Roku bought a Sonos-like company focused on multi-room audio

Another sign Roku might be working on a smart speaker.

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Devindra Hardawar/Engadget
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

You've probably never heard of Dynastrom, but Roku has. The streaming player company acquired Dynastrom last month, a Danish firm building multi-room audio software, Variety reports. The news follows an earlier report from the outlet in September, which noted that Roku was seeking audio experts for new roles. That led to speculation that the company was building a smart speaker of its own -- an increasingly intriguing category, albeit one that seems surprising for Roku.

Variety notes that Dynastrom employees, among them its CEO and CTO, were listed as Roku employees on LinkedIn in September. The company also revealed that it made an acquisition for $3.5 million in a regulatory filing yesterday, though it didn't name Dynastrom directly.

"We are always looking to expand our engineering team, and the addition of Dynastrom allows us to scale the team further," a Roku spokesperson said in a statement. "They will continue operations in Denmark as a subsidiary of Roku Inc. We are not disclosing any additional details related to the transaction."

The bigger question? We don't know what the company plans to do with this multi-room audio technology. Essentially, it seems to allow for Sonos-like functionality over WiFi. Roku could conceivably build smart speakers of its own, but that might be tough since speakers are an entirely new category for the company, and there's plenty of experienced competition on the market. Alternatively, Roku could partner with other companies to implement its audio technology. Just imagine being able to hear the audio from a TV show in several speakers throughout your home.

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