong.

    So what’s the money issue I’m missing? And if it’s not money, I can’t figure out what ‘strategic’ issue would prevent it. Implementation is the other possibility, but folks seem to be saying that’s not it…

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