Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and Sub review: Blown away and impressed

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Good home theater sound is an integral part of any home theater set up. While many buyers focus on the quality of the TV, they often do not consider sound. I concede that buying a kick butt TV and a sound system to go with it can get expensive. But my recommendation is to find a kick butt TV that’s more affordable, not cheap, and add in a budget for good sound. The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and Sub are an excellent option for any home theater setup, and they certainly blew me away, leaving me more than impressed by their capabilities.

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

I’ve used many soundbars in my time and the ones I’ve always felt performed the best are comprised of the soundbar, sub, and surround sound speakers in the rear. So when I noticed that the Sennheiser Soundbar Plus was available as a stand alone or with a sub only, I had some doubts about just how good it could be. Generally, a decent soundbar does well in a small bedroom, but Sennheiser isn’t playing games here. The AMBEO Soundbar Plus and Sub are intended for a bit more heavy lifting than your average soundbar. Let’s get into the full review of this dynamic duo of sound.

The Quick Take

I am a fan of soundbar systems. I think they’ve come a long way and compete very well with a full system that uses a receiver/amp, tower speakers, subs, and satellite speakers. That said, there are some things that make some soundbars better than others. The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub have me thinking my opinions through again.

Generally, I prefer a soundbar system that includes a sub and satellite speakers for surround sound. The AMBEO fulfills my sub requirement, but it doesn’t fulfill my satellite surround requirement. Before moving on, it is worth noting that the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub are sold separately.

But even without the surround speakers, I found that the software magic Sennheiser is using with AMBEO really made me not even notice there were no satellite speakers. I found that this setup performed almost as well as my Samsung 11.1.4 soundbar, sub, and satellites in my main living area.

When I say almost as well, there are some elements of Dolby Atmos that don’t translate equally from the 11.1.4 system to the AMBEO system. But it’s not super noticeable, unless you have one of each to compare them. So I don’t think most users are going to even notice any lack of sound, they will notice the enormity, though. And that’s a good thing.

When using the AMBEO setup in the master bedroom, now that was room filling. The ceilings in the master bedroom are a little lower and the room smaller than the main living area. So be aware that room and room placement is going to affect your sound. The calibration system Sennheiser uses works very well.

Overall, I was blown away and impressed with what the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub could do. It was very closely comparable to my 11.1.4 system in the main living area and performed outstandingly well in the master bedroom. I think, if you’re considering the soundbar, you should consider the sub to go with it. They just sound better together. You could get the soundbar alone, but your best option for the best sound is pairing them up. I highly recommend the AMBEO soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub.

As an alternative, Sennheiser has just announced the AMBEO Soundbar Mini, more affordable but still packs a punch. Read about that here.


Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and Sub review: Blown away and impressed

The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and Sub have the following features and specifications:

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus

  • Amplifier: 9x class D amplifiers
  • Total audio power: 400W (RMS)
  • Total number of speakers: 9
  • Audio processing: Quad Core 1,8GhZ SOC
  • Voltage range: 00–240V ~50/60Hz
  • Woofers: 2x 4″ Cellulose Cone Driver
  • Full range: 7x 2″ Aluminum Cone Full-range Driver
  • Frequency response: 38Hz – 20 Khz
  • HDMI TV (eARC) OUT: 1x HDMI eARC (HDMI 2.1)
  • HDMI IN: 2x HDMI 2.0a
  • OPT IN: 1x S/PDIF, sampling rates: up to 192 kH
  • AUX IN: 1x Stereo RCA sockets
  • USB: 1x USB socket (type A), for power supply for accessories (external devices): 5 V, 1 A;
  • Subwoofer SW Pre-OUT: 1x Mono RCA, max. 2 V
  • Microphone input for room calibration: 4x built-in far field high-precision microphones
  • Max power: 100 mW (max)
  • Smart standby: Deep standby: <0.5W
  • Temperature range (operation): 0 °C to +40 °C
  • Relative humidity (operation): 10 to 90%
  • Dimensions (with feet): Approx. 105,1 x 7,7 x 12.1 cm
  • Dimensions (without feet): Approx. 105,1 x 7,5 x 12.1 cm
  • Weight: Approx. 6.3 kg
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Wi-Fi transmission system: 2 x 2 MIMO
  • Wi-Fi transmission frequency: 2,400 MHz to 2,483.5 MHz / 5,170 MHz to 5,835 MHz
  • Wi-Fi modulation 2.4 GHz: CCK, DQPSK, DBPSK für DSSS, 64QAM, 16QAM, QPSK, BPSK for OFDM
  • Wi-Fi modulation: 024-QAM, 256-QAM, 64QAM, 16QAM, QPSK, BPSK
  • Bluetooth output power: BT SOC: 10mW (max) BT Sub: 10mW (max)
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0 Classic/BLE
  • Bluetooth transmission frequency: 2,400 MHz to 2,483.5 MHz
  • Bluetooth modulation: GFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
  • Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, GATT
  • Bluetooth output power: BT SOC: 10mW (max) / BT Sub: 10mW (max)
  • Bluetooth Audio Codec: BT SOC: AAC, SBCBT Sub: LC3
  • ETHERNET: 1x RJ-45 Ethernet socket

