Roku has announced that it is planning to manufacture lower-cost variants of its new Smart Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer for Walmart under its ONN brand. Roku already produces distinct versions of some of its streaming media players exclusively for retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy. Briefly, the company was also toying with a larger deal with Walmart in its financial report for the second quarter. Apart from its TVs and players that are sold at Walmart, Roku had mentioned that it would offer several new Roku devices, along with audio products under the ONN brand name. The new ONN Roku audio devices for Walmart add to the line that was introduced by the retailer last month.
In September, Roku premiered two devices, including the Smart Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer, each of them costing around $180. The devices have been designed to complement the existing Roku wireless speakers, in case of a subwoofer, or offer a substitute to those who do not own a Roku TV or have enough space to install the wireless speakers, in case of a Soundbar. The Walmart ONN-branded Smart Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer will be priced at nearly $129. Like in Roku’s flagship models, ONN Roku Smart Soundbar supports Dolby Audio, streaming from Bluetooth devices, and can connect to the TV through HDMI-ARC or HDMI and Optical. Although, it will be shipped with Roku’s IR remote offering TV power and channel button shortcuts, rather than the more powerful voice remote, which comes with the one that costs $180. It is also equipped with 40W of peak power versus the Roku Smart Soundbar’s 60W along with different drivers.
The Walmart exclusivity deal will allow the retailer to extend its offering of the Roku products to more of its customers when most of Roku’s revenue is not hardware sales, but instead platform revenue. Mark Ely, Vice President of Players and Whole Home Product Management, Roku, has commented that Roku and Walmart have collaborated for years to enhance the entertainment experience for buyers of Roku TV models and Roku streaming players.