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Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar 5.1.4 Review: Best Sounding Soundbar You Probably Shouldn’t Buy

In 2015, I got an early look at the first Dolby Atmos soundbar ever created, Yamaha’s YSP-5600. Devised as a singular solution to all your Atmos and DTS:X needs, the 5600 foregoes discrete surround speakers for gobs of “beam drivers” that bounce audio off your walls to immerse you in 3D sound. With similar aspirations — and a ton of homegrown innovations — Sennheiser’s first soundbar, the Ambeo, takes that idea to a whole new level.

Packing glorious detail, rich and lyrical performance for both music and film, and shockingly realistic Dolby Atmos virtualization, Sennheiser’s $2,500 Ambeo soundbar isn’t some vanity system for the wealthy. It’s designed as a holistic sound solution to please audiophiles, cinephiles, and everyone in between. And on almost all accounts, it does just that.

Unfortunately, as with a lot of new tech, there are some nagging issues inherent in Sennheiser’s first shot out of the gate — namely some latency problems for sound sourced directly from a TV — that (sadly) keep me shy of clicking my heels together and stamping the Ambeo as the soundbar of the year. Ambeo is perhaps the best sounding bar for all formats I’ve heard. But whether or not you should throw down the big money depends heavily on how you’ll use it.

Full Review:

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar:

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48 thoughts on “Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar 5.1.4 Review: Best Sounding Soundbar You Probably Shouldn’t Buy

  1. Hey all,
    After a lot of waiting and a firmware update, I'm happy to report that Sennheiser has not only recognized the sync issues I experienced, but also fixed the problem via a firmware update. I tried the bar on the TCL 6-series used in testing and there was no more notable latency, while the app's connection is also much more solid in initial testing. As such I have raised the award and the score to a 4.5/5 on our initial review accordingly. Thanks to all of you who left questions and helpful commentary. You can find out more in my full, updated review linked below!

  2. you should really edit the video and change the "not buying this bar" at the beginning.
    This soudbar is superb. You should also change the "you probably shouldn't buy" as well. Get rid of those comments altogether. They do not apply anymore and saying in tiny comments below that it's now fixed and you have improved the rating is not good enough. Please edite this video to get rid of the above comments.

  3. Right, and audiophiles know this, but one can buy a premium Atmos receiver and pay for professional custom speaker install at that price point for far less and be more aesthetically pleasing.

  4. Hi… bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla… thank you for watching (without sound test)

  5. Thanks for this review. i seen few month ago your review about the yamaha YSP5600 . as far as i ve heard, this is one of the best sound bar (5 chanel souround capable) for music and movies. maybe the old panorama 2 (i actually have). how do you compare this senheisser to the mentioned yamaha model? best regards

  6. Big fail like their last True wireless earbuds (400$) who doesnt go OFF, just on sleep mode. So really not reliable at all !!! –__

  7. Amazing review!!

    If my tv only has hdmi arc – is this compatible with the soundbAr?? As it has EARC?

    I would love to
    Buy this to watch movies

    I hope they fix the latency issue

  8. Hey guys. First, I want to thank everyone for all your comments, they’ve been extremely helpful in digging deeper into the issues I experienced with this system. In fact, I’ve gone back to do even more research, and I wanted to add my latest conclusion. As many of you know, decoding video and audio requires processing time, so A/V syncing between TVs and audio devices over a digital output has always incurred some latency. It seems that lately, this has begun to increase, becoming more noticeable on some devices, including the Ambeo. In fact, Dolby even addressed this directly on its website: “… as devices have added new technologies like speaker virtualization and high-dynamic range video, the processing latency for these technologies has resulted in an overall increase in latency.”

    That being said, while I identified the issue using Sony, TCL, and Hisense TVs as sources, the fact that both TVs and A/V devices contribute to latency makes it difficult to fully isolate the problem, and may affect users differently. Given all this, while I’ve kept the score the same, I’ve updated the Ambeo written review to a “recommended” product, with a caveat for the latency I experienced, with the reasoning as follows:

    First, with or without eARC, many newer TVs offer A/V sync which will alleviate the issue for many potential Ambeo buyers. Second, the latency is minor enough that, while sticklers like myself notice it, many users may not, especially since it may affect each user’s setup differently depending on your TV. And of course, as noted in the video above, the Ambeo offers three HDMI inputs to connect multiple outboard streaming devices and game consoles to the system that essentially bypasses the problem.

    We always strive to get it right, and while I still feel the latency I experienced is well worth pointing out and considering before buying, I want to make sure I’m always fair and inclusive. Thanks again for all of your feedback and keep it coming, like I know you will!

