Small soundbar, huge Atmos sound

Whether or not you are an audiophile or you do not know your aux out of your Atmos, the probabilities are you have heard of Bose. The American tech big is among the largest audio corporations on the planet, and is a model that folks instinctively belief to ship good merchandise with respectable sound high quality. The excellent news? Typically talking, that is not far incorrect.


The agency’s newest soundbar, the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 hopes so as to add to that. It sits round center of the corporate’s soundbar providing and serves up wide selection of connectivity choices – to not point out guarantees Dolby Atmos spatial audio from a single speaker, with no subwoofer add-on. Costing $499 / £400, that takes it head-to-head with the wonderful Sonos Beam Gen 2. However can it ship as promised, and the way does it stack up towards its formidable competiton? Here is my full assessment.

Bose

Bose Sensible Soundbar 600

The Bose Sensible Soundbar 600 delivers huge Dolby Atmos sound however falls quick in some points, and its insistance on spatial audio when it is not at all times convincing may be irritating. Nonetheless, its compelling function set helps to make up for this, making it an interesting selection for customers prioritising comfort and performance over audiophile-level sound.

Professionals

  • Heat, detailed sound works properly with Atmos soundtracks
  • Nicely-made, fashionable and compact design
  • Simple setup
  • Intensive connectivity choices
Cons

  • Cannot flip off TrueSpace, and it is not at all times convincing
  • Decrease bass is missing
  • Wall bracket comes at a further value

Design

  • Dimensions: 56 x 694 x 104mm
  • Weight: 3.1kg
  • Wall mount accessible individually

For those who’re available in the market for a visually discreet however fashionable soundbar, then you’ll be able to think about the Bose Sensible Soundbar 600 the last word box-ticker. Boasting a glossy and understated design, there is no doubt it’s going to complement nearly any TV it is plonked beneath, be it a humongous OLED or a smaller TV for a kitchen or bed room.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600 7

Count on sturdy plastic for the principle physique and a perforated steel grille wrapped across the entrance and sides – plus one other grilled part alongside the highest for the Atmos-focused drivers. It is understated but it surely works – it appears to be like the half and feels stable with out shouting too loudly about it.

The most effective half, nevertheless, is the Sensible Soundbar 600’s compact measurement. When it comes to dimensions, it measures simply 56 x 694 x 104mm, and weighs in at 3.1kg, which makes it simply wall-mountable. Though – in true Bose model – the optionally available bracket comes at a further value. Grr.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600 1

Nonetheless, it makes it a very easy soundbar to accommodate regardless of your own home cinema setup, significantly for these in smaller rooms who haven’t got the area to make method for a separate subwoofer too.

Options

  • Dolby Atmos assist
  • 1 x HDMI eARC, 1 x optical
  • Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Join, Bluetooth 4.2

Whereas the principle promoting level of the Bose Sensible Soundbar 600 is that it is a compact and versatile all-in-one soundbar, there are different issues to shout about right here too.

In fact, the biggie is that it provides assist for Dolby Atmos soundtracks, however in a really totally different strategy to Sonos’ Beam Gen 2.

That is as a result of, of the 5 drivers that yow will discover right here behind this grille, two full-range drivers hearth upwards to bodily enhance the sense of peak by projecting sound upwards – one thing Sonos’ soundbar does just about. There is a single driver dealing with the centre channel in the course of the bar, whereas a racetrack driver at both finish of the soundbar give some added width, in addition to peak.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600 4

These bodily drivers are supported by Bose’s proprietary TrueSpace processing. This claims to upconvert stereo and 5.1 channel sources into an Atmos-like soundtracks, with the identical sense of added peak as you’d anticipate from a local soundtrack – however extra on that shortly.

Connectivity-wise, the Sensible Soundbar 600 consists of an HDMI eARC port for lossless Atmos playback, plus an optical digital audio enter for connecting an older TV that does not assist HDMI ARC/eARC. You’ll lose all native Atmos performance over Atmos although, and revert fully to Boses’s TrueSpace processing, so do query your determination to spend the additional on an Atmos soundbar in the event you’re not utilizing HDMI.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600 5

A second HDMI enter to offer a passthrough can be a pleasant addition, although that is one thing that is not at all times discovered on finances soundbars – the Sonos Beam does not embody one, for instance.

