Business Standard

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus review: Spatial sound in minimal setup

The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus is a premium audio system with a matching price. It is a feature-packed sound bar with punchy and spacious sound for theatre-like experience at home

Sennheiser Ambeo Plus with Sub

Sennheiser Ambeo Plus with Sub

Khalid Anzar New Delhi
The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus is a 7.1.4-channel sound bar audio system comprising of a main bar and a dedicated wireless subwoofer. In a minimal set-up, the audio system delivers spacious sound powered by its audio virtualisation tech called Ambeo. Besides, there is support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, MPEG-H, and Sony 360 Reality Audio. On top, there is a wide range of input-output ports, including two HDMI-ins for plugging in sources like DTH set-top-boxes, streaming devices, and gaming consoles. Rounding up the package is the Sennheiser Smart Control app, which makes the on boarding easy and lets you manage and control the device from smartphone.
The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus has been designed for tabletop installation, and for better. It is heavy, but compact. The sound bar has more depth than height for easy placement under the television (55-inch and above, based on leg stands). As for the subwoofer, which is an add-on accessory, it is tube-shaped unit with a vent on the top side. Unlike the sound bar, the subwoofer is large and its unconventional shape makes it somewhat tricky to accommodate. Nevertheless, it is a wireless unit and can be placed at distance from the main sound bar.
Coming to connectivity, there is Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless, and Ethernet, 2 x HDMI in, 1 x HDMI out, 1 x optical in, 1 x USB-A, and dedicated AUX for left, right, and subwoofer. Wi-Fi connectivity enables network streaming services such as Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect. Besides, there is Google Chromecast built-in for instant connection with Android devices. On-top there is support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for smart home set-up and voice controls. While the Wi-Fi connectivity gives it a versatility it deserves, Bluetooth is generic with no support for Hi-Res codec.

Also Read: HonorTech to relaunch Honor brand of phones in Sept, to invest Rs 1,000 cr
As for the wired connectivity, the HDMI out port boasts a 2.1 interface with support for enhanced audio return channel (e-ARC). It essentially means lossless audio across formats, including Dolby Atmos. The HDMI in ports are based on 2.0a interface with support for consumer electronics control (CEC). The ports support 4K resolution at 60Hz and Dolby Vision pass-through. However, there is no support for HDR and HDR10+ high dynamic range formats. Besides, there is no support for gaming-centric features such as variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM). Lastly, the Ethernet port does not support gigabit speed. It is limited to 10/100 Mbps.
For a feature-packed sound bar audio system, the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus is easy to use – thanks to Sennheiser Sound Control app available for both Android smartphones and Apple iPhones. The app is gateway to the sound bar’s core features such as Ambeo sound, which is a virtualisation tech that upscales stereo tracks in to multi-dimensional audio for spatial experience. Besides, the app lets you manage and control the sound bar and subwoofer independently. Another nifty feature available through the app is the sound calibration. It runs a test of about a minute to custom-tailor the sound experience based on room setting. Important to note, the sound bar comes with a remote controller with dedicated buttons for volume, source, sound profile, etc. It covers the basics right, but the app is still required for advanced settings and controls.
Coming to the performance, the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus delivers spacious sound even if the audio tracks are natively recorded in stereo formats. There is an option in the app to disable Ambeo, but it is recommended to keep it enabled to experience the best from the sound bar. The sound bar can get loud without compromising the quality. The surround sound channels offer wide soundstage, complemented by the top firing channels for multi-dimensional experience. The lack of rear sound channels is apparent, but people with prior experience with sound bars comprising of rear channels would only perceive it.

Also Read: 3D printed building: All you need to know about the future of construction
The sound bar is set to adaptive sound profile by default that automatically adjusts the sound based on content. It works well in most cases, but not always. Nevertheless, there are multiple sound profiles built-in for different audio genres such as music, movies, etc. For mid-frequency heavy content, such as podcasts, there is an option in the app to enhance vocals. It is one of the best implementations since the enhancement improves audio across frequencies to make the sound bar sound natural.

Verdict

The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus may not be perfect, yet it makes an impeccable audio system to experience punchy and spacious sound at home. Sennheiser makes up for the sound bar shortcomings by packing as many features possible, including multiple connectivity options with support for wireless streaming services and Amazon Alexa for voice controls and smart home set-up. That said, the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus is a premium feature-packed sound bar with spacious sound good for movies, music, and everything in between. It is, however, not the sound bar for gaming enthusiasts.

Price

Ambeo Soundbar Plus: Rs 139,990
Ambeo Sub: Rs 69,990

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Aug 22 2023 | 12:45 PM IST

Explore News