Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus review: Dolby Atmos sound in a small package

Sennheiser's latest soundbar delivers monster Dolby Atmos sound in a small package

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus on table top with TV screen above
(Image: © Sennheiser)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Ambeo Plus soundbar delivers a dynamic, room-filling sound. For the best bass performance, though, many will want to add the matching Ambeo Sub, which pushes the total package price even higher.


  • +

    Dynamic and room-filling soundstage

  • +

    Natural-sounding dialog

  • +

    Compact design with sensible footprint

  • +

    Useful connectivity


  • -

    Overpriced compared to single soundbar rivals

  • -

    Flaky auto power-on mode

  • -

    Ambeo Sub costs extra

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Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus: Specifications

Price: $1,499 / £1,299 / AU$2,399
Colors: Black
Ports: 2x HDMI in; 1x HDMI out (eARC/ARC); 1x digital optical; 1x stereo RCAs
Speakers: 9 (Specified: 7x full range; 2x woofers) 
Audio channels: 7.1.4
Audio formats: Dolby Atmos; Dolby Digital; DTS:X, Sony 360 Reality Audio
Power output: 400W
Wireless: AirPlay 2; Bluetooth SBC, AAC; Chromecast; Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect
Smart assistant: Alexa; Siri
Subwoofer: Available separately
Dimensions: 41.3 x 3.3 x 4.8 inches
Weight: 14 pounds
Wall mountable: Yes

The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus is a bit of a misnomer. Despite being named 'Plus,' Sennheiser's newest Ambeo Soundbar is smaller and more affordable than the Ambeo Soundbar Max (a monster 13-driver home theater speaker system) that tops my list as one of the 5 best TV sound upgrades I've tested

The Ambeo Soundbar Plus has a significantly smaller footprint than its hulking older sibling, and is more akin to the size of the Sonos Arc. Despite its more diminutive size, it claims 400W power output to 7.1.4 channels — seven active full range speaker channels, plus one sub bass, and four Dolby Atmos channels. 

Like its 'Max' brother, the Soundbar Plus uses Ambeo virtualization tech to deliver Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Sony 360 Reality Audio soundtracks, as well as up-mixing stereo TV and music content. It's not quite the same as having dedicated surround speaker behind you, but can be more effective when it comes to delivering an immersive viewing experience. 

The catch is that this kind of immersive tech doesn't come cheap. Is Sennheiser's high price worth it for a single soundbar? Read on to see how the Ambeo Soundbar Plus stacks up for the money.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus review: Price and availability

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus on table top

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

Although the Ambeo Plus' $1,499 / £1,299 / AU$2,399 MSRP is a lot less than the Ambeo Soundbar Max ($2,499), the Plus is considerably more expensive than many of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars. Most of the designs we've seen at this high-end price have been complete surround sound speaker packages that partner a soundbar with two rear speaker and a subwoofer such as the Samsung HW-Q990B, or LG S95QR. With the Sennheiser, though, you'll need to factor in the extra for the Ambeo Sub, which is priced at $699 / £649 / AU$1,119.  

By contrast, close rival Sonos is currently offering a deal on its Premium Entertainment Package, combining the Arc soundbar with Sonos Sub for $1,613, saving $85 on the total cost of these speakers when purchased separately. Sennheiser isn't running any package deals currently. 

To make the decision even more difficult, Denon's delightful Home Wireless 5.1 Home Theater System with soundbar, two rear speakers, and a subwoofer is still one of my favorite soundbar packages and can often be found at a discount for as low as $1,197 at Amazon.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus review: Design and build

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus images showing close up of controls

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

One of my main criticisms of the Ambeo Soundbar Max was its bulk and price. So I am pleased to see that both of these factors have been addressed with the introduction of the Ambeo Soundbar Plus: It has a more compact form that's much closer to the proportions of the Sonos Arc and Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3. It measures 41-inches long, 3.3-inches tall, and weighs around 14 pounds, making it far more living-room friendly than the Max at almost 50-inches long, 5-inches tall, and weighing in at 40 pounds. 

Exploded view of Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus

Exploded view of Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus showing a nine speaker configuration driven by seven active full range audio channels, one sub bass, and four Dolby Atmos channels. (Image credit: Sennheiser)

Build quality feels good. The soundbar is covered in a black cloth grille and is neatly done. Although, I did notice some slight fraying on one edge of the grille covering, which could demonstrate a weak spot and worsen over time.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus review: Connectivity and controls

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus on table showing connection ports

Connectivity options are recessed on the underside of the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus and run to 2x HDMI in, 1x HDMI out (eARC/ARC), 1x digital optical, 1x stereo RCAs, 1x sub pre output, and 1x Ethernet port. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Wireless connectivity for the Amebo Soundbar Plus runs to streaming via Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Tidal Connect, and Spotify Connect. Physical ports at the back are available for wired connectivity including 3x HDMI ports (one with eARC support), as well as a optical digital audio port, and stereo RCAs for analog audio. Plus, there's a subwoofer output, as well as a powered USB port and Ethernet socket. Alexa and Siri voice assistants are built in, and it can be wall mounted. 

