Is My Roku Listening to My Conversations? (We Checked)

Roku has been accused of spying on its users. Though Roku TVs are reliable – can you “trust” them?

This is due in part to the fact that some people are concerned about their privacy while using the device, as well as a few recent stories that have been published online about how easy it is for hackers to access your data through your television set or computer monitor.

In this blog we will look at if it really is listening and what that means.

Here’s If Your Roku Is Listening:

Roku is a device that has a microphone, it can listen for voice commands. The Roku devices are programmed to listen to certain words and phrases, such as “play” or “pause.” When you say these commands, the Roku device will start playing whatever video or song you request.

You might also experience your TV talking to you – here’s why.

Roku device

Roku devices do include microphones and software that are designed to help you find content more easily by using voice search and other features.

For example, you can say “Show me movies about pirates” or “Play the first episode of Game of Thrones,” and your Roku will try to fulfill your request by looking for results on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, for example.

But this isn’t meant as a way for you to use the Roku device as an intercom system — there’s no speaker built into Roku devices that would allow you to talk into them after they’ve been powered down.

In addition, while the microphone on your Roku device is enabled by default, it doesn’t actually start listening until you speak at least one word aloud (or type something into its text field).

How Can You Check If Roku Devices Are Listening?

  • Go to the Settings menu on your Roku device.
  • Select “Privacy” from the list of options that appear.
  • Look for “Voice Recognition” and make sure it’s turned off if you don’t want it to listen to your conversations. (Roku will not record or transmit audio data unless this option is enabled.)

Note also, that in the fine print for your Roku the text around “listening” and voice recognition is a little vague.
Under the settings menu, it does not allow you to turn off voice recognition.

If you do, it turns it back on by itself.

Keep in mind that the Roku Express does not have a voice remote feature.

Note also, that Roku devises may malfunction. Sometimes Roku devices will restart over and over.

How Do I Stop Roku Sticks from Listening?

To stop your Roku from listening to you, turn off voice search and voice control in the settings of your device:

  • To do this, look for a tab marked “Settings” at the top of the screen and click on it. On your device, you will see a pop-up box with various options listed. Click on “Search Settings” to access them (you may also be able to find this option in your Roku’s main menu).
  • Once there, scroll down until you see an option labeled “Voice Search.” Use this toggle switch to turn off voice search functions on your device so that they cannot hear anything said around it or by using it as long as they are enabled.

What Exactly Do Roku Use These Recordings For?

Roku uses these recordings to improve its voice search feature by analyzing what people are saying and comparing those results with what they’re looking for on their devices.

It can then use this information to make its search results more accurate and relevant to individual users’ needs.

As you might know, Roku doesn’t have a keyboard or touchscreen like other streaming devices such as Fire TV or Apple TV do which makes finding content difficult at times.

That’s why they added the ability to search by speaking into the remote control back in 2014 when they launched the 3rd generation of their streaming devices.

Roku uses these recordings for a variety of purposes, including:

  • To improve their services.
  • To improve their products.
  • To improve their marketing.
  • To improve their Baby monitor and different accessories on table in room. Radio nanny.
  • To improve their customer service.

Roku uses voice data to personalize your experience with the company and to deliver content that is relevant to you, as well as to deliver ads based on your interests (more on this later).

One study found that many devices have been programmed with software capable of recognizing certain words or phrases spoken by users, which then triggers an action based on what was heard.

While useful in some cases, this type of functionality can also lead to problems if someone says something they didn’t intend for the device to hear. 

Can You Use Roku Without Them Snooping on You?

Here are some things you can do to protect your privacy:

  • Use a VPN. If you’re watching streaming content on your Roku and don’t want anyone else to see it, use a virtual private network (VPN) service. A VPN will encrypt all of the data between your computer and the server, which helps prevent unauthorized access.
  • Use another device. Another option is to use a different device entirely for your streaming needs—for example, if you have multiple TVs in your house, just connect the Roku box directly into one of them instead of using an HDMI cable from another TV set in order to keep private information secure from public viewing areas like living rooms or family rooms without regard for personal privacy concerns.

Check our blog out about is my Fitbit listening to me?

Can Roku Devices Listen When It’s Turned Off?

Roku devices can listen to you when they’re on and in standby mode.

When your Roku device is in standby mode, it is still listening for commands you give it through its remote or mobile app.

If you are in a conversation with another person while the device is in this listening state, then your Roku may be capable of hearing that conversation as well.

Keep in mind that turning off your TV will also turn off your Roku player so there should be no need to worry about accidentally activating its listening feature.

Does It Listen While In Standby Mode?

It doesn’t.

The Roku 2, 3 and 4 can be voice controlled using the device’s remote control or through the Roku app for mobile devices.

You may have heard that you can enable this feature even if you’re not using it to listen to your conversations; however, this is not true.

When a Roku device is in standby mode (and not being used), it does not listen to any sound around it because there would be no reason for it to do so — unless you want it to.

However it’s important to not that, the Roku devices have always had this capability, and it’s described in the privacy policy: “Roku may collect information when your Streaming Player or TV is on or off, including when you’re using Mobile App voice search.”

Can You Have Old Recordings from Roku Devices Deleted?

You can delete the recordings. The process is pretty simple:

  • Go to Settings on your Roku device, then select Recordings and select Delete All Recordings.
  • If you want to delete specific recordings, simply go to Privacy settings and then select the recording that you want to remove from your list of saved content and choose “Delete Recording” from the menu options at the top of the page or hit OK on your remote control if it’s a physical one (or just press Enter if it’s a virtual one).

How Can I Avoid This from Happening?

You can avoid this from happening by following a few simple tips.

First, you should use a VPN to keep your IP address hidden. This will make it harder for Roku or any other device to track you.

You also want to use private browsing mode when you’re on the internet so that websites don’t store cookies on your system.

Finally, turn off your Roku when not in use and don’t use it in a room with private conversations going on – especially if it sounds like people are having an argument! If you follow these simple rules, there’s no reason why your privacy should be compromised…

Is There a Benefit to It Listening?

Roku is a streaming service that allows you to watch shows and movies online.

It is also a device that allows you to stream content from your television onto other devices, like your phone or tablet.

In addition, Roku provides marketing analytics for companies so they can sell ads more effectively on their channels and get more impressions on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.


Roku devices are a great way to watch movies, TV shows, and other videos on your television. But one of the downsides to these devices can be the ads that pop up between videos.

These ads can be an annoyance, but they’re also an opportunity for Roku to learn more about what you like based on which ads you click on or skip over.

It’s not clear exactly how much data is collected by Roku, however—and there’s no guarantee that it won’t be shared with third parties in the future.

The company does have some safeguards in place: users must opt-in for personalized advertising, and can turn off this feature at any time.

But if you’re worried about privacy issues related to Roku’s ad-serving practices, we recommend taking steps now to protect yourself.

Read this blog about is my Kindle Fire listening to me?


Was this article helpful? Like Dislike

Click to share...

Did you find wrong information or was something missing?
We would love to hear your thoughts! (PS: We read ALL feedback)