Equally massive in terms of its superb immersive sound, footprint and eye-watering price tag, we were blown away by the original Sennheiser Ambeo 3D Soundbar – but could a new version be about to drop?
First shown off back in 2019, the original Ambeo system is compatible with the three main 3D audio formats (Dolby Atmos, MPEG-H and DTS:X), and boasts a 5.1.4 immersive sound.
With its directional speakers cleverly using reflections off nearby walls, the premium soundbar creates one of the most convincing surround effects we’ve ever heard from a single speaker unit, but its hefty $2500 (£2200 / AU$3,999) asking price and sheer size means only the most dedicated of cinephiles will have likely shelled out for it – and the reason it never made it into our recommended best soundbars buying guide.
Best known for its range of headphones and professional microphones beloved of DJs, Sennheiser hinted that a newer, smaller version of the device was on its way during a virtual press event back in March, and it now looks like the wait for the new model could soon be over.
The German audio company sent out invites earlier this week for an unveiling event at the IFA tech conference in Berlin on September 1st, showing an owl walking along what appears to be an all new soundbar that features the familiar Ambeo logo.
Encouraging those attending to "take a walk on the wild side", the invite promises "an exciting new product announcement, new product experience".
Stay tuned to TechRadar, where we’ll have all the news from the Sennheiser unveiling next month, as well as the all the latest news from this year’s IFA show in Berlin.
Analysis: An Ambeo for everyone would be wild
While we try our best at TechRadar to paint a picture of what to expect from a product in our hands-on reviews, the current Ambeo 3D Soundbar is one of those devices where words can’t do justice to the experience it provides. You really need to hear it to appreciate how its directional speakers somehow create an immersive bubble of sound.
That said, it’s far from a practical home cinema solution for most households.
It’s almost 17 cm deep, while its 13.44cm height tends to cause sightline issues when pairing it with TV’s that aren’t wall mounted. And that’s before you even consider its bank balance busting price tag.
Since the Ambeo was first announced back in 2019, a crowded field of top-notch soundbars delivering satisfying Dolby Atmos has developed, but none have really come close to delivering the same levels of immersion as Sennheiser’s behemoth – although be sure to check our 6 Dolby Atmos soundbar tips feature to make sure you're getting the best from your 'bar.
If Sennheiser can somehow distill that magic into a smaller and cheaper model, it could well be the convenient single box solution that many home cinema fans have long craved for.
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Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.