The Compact Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar: A High-Quality Investment

Sennheiser’s Ambeo Soundbar Mini ($799.95), the smallest soundbar offering yet from the company, is an alternative to the Sonos Beam. While the Beam, our longtime favorite compact soundbar, now supports more immersive Dolby Atmos audio in its second-gen version, it lacks upfiring drivers for spatial sound. The Ambeo Soundbar Mini, on the other hand, features dual upfiring woofers and Sennheiser’s impressive Ambeo 3D audio technology, delivering more sonic power in a similarly sized package. The trade-off, however, is the significantly higher price of the Mini.

In terms of design, the Mini is slightly wider than the Beam, with a sloping top panel and fabric-wrapped sides. Its illuminated Ambeo branding and top controls for volume, playback, and input selection give it a sleek and modern look. Inside, the Mini boasts four 1.6-inch full-range drivers, two front-facing and two angled outward, as well as two upward-facing four-inch woofers and six class D amplifiers capable of 250 watts of power.

The sound quality of the Mini is impressive for its size, with ample bass and support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio and MPEG-H, as well as the ability to upscale stereo content. Its key feature, Sennheiser’s 3D audio tech, offers an immersive, directional audio experience. While Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content are supported, the effect is not as enveloping due to the Mini’s reliance on virtualization.

The Mini connects to your TV via HDMI eARC and supports HDMI 2.1 for higher resolution and frame rates. Sennheiser’s Smart Control app allows for easy access to settings, including source selection, volume control, sound presets, and additional speaker management. The Ambeo OS provides various connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, and Google Chromecast.

In comparison to the Sonos Beam, the Ambeo Mini offers a higher level of immersiveness but at a significantly higher price. While the Beam may require an additional subwoofer, the Mini comes with great bass without the need for a dedicated wireless sub. For those willing to pay the premium for its advanced technology, the Ambeo Soundbar Mini is a very good option for home entertainment in smaller rooms.