The elusive grail of enjoying rich, immersive sound in your living room without having to tear down as well as having to insulate half the house or acquiring the services of a professional to calibrate it first have been an elusive affair for years.
Companies have offered complicated multi-speaker setups that were both clunky and which also left a good chunk of the room you put it in festooned with wires.
This time around, Sennheiser with their usual deft aplomb have unleashed a soundbar that resolves all these complications nicely and which delivers some of the most immersive sound outside of a cinema theatre. Enter the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar.
Measuring about 127cm in length and weighing a massive 18kg while being about 14cm tall, the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar commands an imposing presence when you plonk it in a room. You can optionally have it wall mounted but you’d best have a solid wall to begin with seeing how much it weighs.
Rather than deploying a separate subwoofer, the Ambeo integrates 13 independent drivers to deliver 5.1.4 sound that can go as low as 30Hz to deliver bone shuddering bass and yet is capable of sufficient subtlety to capably render intricate orchestral set pieces in exquisite detail. More importantly, this setup is capable of delivering some of the most realistic, rich and immersive virtual audio that we have experienced with aural nuances that we never even heard of in movies that we watched countless times like Kong: Skull Island and Mad Max: Fury Road.
We managed to experience it firsthand in a private test session in a hotel in downtown Kuala Lumpur and we were absolutely blown away by the richness of its audio, the beautiful sound staging and its ability to render exquisitely intricate detail.
What’s the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar
Sennheiser has always taken taken a measured approach to their offerings and the Ambeo Soundbar reflects their attention to detail and quality from within and without as it doesn’t take things by half measures.
Crammed into the Ambeo Soundbar are two upward-firing full-range drivers and six woofers as well as five 25mm tweeters arrayed facing the front and sides.
These 13 drivers are capable of delivering studio-grade 3D sound and offer support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and MPEG-H codecs. Even if the content you have is just stereo or 5.1 audio, Sennheiser’s Upmix tech is able to sonically upscale it to offer a near 3D listening experience.
Connecting the Ambeo Soundbar to the rest of your kit via traditional methods is through four HDMI sockets located on the rear, one of which has eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) to allow it to receive sound signals from a connected piece of kit from said cable from your source. The Ambeo also has an Ethernet socket, an optical input, a stereo RCA aux-in, a USB port for firmware updates as well as the now obligatory WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 support and even Chromecast too to stream content from compatible devices.
All this hardware still needs calibration for optimum results and Sennheiser’s solution is as elegantly simple as it is sophisticated. Rather than having to rely on kit made by other manufacturers, the Ambeo Soundbar relies on a bundled microphone that resembles a lightning rod which you place where you would normally sit when viewing the telly.
Plonk the calibration device there, sit back and wait for a few minutes and you’re able to enjoy a sonic feast for the senses. What really impresses though is the fact that the Ambeo Soundbar is capable of tackling all this without having to jump through multiple hoops to do so and bar the fact that it is so immensely heavy, it’s almost a doddle to set up.
Where to buy and experience the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar
Currently, the Ambeo Soundbar is available in Malaysia at RM12,590 at these locations:
– Sennheiser Store, Suria KLCC
-Sennheiser Store, Lot 10 Shopping Centre
– Sennheiser Store, Bangsar Shopping Centre
– Stars Picker Audio Library, Kota Damansara
– Charlie Care, Gurney Plaza, Georgetown
You’re able to give the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar a test drive at these locations and, of course, acquire them to class up your home. For more details, swing by https://en-sg.sennheiser.com/ambeo-soundbar