A premier sound product brand since its founding in 1964, Bose is highly regarded for their speakers, noise canceling travel headphones and earbuds and now, soundbars. I still listen to a set of Bose MediaMate computer speakers ca. 1994 and they still sound great.
This new Bose Smart Soundbar 600 falls in the sweet spot under their highly praised model 900 with its separate subwoofer and above the simpler, smaller model 300.
Smart Soundbar 600 features a pair of up-firing speakers under the top grill for the purpose of adding Dolby Atmos virtualized height. Its built-in woofers ported to the rear add an element of bass without the separate subwoofer. All of it, the treble, bass, and all other adjustments, features and available content are found within the Bose Music app for both iOS and Android. The soundbar works in concert with a supplied little battery powered remote control.
Technology includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Chromecast compatibility. In addition, find Bose Voice4Video technology and Amazon Alexa built in so users can control the soundbar, cable box, tv or satellite box by voice.
This soundbar targets small environments where there is no room for component separates.
**WHAT’S IN THE BOX**
- Soundbar 600 and wireless remote
- Optical digital cable
- HDMI cable featuring Ethernet
- Power cord
- Documentation including Quick Start Guide
Unpack to see a decidedly simple looking product. Then, see the Quick Start Guide’s four simple steps towards success. Place it, connect it to power, download the Bose Music app, and then launch the app to complete setup.
The user’s phone and the soundbar must be on the same Wi-Fi network, as per usual. Before long, a firmware update will be completed, and then it is time to add optional audio sources, including TuneIn and SiriusXM.
The app is the user’s portal to EQ settings as well as whether the 600 will be mounted to the wall, in which case, the sound profile will be adjusted for bass as well as for reflectivity of the Dolby Atmos algorithm’s height virtualization.
TVs equipped with HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) are optimally connected to the 600 in this way, channeling all TV sound through the soundbar.
In my TV setup, however, the optical cable from the TV to the 600 was required because this older TV does not have HDMI ARC. This is how all sound from all TV sources will be available on and the volume controlled from the 600. This is good for users who have a setup like mine, with built-in TV streaming apps, cable or satellite service, an external streaming box, such as Roku as one example. ALL sound is shuttled to and through the 600.
Once the basic & simple set up is complete, it’s time to . . .
**PUT IT TO THE TEST**
The first thing that caught my attention was the crispness and clarity of sound. Would anything less be expected from Bose! Starting with streaming video from premium services, I sampled several movies and audio only sources over the next three hours to get a feel for the Smart Soundbar 600’s capabilities. Wherever possible, sources indicating Atmos were selected. Adjusting treble, bass, and height were easily comprehended.
Bass response was good, not great, but subwoofer-like greatness was not expected from a soundbar’s internal speakers when compared to a soundbar with external subwoofer. This is where the Smart Soundbar 600 meets the needs for budget-conscious consumers as well as those who simply do not have a place for an external subwoofer.
Focusing solely on what it can do versus what it cannot do, the perspective allows for an appreciation of its relative diminutive size coupled with that crisp, clean sound described earlier.
Does it have a BIG presence with BIG and room-filling sound? Again, it’s all about perspective. I would not recommend this as the external source from a large and immersive screen beyond 60 inches in a large space, greater than about 12×12. For a large space, more is needed and will be appreciated.
For this space, my space, this soundbar is very nice.
Does it give a true surround sound experience. No, it does not and cannot because there are no rear speakers. The up-firing speaker pair does provide a compelling demonstration of height virtualization.
The more we listen, the more there is to like. The more we tweak adjustments in the app to suit the source, the better we like the performance.
What is it, the ultimate objective of a soundbar in a home theater setup? Why, it is to provide an immersive experience!
Adding accessory Bose wireless surround speakers and/or a Bose wireless subwoofer is possible. Be sure to look for these accessories if they are of interest. They will be required for a true 5.1 surround sound experience.
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As with so many tech products, value is in the eyes and ears of the beholder. For the purpose for which it is intended, I give this Bose Smart Soundbar 600 thumbs up! Please buy through THIS Amazon link. The price as this is written is $499. There is nothing it is built to do that it does not do well. That is why it passes my value proposition test and why I recommend it.
Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is covered against defects in materials and workmanship by the manufacturer’s one year warranty.