May 23, 2024
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini

For a time now, the Sonos Beam has been our best choice for small soundbars. In addition to supporting more immersive Dolby Atmos audio, the second-generation model packs a lot of features into a small size. However, the Beam lacks up-firing drivers, therefore the spatial sound’s impact is minimal. With Sennheiser’s smallest soundbar to date, the Ambeo Soundbar Mini ($799.95), which boasts outstanding Ambeo 3D audio technology, is not a problem. In a unit about the same size as the Beam, it amplifies the sound quality with dual up-firing woofers in addition to all of its virtualization gimmicks. However, the larger sound comes at a far higher cost.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini design

The Ambeo Soundbar Mini and the Sonos Beam share a similar overall form, but the details differ. The most notable change made by Sennheiser is the addition of a dimmable, LED Ambeo logo to the front right corner. The mini’s sides are completely covered in fabric, and the top panel likewise slopes from back to front. The volume, playback, Bluetooth, input selection, and microphone muting buttons are located on top. As you turn up the volume, there’s also a white light that extends from left to right.

At roughly 27.25 inches, the Ambeo Mini is about 1.5 inches wider than the Beam, but it is almost the same depth and height. Not that you’ll be carrying the speaker around all that much, but the Mini weighs nearly a pound more than its main rival. However, given its modest size, this device is ideal for smaller living rooms and other areas lacking the space for a larger soundbar.

Four 1.6-inch full-range drivers are located inside. There are two in the front and two at the ends that are angled slightly outward. Additionally, Sennheiser has added six 250-watt class D amplifiers. The room calibration is handled by four far-field microphones, therefore before that process is finished, ensure sure they are not muted.

Sound quality

Sennheiser has achieved remarkable results with a little speaker. When listening to music, the bass is excellent and adds a lot of low-end thud to both Kaytramin√©’s hip-hop musings and TesseracT’s pounding drum rhythms for prog metal. Most living room speakers lack the bass response necessary for them to be a usable music setup without the addition of a subwoofer, even if a soundbar incorporates woofers. Here, that isn’t the case. Still, as the bass tends to be lost in larger rooms, you should think about getting an Ambeo Sub if you intend to use it in a medium-to-large room. If you’re interested, the Mini also supports MPEG-H and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, but the Ambeo upscaling is excellent.

Sennheiser’s 3D audio technology is the main feature of the Ambeo Soundbar Mini. It has been a mainstay of the business’s soundbars since the 2019 launch of the Ambeo model. In addition to the two upward-facing woofers found inside the Ambeo Soundbar Plus, each of the larger, more expensive Sennheiser soundbars contains two upfiring units. With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content, the Mini performs admirably, but because it depends more on virtualization, the experience isn’t as encompassing. During my yearly fall viewing of the Harry Potter series, I found the immersive, directed audio in quidditch matches to be quite enjoyable. The channel arrangement is the same as on the Plus, but the larger device

Software and features

The Ambeo Mini connects to your TV via HDMI eARC, just like many other smaller soundbars these days. It is compatible with HDMI 2.1, the most recent specification that provides more bandwidth, enabling higher resolutions (up to 10K) and frame speeds (up to 120 fps). The PS5 and Xbox Series X both support HDMI 2.1, which is present in the majority of modern TVs.

The Sennheiser Smart Control app allows you to access all of the Ambeo Soundbar Mini’s configuration options. This covers the basic setup as well as the room calibration, which takes roughly three minutes to finish. First, you can switch between Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, and HDMI as the source. This area also has a volume slider, and the Ambeo 3D audio on/off switches are located directly below. Next, the corporation offers a selection of sound presets, including Adaptive, Music, Movie, News, Neutral, and Sports. I locked it there since, in my testing, I discovered that Adaptive was the most appropriate for most viewing and listening. Finally, should you require them, the Night Mode and Voice Enhancement capabilities are accessible through the main interface of the program.

A more comprehensive settings menu exists, but I’ll only highlight one thing here. To add an Ambeo subwoofer to the Mini, go to both Audio and System (the same stuff is available from both places). When you do, you will be able to use the Phase 180 tool and control the volume of the extra speaker. After adding a sub, you’ll also need to recalibrate the system, which you can accomplish via this menu.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini competition

The Sonos Beam is the main rival of the Ambeo Mini, as you may have predicted. Its second-generation model, which made its debut in 2021, was notable for having a redesigned cover and Dolby Atmos. Sonos still manages to provide a certain sense of immersion, though, by using virtualization techniques like additional height and surround channels. Also, even after Sonos increased the price to $499, it is still $300 less expensive than the Mini. It’s likely that you’ll also need a sub for the Beam, which costs an additional $429 or $799 depending on the model you select (you can save $45) if you purchase the Beam and Sub Mini together.

 

 

 

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