Want to level up your home theater setup ahead of the holiday season? Good call. The brand new Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is worth a look – alongside our best soundbars buying guide, of course.
Bose is a trusted name in hi-fi and home cinema, consistently laying claim to some of the best AV products on the market, and this small, sleek soundbar looks set to continue that run of form.
Top of the Bose Soundbar 600's spec sheet is Dolby Atmos support, aided by the company's proprietary Bose TrueSpace technology to promise "exceptionally immersive audio for its size".
How good is the Dolby Atmos likely to be? Well, we haven't heard it (yet) but on paper it's a winning formula, comprising five transducers to produce sound all around you, even where there are no speakers. Working in conjunction with each other, two side-firing racetrack-shaped transducers project audio horizontally into the room, a center tweeter delivers dialogue, and two upfiring transducers not only help the horizontal soundscapes but reflect sound upward off the ceiling to make it seem as though it’s coming from overhead.
Thus, when Dolby Atmos content is available, precisely tuned Bose digital signal processing and Atmos decoding combine with that driver array to deliver the goods and make high-speed chases feel like they're coming up behind you – not directly at you.
Not watching Dolby Atmos-enabled content? Bose promises immersive audio regardless. With support from those same five transducers, TrueSpace intelligently analyses signals other than Dolby Atmos – such as stereo or 5.1 – remixing them to produce a more spacious, encompassing sound.
This bijou 'bar from Bose bodes well
Think all of those drivers mean a bulky design? Not at all – the Soundbar 600 is 5.61cm tall, 10.39cm deep, and 69.44cm long, giving it a low profile to fit effortlessly under pretty much any TV without obstructing it. For reference, the Sonos Ray is 7.1 x 9.5 x 55.9cm, so similar in height, and depth, but quite a bit shorter across, as you'd look at it under your TV. Want something bigger? Look to the Devialet Dione, a beast at 8.8 x 16.5 x 12cm – but you'll have to pay for it…
Back to the Soundbar 600 and in terms of design, it's a decidedly retiring aesthetic from Bose, featuring a matte body with a wraparound metal grille, all in black.
The Soundbar 600 also features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Chromecast built-in for total streaming control (including Spotify Connect and Apple's AirPlay 2), and works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for built-in voice control.
And it's packed with tech to work within your Bose ecosystem too. When used with Alexa, the Bose Voice4Video technology allows for a single command to turn on your TV, switch input, and tune to your favorite channel. While Bose SimpleSync allows you to pair the Soundbar 600 with all other Bose smart speakers and soundbars, plus compatible Bose headphones or Bluetooth speakers to further extend your listening experience using the Bose Music app.
And the setup? Simple. Just connect one cable – either an HDMI eARC or optical cable – from the soundbar to your TV, and get ready to be immersed in audio. When partnered with one of the best 4K TVs on the market, it could be a winning recipe.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 will hit shelves on October 24, for $499 / £499.95 / AU$799.95 and can be pre-ordered from Bose and select retailers.
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Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.