A tale of two Smart Soundbars
Roku just released a Smart Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer priced at $179.99 each along with a lower spec “onn.” version sold exclusively at Walmart for $129.99 each. So there’s the Roku model and the onn. Roku version that look almost identical. However, the onn. Roku Smart Soundbar offers 40-watts of peak power versus 60-watts, different drivers, and an IR remote instead of a voice remote.
Sound and Streaming
Both 32-inch Soundbars are powered by the Roku OS which provides access to 500,000+ movies and TV episodes and millions of songs from a simple home screen. Advanced volume modes enable consumers to reach for the remote less often. Automatic Volume Leveling offers uniform audio level across various types of content, including quieting loud commercials. Night mode lowers the volume for louder scenes and boosts it for quieter ones. Speech Clarity boosts voice frequencies to address intelligibility for crisp, clear dialogue. Automatic software updates will deliver new capabilities over time.
onn. Roku Soundbar Features
- Roku Connect: A wireless audio protocol that seamlessly connects the Roku ecosystem
- Dolby Audio: Delivers rich, clear, powerful sound
- Bluetooth: Listen to music, podcasts, and more from popular streaming channels or Bluetooth compatible devices
- HDMI-ARC or Optical Support: Connect the onn Roku Smart Soundbar to a TV with a single cable via HDMI-ARC or use HDMI and Optical
- Roku Search: Fast and easy search across top channels offers results ranked by price
- Roku remote: A simple remote with TV power and channel shortcut buttons
- Free Roku mobile app: Control the smart soundbar via the mobile remote, keyboard or a microphone button, stream movies and TV from The Roku Channel, enjoy private listening with headphones and more
Roku Soundbar Features – Additional
- Roku Voice: Makes it easy to launch streaming channels, search for entertainment, replay, turn closed captions on and off and more through the Roku Voice Remote
- Voice Assistant Compatibility:The Roku Smart Soundbar works with Google Assistant and is compatible with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices
- Roku Voice remote: The point-anywhere remote features channel shortcut buttons and TV on/off buttons
Both Wireless Subwoofers feature a sealed cabinet design with a 10-inch driver and easy setup without needing to run a separate audio cable. The onn. Roku Wireless Subwoofer delivers 150-watts of peak power versus 250-watts from the Roku Wireless Subwoofer.
In addition, Roku TV Wireless Speakers that are connected to Roku TV models will receive a software update in the coming months to add compatibility with the Roku Wireless Subwoofer.
Price and Availability
- Roku Smart Soundbar – $179.99 at Best Buy and Roku.com
- model 9101R
- Roku Wireless Subwoofer – $179.99 at Best Buy and Roku.com
- model 9201R
- onn Roku Smart Soundbar – $129 at Walmart
- model 9100X
- onn Roku Wireless Soundbar – $129 at Walmart
- model 9200X