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Bose Smart Soundbar 600 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3
Review updated Nov 17, 2023 at 11:33 am
Latest change: Writing modified May 10, 2024 at 12:28 pm
Bose Smart Soundbar 600 Picture
7.1
Mixed Usage
7.3
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.4
Music
6.9
Movies

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is a 3.0.2 setup with the same size and shape as the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. It adds Dolby Atmos capabilities, meaning you can enjoy height content on many different streaming platforms and Blu-rays. Even if you're watching stereo and 5.1 surround content, the bar's TrueSpace technology upmixes sound with added effects for a multi-channel experience. This version has built-in voice assistant capabilities, though Costco's Bose Soundbar 550 variant lacks this feature. You can even add a separate sub and satellites from the manufacturer to improve its performance.

Our Verdict

7.1 Mixed Usage

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is satisfactory for mixed usage. It reproduces dialogue in your favorite TV shows with clarity, along with detailed voices and instruments in many different music genres. With its TrueSpace technology, you enjoy additional height effects, even when you listen to stereo and 5.1 surround content. Aside from its bass and treble adjustments, there aren't many customization tools, though, and you'll need to add on a sub and satellites if you want better bass reproduction and surround sound.

Pros
  • Dolby Atmos support.
  • Separate sub and satellites available.
Cons
  • No EQ.
  • Lacks low-bass.
7.3 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is satisfactory for dialogue-centric TV shows and podcasts. Its discrete center channel improves vocal reproduction in the mix, with a clear and balanced sound that makes it easy to follow along with conversations on screen. You can even use its dialogue enhancement tool for a more crisp sound. The bar lacks an auto-volume mode, though, so you can't balance the volume level between different programs when you watch TV.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
  • Lots of wireless playback options.
Cons
  • No EQ.
  • No auto-volume mode.
7.4 Music

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is decent for music. Its frequency response is quite balanced and even, with clear and accurate reproduction of voices and lead instruments in your favorite tunes. Thanks to its bass and treble levels, you can adjust its output, too. That said, there's not a lot of rumble in the low-bass, given that it's a standalone bar. You can improve its bass reproduction by adding a separate sub from the manufacturer, but it'll have to be a separate purchase.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • No EQ.
  • Some compression at max volume.
6.9 Movies

This soundbar is fair for movies. The bar's TrueSpace technology upmixes all audio with additional height effects, bringing a more cinematic sound to your living room. It can playback Dolby Atmos content and 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital. However, without rear speakers, you don't get the same clear and real feel with sound effects. Without a sub, you also don't notice the same rumble in the bass, especially with action-packed scenes.

Pros
  • Dolby Atmos support.
  • Separate sub and satellites available.
Cons
  • No EQ.
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • 7.1 Mixed Usage
  • 7.3 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.4 Music
  • 6.9 Movies
  1. Updated May 10, 2024: Updated Stereo Dynamics results with new methodology from TBU 1.3. Added text to Audio Latency: ARC, and Audio Latency: Optical boxes.
  2. Updated May 09, 2024: We've converted this review to Test Bench Update 1.3. If applicable, we've retested stereo sound based on the manufacturer's recommendations. Additionally, we've expanded our audio latency tests to the following boxes: Audio Latency: ARC, Audio Latency: HDMI In, and Audio Latency: Optical. You can see the full changelog here.
  3. Updated Nov 17, 2023: Updated review text for clarity and consistency. No changes in test results.
  4. Updated Jun 07, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.2. Updated the results for audio format support via ARC/eARC, HDMI In, and Optical. Added Video Passthrough to TV results as well.
  5. Updated Apr 05, 2023: Added the Bose Soundbar 550 as a Costco-only variant.
  6. Updated Mar 08, 2023: Added cable lengths to In The Box.
  7. Updated Mar 06, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. With this update, we've added a Mounting test and added information aboutSubwoofer Output, Spotify Connect, and Microphone Mute.
  8. Updated Nov 16, 2022: Review published.
  9. Updated Nov 11, 2022: Early access published.
  10. Updated Nov 08, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  11. Updated Oct 31, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  12. Updated Oct 21, 2022: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose Soundbar 600 is available in Black. You can see the label for the model we tested here. It's also available at Costco as the Bose Soundbar 550, though this variant lacks voice assistant support.

