- The Samsung HW-S60B soundbar offers impressive audio quality with Dolby Atmos and a built-in subwoofer, outperforming even Samsung’s best-quality televisions.
- Samsung designed the HW-S60B to be compact with a sleek design so it can fit easily under a television and blend into any entertainment area.
- A total of 7 speakers deliver upward of 200W of power, providing clear sound and crisp dialog.
- In addition to Dolby Atmos, the soundbar supports Amazon Alexa, Apple AirPlay, and Samsung’s SmartThings app for convenient control and streaming.
While I have always been a fan of getting better audio out of a TV than just using its built-in speakers, spending a fortune on a soundbar isn’t an idea I love. This is why I decided to spend some time with the Samsung HW-S60B and see if I don’t need to spend a lot to get a lot. The good news is buyers of this soundbar are going to feel like they got their money’s worth. Between Dolby Atmos and a built-in subwoofer, you get a sound that vastly outperforms even Samsung’s best-quality televisions.
When you consider you can pick up the Samsung HW-S60B for under $200 on Amazon, it’s a really attractive option. At this price point, not only do you get a well-crafted piece of soundbar hardware, but it looks right at home in any room.
With this in mind, let’s dive right into my thoughts on the Samsung HW-S60B. I’m going to do my best to make sure you consider this soundbar if you’re looking for a better audio experience.
What’s Special About the Samsung HW-S60B Soundbar?
When it comes to the pricing of the Samsung HW-S60B soundbar, there is little to complain about. With pricing that regularly sits below $200, it quickly approaches impulse territory. In this pricing space, there is hefty competition so it takes a special soundbar to really stand out. Available at $349 regularly, Amazon has kept the price right at the $199 mark for the last month as of November 2023.
Released in 2022 at $499, that we are seeing pricing stay at this level is a positive sign Amazon knows this soundbar will move. Smaller and more compact than many competitors, the Samsung is undoubtedly a good-looking option for the price. As part of Samsung’s S-series of soundbars, the S60B is known as being one single piece of hardware. This means the subwoofer is tucked away inside the soundbar, rather than additional hardware.
As far as the design of the S60B goes, it’s relatively compact as far as soundbars go. Only 26 inches in length, it’s only 2.4 inches tall and 4.1 inches deep. Along with its smaller size, the 6-pound weight of this Samsung soundbar immediately impressed me. One of the best aspects I found was really how compact it felt. The 26-inch length is on the shorter side in the soundbar space and you believe it the moment you set eyes on the S60B. Even a quick glance at the pictures online reminds you how easily it will fit under a television.
The other big takeaway for me was that the slim profile combines with round edges and looks really sleek. Aside from setup, almost nobody is going to spend a ton of time touching the Samsung HW-S60B so its plastic casing isn’t much of an issue.
Would I look at this soundbar and think it costs $500 or more? Probably not, but the overall design is going to blend right into your entertainment area and that to me is worth more than anything. In fact, the only surprising aspect of the design is a few touchable buttons on the top. There is also a Samsung logo adorning the left bottom corner of the top. As every soundbar is branded somewhere, it’s forgivable.
The most important aspect of any soundbar is audio quality, and the Samsung HW-S60B is no exception. Now, I would never go in and say you should have low expectations with a value-priced soundbar, but the Sonos Arc this is not. However, the S-Series punches well above its weight as far as audio delivery. What will likely impress you most is the dialog as it’s clear and crisp, which is undoubtedly important. The other aspect was how big the audio sounds, especially with the S60B’s compact size.
Inside the 5-channel soundbar are 7 speakers in total. The center speaker carried a lot of weight, specifically around dialog. Samsung actually indicates the center channel speaker is used to help dialog and it’s immediately noticeable in a good way. All totaled, the S60B can deliver upward of 200W of power, which is impressive given its size.
Of course, the biggest secret here is the addition of Dolby Atmos. This 3D surround sound feature helps you feel immersed in sound in small and medium rooms. The Samsung might be overpowered in larger rooms, but Dolby Atmos can definitely give you your money’s worth in medium rooms. As an added bonus, Samsung also includes Q-Symphony technology. With this tech, if paired with a Samsung television, audio should be perfectly synced for a cinematic experience.
Last but not least as far as audio quality goes, I am impressed by Samsung’s Adaptive Sound. A feature compatible with sports, games, movies, and more, adaptive sound further improves voice quality. Needless to say, for the price, I am most impressed by the Samsung HW-S60B’s sound quality.
