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Cord Cutters: Taking a first look at the Roku 3

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Roku’s new Roku 3 is out, complete with a revamped UI and a remote control that sports a headphone jack. Check out our video review:

Show notes for this episode:

What’s your take on the new Roku, and especially the headphone jack? Worth a buy, or just a gimmick? Sound off in the comments below, get in touch with us on Twitter (@cordcutters) or email us at cordcutters @ Also, please check out our new Google+ Cord Cutters community!

24 Responses to “Cord Cutters: Taking a first look at the Roku 3”

  1. i loved the headphone jack idea but there doesn’t seem to be any way to control the volume and it’s far too loud. I tried the cheapy earbuds supplied by roku, but I also tried my earbuds from another device, which have a volume control (which evidently just talks to the source to turn the volume down vs actually reducing the signal on it’s own). anyway, any help would be appreciated. thanks!

  2. creativewaves

    I have the new Roku 3. Having very different tastes than my teenage daughter, the headphones came in handy. I can watch tv in my sewing room and not be disturbed by what she is watching in the family room next door. We love that new add on. I also like the new menu. Scrolling through channels was a bother before. Now it is much more convenient to look for channels, as well as search for shows and choose which channel I want to view them on.

    I am happy with the purchase and it is worth the $99 for me. :)

  3. My late wife was hearing impared and would have pounced on the roku 3 if it were available to her back then. I’m going to get one ordered immediately as I require less sleep than my current wife and will use the headphones nightly. We already have the Angry Birds roku and have used it daily for a couple of years without a problem. I’m excited to try the new user interface. My only frustrations have been motion sickness from scrolling all the way through the long queue (which is solved by the new interface) and the remote can eat batteries rapidly if it gets moved around alot.

  4. Andrew Garcia

    the Headphone jack on the remote is a God-send for the hearing impaired. I am buying a Roku 3 just for that…….and getting rid of me cable box!!

  5. As a couch potato with hearing problems. Let me say that my wife has blessed Roku with extra candles and says they need to be sainted. I purchased ‘TV ears’ years ago and had to replace the ears pieces numerous times at $5.00 a pop, very expensive not unlike toner for the $39 printers at Wally World. It is on my children’s suggestion list for ‘Mother’s Day’, my birthday in June and Father’s Day. Hope someone will save me the money.

  6. Rosebud

    Janko– do you know if the new processor enables higher quality streams or H.264 levels in the Plex server? In Plex’s advanced preferences, it currently says that the highest level of H.264 supported is 4.0, though it goes up to 5.1. I imagine the new box would be more capable.

  7. Rosebud

    Love the headphone jack. Janko’s imagination is suffering here with his inability to come up with good uses. Just off the top of my head, I’d imagine starting the Spotify channel and connecting the remote to the speakers I have in the bathroom and slinging the audio across the house while I shower and shave. I do wish the jack was located on either the top or bottom of the remote, rather than the side…and that there was a slide lock on the remote, though, so I can walk around with the remote in my pocket. I’m also wondering if the next generation Roku remote smartphone app can have this wireless audio streaming capability, as they already have jacks in the right place.

  8. Gary Dauphin

    Headphone jack = brilliant idea. I just wonder if there is no lag between the audio and video that causes a sync problem. What tech do they use to transmit the audio? Bluetooth? IR? Other?

  9. Well, I glanced at your article and the first couple pages of info at the Roku site – no mention of whether it’s SD or HD and if the latter, how high a level.

    Maybe folks who’ve found the products interesting enough to have followed along for a spell know the answers. If Roku is not sharp enough to put that info on their pages, I ain’t interested enough to go searching for it.

  10. Dina Dimopoulos

    I purchased one the second I read it was available. The ear jack is a brilliant idea! The nicer UI is a welcome addition as well. I LOVE Roku! I own 1 of each iteration & have never had a problem. I have YouTube as well, since I was lucky enough to add it before they chose to remove it. The Plex app and PlayOn scripts make it a perfect media box!

  11. Ryan Michael Downey

    I like the tweaks, but in truth I am just pleased with the new interface. There is nothing about it that would prompt me to replace the XD though. I am looking for a few major things, a youtube app, mirroring and or airplay and an xbmc app. I love ROKU in general but would not teell anyone who has a Roku 2 already to replace it with the Roku 3.

  12. I think the headphone jack is GENIUS!! I purchased it just for that. Also I have always felt the UI on the roku 2 was a little sluggish, so the snappier UI is something I am looking forward to.