If you encounter another version of this soundbar, let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Bose Soundbar 600 is the Dolby Atmos-enabled cousin of the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. Its built-in TrueSpace technology is unique from other Bose bars, as it upmixes stereo and surround sound with additional height effects. Given its small size, it's not much of a surprise that you don't get the same wide, cinematic feel as some of Bose's more premium models, like the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. However, it's a solid pick at a more affordable price if you don't want all the extra premium features. If you're shopping at Costco, you can also pick up the Bose Soundbar 550 variant, though it lacks voice assistant support.

You can also check out our recommendations for the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, the best Bose soundbars, and the best standalone soundbars.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 are both smart soundbars with Dolby Atmos support. Their small designs make them easy to fit into your living room, too, which is nice. The Sonos's stereo soundstage is better, resulting in a more immersive feel with your audio. It also supports DTS content, unlike the Bose.

Sonos Beam

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 and the Sonos Beam are both small, premium bars with different strengths. The Sonos creates a better soundstage to immerse you in your audio, and has a room correction feature via its companion app on iOS devices. In comparison, the Bose supports Dolby Atmos, which is important if you like to watch a lot of movies. It also offers a wider range of wireless playback options. Both are solid choices if you're looking for a bar with a small footprint though.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc and the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 are standalone Dolby Atmos soundbars with smart features, such as built-in voice assistant support. The Sonos is better overall, with a wider stereo soundstage that makes audio stretch all around you as if you were in a movie theater. It's a bit bigger than the Bose and gets louder. Plus, you find more sound enhancement features, like room correction.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 is a wider, better-built alternative to the Bose Smart Soundbar 600. The 700's larger size means it's little surprise that it gets louder than the 600 and has a better stereo soundstage. That said, unlike the 600, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, which is disappointing if you watch a lot of content on streaming platforms.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is a better Dolby Atmos soundbar than the Bose Smart Soundbar 600. The 900 is a better-built 5.1.2 setup that's larger and gets louder than the 600. Plus, it offers a better soundstage with stereo content, meaning you get a more cinematic sound that stretches all around you.

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. While both bars have the same size and shape, the 600 adds support for Dolby Atmos content, which you're likely to come across on many different streaming platforms.

Bose Soundbar 500

While the Bose Soundbar 500 and the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 offer similar performances, the 600 is the more versatile pick. Unlike the 500, the 600 supports Dolby Atmos content, meaning you can enjoy an immersive sound with content often found on streaming platforms and Blu-rays.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

This soundbar has a similar design to the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The main difference between the two bars is the 600's metal grille, which covers the up-firing drivers within. There's a variant of this bar called the Bose Soundbar 550 at Costco, and it has the same look, though it lacks voice assistant support.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
No
Enclosure
No Subwoofer

You can add on a sub from Bose separately.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
No

Bose sells compatible satellites, which you can purchase separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 27.4" (69.5 cm)
Height 2.2" (5.6 cm)
Depth 4.1" (10.5 cm)

The Bose Soundbar 600 is the same size and shape as the Bose Smart Soundbar 300, so it's quite compact and fits between the legs of a 55-inch TV stand.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Mounting
Mountable Bar
Yes
Bar Brackets Included
No
Mountable Satellites
No
Satellite Brackets Included
No

You can mount this bar to the wall, though you must purchase the brackets separately.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

With a great build quality, this soundbar feels quite sturdy and solid overall. The metal grilles on the front and the sides of the bar protect the drivers inside, and there's a plastic top that feels quite solid. Rubber feet underneath the bar help to hold it in place, too.

