The box it arrived in was huge, about as tall as me. Unboxing it confirmed my suspicions, it’s really big! But does it sound good enough to live up to the hype and the $2500 price? Let’s find out!
There are so many features and details on the Ambeo! Lots of connectivity in the back gives you a ton of options for hooking up gear with as many HDMI ports as some AVRs. I really liked the screen on the front, it was easy to see but not distracting when watching a movie in a dark room. It only displayed what you needed to know and flowed with the design nicely. The remote has some weight to it, even though it’s plastic, it feels very nice to hold. It’s an absolutely stunning package by Sennheiser!
As for the business end, the Ambeo has 13 drivers in total: six four-inch woofers, five one-inch tweeters, and two top-firing 3.5-inch drivers, all powered by a 250-watt amp. The Ambeo supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Google Chromecast, and UPnP. Audio codec support includes Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, MPEG-H, LPCM up to 7.1 channels, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS-ES Matrix 6.1, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD LBR, and DSD. No matter what you want to hear, the Ambeo can most likely play it.
In back, you’ll find connections that include four HDMI inputs: three 2.0a and one 2.1 eARC port; plus, one optical input, one auxiliary stereo RCA input, one USB input, one Ethernet port, and a subwoofer output. It’s an impressive array of choices and I can’t complain about the lack of anything here.
First thing I saw in the box was a high-quality calibration microphone, this isn’t the super cheap bargain bin mic you get with a run of the mill big box store AVR, it’s a serious microphone for serious sound. Getting this soundbar in place isn’t as easy as you might think. At 40 pounds, it’s not like most soundbars. It is slightly longer than the 55” Samsung TV in my demo room and about 14” longer than my Sonos Playbar. After getting it in place, you begin by downloading the Sennheiser Smart Control app then pair it with your soundbar to begin setup. After that, I calibrated it to my room by running a few test tones and was done about 3-4 minutes. Now to the best part, the sound!
That’s what really matters, right? Well, it blows any other soundbar I’ve heard right out of the water and into space. With most soundbars, the audio clearly comes from the front. The Ambeo instead fills the room with a massive sound stage. “Where did that sound come from?” was the comment I heard most during my review. Movies really came to life with the action seemingly coming from every direction. It was hard to believe it all came from a single box below my TV. The only thing a bit lacking was the low-end, I highly recommend connecting a sub (I’m thinking a JL Audio Dominion would be a great fit!) Polite bass is no surprise given the woofer sizes, but it still surpasses every other soundbar I’ve heard.
Impressive design, excellent construction and tons of connectivity options really make this soundbar shine. The overall listening experience was a treat, and app control was superb with no issues to be found. The only thing one should consider is its large size and weight, make sure it will fit in your space before committing. And for $2500, a wall mount bracket would be nice. Of course, you can buy one from Sennheiser for an additional $59. If you have the cash but are limited by wiring options for an Atmos setup, this is your solution. The attention to detail that went into the design of the Ambeo Soundbar is second to none, a very superb job by Sennheiser!