Bose Smart Soundbar 600 – adds Dolby Atmos decode to your TV (AV review)

The $799.95 Bose Smart Soundbar 600 joins the Bose soundbar family that caters for simple TV speaker replacement to the top-of-the-range $1399.95 Smart Soundbar 900.

It is a 3.0.2 Dolby Atmos (DA) implementation – five full-range speakers – Left/Centre/Right forward-firing and Left/Right up-firing. When it encounters Dolby Atmos 128 channel metadata, it downmixes it to the speaker’s capability. That capability means left/right up-firing speakers. It does not have side surround speakers, so the effect is very forward-centric.

Nevertheless, it provides some spatial and directional sound. I suspect that Bose wants you to buy the Bose Bass Module 500 (sub-woofer $649.95) and the Bose Surround speakers (rear wireless speakers $529.95 a pair) to make this a fully compliant 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar. Although at $1979.85 for the proper kit, there is strong competition from LG’s $2049 S95QR 9.1.5 Dolby Atmos/DTS soundbar or its Smart Soundbar 900 that tops out at $3129.85 for a 5.1.2 system.

Who is the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 for?

  • Bose lovers with deep pockets for whom Bose can do no wrong, for starters. Those with an investment in Bose multi-room speakers and its ear/headphones will love it.
  • Smaller homes or apartments with seating positions closer to the TV will start to feel the 3D height effect. It is good in the right room with standard ceilings and close left/right walls, but our caveat is that dedicated rear speakers and a sub-woofer are mandatory for the full DA effect.
  • The Bose music pedigree and sound signature make it ideal for a music-streaming stereo speaker.

Further reading

Before you buy a soundbar, these guides will help you decide what you need.

Australian review: Bose Smart Soundbar 600

WebsiteProduct Page and Manual
Price RRP$799.95
Country of manufactureMalaysia
CompanyBose (Est 1964) by Amar Bose in 1964 in Framingham, Massachusetts. It is best known for its home audio systems, speakers, noise-cancelling headphones, professional audio products, and automobile sound systems. Bose has a reputation for being particularly protective of its patents, trademarks, and brands and seldom reveals the specifications of its products. The majority owner is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
MoreCyberShack Bose news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. Bose does not provide detailed specifications, so our review is based on best estimates.

First Impression – Pass+

Typical Bose over-engineered style using premium finishes and a huge heatsink at the rear – the difference between good and great sound.

It is small at 694 W x 104 D x 56.1mm H x 3.13 kg. It is for smaller TVs because the sound stage is not all that much wider than the bar.

But we have a minor criticism that is more about getting used to than a deal breaker. The only visual indicator is a small lightbar that goes black if it is working. It can also be orange, green, blue, purple, or yellow in static, pulsing, centre, left or right – nearly 30 indications! Make sure you print out the 58-page manual, as you will need it for setup.

Another slight criticism is that this soundbar cannot be rushed. It can take several minutes for the centre pulsing white light bar to go black. Then it may download a firmware update; you need to reset it to add it to the Bose Music App etc. Our advice – be patient, have the manual handy and get someone with some tech savvy to set it up.

Warning: This is a new soundbar and may ship with early-release firmware

While you should not experience issues connecting to any TV via HDMI eARC/ARC or Optical, we did. The main TV was the 2022 LGQNED99 8K with HDMI 2.1 eARC. When we connected it, the soundbar went silent. In fact, it scrambled the software, so it did not work on other TVs we tested.

Bose support was very helpful (its Soundbar 600 expert was in the UK, and it was 4.30 AM their time). In the end, we deleted the soundbar from the App, Factory reset, set up, including a firmware update to 2.2.0 (took about 20 minutes) and once done, reset the LG TV and set it up (possibly a needless exercise). Voilà, the soundbar works flawlessly, and we were rewarded with Bose sound.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600 features – Pass+

  • 3.0.2 sound (left/centre/right front-firing and left/right up-firing)
  • Decodes Dolby Atmos and downmixes 128 metadata channels to the soundbars capability
  • Uses Bose Music App
  • True space upscales 2.0 to 5.0
  • SimpleSync to connect a compatible Bose BT speaker or headphone
  • Remote control (not backlit)
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Chromecast built-in
  • Ports: HDMI eArc/Arc likely 2.0 as no passthrough is provided, Optical, Power (USB is for service only), Wired Bass module and Wired IR Blaster

Compared to the Bose Smart Soundbar 900, it is missing

  • Four extra speakers
  • PhaseGuide (psychoacoustics to enable virtual DA)
  • ADAPTiQ room tuning

The Bose Music App – Pass

It is a basic app allowing you to set the source, control volume, change setting for centre, height, bass and treble and enable Dialogue mode.