Along with Dolby Atmos being a centerpiece feature, the Samsung HW-S60B has a few more tricks up its sleeve. The most notable may be support for Amazon Alexa. I’m a little disappointed there is no support for Google Assistant as they usually come as a package deal. This said, I can overlook this since I got Apple AirPlay, which is one of the most used features in my house. Even though Apple is included, it’s important not to overlook Alexa’s ability to play music, provide weather/news updates, and more.
The S60B is also compatible with Samsung’s SmartThings app, which enables you to control the soundbar from your smartphone. You can take advantage of built-in Wi-Fi support for streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. Finally, I like the knowledge that I can hook the S60B up to other Samsung wireless speakers whenever I want and create a surround sound system.
Does the Samsung HW-S60B Actually Work?
I think whether the Samsung HW-S60B actually works is more of a question of expectations. If you are looking for this soundbar to sound as good as the Sonos Arc or Bose Smart Soundbar 900, prepare to be disappointed. If you are comparing the Samsung to similarly-priced soundbars in more of a value space, it’s much more likely you’ll come away as pleased as I am.
When I tried listening to a few different movies on the S60B, it sounded better than good. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s going to blow your mind, but it won’t disappoint you. For $200, listening to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening crawl sounded really great. As this is my test movie for most soundbars, I definitely came away thinking I could potentially keep the Samsung. Another favorite for me is the Jurassic Park moment when they first see the dinosaurs and this too sounded really solid.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again as a reminder that I am not a soundbar expert. I honestly don’t know how to tell 5.1.2 channels apart from 7.1.2 channels. What I do know is if something sounds good or bad. In the case of the Samsung HW-S60B, I’d say it’s firmly in the good space.
How the Samsung HW-S60B Compares to Its Competitors
It’s hardly an understatement for me to say that around the $200 price point, Samsung has a lot of competition.
- Built-in 4K streaming
- Massive selection of free, live, and premium TV
- Dolby Audio calibrated for boosted volume and crisp dialogue
- Customizable home screen
- Advanced audio engineering within the Roku OS
- Comes with a Roku remote
The Roku Streambar is an interesting competitor in the soundbar space. It’s a name that carries plenty of weight and has become a popular value option in the category. In fairness, the Roku Streambar sounds best when paired with other Roku products, which isn’t a huge ask. It lacks support for Dolby Atmos, so that’s a big strike against it, even with a more budget-friendly price point. Dolby Audio support helps provide a clear sound, but the lack of Dolby Atmos is a big miss.
The Roku Streambar does a great job by adding the Roku smart system to any television. If you’re stuck with an older TV, connect the Roku Streambar and you immediately have Roku’s thousands of apps at your disposal. This is definitely something I factor in with any purchase. This is a far more valuable addition to any soundbar than voice commands.
Unconventional name notwithstanding, Vizio has made a name for itself in the value soundbar space. The Vizio M213ad-K8 is part of its popular M-Series soundbar lineup, hence the name. Name aside, Vizio immediately grabs attention by offering Dolby Atmos support at a price lower than Samsung. Add in DTS:X technology and you can quickly understand why I would consider this a direct competitor to the S60B.
There is no doubt the Vizio includes an immersive sound. Plus, unlike Samsung, you get two built-in subwoofers as part of the 36-inch design. You are sacrificing some space with the Vizio, but the payoff is better bass delivery. Another nicety is that the longer length is sort of overcome by the Vizio’s low price. Factor in the same height as the Samsung and the Vizio feels like it will fit in the exact same spaces as the Samsung.
Is the Samsung HW-S60B Soundbar Worth It?
With the understanding this is my professional tech reviewer’s opinion, I would say as long as you can find the Samsung on sale, it’s absolutely worth it. Can you find better soundbars for $200? Probably. Will these alternatives offer the same seamless setup and quick syncing with Samsung televisions as the S60B? This is a much more difficult question to answer.
What I can say is that the inclusion of Dolby Atmos, AirPlay, Wi-Fi, and Amazon Alexa all make for a strong feature set. Unless you absolutely need Google Assistant or Spotify Connect, there isn’t much Samsung lacks for the price. Sure, you can add more speakers if you want a full surround sound experience, but you don’t need it.
At the end of the day, the real question is whether the Samsung HW-S60B is a vast improvement on your television speakers. In this case, I can give you a resounding yes. The Samsung soundbar is undoubtedly better sounding than your television, regardless of the make and model. Whether it’s for movies, sports, or games, you are not going to be disappointed. You also won’t be out a ton of money either, so that’s a nice bonus.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©SENKI/Shutterstock.com.