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Samsung HW-S60A Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed May 26, 2021 at 09:10 am
Samsung HW-S60A Picture
Channels
5.0

The Samsung HW-S60A is a compact 5.0 soundbar released in 2021 that's the next generation of the Samsung HW-S60T. It comes with built-in Acoustic Beam technology and Side Horn Speakers advertised to help create a more immersive sound. It also has built-in Alexa voice assistant capabilities, so you can control the bar using your voice. While its sound profile is pretty neutral out-of-the-box, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass. Fortunately, it offers lots of sound customization features, including a graphic EQ.

Our Verdict

N/A Mixed Usage

The Samsung HW-S60A is decent for mixed usage. Out-of-the-box, it has a pretty neutral sound profile suitable for lots of types of audio content. However, it struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. While it supports surround content, it doesn't offer a very immersive listening experience. That said, there are lots of sound customization features available.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No Atmos support.
N/A Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung HW-S60A is very good for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Thanks to its dedicated center channel and balanced mid-range, voices are reproduced clearly and accurately. It even has a Voice Enhancement feature to help make dialogue more clear and crisp and an auto-volume mode to balance out the volume level across different programs. You can also wirelessly stream podcasts from your phone to the bar via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple AirPlay 2, which is handy.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Auto-volume mode.
Cons
  • No support for Chromecast built-in.
N/A Music

The Samsung HW-S60A is satisfactory for music. It struggles to reproduce a thumpy, punchy low-bass, disappointing for fans of bass-heavy genres like hip-hop. However, the rest of the range is quite neutral, so vocals and lead instruments are reproduced clearly. There are also lots of sound customization features available, including a graphic EQ and presets as well as bass and treble adjustments.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
N/A Movies

The Samsung HW-S60A is okay for movies. Its balanced mid-range reproduces dialogue clearly and accurately; however, it lacks low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in action-packed scenes. It doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, and while it can play surround content, it doesn't offer the most immersive listening experience. However, there are lots of sound enhancement features available to help you customize its sound.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Feb 16, 2022: Updated to firmware 1010.1.
  2. Updated May 26, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated May 19, 2021: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Samsung HW-S60A comes in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here. You can also purchase a variant of this soundbar called the Samsung HW-S61A. It appears to be the light gray version of this bar, so we expect it to perform similarly.

If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Samsung HW-S60A is the next generation of the Samsung HW-S60T, and it also comes with Acoustic Beam technology and Side Horn Speakers that can fire sound towards your walls to create a more immersive sound. Unlike its predecessor, it offers a discrete center channel and Apple AirPlay 2 support, and some features that we don't test for, like Tap Sound, advertised to mirror audio from your phone when you tap it against the bar.

See our recommendations for the best small soundbars, the best soundbars under $300, and the best Samsung soundbars.

Sonos Beam

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Beam or the Samsung HW-S60A. The Sonos is a 3.0 soundbar with a better soundstage performance and a room correction feature. However, the Samsung is a 5.0 bar with a better surrounds performance and a graphic EQ for sound customization. Also, it supports Bluetooth connectivity, unlike the Sonos.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Samsung HW-S60A are both versatile standalone soundbars, but the Sonos scores better overall. The Sonos is better built with Dolby Atmos support. It also has a better soundstage. The Samsung gets louder with a little less compression at max volume.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is a better soundbar than the Samsung HW-S60A. The Sonos has a better soundstage performance, and thanks to its two up-firing speakers, it supports Dolby Atmos content. It also comes with a room correction feature. However, the Samsung comes with a graphic EQ and presets, and it also supports Bluetooth connectivity.