Sennheiser AMBEO Sub

  • Amplifier: 1x class D amplifier
  • Total audio power: 350W (RMS)
  • Audio processing: Dual Core SOC
  • Voltage range: 100–240V ~50/60Hz
  • Woofers: 1x Long throw 8″ Cellulose Cone Driver
  • Frequency response: 27Hz – 80Hz
  • Audio input: 1x Mono RCA, max. 2 V
  • Temperature range (operation): 0 °C to +40 °C
  • Relative humidity (operation): 10 to 90%
  • Dimensions (with feet): Approx. 27,4 x 36,9 x 27.4 cm
  • Dimensions (without feet): Approx. 27,4 x 35,7 x 27.4 cm
  • Weight: 8.2 kg
  • Transmission frequency: 2,400 MHz to 2,483.5 MHz
  • Bluetooth version: 5.2 Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Bluetooth output power: BT Sub: 10mW (max)
  • Bluetooth Audio Codec: BT Sub: LC3

What’s In The Box

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus

  • Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus
  • Remote control including lithium battery
  • Premium high-speed HDMI® cable
  • Power cord
  • Instruction manual
  • Quick guide
  • Safety guide and compliance sheet

Sennheiser AMBEO Sub

  • Sennheiser AMBEO Sub
  • Power cord
  • Instruction manual
  • Quick guide
  • Safety guide and compliance sheet


Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and Sub review: Blown away and impressed

Normally, in the design section for soundbars, I would say something like most soundbars have a general look about them. And while the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus does have some whispering of other soundbars, it is its own beast. The AMBEO Sub is equally familiar but refreshingly different in design.

The first thing you’ll notice is how BEEFY this soundbar is. It’s big and heavy, for a soundbar. The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus clocks in at nearly 14 lbs., while the AMBEO Sub is just over 18lbs. While these are bulky and beefy, it’s for good reason. Sennheiser really packs in the speakers in a relatively small area, with nine total speakers housed in it.

The overall build quality is beyond measure in all ways. While I love my Samsung soundbars, the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus is on another level of quality. There is a mix of materials being used for the build here, but they are all premium and well-thought-out.

I absolutely love the recessed top portion of the soundbar, and the rounded corners wrap around in a way that flows seamlessly. There is a trip-tone color scheme going on here with grey and black being the players, and I am here for the game, it looks fantastic!

The rear and sides of the soundbar don’t have a lot going on, just the fabric covering that is nice, though I will admit I hate all fabric on soundbars because of dust collection. But that’s not really the soundbar’s fault, the fabric looks fantastic on this soundbar.

The front of the soundbar is equally plain, through the AMBEO logo is located at the bottom right, and it is subtly lit up in white. The top of the soundbar has the Sennheiser logo along with a long LED indicator for volume and other functions. There are also some touch controls on the top, though I never used them, but here they are:

  • Input Selection
  • Bluetooth
  • Volume Down
  • Power
  • Volume Up
  • Dolby Atoms
  • Microphone array is also located on the top
  • Mute Button to mute microphones

Finally, along the bottom and recessed under the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus are your input/output selections:

  • Setup Button
  • Reset Button
  • Ethernet
  • HDMI 2 In
  • HDMI 1 in
  • Optical In
  • USB-A 5V-1A
  • RCA L/R inputs
  • Sub Pre Out
  • Power In
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and Sub review: Blown away and impressed

Moving on to the Sennheiser AMBEO Sub design, this one is super simple and the design language matches the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus. There’s really not much to the Sub, it’s basically an enclosure for the subwoofer with a sound port pushing the sound out of the top. The Sennheiser and AMBEO branding is subtle at the top and bottom. There is a power port and connection button, and it connects to the soundbar via the app wirelessly.

The included remote is very nice and one of the most well-built remotes I’ve used. It works, though if you use HDMI-CEC, you can just use your TV or device remote to control the sound. Still, it is a nice remote, the font is a bit small on it, that’s my only gripe.

Overall, the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub are well-designed, look fantastic, use premium materials, and are solidly built. These are some of the best designed and well-made home theater products I’ve ever used.

Ease of Use/Setup

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus 5

Using the AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub is effortless. Physical setup is not hard, a power cable to each unit, and then I used HDMI eARC for the sound output to a 75″ Hisense U8K. The soundbar fits neatly under the Hisense, some TVs may not have this same clearance, so you will need to take that into account. You can mount the soundbar to the wall if needed.

Setting up the soundbar via the app is also seamless and works via Wi-Fi, I will go over that in the next section. Overall, using the soundbar is simple, setting up is also simple, though you may need to figure out the best placement depending on your preferences or how much clearance your TV has at the bottom.


