Why Soundcore Infini Pro is better than Roku TV Wireless Speakers
The Soundcore Infini Pro is the best budget sound bar if you own a Roku TV.
It supports 4K Passthrough for HDR10 and Dolby Vision. And thanks to HDMI ARC compatibility, you can connect it to a number of newer TVs and still use your TV remote to control volume. Soundcore says that TV remotes for most Vizio, LG, and Phillips models will control the Soundcore Infini Pro.
My TCL Roku TV remote controlled the Infini Pro without any problems.
Sales of sound bars have been growing for a number of years. And now budget sound bars are gaining popularity for a number of reasons. The cost of high-quality 4K HDR televisions has been dropping. You can pick up a TCL 5-Series for about $400 these days, or better yet, a 6-Series 4K TV for a bit more.
Netflix and Amazon Prime have nudged our desire to have a more immersive theater-like experience when it comes to audio. Netflix carries a number of movies and shows with Dolby Atmos and other Dolby formats. On top of that, audio from most built-in TV speakers are notoriously lousy.
Who should buy this?
The Soundcore Infini Pro appeals to the price conscious end of the cord cutting spectrum, but with the perks of the sophisticated audio formats that comes with 4K TVs.
Chances are, if you bought a Roku TV and don’t already own a high-end audio set up, you’re not going to be looking to spend upwards of $500 to $600 for a sound bar and an amp. Manufacturers have responded with creating lower priced sound bars.
But not all of these budget sound systems are created equal. If you compare sound bars in the $200 to $250 range, a number of them lack any Dolby support. That includes Roku TV Wireless Speakers.
The Infini Pro delivers the caliber of audio that is supported by many 4K HDR televisions without the sting of a big price tag.
The Soundcore Infini Pro has a full yet punchy sound. And the sound bar is versatile. It works well with newer TVs that have HDMI ARM compatibility, and older TV sets that require an optical cord. If you can use the HDMI cord, then use it. You’ll get better sound quality, especially if your TV or related hardware has any kind of Dolby support.
I spent roughly a month testing out the Infini Pro on three different televisions, including a TCL 4K HDR television. Soundcore sent me the Infini Pro for this review and feedback, but the opinions here are entirely my own.
Soundcore has released a limited number of Infini Pro sound bars that have already sold out. I received mine prior to its release. The Infini Pro is expected to cost $249.
Soundcore Infini Pro specs
With two built-in subwoofers, the Soundcore Infini Pro adds more dimension to whatever you’re listening to – no matter if it’s a movie on Netflix, or just streaming music from your smart phone.
After paying close attention to the sound I was getting from the Infini Pro, I came to a decision pretty quickly. It makes little sense to have supplemental speakers without Dolby support if your TV supports it, too.
The Infini Pro is an integrated 2.1 channel sound bar. That means there are two channels of speakers, left and right, along with the two subwoofers.
It has a loud 120W and can be connected to a Roku TV fairly easily thanks to HDMI ARC support. You just need to plug in the HDMI port into the ARC-supported port.
The Infini Pro comes with more speakers than Roku TV Wireless speakers. It supports Dolby Atmos and 4K Passthrough with Dolby Vision.
So if you want to only spend about $250 for a sound bar for a Roku TV, then get the Soundcore Infini Pro. Skip buying Roku TV wireless speakers. They simply lack the features you need to take advantage of sound offered in the latest Roku TVs like the TCL’s models mentioned above.
The Infini Pro can make your audio noticeably better if you subscribe to Netflix’s Ultra HD plan or watch shows such as Bosch in 4K HDR on Amazon Prime.
Best Settings for Infini Pro
Adjustments for Surround Sound and bass will need to be made based on the size and shape of the room you’re in. There are three listening modes – voice, music and movies – that you can choose from the palm-sized remote control.
I boosted the bass and stayed in either music or movie mode when using the Infini Pro in my living room, which is 25 x 13. I found those two modes best for watching movies or live sports. When I was streaming a concert or a live music program on Philo, I switched over to music mode. You’ll notice that the vocals will be slightly punched up a bit while bass and percussion will have deeper tones.
But be warned: simply jacking up the settings isn’t ideal. The power of this sound bar may not be apparent right away, but it’s there.
One night while I was fiddling with the Infini Pro’s settings, I was watching an episode of The Wire on Amazon Prime. The scene had Avon Barksdale strolling in slow motion to a bass-heavy soundtrack. I had the sound bar on the floor below my TV. Despite the distance, the metal from the recessed lighting in the ceiling began rattling from the bass coming out of speakers.
