Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini
Price: $799 / £699 / AU$1,299
Ports: 1x HDMI out (eARC/ARC)
Speakers: 6 (Specified: 4x full vary; 2x woofers)
Audio channels: 7.1.4
Audio codecs: Dolby Atmos; Dolby Digital; DTS:X, Sony 360 Reality Audio
Power output: 250W
Wireless: AirPlay 2; Bluetooth SBC, AAC; Chromecast; Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect
Smart assistant: Alexa; Siri
Subwoofer: Available individually
Dimensions: 28 x 4 x 2.6 inches
Weight: 7.3 kilos
Wall mountable: Yes
The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini has simply been introduced at IFA 2023. It’s the most recent addition to the corporate’s in style single soundbar collection and the third mannequin in German audio firm’s Ambeo Soundbar vary. It joins the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus that arrived earlier this yr.
As the title suggests, the Mini is the smallest mannequin the Ambeo collection up to now, and when it comes to its footprint it is akin to the Denon Home Sound Bar 550. In conserving with the compact type issue although, it shirks some services and efficiency energy of the 5 greatest TV upgrades I’ve examined, and is aimed as at mid-sized TV screens corresponding to the very best 50-inch TVs.
Despite its extra diminutive dimension, it claims 250W energy output to 7.1.4 channels — seven phantom full vary channels, plus one sub bass, and 4 Dolby Atmos channels. Like its greater brothers, the Soundbar Mini makes use of Ambeo virtualization tech to ship Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Sony 360 Reality Audio soundtracks, in addition to up-mixing stereo TV and music content material. It’s not fairly the identical as having devoted encompass speaker behind you, however might be more practical on the subject of delivering an immersive viewing expertise as soon as the Ambeo speaker has been by means of its self-calibration course of to adapt its output sound to the room acoustics it is positioned in.
I used to be fortunate sufficient to listen to the Sennheiser in motion previous to the IFA 2023 launch in Berlin. Although I’ve but to expertise it correctly at house, listed below are my first impressions of Sennheiser’s Ambeo Soundbar Mini.
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini: Price and availability
The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini might be priced at $799 / £699 / AU$1,299 when it goes on sale on September 1 through the Sennheiser retailer and on-line retailers. That’s round half the price of Ambeo Plus, which launched earlier this yr at $1,499 / £1,299 / AU$2,399, and round a 3rd of the price of the unique Ambeo Soundbar Max priced at $2,499.
Despite the brand new low worth level for a Sennheiser Ambeo mannequin, it is solely $100 lower than the Sonos Arc, probably the greatest Dolby Atmos soundbars and Sonos’ flagship soundbar. The catch is that Sennheiser’s Ambeo immersive tech would not come low-cost, which makes the Mini worth appear excessive for a single soundbar, particularly when you think about the brand new Yamaha SR-B40A comes with Dolby Atmos and a wi-fi subwoofer for $399.
With the Sennheiser you will must issue within the further for the Ambeo Sub, which is priced at $699 / £649 / AU$1,119.
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini: Design and connectivity
The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini is properly compact and measures round 28-inches lengthy and 2.6-inches tall, and weighs round 7.3 kilos, making it extra living-room pleasant than the Ambeo Soundbar Plus. Build high quality feels good, and the Soundbar Mini has an identical black fabric grille to the Ambeo Soundbar Plus.
Wireless connectivity runs to streaming through Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Tidal Connect, and Spotify Connect. Physical ports have been trimmed again on the Soundbar Mini and run to 1x HDMI output port (with eARC help) solely. There’s a powered USB port however no Ethernet socket. Alexa and Siri voice assistants are in-built, and it may be wall mounted.
There’s no distant management, however the Sennheiser Smart Control app offers full and dependable management over the Ambeo Soundbar Mini.
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini: Performance
On its personal, the Ambeo Soundbar Mini did a good job of elevating onscreen dialog to carry a sensible sense of weight to voices throughout information broadcasts, and TV dramas like Breaking Bad on Netflix additionally put in a rewarding efficiency.
The room calibration mode appeared to offer a worthwhile increase to the Sennheiser’s total sound efficiency throughout my quick hands-on take a look at. And enabling Ambeo mode gave a barely extra expansive soundstage with some sense of a wrap round impact.
As with the Ambeo Soundbar Plus, the Adaptive Ambeo mode switches in keeping with what sort of content material is being performed by means of the speaker, or customers can select from 5 preset modes together with Music, Movie, Neutral, News, and Sports. Movie mode gave essentially the most constant and satisfying outcomes for my room and ears.
Based on my listening up to now, I really feel that the majority customers will need to add the Ambeo Sub to beef up the Mini’s sound output which may really feel slightly underpowered by itself. And if you wish to go all out, the Soundbar Mini might be partnered with as much as 4 Ambeo Subs for the Sennheiser’s final immersive bass expertise. That would possibly sound like over kill, however may show helpful should you’re experiencing difficulties driving a bigger room and energizing it with high-octane sound.
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini: Outlook
Sennheiser’s Ambeo Soundbar Mini actually does look neat. I’m impressed by the compact dimensions which can be more likely to make it enticing to these with mid-sized TV screens. At this level although, I’m much less impressed by Sennheiser’s pricing construction. Although it is a whole lot lower than the Plus model, the Mini worth feels excessive significantly when most consumers will need to add the matching sub for the very best efficiency, which, in fact, pushes the excessive worth even greater.
Look out for my full Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini evaluate coming shortly as soon as IFA 2023 is over.