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Samsung HW-S60B/S61B Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3
Reviewed Mar 30, 2023 at 09:10 am
Latest change: Retest Jan 29, 2024 at 01:19 pm
Samsung HW-S60B/S61B Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
7.9
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.5
Music
7.0
Movies

The Samsung HW-S60B is a 5.0 standalone model released in 2022 as the next generation of the Samsung HW-S60A. It's the smallest and most compact soundbar in the manufacturer's lineup, with a sleek style designed to rival similar models from competitors like Bose and Sonos. Built-in Alexa supports lets you control the bar with only your voice, and it offers lots of wireless connectivity options to stream audio from your smartphone, including Apple AirPlay 2. Plus, you get access to lots of Samsung's premium sound enhancement tools, like SpaceFit Sound room correction and Q-Symphony compatibility with Samsung TVs. The Samsung S61B is the all-white version of this soundbar, which you may prefer depending on your design preferences.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The Samsung S60B soundbar is satisfactory for mixed usage. This standalone 5.0 soundbar is a solid option if you don't have enough space in your living room for a full soundbar setup with a subwoofer and satellites. Despite its small size, it makes a noticeable improvement over your existing TV speakers, reproducing dialogue in your favorite TV shows and instruments in your favorite tunes with clarity and detail. It can playback more immersive audio formats like Dolby Atmos, though it has to downmix them into surround to play them. Of course, you don't get as much rumble in the bass without a subwoofer, and the lack of satellites is noticeable with surround sound.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Room correction tool.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No satellite speakers.
7.9 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Samsung S60B soundbar is very good for dialogue-centric content like sitcoms and documentaries. Thanks to its discrete center channel, this soundbar can reproduce dialogue with great clarity, so it's easy to follow along with the action on your screen. Its Active Voice Amplifier works as a dialogue enhancement tool, too. Plus, you can stream other vocal-centric content like podcasts and audiobooks right from your phone to the bar using a wireless connection.

Pros
  • Discrete center channel for vocal clarity.
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity.
Cons
  • No Chromecast built-in.
7.5 Music

The Samsung S60B is good for music. This soundbar comes with many premium sound enhancement features, including a room correction tool that optimizes the bar's audio reproduction based on the unique acoustic characteristics of your listening space. There are EQ presets and a 7-band graphic EQ to switch up its sound to your liking. You may not even need to use them, as the bar offers a balanced sound out-of-the-box. Voices and instruments are clear and detailed, so it's suitable for listening to many different genres. As a standalone bar, it can't reproduce the deep thump and rumble, but you can always add on a compatible sub to improve its output.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Room correction tool.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
7.0 Movies

The Samsung S60B soundbar is decent for movies. This soundbar supports many of the audio formats commonly found on streaming platforms and Blu-rays, like Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos. Its side-firing drivers simulate a surround sound without the need for satellite speakers. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow, too. However, the lack of a dedicated subwoofer means that you don't feel as much rumble in the bass during action-packed scenes, and its small size means that you don't get the same immersive feel in the soundstage. If you want to improve the bar's movie performance, you can always add on a compatible subwoofer and satellites sold by the manufacturer separately.

Pros
  • Room correction tool.
  • Discrete center channel for vocal clarity.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No satellite speakers.
  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.9 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.5 Music
  • 7.0 Movies
  1. Updated Jan 29, 2024: Added information to the Wireless Playback and Voice Assistant Support boxes as Chromecast and Google Assistant support is region-specific.
  2. Updated Jan 29, 2024: Updated Stereo Dynamics text with TBU 1.3 methodology. Added text to the Audio Latency: ARC and Audio Latency: Optical boxes.
  3. Updated Jan 29, 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.
  4. Updated Jun 02, 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 Mar 30, 2023: Review published.
  6. Updated Mar 27, 2023: Early access published.
  7. Updated Mar 22, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  8. Updated Mar 17, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  9. Updated Mar 07, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.
  10. Updated Mar 07, 2023: The product has won our suggestion poll, so we'll buy and test it soon.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Samsung HW-S60B, and you can see the label for our model here. The Samsung HW-S61B is the white variant of this soundbar, and we expect it to perform similarly.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our text accordingly.

Compared To Other Soundbars

This soundbar is the next generation of the Samsung HW-S60A. It has some new features, like SpaceFit Sound room correction and Dolby Atmos support. Given its small size and its sleek design, it's intended to rival similar bars from competitors like the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Bose TV Speaker. Though it offers more sound enhancement features than similar models, it can't quite bring the same immersive feel in its soundstage.

You can also check out our recommendations for the best small soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best all-in-one soundbars.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Samsung HW-S60B/S61B are both compact 5.0 soundbars with Dolby Atmos support. However, the more premium Sonos is better built and can offer a wider soundstage. This is especially noticeable with more immersive audio formats like Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos, as sound effects stretch into the space around your couch. However, the Samsung soundbar is still a solid choice, and it even offers Bluetooth connectivity, unlike the Sonos.

