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Bose Smart Soundbar 600 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Nov 16, 2022 at 10:03 am
Bose Smart Soundbar 600 Picture
Channels
3.0.2

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. With built-in voice assistant capabilities, you can control this bar with your voice, and you can even add a separate sub and satellites from the manufacturer if you want to improve its performance.

Our Verdict

N/A Mixed Usage

The Bose Soundbar 600 is decent 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 a ton of 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.
N/A Dialogue/TV Shows

The Bose Soundbar 600 is satisfactory for dialogue-centric content like TV shows and podcasts. Its discrete center improves vocal reproduction, with a balanced frequency response that ensures dialogue is accurately emitted. There's also a dialogue enhancement feature to make voices more clear and crisp. Plus, there are many wireless streaming options on hand, making it easy to send audio from your phone to the bar.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
  • Lots of wireless playback options.
Cons
  • No auto-volume mode.
N/A Music

The Bose Soundbar 600 is decent for music. Its frequency response is quite balanced and even, with a clear and accurate reproduction of voices and lead instruments in your favorite tunes. You can adjust its output, too, thanks to its bass and treble levels. 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.
N/A Movies

The Bose Soundbar 600 is decent 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, as well as 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, too, you 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.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Nov 16, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Nov 11, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose Soundbar 600 is available in Black. You can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the discussions, 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 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.

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 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 it 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 5.0.2 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

The Bose Soundbar 600 is similar to the Bose Smart Soundbar 300, with a sleek plastic design. The main difference between the two bars is the 600's metal grille, which covers the up-firing drivers within.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

You can add on a sub from Bose separately.

Design
Style - Satellites

Bose sells compatible satellites, which you can purchase separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock 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" 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
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Locked

The back of the bar has the inputs. You can mount the bar to your wall, though you have to purchase a specific mount from Bose to do soโ€”in fact, the manufacturer warns strongly against using any other hardware.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Locked
Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
Locked
N/A
Design
Build Quality

The Bose Soundbar 600 has great build quality. It's mainly made of plastic, which feels really solid and durable. The metal grille on top helps to protect the up-firing drivers within, too.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
Lock m (Lock ft)
Digital Optical Cable Length
Lock m (Lock ft)

  • Manual
  • Optical cable
  • HDMI cable
  • Remote with battery
  • Power cable

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
3.0.2
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

The Bose Soundbar 600 has a decent stereo frequency response. 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 if you like a more cinematic sound, it's not an issue. 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.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Locked
Suggested Bass Setting
Lock
Suggested Treble Setting
Lock
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock 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.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock 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 timber to audio as it stretches to the far edges, which doesn't feel as real or natural.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
Lock dB

The Bose Soundbar 600 gets loud enough to fill larger, more open spaces with sound, making it a solid choice for living rooms and basements alike. That said, as you crank up the volume, there's some compression in the mix that impacts the quality of audio reproduction.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

Distortion falls within good limits, whether you're listening at a normal volume or with the volume cranked up.

N/A
Sound
Center
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

Its discrete center improves vocal reproduction, and the channel offers a balanced and even frequency response, so dialogue remains clear and accurate in the mix. You shouldn't have trouble following along when you watch movies or TV shows.

N/A
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock
7.1 Rears
Locked

The Bose Soundbar 600's surround performance is pretty unique compared to others in the Bose lineup. With its TrueSpace technology, it uses its 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.

N/A
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

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. 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 for a small standalone bar, it does well.

N/A
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Locked
Dialogue Enhancement
Locked
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Locked
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Locked
Bass Adjustment
Locked
Treble Adjustment
Locked
EQ
Locked
Surround Level Adjustment
Locked
Rear Level Adjustment
Locked
Height Level Adjustment
Locked
Virtual Surround
Locked

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 such as 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
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Locked
HDMI ARC
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked

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.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Locked
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X (eARC only)
Locked
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Locked
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Locked
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Locked

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.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
5.1 PCM
Locked
N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Locked
DTS
Locked

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

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Bose Smart Soundbar 600 Latency Video Sample
ARC
Lock ms
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The bar has low latency, meaning you can enjoy movies and videos without any noticeable lip-synching issues. The video you see on screen matches the audio you hear, which is great. Some apps and TVs may compensate for latency differently; however, if you have any issues, there's an audio sync feature in the Bose Music app to manually compensate for the delay.

N/A
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Locked
Wi-Fi
Locked
Chromecast built-in
Locked
Apple AirPlay
Locked

The bar lets you wirelessly stream audio from your phone or other mobile devices over lots of different platforms. With Chromecast built-in, you can connect a third-party Google Assistant device to the bar to control it with your voice.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Locked
HDR10 Passthrough
Locked
Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Locked
Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
Locked
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

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
Universal Remote
Locked

The remote is simple and lets you control the bar's most basic features. You can find additional support via the Bose Music app.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Locked
Google Assistant
Locked
Apple Siri
Locked

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.

Additional Features
App
App Name Locked
iOS Locked
Android Locked
Acts As A Remote
Locked
Controls Soundbar's Settings
Locked
Casts Device Files
Locked

The Bose Music app is a handy tool that lets you control the bar's features from the comfort of your couch, and it's a great backup if you misplace your remote. Lots of sound enhancement features are found in the app, and you can group the bar with other Bose devices. The Tune In radio service lets you choose between different podcasts and radio stations to play through the bar.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Locked
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Locked

The Bose Soundbar 600 shuts off automatically after twenty minutes of inactivity, though you can turn this feature off in the app if you want. Also, it supports HDMI CEC, meaning you can control its basic features with your TV remote. The app adds a unique advanced CEC feature, so you can choose between different options based on your setup to ensure the best chance of compatibility.

Discussions