Bose Smart Soundbar 600 Review — Is This Soundbar Worth it? (2023)

When you hear of a newly released Bose product, the first word that comes to mind is pricey. Despite their reputation as an audio equipment authority, you can still get an expensive product with underwhelming features. 

So, if you do not want to waste money on an overpriced product, our audio engineers prepared this Bose Smart Soundbar 600 review to see if it’s worth it.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Design and Build Quality

Like most soundbars released by Bose, the Smart Soundbar 600 is stylish and elegant. It exudes a minimalistic design that can easily blend into your home decor. It has a black finish with a smooth plastic design and a metal grille covering its up-firing drivers. 

It is compact for its size of 2.2 inches high, 27.3 inches wide, and 4.1 inches, which can easily fit under bigger TVs of 55 inches or longer. The inputs are tactically placed at the back of the soundbar hiding the messy wire connections.

You can also mount the soundbar to the wall, but you can only use the specific mount from Bose, which you need to purchase separately. 

Bose Smart Soundbar 600 Features

Specs at a Glance

Setup

Among all the soundbars we have tested so far, the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 has the simplest and straightforward setup. It has a single HDMI eARC port for TV connection, or you may use the optical input if it is available for your TV. 

However, we recommend connecting your soundbar to the TV via HDMI eARC because it offers many advanced features unavailable through optical digital connections. 

It has a basic smaller remote, which can easily be misplaced. The good thing is you can use the Bose Music app to set up and control the soundbar. It is more convenient and user-friendly. 

For the initial setup, you must create a Bose account. Once your account has been created, the process runs smoothly. The app automatically discovers the available Wi-Fi network and links your soundbar. 

This app also serves as a remote to control the height channel and center channel level, as well as for the treble and bass adjustment. It also has an EQ setting designed to adjust the audio for an on-wall setup.

Sound Quality

Bose is known for producing soundbars with impressive sound quality, and the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is no exception. It delivers an excellent sound performance that is highly suitable for movies and music. 

But to guide you further with this Bose Smart Soundbar 600 review, we tested its different sound features to show you what we like about this soundbar and how it compares to other brands and models. Below are the results. 

Frequency Response

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 has a remarkable frequency response. We find the TrueSpace technology inside the soundbar very effective in creating the impression of the height of stereo content. 

The sound it produces is detailed, and you can clearly hear the voices and the lead instruments with a bit of thump in the high bass. You may hear a bit of processed sound as the bar pushes the soundstage wider. 

Stereo Soundstage

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 has an excellent stereo soundstage, attributed to its side-firing drivers. They push the sound to the limit, creating a wider soundstage. 

However, its sound focus is only average. The sound effects do not feel very real as they come mostly from the center, and you hear the different timber as it stretches to the sides. 

Dynamics

This soundbar can get louder and fill huge open spaces with clear and powerful sound. It allows you to listen to high volume without audio distortion. 

As you increase the volume, you will hear some compression in the audio, which impacts the sound reproduction quality. So, we highly recommend it for your larger living room or basement. 

THD

Its total harmonic distortion is within reasonable limits. It has a balanced sound when listening to normal volume. 

Although there is a bit of sound distortion when you set the volume at max, you will not really notice it unless you are very keen on sound reproduction fidelity. 

Center Speaker Performance

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 has outstanding discrete center channel performance. Its discrete center does a good job of improving vocal reproduction while its channel produces a balanced frequency response. 

With this, you can hear the dialogue clearly and accurately. This makes it easier to follow along with the movies or TV shows you are watching.

Surround Sound

This Bose Smart Soundbar 600 review will not be complete without testing its surround sound quality. Bose soundbars are popular for having powerful surround sound, and we expect nothing less with the Smart Soundbar 600. 

Although it is not part of their most premium lineup, we are not disappointed with its surround sound performance. We are quite impressed with its unique surround sound quality, thanks to its TrueSpace technology. 

Its center, up-firing, and side-firing channels work together to create an immersive surround. The height impression also adds a more cinematic effect to the sound. 

Dolby Atmos

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 has impressive Dolby Atmos performance. But like most soundbars, it uses an up-firing channel to create a height illusion of the sound. 

So, it is not as clear and as pure as what you can expect from a home theater system that has down-firing drivers in the speakers. Nevertheless, this soundbar reproduces sound effects with accuracy. 

You can hear and feel the sound around you. But unlike other premium models, you will not hear much height of the sound. For example, the sound of flying helicopters seems to come mostly in front of you rather than from overhead. 

Latency

We did not run into any latency all throughout our testing. The visuals displayed on the screen match the dialogue and sound effects that you hear. 

But if you encounter lip-sync issues, it comes with an audio sync adjustment feature through the Bose Music app. 

Sound Improvement Settings

We suggest mounting the soundbar on the wall as you have more audio settings when you activate its Wall EQ feature available through the Bose Music app. 