Sonos Beam

The Samsung HW-S60B/S61B and the Sonos Beam are both small standalone soundbars with premium designs. The Sonos is a 3.0 bar, and while it can reproduce a wider and more immersive soundstage, it can't playback Dolby Atmos content like the 5.0 Samsung. If you care about Atmos content, you may want to compare the Samsung soundbar with the next-generation Sonos Beam (Gen 2), which adds Atmos support to the first-generation model.

Samsung HW-S60A

The Samsung HW-S60B/S61B is the next generation of the Samsung HW-S60A, and it offers better overall performance. Both models have a similar standalone design, but the S60B adds new features. Notably, this bar supports height content like Dolby Atmos, unlike its predecessor. It also adds a room correction tool and a more premium design, thanks to the manufacturer swapping out the fabric mesh for metal grilles.

Bose TV Speaker

The Samsung HW-S60B/S61B is a more versatile soundbar than the Bose TV Speaker. Both are small standalone bars with built-in smart features. However, only the Samsung soundbar supports Dolby Atmos content. As a 5.0 bar, the Samsung comes with a discrete center channel, too, and it can playback surround sound without downmixing it into stereo like the 2.0 Bose. It offers more sound enhancement features, too.

Sonos Ray

The Samsung HW-S60B/S61B and the Sonos Ray are both small standalone soundbars with premium designs. However, the Samsung soundbar is the more versatile soundbar overall. Since it supports Dolby Atmos content, you can take advantage of more immersive audio formats often found on streaming platforms. Its discrete center improves its vocal reproduction, and it has a better surround sound than the 2.0 Sonos.

Sony HT-S100F

The Samsung HW-S60B/S61B is a better soundbar than the Sony HT-S100F. The Samsung is a smaller soundbar, but it manages to pack a punch, thanks to its 5.0 setup. It's better built and sounds more neutral, and it can play Atmos as well as DTS content. It has more robust sound customization features that also help you get the most out of the bar. However, the Sony gets louder with fewer compression artifacts.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Samsung HW-S60B is a sleek standalone soundbar that's designed to rival the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). It loses the Samsung HW-S60A's fabric exterior in favor of a metal grille that covers the front and sides. Physical buttons are located on top. Inputs are tucked under the bar, but you can still access them if you choose to mount the bar to your wall. The Samsung HW-S61B retains the same aesthetics, but it's all-white instead.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
No
Enclosure
No Subwoofer

While this soundbar doesn't come with a dedicated subwoofer, you can purchase a compatible model from the manufacturer separately.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
No

This setup doesn't include satellites, either. Again, the manufacturer sells some compatible models separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 26.4" (67.0 cm)
Height 2.4" (6.2 cm)
Depth 4.1" (10.5 cm)

This compact soundbar has an even smaller footprint than the Samsung HW-S60A. It'll fit between the legs of most 55" TV stands. Since it isn't very tall, it won't block your TV screen, either.

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
Yes
Mountable Satellites
No
Satellite Brackets Included
No

You can mount this soundbar to your wall, too. Since the brackets are included, you don't need to purchase them separately.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

This bar has a great build quality. Overall, it feels solid and durable. The metal grilles on the front and the sides help to protect the drivers inside, giving the bar a much more premium feel than the previous Samsung HW-S60A, which uses fabric mesh. Since the Samsung HW-S61B has the same design but in a different color, we expect it to be just as durable in its build.

Design
In The Box

  • User manual
  • Remote with batteries (2x AAA)
  • HDMI cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • Power cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • Power Adapter (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • 2x mounting brackets
  • Mounting Template with screws (2) and holder-screws (2)

Sound
7.4
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Channels
5.0
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
0.12
Standard Error
2.63 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
49.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.8 kHz

The Samsung HW-S60B has a satisfactory stereo frequency response. Out-of-the-box, it offers a balanced sound profile overall, especially in the mid range, where most voices and lead instruments reproduce. As a result, it's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. There's even a graphic EQ available to customize its performance while in 'Standard' mode. With the other preset modes, you get access to bass and treble adjustments. As a standalone bar, it can't reproduce as much thump and rumble in the low-bass. It's especially noticeable with bass-heavy music genres like EDM, as well as more intense scenes in movies and television. If you're a bass lover, you might want to consider improving its performance by adding on a separate subwoofer sold by the manufacturer.

7.4
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
0
Suggested Treble Setting
0
Slope
0.12
Standard Error
2.63 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
49.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.8 kHz

If you prefer a more neutral sound with stereo content, we recommend sticking with the bar's default settings.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
3.13 dB

The bar offers a decent stereo soundstage performance. Its soundstage is perceived to be a little more than the bar itself, but of course, the bar isn't very wide to begin with. Its focus is okay, but sound effects on the edges of the soundstage seem a bit more processed and forced rather than coming off as clear and real.

7.1
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
92.0 dB SPL
DRC @ 90dB
1.83 dB
DRC @ Max Volume
3.65 dB

This bar has decent stereo dynamics. It gets loud enough to fill an average living room with sound. However, there's some compression present, especially when you push it to max volume.

