In the fall of 2019, Sennheiser introduced a new soundbar that exploits its expertise in ambient sound and incorporates several technologies to produce a speaker that fills a room with sound. A review article on the device was published in the November 2019 issue of Residential systems.
The Ambeo uses 13 speakers driven by 10 amplifiers in a 5.1.4 surround sound design. The drivers are six 4-inch mid-bass drivers, five 1-inch tweeters, and two top-firing speakers. Total amplifier power is rated at 250 watts RMS, and the device weighs almost 41 pounds. There are RCA jacks for connecting a subwoofer, but the device creates quite a lot of bass on its own. Its frequency response is stated to be 30 Hz to 20 kHz (-3 dB).
The system decodes Dolby Atmos (True HD), DTS:X, and MPEG-H surround formats. An OLED display on the front of the bar indicates the format being played. The soundbar comes with a calibration mic, which is necessary to measure the acoustics of your room in order for the various Ambeo modes to work properly.
In addition to the various surround audio formats, the device supports Google-cast, Bluetooth, and WiFi 2.4GHz/5Ghz 801.11 a/b/g/n/ac. The inputs include HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 with Dolby-vision pass-through, Toslink optical digital, RCA analog, RJ45 ethernet, a 2.5 mm mini-jack for a calibration microphone, and USB(A) for service connections. The outputs are HDMI, with RCA analog jacks for a subwoofer.
The review article by John Sciacca gives glowing praise to the Ambeo for its sound quality and ambience creation, calling it “flat-out amazing.” A more detailed review by Tom Gideon can be found here. Its retail price of $2500 is steep, and at least one review suggests it may have a slight latency problem, but Sennheiser clearly has combined several electronic technologies along with speaker design expertise to create a remarkable piece of audio gear.