Bose TV Speaker

The Samsung HW-S60A is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The Samsung is a 5.0 setup with better soundstage, center, and surround performances. It gets louder with less compression at max volume, and it has more wireless playback options. Unlike the Bose, it has DTS support and built-in voice assistant capabilities. There are even more sound enhancement features to choose from, including a graphic EQ.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is better than the Samsung HW-S60A. The HW-Q600A comes with a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. It gets louder, and it supports Dolby Atmos content. Unlike the HW-S60A, it comes with a Full HDMI In port. That said, some listeners may prefer the HW-S60A's more compact design and superior surround performance. The HW-S60A also comes with built-in voice assistant support, more wireless playback options, and a better soundstage.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-S60A or the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam. The Samsung offers a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, which some users may prefer. It has a better soundstage performance and a graphic EQ for sound customization, too. However, the JBL supports Atmos content. Also, it comes with a room correction feature, a Full HDMI In port, and supports more wireless playback options.

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

The 5.0 Samsung HW-S60A is a better soundbar than the 3.0 Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung has two side-firing speakers, so it offers a better surrounds performance. Also, it comes with more sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ, presets, and an auto-volume mode.

Samsung HW-S60T

The Samsung HW-S60A is the next generation of the Samsung HW-S60T, and it offers better performance. The 5.0 HW-S60A comes with a discrete center channel, and it also offers a better surrounds performance. Unlike the HW-S60T, it also has an auto-volume mode and supports Apple AirPlay 2.

Samsung HW-Q700A

The Samsung HW-Q700A is better than the Samsung HW-S60A. The HW-Q700A comes with a dedicated sub, so it can reproduce a more extended low-bass. Unlike the HW-S60A, it supports Atmos content and has a Full HDMI In port for high quality passthrough. That said, the more compact HW-S60A has a better surrounds performance. It comes with built-in voice assistant, whereas you need a third party device to use voice assistants with the HW-Q700A.

Sonos Ray

The Samsung HW-S60A is better than the Sonos Ray. The Samsung is a 5.0 bar with additional channels, including a center channel to improve dialogue reproduction as well as two side-firing drivers for surround sound. It has better soundstage and surround performances and reproduces more rumble in the bass range. There's no room correction like the Sonos, but the graphic EQ gives you lots of control over its sound.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

The Samsung HW-S60A and the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 are both premium standalone setups, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Bose is a 3.0 setup with a better soundstage. It can also get louder than the Samsung. However, its surround performance isn't as impressive as the 5.0 Samsung. The Samsung also offers more sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ.

Samsung HW-A650

The Samsung HW-A650 is a bit better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-S60A. The HW-A650 is a 3.1 setup with a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also has a Full HDMI In port. However, the 5.0 HW-S60A has better soundstage and surround performances. It also has built-in voice assistant support.

Sony HT-X8500

The Samsung HW-S60A is better than the Sony HT-X8500. The Samsung is a 5.0 setup that's better built, and it has built-in voice assistant support. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, and more wireless playback support options. Also, it has a graphic EQ for sound customization. That said, only the 2.1 Sony supports Atmos content, which some users may prefer.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800A is better than the Samsung HW-S60A. The HW-Q800A is a 3.1.2 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. Unlike the HW-S60A, it supports Atmos content, and it has a Full HDMI In port. However, the 5.0 HW-S60A has a better surrounds performance. Also, some users may prefer its more compact design.

Samsung HW-A550

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-S60A or the Samsung HW-A550. The HW-A550 is a 2.1 setup that comes with a dedicated sub, so it reproduces a more extended low-bass. It also comes with a Full HDMI In port. That said, the 5.0 HW-S60A is better built with a more compact design. It has better center and surround performances as well as built-in voice assistant support.

Samsung HW-Q60T

The Samsung HW-Q60T is slightly better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-S60A. The HW-Q60T comes with a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also gets louder, and it comes with a Full HDMI In port. That said, the HW-S60A has better soundstage and surround performances. It supports more wireless playback options, and it has built-in voice assistant support. Some users may prefer its more compact design.

Samsung HW-A450

The Samsung HW-S60A is marginally better for mixed usage than the Samsung HW-A450. The HW-S60A is a better-built 5.0 setup with better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the HW-A450, it has an ARC port and built-in voice assistant capabilities. However, the HW-A450 comes with a dedicated sub, and it can reproduce a more extended low-bass.

