Feb 23 2022
Roku is a device that allows you to stream all kinds of media from the internet on your TV without needing smart TV. It’s an affordable and practical option to enjoy the internet on a large screen like your TV with minimal setup and connection issues.
But a common problem for some customers is that all of a sudden, their Roku is talking to them. Why is that – and most importantly, how do you stop it?
Here we are going through the many ways you can stop your Roku from talking to you every time you fire it up. It’s fairly simple and easy, so just keep on reading to find out how you can switch off the voice on your own Roku.
Why Is My Roku Talking To Me?
So you’ve switched on your Roku and while you are browsing through what to watch, it keeps reading out to you everything you scroll through.
Although this is annoying, it is also a very important feature that Roku offers. This is called Screen Reader – a feature that helps those with visual impairments still enjoy Roku freely and independently.
It reads out the interface as you scroll through Roku on your remote because it is meant to help those who cannot read or see the screen navigate and select what they want to select.
Or perhaps you are hearing the show you are watching being described to you as you watch it – this is Descriptive Audio that is also included to help those with visual impairments watch and understand different media with ease.
By narrating the media they watch, those with visual impairments can still follow along with the plot of that media and not miss out on any visual cues or clues to help them still enjoy the same shows and movies as the rest of us.
While these are great features that really help those with difficulties seeing, they can be annoying if you don’t have any kind of impairment. Not everyone likes hearing the details of every scene being read back to them when they can see what is happening for themselves.
Luckily, these can both be turned off very easily. So if you are struggling to find out how to turn off either Screen Reader or Audio Descriptive on your Roku, then here are the answers you need.
How To Turn Off Screen Reader
Screen Reader is a feature aimed to help those with visual impairments so for ease of use and better accessibility, there is actually a shortcut button to this feature on the remote control. This is probably how it got turned on in the first place – by accidentally pressing the shortcut button on the remote.
To turn off Screen Reader, all you have to do is press the shortcut button again four times in a row. This will toggle the Screen Reader on and off.
The Screen Reader button is the button that features an asterisk. Find that button on your remote and press it four times in a row – this will turn the Screen Reader off. If you want to turn it back on for any reason, just press the same button again four times in a row.
If for whatever reason you cannot use the remote control for your Roku, you can also turn off the Screen Reader feature in the settings menu. This failsafe should definitely work if the button on the remote seems to not be making a difference.
First, head to the Homepage on your Roku. On the sidebar to the left-hand side of your screen, you should see the Settings option. Click on Settings and then move to select the Accessibility option.
There you should see the options for Screen Reader. It might also be called Audio Guide but newer and updated models of Roku refer to it as Screen Reader.
To turn it off, just select Screen Reader/Audio Guide and select the off option. This will disable the Screen Reader Feature until you are ready to turn it back on. When that time comes, just return to the same place and switch it back on with a simple click.
How To Turn Off Descriptive Audio
This feature is what reads back to you every little detail in the show or movie you are watching. This is usually not an issue with Roku itself – the descriptive audio has been switched on within the app you are using. This could be Apple TV, HBO Max, Netflix – anything.
Basically, to turn it off, you will need to go into the streaming app itself and turn it off there. Unfortunately, every streaming app is different – so here is a guide on how to turn off descriptive audio with some of the most popular ones.
With Netflix, press the Up button on the Roku remote to take you to language options. You need to switch the language from English – Audio Description to whatever language you desire. There should be an option for just English that does not feature Audio Description.
With Hulu, press the Up button on the Roku remote to take you to settings. There, you can change the language from English – Audio Description to a different language without audio description.
With Prime Video, you will need to press the Up button on your Roku remote and then select the Audio and Languages option. Then select the language you want, but avoid anything with ‘audio description’ beside it.
With Apple TV, you will need to select the settings icon at the top of the Apple TV home screen. This is the option that is shaped like a traditional gear. Go to Accessibility, then Audio Descriptions and switch it to Off.
With HBO Max, use the shortcut button on your Roku remote (that’s the one that is shaped like a star) and go to the Accessibility and Caption option. Scroll down to Audio Track and choose a language that does not have audio description.
For any other kind of TVs, check the manual to see if there is an option for Audio Description built into the TV. Usually you will have to go to the settings menu and look for anything related to audio and language. If you are still having any trouble, contact your TV manufacturer and ask for their guidance.
And that is how you can turn off that loud voice shouting from your TV every time you switch on your Roku.
Although this feature can be annoying, it is still a very important one that Roku must include so it can make streaming accessible to those with visual impairments – but luckily, they have made sure that it is also very easy to switch on and off for a better customer experience.
So just read the steps above, and happy streaming!