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Connect Bluetooth Headphones to your Roku Player for Private Listening

by Suzanne Kantra on September 12, 2022

One of my favorite features of Roku streaming media players is Private Listening, which allows you to watch TV and movies with headphones. Until today, you could enjoy Private Listening by plugging corded headphones into the remote of select Roku players or listening through the Roku app on your smartphone. However, soon you’ll be able to pair Bluetooth headphones to a Roku Ultra ($99.99), Roku Streambar ($129.99), Roku Streambar Pro ($179.99), Roku Smart Soundbar, and onn Roku Smart Soundbar for Private Listening.

Roku Ultra 2022 model with white Lenovo Smart Wireless Earbuds on top.

Like earlier Private Listening options, Bluetooth Private Listening is meant for a single viewer and will only connect to one pair of Bluetooth headphones at a time. You’ll be able to choose to automatically switch to Bluetooth headphones when they are on and nearby or manually switch to Bluetooth headphones through the Options menu. I’d recommend manually switching for households with multiple people using Private Listening or if you use your Bluetooth headphones with more than one device.

Bluetooth Private Listening is part of the Roku OS 11.5 upgrade rolling out to Roku players in the coming months. Your player should receive the update automatically (it checks every 24 to 36 hours). However, if you’re anxious to try out the new feature, you can manually check for the update by going to Settings > System > System Update.

If your Roku player doesn’t support Bluetooth Private Listening, check out other ways to watch TV with wireless headphones.

[Image credit: Techlicious]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.


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