Yamaha YAS-109

The Yamaha YAS-109 and the Samsung HW-S60A are both smart standalone soundbars, but the Samsung is better overall. The Samsung is a better-built 5.0 setup with better soundstage, center, and surround performances. It also has more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. However, unlike the 2.0 Yamaha, it doesn't have a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

Yamaha YAS-209

The Samsung HW-S60A is a bit better than the Yamaha YAS-209. The Samsung is a better-built 5.0 setup with better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the Yamaha, it has a graphic EQ and a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. However, the 2.1 Yamaha has a dedicated sub, and it can reproduce a more extended low-bass.

Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is better for most uses than the Samsung HW-S60A. The Vizio is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, and it gets louder with less compression at max volume. That said, the Samsung is still a solid choice for users who prefer a standalone soundbar. It's better-built, with support for more wireless playback options and built-in voice assistant capabilities.

Bose Soundbar 500

The Samsung HW-S60A is better than the Bose Soundbar 500. The Samsung is a 5.0 setup with better soundstage and surround performances. It gets louder than the Bose, and it has more sound enhancement features like a graphic EQ. That said, the Bose is still a decent choice for music and dialogue-centric content like TV shows.

TCL Alto 8i

The Samsung HW-S60A is better than the TCL Alto 8i for most uses. The Samsung is a better built 5.0 setup. It has better soundstage, surround, and center performances. Also, it comes with more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. However, it doesn't support Atmos content like the 2.1 TCL.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-S60A has a similar design to the Samsung HW-S60T. It has a rounded design, with a plastic grille on each side to cover the Side Horn Speakers. The bar is mostly of plastic, and the top and front are covered in fabric.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The Samsung HW-S60A doesn't come with a dedicated subwoofer, but you can purchase Samsung's SWA-W500 subwoofer separately.

Design
Style - Satellites

This setup doesn't include satellites. However, you can purchase the Samsung Wireless Rear Speaker kit separately.

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

The Samsung HW-S60A is a fairly compact soundbar. It should fit between the legs of most 55" TVs. Also, it isn't very tall, so it shouldn't block your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on your table.

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 a few openings for the inputs and the power cable. There are also universal holes on the underside to wall-mount the bar.

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

The Samsung HW-S60A has a great build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, which feels solid and durable. There are also plastic grilles on the side to help protect the Side Horn Speakers. That said, the fabric covering its front and sides may rip or get dirty easily.

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

  • User Manual
  • Mounting template with screws (2x) and spacers (2x)
  • 2x mounting brackets
  • Remote with batteries (2xAA)
  • Power adapter for soundbar
  • Power cable
  • HDMI cable

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
5.0
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

The Samsung HW-S60A has a decent stereo frequency response. It struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble found in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. That said, the rest of the range is quite balanced and neutral, making it suitable for a wide range of audio content. You can also customize its sound to your liking using the included graphic EQ and presets as well as bass and treble adjustments.

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

We tested the Samsung HW-S60A with several bass and treble calibration settings, but none of them brought the slope of its stereo frequency response closer to zero. As a result, we recommend its default settings if you prefer a more neutral sound.

Note: Normally, we calibrate the bar using bass and treble adjustments. We ran some passes after adjusting the bass and treble levels; however, we noticed that this didn't change the stereo frequency response. We're looking into this issue, and we'll update the review when we have more information.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock dB

The Samsung HW-S60A has a good stereo soundstage performance. Its soundstage is perceived to be a touch wider than the bar itself, but the bar isn't very wide, and it doesn't have any tricks to make it seem larger than that. That said, it has good focus, so objects like voices and footsteps seem to come from an accurate, pinpoint location rather than a more general area.

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

The Samsung HW-S60A has a satisfactory dynamics performance. Despite its compact size, it gets pretty loud, which is nice if you like to turn up the volume for parties or listening in large rooms. However, there's some compression present when you play it at max volume.

