If you’re one of those audiophiles that have been on the fence about whether or not a soundbar would be an acceptable solution for you, the Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar might just be the product that makes a believer out of you. Previous soundbar offerings have left serious cinephiles and audiophiles disappointed with their performance compared to more comprehensive surround sound systems. But Sennheiser seems to have created a winner with their innovative Ambeo soundbar, combining impressive technology and innovation to deliver a rich, detailed, and realistic 3D sound experience with a single device that is fully capable of satisfying even the most discriminating of standards. Though the cost of the Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar might initially be off-putting to some, many will discover that the performance, quality, and convenience it offers makes it a worthy investment. It is now available in Canada at Lipton’s Audio Video Unlimited in Newmarket, about an hour north of Toronto. Here’s a brief Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar review to guide your decision.
A New Frontier For Sennheiser
Sennheiser has previously been known to consumers for developing their 3D Ambeo audio technology for use in headphones, gaming headsets, and VR applications. This is their first entrant into the home theater market, and they’ve incorporated all of their previous technological innovations into the Ambeo soundbar. Early users and reviewers initially reported some latency issues when directly connected to a TV, but a recently released update to their firmware seems to have solved this problem and a few other minor bugs to everyone’s satisfaction.
All-In-One Sound Power
The Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar achieves its impressive performance by utilizing 13 high-end proprietary drivers, along with two 3.5” top-firing units, five 1” aluminum dome tweeters, and six 4” long-throw woofers, coordinated by what the company calls their Upmix Technology and Dolby Atmos to provide 5.1.4 audio quality. It delivers a full 30hz of deep bass that will eliminate the need to add a subwoofer for most users, though some users might still prefer to have one for a really booming and furniture rattling bass response.
Advanced Surround Sound Technology
The Ambeo soundbar utilizes a state-of-the-art virtualization technology developed by Sennheiser in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute. It uses a sensitive calibration microphone (included with the unit) to analyze the acoustic characteristics from the sound reflective surfaces of a room to create a location-specific and fully immersive 3D surround sound listener perception. Of course, the acoustics can be adjusted with the built-in equalizer to the listener’s personal tastes with a remote control, a Smart Control App that can be used with either iOS or Android smartphones, or manual adjustments. Or a user can use one of six preset programs for music, movies, sports, news, neutral, and a night mode if you want to tone things down to keep your neighbors or your roommate happy. You can also switch between three different intensity levels.
The Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar offers a complete range of connectivity options. The back of the unit includes three HDMI v.2.0a inputs and one HDMI v.2.1 eARC output for wired connections, an optical input, an auxiliary RCA stereo input, a USB port to download firmware updates, an Ethernet port, and a subwoofer out connection. It supports Google’s Chromecast, Bluetooth, UPnP, and can also be connected to a WiFi network with the Google Home app. It is capable of supporting just about any audio standard available.
Sophisticated Styling In A Big Package
The Sennheiser soundbar is an attractive and modern-looking device, well-made and fitted, with a brushed aluminum finish complemented by black metal speaker grilles and what the company calls minimalist styling. However, there’s nothing minimalist about its size. The unit weighs in at a little over 40 pounds right out of the box in a big and beefy 50” x 7” x 5” trapezoidal form. Thus, you have to do some planning and measuring to find the best place to put it. You’ll probably wind up mounting either your TV or the soundbar the wall, and you can buy an optional mounting kit from the company. But then, the real advantage of the Ambeo soundbar is that you can get superior surround sound quality in a single all-in-one device without having to place or mount speakers around the room.
Quick And Easy Setup
So far Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar reviews have consistently agreed that the product is very easy to set up and use. The Smart Control app can walk you through the setup process if you’d rather not read the paper instructions. Once unboxed and plugged in, you simply turn on the power, connect the included calibration mic, and place it at the optimal listening position, at about ear height in the area where you’ll be sitting. The calibration process only takes about five minutes and the LCD display lets you know when it’s completed. The remote control itself is intuitive and simple to master, or you can use the smartphone app or the manual control buttons located on the top of the unit.
A Sound Investment
Overall, the Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar offers impressive 3d surround sound quality in a single, if bulky, package. Although it’s a bit on the pricey side, it delivers audio performance that equals or exceeds a full sound system at the same cost, and it certainly offers a lot more than the cheaper soundbars on the market. If you really care about your audio, you’ll probably think it’s worth it.
The Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar is available in Canada at Lipton’s Audio Video Unlimited in Newmarket, about an hour north of Toronto, Visit us in store to hear the soundbar in person and have one of our experts answer any questions that you may have.