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Sennheiser’s newest soundbar ticks the suitable packing containers

OPINION: It was the story of two soundbar launches in Berlin. There was the extravagantly designed and extravagantly costly Beosound Theatre from Bang & Olufsen, and the extra sensibly designed and far cheaper Ambeo Plus bar from Sennheiser.

I can see the place Bang & Olufsen goes with the Beosound Theatre. I’ve not seen or heard it in motion myself, however one other journalist reported the Theatre was seen as a long-term funding in a product, one thing that will final ten years or extra, its modular nature permitting it to be upgraded to final even longer and sustain the newest know-how.

However I don’t suppose that individuals, particularly house theatre followers, fairly care about that. I believe individuals hold issues for so long as they need, and the house cinema market has all the time had a way of upgrading and scaling to your wants however shopping for a £5000+ soundbar locks you in. Shopping for the Beosound Theatre appears like a dedication, and for what is actually an audio improve, it’s a really large dedication. You’re not shopping for this soundbar to spice up your Toshiba-branded TV.

Bang Olufsen Beosound Theatre lifestyle
Bang Olufsen Beosound Theatre

The Ambeo Plus is, no less than for me, extra my vibe. It’s compact, modern, helps all the main audio codecs out of the field, can stream from just about any wi-fi supply out there and (hallelujah) has HDMI inputs to plug in different bodily sources. It’s a soundbar that, from a characteristic facet, has all you’ll ever really want.

And like its larger sibling, it sounds a lot bigger than its dimension would recommend, due to Ambeo processing mixed with bespoke upfiring drivers that produced a taller, larger sound. Within the temporary demo I had, switching between having the Ambeo on and off resulted in a drastically completely different efficiency. With it off, the consequences gripped tightly to the display whereas with the Ambeo processing, the peak, house and width was expansive. You could possibly genuinely hear the rain drops from the Dolby Atmos demo excessive above.

Nonetheless, the difficulty with compact immersive soundbars is that they’re not really immersive sufficient. The Sennheiser doesn’t help any rear audio system that I do know off to fill within the areas behind you, so they’re all the time front-heavy.

Not like the larger and renamed Ambeo Max soundbar, it may well’t produce that sense of results simply behind you or to your facet. It could help as much as 4 subwoofers, which seems like overkill, however the three linked to the Ambeo Plus offered loads of enjoyable and energy with the low-end frequency efficiency. What I’d have appreciated is to have heard the bass efficiency with out the subwoofers linked as that will actually affirm whether or not that is an ‘all-in-one’.

So there’s a facet of compromise with compact immersive soundbars – they’re compromised from the get-go as a result of they’re smaller – however from what I’ve heard the Ambeo Plus does a fairly good job of getting round these points at a value that received’t scare as many individuals away.

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