Sennheiser’s new $1,500 Ambeo Soundbar Plus is expected to sound fantastic.
Plus a $700 wireless subwoofer to amp up the immersive 3D audio.
No one has managed to outperform Sennheiser’s Ambeo when it comes to getting the most immersive audio presentation from a standalone soundbar. And, given the device’s exorbitant $2,500 price tag, you’d expect it to deliver a sublime home theatre experience. Sennheiser will introduce the new Ambeo Soundbar Plus at IFA 2022, expanding the Ambeo lineup. The price has been reduced slightly, but it will still be out of reach for many consumers. Preorders are now open for $1,499.95.
The Plus version is billed as the “world’s first 7.1.4 standalone soundbar.” Sennheiser’s original Ambeo will continue to be sold, but it has been rebranded as the Ambeo Soundbar Max. It’s still bigger than the new Plus, so the name makes sense. The words “more compact” appear several times in the company’s press release, indicating that Sennheiser is attempting to emphasise that distinction. It’s not a tiny soundbar by any means, but it’s less intimidating than the Max.
Despite its smaller size, the Ambeo Soundbar Plus delivers the same enthralling 3D sound output as the original, thanks to a secret sauce developed by Sennheiser in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. Read any review of the original Ambeo Soundbar Max, and yeah, the surround sound effect is genuinely impressive.
According to Sennheiser’s press release, “Ambeo self-calibration reads a room’s acoustic properties and then positions seven virtual speakers around the listener, plus four more overhead.” “Users can enjoy the depth, impact, and spaciousness of a movie theatre experience at home — without the hassle of extra cables or satellite speakers.”
That’s right: Sennheiser isn’t offering any satellite speakers for the Ambeo Soundbar Plus (again). However, it will be accompanied by a new standalone subwoofer. The Ambeo Sub, which costs $699.95, combines an 8-inch woofer with a 350W class-D amplifier and claims to deliver “audiophile-grade bass down to 27Hz.” You can wirelessly connect up to four Ambeo Subs in a single home theatre setup. The Sub is designed to self-calibrate and use built-in microphones to optimise performance for the unique acoustics of each room.
Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and 360 Reality Audio are among the audio formats supported by the Ambeo Soundbar Plus. Owners will be able to “upmix stereo and 5.1 content to create thrilling 3D sound experiences that make it sound like the artist is in the room,” according to Sennheiser. As with the Ambeo Soundbar Max, you also get a wide array of built-in streaming integrations, including Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, and Google Chromecast. With the release of Ambeo OS in March, these features were added.
Sennheiser is clearly content to compete in the ultra-premium soundbar market against the best from Sony, Sonos, Bose, and others. The company isn’t interested in producing a soundbar for less than $1,000, let alone anything less than that.
The Ambeo Soundbar Plus and Ambeo Sub will go on sale on September 22nd.