Sennheiser App

The Sennheiser Smart Control app is available for iOS and Android and is where you will find most control for your Soundbar Plus and Sub. In the app, you manage the following:

  • Input Selection
  • Volume
  • AMBEO On or Off
  • AMBEO Demo
  • Choose Style: Adaptive, Music, Movie, News, Neutral, and Sports
  • Night Mode
  • Voice Enhancement
  • System Calibration
  • Connect Services such as AirPlay, Chromecast, Alexa, Tidal, and more
Sennheiser App

The app is your first stop as it is where you will perform the first calibration. Calibrating is easy, once the soundbar and sub are connected to each other and your network. The app will perform a sound calibration of your room, map it, and the result will determine how your soundbar projects the sound from the speakers.

The app is easy to use, and you should do a calibration any time you move the soundbar to a different room, as each space is different. Overall, the app is useful and important. Usually, I would say you don’t need to use an included app for some audio products, but in this case, the AMBEO experience is part of the whole package and this app is a huge part of that.

Sennheiser App


Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus 4

So I mentioned before that the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus was a pretty hefty soundbar compared to other brands. But it’s a pussycat compared to its big lion brother, the Sounbar Max. That guy is heavy and big, so it is very impressive the sound this guy pushes out.

The key feature of this soundbar family is the AMBEO setting. You can elect to use this or not use it, my recommendation is to use it. The AMBEO setting is what gives the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus that wide soundstage and impression of surround sound, and it works very well, with a few minor issues.

Think of AMBEO as a sort of Spatial Audio treatment. If you’ve experienced Spatial Audio on headphones, then you know the effect is impressive. The Soundbar Plus does a similar thing but only in your room, by mapping the acoustics of the room, it can deliver the best soundstage for each unique setting.

Where AMBEO sound excels is with big musical and soundtracks scores, with thunderous sound effects, and a lot of action. Sennheiser really does an excellent job of capturing almost all the big sound from big movies. The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub also playback Dolby Atmos, and that experience is outstanding.

Movies like Pacific Rim, Independence Day, and any other action movie you can think of sound fantastic and with the ability to push the bass up or pull it back, you can really get the room rumbling. The Dolby Atmos does an impressive job handling the sounds of bullets, planes, cars, and any sort of whizzing by your head sound really well.

The one area that was an occasional problem was dialogue. To be clear, this wasn’t always an issue, just now and then vocals and dialogue sounded distant or too quiet. This was mostly in hushed dialogue scenes or within scenes that had heavy sound effects and soundtrack elements. It was as if the sound effects and soundtrack were prioritized over the voices. There is a Voice Enhancement feature that helps a bit, but then I feel some of the other elements are affected with this on.

I’m not ready to blame this on the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus, though. I know there are some movies where the mix of sound is just not great, particularly when it comes to vocals. I have found this in older movies like Amadeus, where the dialogue just seems so distant and the other sounds too far forward. I don’t believe this to be a huge issue, as I have experienced it with other soundbars and sound systems. It’s certainly not a reason to not consider buying the AMBEO system.

Bluetooth music playback on the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub is spectacular. Heck, even if you got this as a main music playback system, it would be worth your dime.

Overall, the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub are an impressive pair. You can get the Soundbar Plus by itself, but I recommend the pair to get the full AMBEO and Dolby Atmos experience.


The retail price for the AMBEO Soundbar Plus is $1,499.95 and the AMBEO Sub is $699.95, yes, you can buy the bundle from Crutchfield, but the price remains the same. Best Buy offers them sold separately. This pushes the set to over $2,200, a lot to ask for but in my estimation, well worth the money spent. As of this review, prices may change depending on when you’re reading this, the Soundbar Plus is on sale for $1,199.95 and the Sub for $599.95, which is $1,800 and is almost like getting the Sub for free. This is an excellent deal and something you should jump on before it’s gone.

Wrap Up

Sennheiser has worked some magic with its AMBEO series of soundbars here. The AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub are a fantastic combo for just about any room. The software the company uses to map your space and deliver a quality Dolby environment is spectacular. I have used many soundbars and there are a ton of great choices out there. But this is on another level and well worth the asking price if you’re looking for simplicity and superiority in a total package. I recommend buying them both though, the Sub is going to noticeably improve the overall sound than just buying the soundbar alone.

AMBEO Soundbar Plus and AMBEO Sub




Ease of Use/Setup








Nailed it

  • Beautiful and unique design
  • Easy to setup
  • Great app and functionality
  • Wide soundstage that fills the room
  • Music sounds amazing through this
  • Love the bass adjustability
  • Price is steep but well worth it, even more so when it's on sale

Needs work

  • Might be pricey for some
  • Slightly heavy, some may not like that
  • Sometimes I found that dialogue was not as loud as I would have liked, that may be the fault of the movies audio mix as it didn't happen many times
  • Print on remote is a bit too small

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Last Updated on March 13, 2024.


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