Wi-fi streaming choices are aplenty, too, with assist for Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Join, and Bluetooth. The Bose Music app integrates quite a few companies for streaming over Wi-Fi, together with Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio, and Sirius XM.

From right here, you can too management the soundbar’s features, together with deciding on your supply and adjusting the quantity – there’s even an EQ for tweaking sound, in addition to the choice for including different appropriate Bose merchandise, like a sub or wi-fi rear surrounds, for a bigger system (although that might, partly, take away from the 600’s compact attraction).

In case your telephone is not handy, the Sensible Soundbar 600 comes with a distant within the field, which feels substantial sufficient for a product of this high quality – a far cry from these low-cost clicky membrane units that by no means actually work all that properly. There’s additionally the choice to regulate it by way of Alexa, or Google Assistant in the event you desire, because the presence of bodily buttons on the soundbar itself may be very restricted – it solely encompasses a mute and voice-control motion button on the highest.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600 2

Alexa can supply fundamental controls like quantity and monitor skipping, in addition to entry to music apps supported by the world-famous voice assistant. This works properly – more often than not. For those who’re extra of a Google Assistant particular person, Bose’s soundbar additionally performs properly together with your voice assistant of selection, providing you with related performance when a Google speaker is linked to the community.

Alexa has the sting over the 2 for being in-built, which means it may well additionally use Bose’s Voice4Video function to regulate features of a linked Sensible TV – every part from turning it on and off, to taking part in and pausing video playback and altering channels.

Efficiency

Get the soundbar arrange – which is so simple as plugging it in and connecting it to your TV – and serve it the easiest of its capabilities, like an Atmos soundtrack from Netflix or 4K Blu-ray, and the Sensible Soundbar 600 shines. Watch huge blockbusters like action-packed Marvel movies, as an example, and the Bose handles them with authority and confidence, producing a large, open sound that locations results convincingly.

In fact there are limitations to its capabilities, but it surely does sound greater than its bodily dimensions, and people peak channels do a good job of including some elevation to the weather of a soundtrack that require it.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600 3

The midrange is stable and full of loads of element, and dialogue is delivered with focus and readability. Bass is on the nice and cozy aspect, however managed, including presence to the soundtracks of thriller or high-octane flicks. It is a dynamic sound too, the soundbar having the ability to categorical any shift in quantity with out second thought.

There’s, nevertheless, an absence of decrease bass right here. In a comparatively massive room, for instance, the deeper rumble you may anticipate from a T-Rex working amok round Jurassic Park falls a bit quick – one thing you may get extra from with a separate sub.

Some may additionally discover the insistance of Bose to have the listener embrace spatial audio at each flip a bit annoying. If you aren’t listening to Atmos soundtracks, Bose’s TrueSpace processing, which makes an attempt to imitiate an Atmos expertise from a non-Atmos soundtrack, is switched on by default – and cannot be turned off.

Whereas it may be convincing with some content material, and add an additional degree of immersion, it is not reliably so, and having some management of the playback on this sense can be appreciated.

Verdict

The Bose Sensible Soundbar 600 delivers huge on Dolby Atmos sound for its worth bracket, with an efficient efficiency that offers the sense of peak in Atmos soundtracks you’d hope for.

Dialogue readability is commendable, and midrange element is nice, however whereas the bass accessible is heat and stable, the decrease bass vary is underwhelming in comparison with these soundbar programs that include devoted subwoofers. Anybody in search of a deeper, richer rumble will wish to think about that.

Some folks will even discover the soundbar’s insistance on spatial audio, even to the detriment of efficiency in some instances, irritating. It is a disgrace this cannot be turned off by the consumer, quite than being on by default – and this loses Bose some edge.

On a extra optimistic be aware, the Sensible Soundbar 600 boasts a compelling function set that many different soundbars fall in need of, and the app-based setup is sweet and simple too – guaranteeing even technophobes will discover it straightforward getting this factor up and working out of the field.

Finally the soundbar’s compact design and all-in-one kind issue means there’s a steadiness to contemplate – whereas aesthetically pleasing, there’s a restrict to its acoustic capabilities. For those who want one thing on the smaller aspect, that is in all probability one thing you can also make peace with, however its huge competitors, the Sonos Beam Gen 2, arguably comes with fewer sonic quirks.

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