I found there were minor connectivity issues with the Ambeo Soundbar Plus in day-to-day use. Occasionally, it wouldn't auto-power on when the TV screen was activated, despite it working on previous occasions and being hooked up via the HDMI eARC port at the back of my Samsung TV. Some of the soundbar touch controls were unresponsive too, and unintuitive to navigate. A remote control handset is supplied.  

Thankfully, the Sennheiser Smart Control app always came to the rescue, providing full and reliable control over the Ambeo Soundbar Plus.   

Sennheiser Ambeo Sub on a stone floor

The matching Ambeo Sub costs an extra $699, and bass fiends can connect up to four subwoofers wirelessly. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

To partner the Soundbar Plus, Sennheiser supplied the matching Ambeo Sub. Also powered by Ambeo virtualisation technology, it claims an 8-inch woofer driven by a 350W Class-D amplifier. As with its Ambeo soundbars, the Sub uses advanced self-calibration via a built-in far-field microphone to allow it to optimize performance to the acoustics of your surroundings, and can be further adjusted to your own tastes via Sennheiser's Smart Control app.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus review: Performance 

On its own, the Ambeo Soundbar Plus does a pretty decent job of elevating onscreen dialog to bring a realistic sense of weight and beleiveable character to voices during news broadcasts, TV dramas, as well as high-octane movies from the likes of Netflix. 

A room calibration mode tunes the soundbar to its placement and the room acoustics, and the results in my living room setup gave a boost to the Sennheiser's performance over the default settings, adding just the right amount of bass weight to make sure voices sound natural energized rather than thin and lifeless. 

Enabling Ambeo mode felt very worthwhile, and opened up the onscreen soundstage with a strong sense of stereo that stretched beyond the full width of the TV screen. There's an Adaptive Ambeo mode that switches according to what's being played through the speaker, or users can choose from five preset modes including Music, Movie, Neutral, News, and Sports. Movie mode gave the most consistent and satisfying results for my room and ears.

Although Ambeo's Dolby Atmos soundtrack created an immersive soundstage that felt projected outward form the soundbar and into the listening space, object placement felt a little poorly defined. Ultimately, the Ambeo Soundbar Plus is no substitute if you've experienced dedicated Dolby Atmos speakers placed around the room, but it's still pretty impressive for a single soundbar.

Sennheiser Ambeo Sub placed in a living room on a stone floor

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While the Ambeo Plus soundbar makes a fair stab at bass from its slender dimensions, the cinematic performance isn't anywhere near the bass levels achieved by its hulking sibling the Ambeo Soundbar Max. To my mind nothing says movie night quite like a subwoofer in home theater setup, and so for a proper home theatre experience with the Ambeo Plus you're going to need to add the aforementioned Ambeo Sub, which can be wired or connected wirelessly. 

In fact, if you have large enough space and seek truly explosive bass performance, you can connect up to four subwoofers wirelessly and calibrate them individually for optimal sound, although you'll need to be mindful of placement and room acoustics to avoid overdriving the room.

While including the Ambeo Sub made a great addition to the Ambeo Soundbar Plus bringing extra grunt and gravitas to high-octane movies and dramas such as Stranger Things, it's not a perfect solution. During my testing, I could clearly hear where the extra bass sounds where coming from, and didn't exactly disappear into the background of the acoustic soundstage as any high-quality subwoofer should. 

Also, the Ambeo Sub doesn't dig quite as deep or is as well controlled as Denon's Home Sub partnered with its Home Wireless 5.1 Home Theater System, and has a tendency to sound overstretched on some bass-heavy movie productions.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus review: Verdict

What I like about Sennheiser's Ambeo Soundbar Plus is the big sound it manages to deliver from such compact and streamlined dimensions. It really does look neat, and the slim profile won't foul the bottom of a TV screen when placed on a TV stand. What I don't like is the high price, which seems disproportionate compared to similar soundbar setups from Sonos and Denon, and the intermittent connectivity issues.    

Nevertheless, in terms of overall performance, the Sennheiser's Ambeo Plus brings a big boost to TV sound. Despite the smaller footprint compared to the Ambeo Soundbar Max, the immersive performance you get from Sennheiser's Ambeo tech hasn't been downscaled in the sleeker model. The Ambeo Plus delivers a big room-filling sound to bring today's vibrant images from the best TV screens to life, but you'll want to add the matching sub for the best performance, which, of course, pushes the high price even higher.

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Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

After 2.5 years as Tom's Guide's audio editor, Lee has joined the passionate audio experts at where he writes about luxury audio and Hi-Fi. As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.