With Super Bowl LVII just around the corner, you’re likely to be finalizing your viewing party plans: what snacks to serve, how much beer you'll need, how many chairs have to be lugged from other parts of the house to the living room. Super Bowl Sunday promises to be anything but a blowout match, with two equally formidable teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, pitted against each other.
The Fox network’s HD broadcast of the event should look great when displayed on one of the best 4K TVs. And if you happen to be a Comcast Xfinity subscriber, you’ll even get to watch the Super Bowl in 4K with Dolby Vision high dynamic range.
But what about audio? With a group of family and friends packed in the living room, the loudness capabilities of your TV’s built-in speakers will surely be tested. You’ll want to hear as well as see the on-screen action, of course, which is why it will be a good idea to add one of the best soundbars to your TV. My Super Bowl soundbar recommendation? The Bose Smart Soundbar 600.
At $449, the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is the company’s lowest-cost Dolby Atmos model. The best Dolby Atmos soundbars provide upfiring speakers to deliver the overhead effects in movie and TV soundtracks. And while the Super Bowl this year will not be mixed in Dolby Atmos, the next-gen ATSC 3.0 digital TV standard supports immersive formats like Atmos, and next year’s football season may very well be. Get prepared for it!
The Bose 600 is incredibly small for a soundbar that’s capable of delivering such a tall and wide soundfield. Atmos effects extend well beyond the physical boundaries of the TV's screen, but more important for watching sports, dialogue is impeccably clear, meaning you won’t miss any play-by-play commentary, even when the stadium fills up with the roar of screaming fans.
Bass isn’t as important for sports as it is for movies, and when we reviewed the Bose 600 that was one area where we found it to be lacking. Bose does have an add-on wireless subwoofer option for its Dolby Atmos soundbars, however, and they can also be paired with optional wireless speakers to create a full surround sound system.
Bose Smart Soundbar 600: winning features, sound value
The Bose 600’s HDMI eARC port lets you connect it directly to your TV and get Dolby Atmos audio from shows streamed using the TV’s built-in apps, and there’s also an optical digital audio input for connecting an older TV that doesn’t support HDMI ARC/eARC. The soundbar comes with a remote, but it also has built-in support for Amazon Alexa and will work with Google assistant for basic voice-based controls like volume adjustment.
Wireless streaming options on the Bose 600 include AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in, Spotify Connect, and Bluetooth. The company’s Music app also lets you bundle up some of the best music streaming services and apps such as Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio, and Sirius XM in a central location for streaming over Wi-Fi.
Another key feature of the Bose 600 is TrueSpace processing. Using this, you can upconvert the Super Bowl broadcast’s audio for an Atmos-like presentation that will be bigger and more immersive than it would otherwise sound – something your game day guests will appreciate.
What competition is the Bose 600 bumping up against in the soundbar realm? A main one is the Sonos Beam Gen 2, which can be found for $50 less than the Bose, but uses virtual processing instead of up-firing speakers to deliver Dolby Atmos overhead sound. But even though the Bose is a bit pricier than that popular Sonos model, it’s still a great overall value given the combination of features and performance on offer.
Who will win Super Bowl LVII, the Chiefs or the Eagles? I can’t say for sure, but I am betting it’s going to be an incredibly close game up until the bitter, nail-biting end. What I can say with a high level of confidence is that it will come through loud and clear with Bose’s Smart Soundbar 600 connected to your TV, and when the game is over, you’ll love how it sounds when watching movies. If you're looking for a new display to go with your soundbar, you can check out our Super Bowl TV deals guide.