But when you place it flat on a surface, it does not have a room sound correction feature, unlike most premium models. Although you can adjust the treble and bass, it does not come with EQ. 

The presets available in the app only allow you to set up your preferred radio stations, but they do not impact the soundbar’s sound reproduction. 

Sound Modes

Aside from its TrueSpace technology, which creates a powerful and more immersive sound, it also has a “Dialogue Mode” feature designed to enhance voice quality on movies and TV shows. 

Noticeably, the dialogue it produces is clearer and more detailed. This is especially helpful for those with hearing problems. 

Sound Formats Accepted

This soundbar supports many audio formats via ARC, such as Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and Dolby Atmos. 

Meanwhile, it supports more audio formats via HDMI, such as Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, DTS, DTS-HD MA, and 5.1 PCM. 

Also, it can support Dolby Digital via Optical, the common audio format of Blu-rays, and most streaming platforms. 

Performance With Subwoofer and Speakers

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is a single-unit soundbar that does not come with satellite speakers or subwoofers. 

However, if you want to extend its sound to a more powerful and theater-quality, we suggest you purchase the Bose surround speakers and the Bose Bass Module 500 or 700 subwoofers. 

Inputs

This soundbar has advanced connectivity features. It can passthrough video at 4k 60Hz, 4k 60Hz at 10 bit, 4k 60Hz at 4.4.4, and HDR10. 

Wireless Connectivity

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 allows you to play content from different devices and platforms through wireless connections like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPay. 

You can also connect to Google Assistant to control the soundbar with your voice through its built-in Chromecast  

Other Items Included

This soundbar comes with a manual, HDMI cable, power cable, optical cable, and the remote with batteries. However, it does not come with a subwoofer and satellite speakers.

Value for Money

For a budget soundbar, the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 has very impressive sound quality. It is compact and can deliver what you need for a soundbar. 

For its price, it has many features like TrueSpace technology and built-in Chromecast, which you will not find with other brands. However, it lacks bass power which most soundbars with subwoofers may offer. 

But you can add the subwoofer for a bit extra cost to get a more powerful bass, even better than soundbars with a complete subwoofer and speakers setup. 

Although it is not a premium soundbar, it is much cheaper than other models. Overall, you will not be disappointed and get good value for money.

Warranty

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 comes with a one-year warranty [1] if you purchase from Bose or their authorized resellers. 

It covers materials and workmanship defects. But for more details on the specific warranty coverage, we suggest you check the warranty card included in the box.

Should I Buy This Bose Soundbar?

If you are simply looking for a budget soundbar to stream movies and TV shows with audio clarity and a wider soundstage, buying the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 speaker is a good decision. 

But if you want an all-in-one bar with a subwoofer and speakers, you may want to reconsider. Although you can always purchase the external speakers and subwoofers separately and the cost may not be much different compared to a soundbar with a complete package.

Soundbar Alternatives Comparison

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

We recommend this alternative to the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 if you are looking for a larger and louder soundbar. It has a better and wider soundstage, producing clear and pure sound. 

Bose Soundbar 700 Design

The only downside is it has no Dolby Atmos support, so you can’t stream a lot of content which is very disappointing.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

Now, this soundbar has excellent Dolby Atmos performance and is even better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 600. It also has a better 5.0.2 channel setup, which can get loud. 

Its soundstage performance is also better, which offers a more cinematic surround sound enveloping the entire space.

However, it is much more expensive than the Bose Smart Soundbar 600, which can make you think twice before buying it.

Sonos Beam

This brand can compete with Bose in terms of Dolby Atmos performance. What we like the most about the Sonos Beam is its small design which can easily fit anywhere in your home. 

Sonos Beam

It also offers a better soundstage for stereo content, stretching the sound around you. But it is more expensive compared to the Bose Smart Soundbar 600.

Sonos Arc

Like the Bose Smart Soundbar 600, it is also a standalone soundbar. But overall, it has a wider soundstage for stereo content and produces a more cinematic effect. It comes with a room correction feature which the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 does not have.

Sonos Arc Soundbar

The downside is it has a higher price than the Bose Smart Soundbar 600. But if you have the budget, it is a better option. 

FAQ

Can I connect a non-Bose speaker with the Smart Soundbar 600 using SimpleSync?

Yes, you can. Despite this, we suggest you use the Bose headphones or speakers through SimpleSync for outstanding performance. 

Will loss of internet connection disrupt an ongoing update on the Bose Smart Soundbar 600?

No, it will not disrupt an ongoing update on the Bose Smart Soundbar 600. All you need to do is close the app, delete the soundbar from the list of devices, then repair it with the app.  

Review Conclusion: Bose Smart Soundbar 600

Overall, our team’s Bose Smart Soundbar 600 reviews and tests have shown that although it is a standalone soundbar, it can deliver an immersive cinematic experience at home.

Despite the common perception that Bose products are expensive, it is truly a budget soundbar and even cheaper than most brands with the same quality. The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is indeed worth your money. 

Writer

Picture of Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.