  9. Just use the HDMI inputs… You shouldn’t even be getting this bar right now if you don’t plan to run your devices through the bar. ….Atmos/DTS:X does not carry through HDMI 2.0 ARC ports!

  10. Nice review. Im curious how well it does with intermediate surround formats like dolby true hd and Dts-hd which youll find on the majorityon bluray movies and while not as advanced as the latent formats brings a substantial improvement in audio quality compared to the older dolby digital and dts. Atmos is backwards compatible off course but still, would be great to know if theres some compatibility issue or bigger drop in quality since the soundbar scene still is a bit ned and uncharted territory.

  11. How on earth was the latency not picked up during testing ? All the development and research has been completely undermined by releasing it whilst not perfect. They’ll end up discounting the hell out of these, even after the fix that’s hopefully coming

  12. Any idea where the latency issue arises? (The sound signal lags the video, I'm figuring.) Is this the case with all interconnections or only HDMI? Was any comparison done to other audio outputs/inputs? Is this a TV issue or the soundbar? (Did they try any other TVs?) Any variability with the signal source (player, cable box, AppleTV box?) Was this present with Atmos-encoded material or others as well? Latency is certainly something that needs to be explained if not fixed, given the pricing expectations Sennheiser has established.

  13. Primary function of a sound bar is to use it in conjunction with your tv. If there’s a latency issue when it’s used with a tv then It shouldn’t have been rolled out for consumer purchase.

  14. 2,500 for a soundbar? That's as much as my TV wtf! I'd rather have an actual Dolby atmos surround sound installed instead of one measly soundbar.

  15. So if I connect this to C9 which has eARC should I have lip sync issue or not, I didn't get that part right?
    If yes, where should I connect the sources, to the bar or to the TV to utilize this feature?

  16. “Real detailed authentic Sennheiser sound”, now what is that? Sennheiser's product range before this one is 49,5 % headphones and 49,5 % microphones (plus a few other products).
    So what you are telling us is that this soundbar sounds like a pair of headphones?

  17. I have this soundbar running with my Sony 75” X950G and I don’t have these issues. I spent a day going around Sydney checking soundbars and getting them to demo them for me I ended up choosing the Sennheiser. When I first set it up with my tv I was blown away with the amount of sound filling the room and it dose amazing job of up mixing 5.1 we are watching old movies now with it. Love it!

  18. Surely the sync issue can be fixed via firmware update. I'm no expert. My TV has setting to alter sound video sync option anyway. Whilst I take the point entirely that this shouldn't be an issue out of the box… Ambi missing something by suggesting your other hardware should be able to compensate?

  19. I ditched my soundbar and connected my Harmon Kardon Aura in right in the center of the room. It's better than HK's latest once and I connected it bluetooth to Alexa. So if I want to play the sound through the tv, I simply say, "Alexa disconnect" and it connect to the tv's sound (which is plugged/wired in direct to the HK Aura). It has a microphone so it acts as a second ear for Alexa.

  20. I think it must have been a fault with this particular soundbar you were given because no other reviews has had this problem.

  21. Worst product spin ever? Other reviewers have commented on the etched brightness and sibilant highs due to its metal dome tweeters. Great for movie dialogue and special effects like breaking glass but terrible for music. Did you even compare this to anything else in the $1,000 range?

  22. Where did you get that latency thing from? You keep talking about it and you haven’t even demonstrated or showed it.
    I bought it and I have no latency whatsoever!

  23. ok i had a quick talk to the reviewer of the dutch magazine and this was his short and clear answer :
    – I did not read that review and I did not experience any latency problems, but I did speak to European colleagues who experienced the same thing. We concluded that the problem was with TVs. The solution was quickly found: the lip sync setting in the Sennheiser app makes it possible to tackle those latency problems.

  24. I have a LG C9 with a Sonos bar and have the unfixable lip sync issue with the image ahead of audio. Googling reveal it's a long standing issue with LG OLED tv. It might be what they are experiencing.

  25. From the specs on their official website, I don't believe that it is THE BEST dolby atmos soundbar. It might not even be able to compete with Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.2, let alone Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 SSE.

  26. Hi , I saw this video and i thaught maybe it's worth mentioning i've read a review of this unit – in dutch and they were not having this issue at all . Could it be a faulty unit ? The guys are real proffesionals just like your team and maybe you've met them at ces or with vincent theo who is also a work related friend.

  27. you talk about sync issues. you also mention eArc that fixes it. but you fail to mention which TV you checked this on. did you check it on the LG C9? sony A9G? both has eArc. you should have checked it with a eArc compatible TV… this super important info is missing. dislike just for that…

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