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

The Samsung HW-S60A has a great THD performance. There's some distortion in the bass range at normal listening volumes, but it falls mostly within good limits, so your audio reproduction is mostly clean and pure. There's a small jump in distortion when you push the bar to max volume, but this may not be noticeable with real-life content.

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

The Samsung HW-S60A has a great center channel performance. Unlike the Samsung HW-S60T, it comes with a discrete center channel, which helps reproduce dialogue more clearly and accurately. Though it struggles to reproduce low-bass, this shouldn't be too noticeable since there typically isn't much low-bass in audio content played on the center channel.

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 Samsung HW-S60A has a passable surrounds performance. It uses its Side Horn speakers to create a phantom localization. Unfortunately, this doesn't sound as clear and real as discrete surround speakers, so objects in the soundstage like footsteps and voices may not be clearly and accurately represented. Audio seems like it's coming from in front of you, rather than from speakers placed all around you.

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

For a 5.0 soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos, check out the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam.

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

Update 02/16/2022: Firmware version 1010.1 adds an additional EQ preset called 'Game'

The Samsung HW-S60A has an adequate selection of sound enhancement features. There's a 7-band graphic EQ in the app to help you customize its sound, as well as some EQ presets: 'Standard', 'Music', 'Game', and 'Adaptive Sound'. Using the app, you can also access the 'Voice Enhancement' and 'Night Mode' features, which can be handy while watching TV. The remote lets you access the Center and Side Level adjustments.

This soundbar also comes with some sound enhancement features that we don't test. It has built-in Acoustic Beam technology, which the manufacturer advertises to help create a more immersive sound. There's also a 'Tap Sound' feature that lets you mirror audio from your phone by tapping it against the bar, and 'AV Sync', which you can find on the remote and the manufacturer advertises to help reduce latency.

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

The Samsung HW-S60A has a few physical inputs, including an HDMI ARC and Optical In port. However, it doesn't have a Full HDMI In port, so you can't use it as a hub between different devices. Also, it lacks an AUX port, so you can't wire older devices to the bar for audio playback.

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

The Samsung HW-S60A has decent audio format support via ARC. It supports Dolby Digital, the most common surround sound format frequently found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms. However, it doesn't support lossless or object-based surround formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, which can be disappointing for some users.

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 Samsung HW-S60A supports both Dolby Digital and DTS content via Optical. These formats are commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Samsung HW-S60A Latency Video Sample
ARC
Lock ms
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Samsung HW-S60A has a great latency performance. It has low latency via ARC and Optical, so your audio and video should be mostly in sync. As a result, it's suitable for watching movies and videos over these connections. However, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

Note: This soundbar also comes with an AV Sync feature that's advertised to help reduce latency, but we don't currently test for this.

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

The Samsung HW-S60A has incredible wireless playback connectivity. You can wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Unlike the Samsung HW-S60T, it also supports Apple AirPlay 2.

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

This soundbar has a few lights beneath its physical controls that flash different patterns and colors based on the input. There's a solid red light when the microphone is muted. The lights also flash when you adjust the volume, change the sound mode, or change the input.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There are some physical controls on the middle of the bar. They let you adjust the volume, mute and unmute the voice assistant, and adjust the input.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
Locked

The Samsung HW-S60A has a simple remote that lets you control most of the bar's settings. It's not a universal remote, so you can't use it to control your TV.

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

Update 02/16/2022: Updating the bar to firmware version 1010.1 doesn't add Google Assistant support, contrary to some reports.

This soundbar has built-in support for Amazon Alexa. If you don't want it to listen to you, there's also a mic mute button on the bar.

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 Samsung SmartThings app acts as a remote and lets you control all of the soundbar's functions. You can use it to access the graphic EQ for sound customization. Also, in the Advanced Sound Settings, you can find the Voice Enhancement and Night Mode features.

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

The Samsung HW-S60A enters standby mode after a certain period of inactivity. Thanks to its HDMI CEC support, you can also use your TV remote to control the bar's basic functions.

Discussions