8.3
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-0.14
Std. Err.
2.89 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
91.9 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.48
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.62

Thanks to its discrete center channel, this bar offers a great center performance. The discrete center is designed to improve vocal reproduction, so it's easy to follow along with dialogue in your favorite movies and TV shows. The frequency response on this channel is quite balanced, too, especially in the mid range, where most voices are reproduced. As a result, they're clear and accurate in the mix.

5.5
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Phantom (Side Firing, Bar)
Slope
0.40
Std. Err.
4.78 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.0 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.00
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.97
7.1 Rears
No

The Samsung HW-S60B has a middling surrounds performance. With 5.1 content like Dolby Digital, it relies on side-firing drivers to simulate a phantom surround localization in the space around you. It provides some width, but sound effects don't seem as clear or real as they do with discrete surround speakers. Audio seems like it's coming from a speaker placed in front of you rather than from all around you. If you want to improve the bar's surround performance, you can always add compatible speakers from the manufacturer separately.

5.3
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Surround (Downmix)
Slope
1.39
Std. Err.
5.07 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
84.4 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.54
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.73

Unlike the Samsung HW-S60A, this soundbar supports height content like Dolby Atmos. It downmixes this immersive content into surround sound to play it back, though. Given the lack of bass on these channels, sound effects are a bit bright and piercing in the mix.

Subjectively, we found that the bar offers a good overall sound with Atmos. Despite the bar's small size, it can simulate some width in the soundstage, so sound effects stretch into the space around your couch. Given the lack of up-firing drivers, it's not much surprise that it doesn't replicate as much height in the soundstage. Plus, the lack of low-bass is noticeable, especially in action-packed scenes. Still, it provides a solid upgrade over your existing TV speakers.

9.2
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Yes
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
Yes
Rear Level Adjustment
Yes
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Samsung HW-S60B has a fantastic selection of sound enhancement features. Compared to last year's model, it comes with a room correction tool called SpaceFit Soundโ€” it automatically calibrates the bar based on your room's unique acoustics. There are different EQ presets to help you customize its sound, including Standard, Adaptive Sound, DTS Virtual:X, Music, and Game. With the Standard preset, you can access a 7-band graphic EQ to customize the bar's sound across the range. With the other presets, you can adjust the bass and treble to get the sound you want. There's also an Active Voice Amplifier tool that enhances dialogue in the mix, which is handy.

Samsung's Q-Symphony feature is available with this soundbar. It's similar to what you find with other manufacturers of both TVs and soundbars in that you can pair the bar to a compatible Samsung TV for a more immersive sound. We found that Q-Symphony increases the volume a bit, but it doesn't hugely impact the overall sound quality.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI Out
ARC
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
No

You can connect the bar to your TV using HDMI or Optical. There's even an HDMI cable included in the box for your convenience. The micro-USB port is for servicing the bar, but it doesn't support audio playback.

8.3
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: ARC/eARC
Dolby Atmos
Supported
Dolby Digital
Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Not Supported
DTS
Supported
DTS:X
Not Supported
DTS-HD MA
Not Supported
PCM Channels
2.0

The bar has great audio format support via ARC. You can playback many common audio formats, including Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital. You're likely to find both on streaming platforms and Blu-rays. However, it doesn't support some lossless formats like Dolby TrueHD.

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
10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: Optical
Dolby Digital
Supported
DTS
Supported
PCM Channels
2.0

The bar supports both DTS and Dolby Digital over Optical. Dolby Digital is more commonly found on streaming platforms, but you may run into DTS content on Blu-ray discs, too.

7.1
Connectivity
Audio Latency: ARC
PCM-2.0 ch
56 ms
PCM-5.1 ch
49 ms
Dolby MAT (PCM) Atmos
N/A
Dolby Digital
114 ms
Dolby Digital Plus
120 ms
Dolby Digital Plus Atmos
119 ms

Audio latency is decent over an ARC connection. You get lower latency with PCM content, while other commonly found audio formats like Dolby Digital are more likely to exhibit some lip-synching delay. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, though.

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
5.9
Connectivity
Audio Latency: Optical
PCM-2.0 ch
171 ms
Dolby Digital
319 ms

Audio latency is middling over an Optical connection. Especially with Dolby Digital content, the audio you hear isn't always in sync with the video on screen. Some apps and TVs compensate for this differently, though.

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
9.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi Playback
Yes
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
Yes
Spotify Connect
Yes

The Samsung HW-S60B has incredible wireless playback connectivity. Streaming audio from your mobile devices to the bar is easy, especially if you have an Apple device since there's AirPlay support. Chromecast support is also available in some regions.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

While the bar doesn't have a display, there are some lights on the front of the bar that flash when you change the volume. Plus, a red light turns on to let you know when the voice assistant's microphone is muted.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

On top of the bar, there are a few physical buttons. You can use them to change the input, adjust the volume, and mute the microphone for the voice assistant.

Additional Features
Remote

The remote is quite simple and easy to navigate. The Samsung SmartThings app also acts as a remote, which lets you use your mobile device to control the bar.

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

This soundbar offers built-in support for Amazon Alexa, so you can control it with your voice instead of using the remote. If you already own a Google Assistant-enabled device, you can also connect it to the bar to use that assistant instead. Also, check your country's product page, as some regions have built-in Google Assistant support.