It's easy to get roped into bright colors and fancy functions on modern-day HDTVs, but true home theater fans wouldn't let their displays languish without some sort of proper audio setup. Those who favor full-flavor aural experiences will almost always opt for surround sound systems, while those who want decent sound in a clean package tend to opt for a soundbar. The two approaches are typically mutually exclusive, but the new Sennheiser Ambeo sound bar might just serve to provide audiophile-quality sound without the inherent space and clutter of traditional surround sound systems.
Revealed at CES 2019, the Sennheiser Ambeo is the very first sound bar to come out of Sennheiser, a manufacturer primarily known for mid- to high-end headphones. As might be expected from the brand, the Ambeo pulls out all the stops, offering one $2,500 speaker cabinet with 13 distinct drivers that aims to provide detailed virtual surround sound in a 5.1.4 configuration.
The Ambeo soundbar includes six front-firing four-inch woofers, three front-firing one-inch tweeters, two side-firing one-inch tweeters, and two top-firing three-and-a-half-inch woofers. Given some quick maths, the Ambeo's 13 separate drivers account for a cone surface area equivalent to 36 inches (31 if not for the tweeters), which is comparable in air movement potential to four separate eight-inch drivers. It's unlikely that anyone will expect the Ambeo to sound as rich and full as four separate eight-inch speaker cabinets, but knowing Sennheiser's track record, it just might.
The Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar is slated to release in May of 2019. As previously mentioned, it will run for an MSRP of $2,499 or the regional equivalent, a price tier that will more than likely mean it only ever gets used in the homes of serious audiophiles. Seeing as how that's sort of Sennheiser's shtick, perhaps that will come as no surprise. Learn more about the Ambeo soundbar by heading over to the official Sennheiser website, and catch all the latest CES news and product reveals galore by stopping by Shacknews' CES 2019 home page.