Other settings are for a firmware update, voice assistant (Alexa not tested), Chromecast, and CEC variations.

Sound codec support – Slightly limited – Pass

It supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and PCM. It does not support DTS.

How does it sound? – Pass+

Maximum volume is 85dB with minimal distortion.

The sound quality is impressive for a 3.0.2 device. Mid-bass starts at 50Hz and builds to 75Hz before it becomes flat to 6kHz (good). It then dips slightly to avoid harshness and is relatively flat to 20kHz.

This is closer to a warm and sweet sound signature that is best for music. Although with the App EQ, you can recess the bass and treble for a mid-signature or focus on clear voice in its Dialogue setting.

Dialogue is pretty clinical. It recesses all frequencies apart from 1-4kHz and works well for voice. It is not for music.

Mid-bass is evident and satisfying, but it would benefit from a sub-woofer to take it from 20-75Hz.

The soundstage is slightly wider than the bar; hence we recommend it for up to 55” TVs. When we use Dolby Atmos content, the stage widens slightly, and you get some 3D height, but as it does not have surround speakers (or dedicated rears), you only get the left-to-right height sound object movement instead of horizontal surround sound.

Overall, it is suitable for TV and Music – better than most soundbars without a sound pedigree.

Voice Assistants – Pass

It supports Google Assistant and Alexa (and it may support HomeKit and Siri as it has AirPlay2.

Like all Voice Assistants commands are limited – turn on/off, play/pause/resume, Switch to BT (V4.2, so it is not multi-connect.

Power – Pass+

In standby, it uses <.5W, although we noticed that network standby (Wi-Fi on) is more like 2W.

CyberShack’s view – Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is for Bose lovers

Philosophically I blame Dolby for debasing its excellent 3D height and spatial technology by licensing it to anyone – you can get a Dolby Atmos Mono toaster! In our opinion, a soundbar with dedicated rear speakers in 5.1.2 and preferably 5.1.4 is the minimum acceptable for an authentic Dolby Atmos experience.

So don’t buy this if you intend to watch a lot of Dolby Vision and Atmos movies, as you will be disappointed and end up adding the dedicated rears and the sub-woofer for a pretty nice, albeit $2000, set-up.

Do buy this if you like Bose’s sound pedigree and understand it is for smaller TVs and spaces. It is a fine stereo music speaker as well.


If you want real Dolby Atmos, then buy the full Bose 600 kit or

If you only want to spend up to $799

  • LG S75Q 3.1.2 virtual Dolby Atmos 380W $799 including a sub-woofer $799
  • Hisense AX3100G 3.1 virtual Dolby Atmos 280W $399
  • Hisense AX5100 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos with rear surrounds 340W $549
  • TCL TS8132 3.1.2 virtual Dolby Atmos RRP$499 (on special $399)

Rating Explanation

  • Features: 80 – It has a basic App, BT, Wi-Fi and HDMI/Optical in
  • Value: 80 but value depends on whether you appreciate Bose pedigree
  • Performance: 90 – it has a warm and sweet signature that you can adjust to neutral. But as a Dolby Atmos device, it has minimal forward-centric 3D spatial height and no surround unless you buy the full kit
  • Ease of Use: 75 – be patient, let it update and make sure you have someone that can follow instructions
  • Design: 85 – it is nice looking and well-made, although I wish it were offered in White like the 900

Bose Smart Soundbar 600








Ease of Use





  • Bose sound pedigree
  • Warm and sweet adjustable to a neutral sound signature
  • The mid-bass is good but would benefit from the optional sub-woofer
  • Don’t expect more, and it will delight you in the right use


  • Dolby Atmos effect is very forward centric
  • No surround sound without optional rear speakers
  • The Remote lacks a backlight
  • It can be tricky to set up