Design
In The Box

  • Manual
  • Optical cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • HDMI cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • Remote with battery
  • Power cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)

Sound
7.3
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Channels
3.0.2
Tested Preset
No Preset
Slope
-0.16
Standard Error
2.65 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
54.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.1 kHz

It's a unique bar with TrueSpace technology inside to upmix stereo content with height effects when you listen. The overall sound is pleasing, with a clear and detailed representation of voices and other lead instruments in the mix and a touch of extra punch in the high-bass. It's a little processed, though, as you can tell the bar is pushing the soundstage wider and wider. You can't turn TrueSpace off, but it's not an issue if you like a more cinematic sound. Of course, as a standalone bar, there isn't much rumble in the low-bass, but you can add a separate sub if you wish to improve its bass reproduction. You can also adjust its bass and treble.

7.3
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
No Preset
Suggested Bass Setting
-10
Suggested Treble Setting
0
Slope
-0.09
Standard Error
2.64 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
53.4 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.1 kHz

You can adjust the bar's bass and treble, and they're marked by increments of 10 by the manufacturer. Setting the bar down one bass setting to '-10' results in a more balanced and even sound, as you notice less punch in the high-bass. Voices and other instruments remain clearly and accurately reproduced from the bar.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.51 dB

The Bose Soundbar 600's stereo soundstage is decent, thanks to its unique side-firing stereo drivers that push sound well past the edges of the bar itself. However, the overall effect isn't as immersive-sounding as with Bose's more premium offerings since the focus is just okay. Sound effects seem to come from more general areas, and there's a different timbre to audio as it stretches to the far edges, which doesn't feel as real or natural as it does in the center of the soundstage.

7.9
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
93.3 dB SPL
DRC @ 90dB
0.50 dB
DRC @ Max Volume
2.44 dB

This soundbar gets loud enough to fill larger and more open rooms with sound. There's compression when you push it to max volume, though, which makes your audio less clear.

7.9
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
0.04
Std. Err.
2.49 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
75.2 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.41
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.85

With a discrete center channel, this soundbar reproduces dialogue in the mix with great clarity and accuracy. The frequency response on this channel is very even and balanced, too. It's easy to follow along with conversations on screen as a result.

5.7
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Phantom (Front Firing, Up Firing and Side Firing, Bar)
Slope
-1.21
Std. Err.
3.34 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
72.2 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.68
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.43
7.1 Rears
No

The Bose Soundbar 600's surround performance is pretty unique compared to others in the Bose lineup due to its TrueSpace technology, which uses side-firing stereo channels, center channel, and up-firing height channels to simulate a phantom surround. The extra height effects bring a more cinematic feel to the sound. Still, it's not quite as clear or accurate as the performance with discrete satellites, which you can purchase from the manufacturer separately.

6.1
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Front Firing and Up Firing, Bar)
Slope
-0.37
Std. Err.
2.90 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
67.9 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.57
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.11

The bar uses up-firing drivers to ricochet sound off the ceiling, simulating the illusion of height. It's not quite as clear or as real as what you get with a home theater setup's down-firing speakers, but it's a common setup with soundbars. The balanced frequency response on these channels means that sound effects are reproduced with accuracy, too.

Subjectively, the bar's soundstage with Atmos content is impressive, given its small size. Sound extends to the space around you as if you've been dropped right into the middle of the action. Compared to more premium models like the Bose Smart Soundbar 900, you don't notice as much height. In movies like Ready Player One, helicopters and drones don't seem to fly from overhead, but rather, it feels like they're centered in front of you. There's not a lot of rumble, either, but it does well for a small standalone bar.