You will be able to adjust the settings to your sound bar pretty easily. But you’ll be doing this purely by ear instead of the numerical readout. The remote has buttons for surround sound, adjustments for bass and three modes. Of course, if you start using your TV remote, then you won’t be able to switch from movies to music mode without the Infini Pro remote.
Ideal placement for sound bar
Placing the sound bar in front of a television with the touch panel facing up will give you very good sound. But the Infini Pro is on the wide and tall side compared to other sound bars that I have tested. With the display panel facing up, it’s about 2 ¼ inches tall, according to my measurements. It measures about 4 ¼ inches wide at the top.
So, you could have a situation where the Soundcore Infini Pro is blocking a bottom portion of your screen or remote control sensor if the TV is on a stand. If you have a wall mounted TV, then no worries.
The better experience and sound is when you mount it above the TV to a wall. (A metal wall mounting kit is included in the box.)
The Surround Sound setting will make the Infini Pro much louder, and it maintains its clarity very well.
Before I even hooked up the Infini Pro to a television, I used it as a standalone Bluetooth speaker at my kitchen table. I played “The Last Goodbye” and a few other Jeff Buckley songs from his album Grace from my Razer Phone 2. Hearing the softest whispers from Buckley’s vocals while not blurring any the louder instrumentals was impressive. It’s the kind of album that’s a decent benchmark for speakers.
If I had one gripe about the Infini Pro, it would be the display – or lack of one. The main sound bar I use in my house is a Samsung Sounbar K450, and it has a digital display that literally spells out the volume level or what mode I’m in with soft white letters. It’s easy to see from across the room, especially if I’m watching something at night.
The Infini Pro uses a color coded dots. Solid white for movie mode, green for music and blue for voice. It’s really a small gripe, and one that is not a deal breaker for me.
Roku TV Wireless Speakers vs Soundcore Infini Pro
So why do I like the Soundcore Infini Pro over Roku TV Wireless Speakers?
When I first heard Roku TV Wireless Speakers, I thought the sound was pretty remarkable for the size of the speakers. And the ease of use was pretty obvious. But they come with some serious limitations that make the Soundcore Infini Pro a better buy for a Roku TV that has Dolby support.
Roku TV Wireless Speakers can only be used with a Roku TV, and require an Internet connection.
An onboard dual-band 802.11ac adapter connects to your home WiFi network to transmit sound. It’s an impressive feat of technology, but you won’t be happy on the night that your Internet connection goes out and you decide to fire up your Blu-Ray player to watch a movie. The same thing is true for a night where there’s no Internet and you want to start watching over-the-air channels that you’re getting from a TV antenna.
Those two limitations along with a lack of any Dolby support make little sense. Why buy additional speakers when it can’t deliver the Dolby audio that is supported by your TV? Plus, there is no subwoofer inside Roku’s wireless speakers, and you need to turn on the TV to enable Bluetooth.
That said, there are Roku TVs (and plenty of others) that don’t have any Dolby support, so I guess it’s fine if you’re just looking to boost the overall sound level.
I’m a huge Roku fan, and do most of my television viewing with a TCL Roku TV. I use Roku streaming devices the most around my house. But if I needed some better sound in a spare bedroom that has a Fire Stick or Fire TV Cube connected to it, then my Roku TV Wireless Speakers are pretty useless.
Dolby Atmos support
Dolby Atmos compatibility can be complicated. When your Dolby Atmos equipment is connected correctly, it can add new dimensions to what you hear – or rather create 3D placement of sounds.
To get Dolby Atmos to work with the Soundcore Infini Pro, you need to connect the sound bar in HDMI (ARC) mode. And your TV must support Dolby Atmos in HDMI (ARC) mode. Soundcore recommends setting the sampling rate to 192 kHz if you’re allowed to make adjustments.
If you own a TV with HDR10 or Dolby Vision, the Soundcore Infini Pro supports both formats and 4K Passthrough. So if you play a DVD that supports a 4K video, the signal can be delivered to your TV.
The Bottom Line: Soundcore Infini Pro
The quality of budget sound bars has been improving in the last few years. The Soundcore Infini Pro is moving the bar by delivering Dolby Atmos support to mid-range TVs that support 4K and Dolby audio. Its performance won’t match having an amp placed on an opposite wall in your living room.
But it’s a great sound bar for smaller to mid-size living rooms and it will significantly upgrade the audio for a bedroom TV.
5 facts about Soundcore Infini Pro
- Supports Dolby Atmos (3D Sound)
- 120W output
- Dual subwoofers built in
- Supports 4K Passthrough
- HDMI ARC compatible
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble
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