The Samsung HW-S60A is a 2021 soundbar targeted specifically for the budget market. As with last year’s HW-S60T, Samsung has used side speakers, wide-range tweeters and Acoustic Beam technology to create a large soundstage from a fairly compact cabinet.
In 2021, a center channel appeared, creating a 5.0-channel soundbar. The S60A is a fully functional smart device thanks to its built-in Amazon Alexa. There’s also the SmartThings app, AirPlay 2, and the option to add a wireless subwoofer with rear speakers if you need a full 7.1-channel system. In the proposed review of Samsung HW-S60A, we will try to figure out whether the model in question is worth the money.
Samsung HW-S60A – overview
The Samsung HW-S60A has the same understated and elegant design as last year’s HW-S60T . Curved edges and streamlined fabric from Kvadrat continue to create a soundbar with an attractive look and a pleasing minimalist feel. However, the build quality remains excellent.
There are a few basic touchscreen controls at the top, as well as an LED display that uses color combinations to provide information. Panel dimensions: 764 x 68 x 125 mm (WxHxD) and weight 3 kg. Wall mount brackets included. When installing the S60A soundbar, make sure it does not cover the screen and that its front and side speakers are clear of any foreign objects.
Remote control with central navigation and play / pause buttons, plus sound control button for treble, bass, audio sync and side-level.
There is also a source select button, a Bluetooth pairing button, sound mode (standard, music and adaptive sound), volume up and down, mute, and a control for adjusting the subwoofer level. Some buttons have multiple functions. In addition, the right and left buttons let you skip music files forward or backward while listening.
The Samsung HW-S60A uses a 5.0-channel speaker layout, which consists of seven speakers and an amplifier with a total output of 200W. Three speakers facing forward. A separate center speaker is provided for dialogue output. All three channels use mid-range speakers, while left and right use subwoofers.
The sides also have full-range speakers with Acoustic Beam technology facing upwards. Passive radiators are used to enhance bass. As a result, the soundstage appears much larger than the HW-S60A itself. The panel is certainly capable of using its great width and pitch to fill a medium sized living room.
The S60A soundbar decodes Dolby Digital Plus as well as the usual 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS. The device has several sound modes: Standard, Music and Adaptive sound. Standard mode plays audio without processing. Music optimizes speakers for 2-channel content. Adaptive Sound mode analyzes the audio signal and automatically optimizes the sound based on news, sports, film or other genres.
The main advantage of the HW-S60A from the HW-S60T is that Samsung has added a dedicated center channel and support for Apple AirPlay 2 to the new model. The Samsung S60A soundbar supports a variety of file formats including AAC, MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC, ALAC and AIFF. There is also support for Spotify Connect and the Samsung SmartThings app (iOS and Android).
This provides some control and simplifies customization. There is support for the Samsung Tap Sound feature, which allows owners of certain Samsung smartphones to simply tap the soundbar with their phone to establish a Bluetooth connection.
Enabling the built-in Amazon Alexa “turns” the Samsung HW-S60A soundbar into a fully functional smart speaker. This makes it easy to control your soundbar using Amazon Alexa’s built-in voice control.
You can listen to music, check the weather, get answers to questions – and all this without the help of hands. You can even sit on the couch and just use a voice command to make Alexa skip a track or turn up the volume.
SWA-W500 and SWA-9100S
The HW-S60A soundbar is originally designed as a versatile five-channel audio device. However, it is possible to expand the system by adding a Samsung SWA-W500 wireless subwoofer and SWA-9100S wireless rear speakers. This addition adds to the overall cost, but provides a reliable 7.1-channel system.
The Samsung S60A soundbar immediately impressed with a deceptively large soundstage that filled the front of the room. This came as no surprise because last year’s HW-S60T was just as adept at creating a great audio presence in tight spaces. The model definitely has enough power for a mid-sized living room.
The S60A can also sound good when playing TV shows, movies and music. When watching regular TV programs, the music retained clarity and good localization. The addition of a dedicated center speaker ensured clear dialogue, commentary and news coverage. Plus, thanks to passive radiators, the sound is supported by a reasonable amount of bass.
However, to really enjoy the low frequencies, you need an additional subwoofer. Despite this, the Samsung HW-S60A soundbar can be called the perfect all-rounder, providing a great soundstage. This is more than expected from such a compact body.
The more complex 5.1 soundtrack handles well, although limited bass is felt when shooting and exploding. However, the effects are accurately positioned to the sides and above the TV screen. The soundbar also does a great job of keeping dialogue clear and ensuring that this complex mix doesn’t sound confusing.
While the Samsung S60A soundbar can give the soundstage a certain width and height, it is obvious that full surround sound will not be possible without the presence of rear speakers. Music playback is very impressive.
The vocals are clear and no hiss, the drums have a pleasant punching force. Generally, regardless of the content, Standard Sound Mode is best for drying. Although, adaptive sound mode can be a good choice for general content.
Connections and management
The Samsung HW-S60A places its connectors in a recess on the rear panel. There is an HDMI connection with ARC and CEC support , as well as an optical digital input. That’s it for physical connections, although the soundbar also has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (SBC), and Apple AirPlay 2.
There are some basic touch controls at the top of the soundbar. Since the Samsung HW-S60A soundbar is black, these elements are difficult to see on black fabric. The controls consist of a multi-function button (on / off and source selection), volume up / down and far-field microphone on / off.
Samsung HW-S60A is a great soundbar with an attractive and well-made cabinet, easy setup thanks to the SmartThings app, and a choice of control options, including built-in Alexa. This will be enough for many consumers.
However, it should be remembered that the number of connections is limited, and there is no support for immersive sound, although there is a center channel. Combined with the company’s Acoustic Beam technology, the S60A sounds great, with clear dialogues and an expansive room-filling presence. Ultimately, the S60A is a great choice for those looking for a discrete soundbar to enhance the sound quality of their dual speaker TV.