3.0
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
No
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
No
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
No
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
Yes
Virtual Surround
No

If you choose to mount the bar to your wall, use the Bose Music app to activate the Wall EQ, which lets you choose between different audio settings based on its positioning. However, there's no setting for leaving the bar flat on a table, and you don't get a true room correction feature like with more premium models like the Bose Smart Soundbar 700. As a result, the bar sounds a little different depending on the room you're in, but at least you can adjust its bass and treble to compensate a bit. You won't find an EQ, though. The presets in the app let you set up your favorite radio stations for easy access, but they don't impact the bar's audio reproduction.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI Out
eARC
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
No
Full HDMI In
No
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
No
RCA In
No
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
No
Subwoofer Output
Yes

You can connect the bar to your TV over Optical or HDMI connections. There's also a BASS port to connect a Bose Bass Module, an IR port for an IR emitter, and a micro-USB port to service the bar. However, there's no HDMI In, so you can't use the bar as a hub between devices or for video passthrough.

8.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: ARC/eARC
Dolby Atmos
Supported
Dolby Digital
Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Supported
DTS
Not Supported
DTS:X
Not Supported
DTS-HD MA
Not Supported
PCM Channels
Up To 7.1

Via ARC, the bar supports many different audio formats, including 5.1 surround formats like Dolby Digital, as well as lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Not Supported
Dolby Digital
Not Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Not Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Not Supported
DTS
Not Supported
DTS:X
Not Supported
DTS-HD MA
Not Supported
PCM Channels
Not Supported
6.5
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: Optical
Dolby Digital
Supported
DTS
Not Supported
PCM Channels
2.0

The bar supports Dolby Digital over Optical, which is commonly found on many different streaming platforms and Blu-rays.

8.7
Connectivity
Audio Latency: ARC
PCM-2.0 ch
60 ms
PCM-5.1 ch
59 ms
Dolby MAT (PCM) Atmos
63 ms
Dolby Digital
84 ms
Dolby Digital Plus
103 ms
Dolby Digital Plus Atmos
97 ms

This soundbar has low latency via ARC. You don't notice any major lip-synching issues, even with dialogue-heavy content. Some apps compensate for latency differently, but if you experience any issues, you can manually adjust the delay with the audio sync feature in the Bose Music app.

not tested
Connectivity
Audio Latency: HDMI In
PCM-2.0 ch
N/A
PCM-5.1 ch
N/A
Dolby MAT (PCM) Atmos
N/A
Dolby Digital
N/A
Dolby Digital Plus
N/A
Dolby Digital Plus Atmos
N/A
8.1
Connectivity
Audio Latency: Optical
PCM-2.0 ch
113 ms
Dolby Digital
173 ms

Latency over an Optical connection is great, too. You'll get a bit more latency with Dolby Digital vs PCM, but you can always use the companion app's audio sync feature to manually compensate for delay. It's also worth noting that some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently.

0
Connectivity
Video Passthrough To TV
1080p Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
1080p @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
4k Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
4k @ 120Hz @ 10-Bit
Not Supported
4k @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
8k Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
HDR10 Passthrough
No
HDR10+ Passthrough
No
Dolby Vision Passthrough
No
HDMI Forum VRR Passthrough
No
FreeSync Passthrough
No
G-SYNC Passthrough
No
ALLM Passthrough
No
10
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi Playback
Yes
Chromecast built-in
Yes
Apple AirPlay
Yes
Spotify Connect
Yes

You can wirelessly stream audio to the bar from your mobile devices with ease.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

There's no display, but a group of LED lights on the front of the bar flashes different colors and patterns depending on the settings you adjust. You can see the manual for a full list of the meanings behind each pattern.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The bar's controls are simple: there's a microphone mute button to disable the built-in voice assistant, as well as an Action button that lets you manually enable Alexa. You need the remote or the app to play and pause your audio.

Additional Features
Remote

The remote is simple and lets you control the bar's most basic features. You can find additional support via the Bose Music app, so if you own compatible Bose speakers, you can connect them to the bar.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Yes (Built-in)
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No
Microphone Mute
Yes

Built-in Amazon Alexa support lets you control the bar with your voice, and you can set up this feature in the Bose Music app. Plus, if you have a third-party Google Assistant device, you can connect it to the bar using Chromecast built-in for additional voice assistant support. Voice assistant isn't available with the Bose Soundbar 550 variant at Costco, though.