First impressions | Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus – Exceptionally believable sound world at a slightly more tolerable price

Sennheiser released the new Ambeo Soundbar Plus and Ambeo Sub speaker at the IFA event. We went to listen to them at a demo event – the sound world did not leave us cold.

Perhaps the most convincing single-device soundbar solution has been Sennheiser’s original Ambeo model, which has since been named the Ambeo Soundbar Max. Its price is more than 2500 euros. Now Sennheiser released a slightly more affordable and smaller model version. The price of this Ambeo Soundbar Plus model is 1500 euros.

At the same time, a separate wireless subwoofer was also introduced for the system. Its price is 700 euros. The speaker based on an eight-inch element has a power of 350 watts. The playback is said to reach up to 27 hertz. Four subwoofers can be used in the system at the same time. Both new models will be in stores on September 22.

Ambeo Soundbar Plus is marketed as the world’s first stand-alone soundbar speaker equipped with 7.1.4 surround sound. However, this many physical elements are not used, as the device is based on seven full-range elements and two “subwoofer” elements. The remaining speakers are created virtually. Soudbar aims to create seven speakers around the viewer and four more above. To achieve a functional end result, the soundbar uses four microphones, which calibrate itself to the used space.

In the demo mode, the soundbar was run with Dolby Atmos sounds. Even though I’ve already heard the original Ambeo model several times, it still manages to amaze me how functional surround sound can be made with just one speaker. The top-down sound world in particular is one of Ambeo Soundbar Plussa’s strengths. The sounds are really placed where they should be. Sure, the demo space was reasonably symmetrical, and basically easy, but the listeners sitting in different places got an equally impressive experience. You can believe that the sounds will also work in more challenging environments. The sound circuit developed with the Fraunhofer Institute does its job reliably.

The sound is characterized by clarity and even brightness. There were no less than three tracks of new separate subwoofers that were suppressing the low sounds, so in this respect it’s hard to say anything about the bass reproduction of the soundbar itself. With the subwoofers, the playback was booming, but not quite below the low hertz level.

Sound support covers Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 360 Reality Audio and MPEG-H formats. The speaker creates surround sound from stereo sounds as well, and can select different listening modes, such as movies, music or games, if desired.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus now supports the AMBEO|OS platform, which means that the device has comprehensive support for streaming methods such as Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and TIDAL Connect. The soundbar is also HomeKit, Google Assistant and Alexa compatible and has Chromecast built-in.

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