Technophile

Sennheiser’s AMBEO Soundbar: Expensive, but immersive

Mala Bhargava | Updated on February 04, 2020 Published on February 04, 2020

An innovative speaker that practically puts you into the sound and music

We know the German audio giant Sennheiser for its huge range of headphones and earphones. Invariably excellent sound combines with high-end design for the products coming out of this privately-owned company.

Now, for the first time, Sennheiser has entered the home entertainment space with an innovative soundbar, which was showcased earlier at the CES tech event. The AMBEO Soundbar has just been introduced to India, and though it’s a costly ₹1,99,990, it provides a unique sound experience. In general, reviewers around the world describe it as ‘the soundbar to beat all other soundbars’.

The AMBEO Soundbar is much bigger than a typical soundbar. It is also much heavier, which it should be, given all that is inside it. It is also a little higher than usual, so it has to be placed carefully to avoid overlap with the bottom edge of a TV or block any of its line-of-sight ports. The safest way tp place it is probably to wall-mount the TV, with enough of a gap for both aesthetics and access.

The unique highlight of the AMBEO soundbar is that it outputs what you would get from a 5.1.4 sound set-up from a single device. It uses sound virtualisation to make sounds appear to be coming from all directions (except behind you) in a way that makes it realistic and immersive.

It is with 3D sound that one is able to see how much a movie can be about sound and music, not just visual content.

The soundbar was launched in India by Daniel Sennheiser, co-CEO of the audio specialist company.

Features

The soundbar comes with an interesting sound calibration microphone — cabled, unfortunately. Wherever you happen to be sitting, you can use this to let the soundbar tune the output to direct sound as it is meant to be heard at that point in the room. The external microphone, which is included in the box, automatically adapts and optimises the acoustics to fit the individual environment.

This is not just for movies, but for sports and music as well, though many will prefer more bass in the mix and will need an additional subwoofer though the soundbar does output 30Hz bass. The sound signature includes crisp highs and is overall exciting and impactful specially for movies.

On the inside are 13 drivers, firing top, front and sides. The driver set-up includes six 10 cm woofers and five 25 mm tweeters across the front and sides, with two upward-firing, 9 cm full-range drivers.

There’s also an included remote to switch between 3D modes, mute, control Bluetooth and Chromecast playback and navigate tracks.

There are six sound mode buttons: Movie, Music, News, Sports, Neutral, and Night for preset sound scenarios.

Compatibility

The soundbar is compatible with Dolby Atmos, MPEG-H and DTS:X. It uses an ‘Upmix Technology’ and recreates stereo and 5.1 content in 3D sound. It supports NFC, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi audio streaming, with built-in Chromecast support.

The power cable goes in at the back of the soundbar, where there are also connections for USB, Ethernet, HDMI ARC out, three HDMI inputss, an optical input a subwoofer pre-output, and a stereo RCA input. A rubber loop organises all the cables into one neat lot.

There is also a Sennheiser’s Smart Control App for iOS and Android, which allows users to adjust acoustic settings via smart devices, including setting presets, personalising the sound with the equaliser and selecting from three different AMBEO modes (light, standard and boost).

Upcoming new features will be added to the soundbar via WiFi and app updates.

Published on February 04, 2020
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