Walmart has announced that it will soon ship a more affordable Roku Smart Soundbar with similar capabilities to Roku’s official streaming soundbar. However, at $130 versus $180, Walmart’s version might be more appealing if it doesn’t cut too many corners.
The official Roku Smart Soundbar is a speaker system that has Roku streaming hardware for 4K HDR video built right in, so you can pipe content to your TV straight from the soundbar, or you can hook the soundbar up to a Roku TV and continue using the TV’s interface.
In either case, the device brings a big upgrade to the integrated speakers accompanying most televisions, packing four 2.5-inch full-range drivers that can be further enhanced with the separate purchase of Roku’s $180 Wireless Subwoofer—or $360 combined for the soundbar and subwoofer.
Walmart’s version of these devices, which will be marketed under the “Onn” brand name, are scheduled to launch over the coming weeks at $130 for the soundbar and $130 for a wireless subwoofer, or $260 combined. That drop in price comes with some notable changes in speaker power. The Onn soundbar is said to have different drivers and has 40 watts of peak power versus 60 watts for the official Roku hardware, while the Onn subwoofer has only 150 watts of peak power versus 250 watts Roku’s gear.
While Walmart’s Onn soundbar and subwoofer aren’t quite as powerful as Roku’s, they should still bring a noticeable upgrade over the speakers built into most TVs. Beyond the different capabilities in sound output, the Onn soundbar has similar overall features such having a built-in Roku streaming box, the ability to pump music over Bluetooth, an HDMI-ARC connection for pairing up with your TV, as well as a small remote that can be used to control the soundbar and navigate Roku from afar.