Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar? - Page 12 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #331 of 981 Old 06-28-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TheBloop View Post
ARC is convenient, but don't expect it to run every format.

If you're expecting Atmos or Dolby-X to work under ARC, it won't. My television is ARC and it didn't work. When my BD player would play Dolby Atmos content, although the Ambeo is compatible, Atmos wouldn't work because HDMI connection was passing through the TV.

To solve this, being that my BD player is equipped with multiple HDMI outputs, one normal HDMI would be plugged into the TV for the images and a separate audio only HDMI would be plugged into the Ambeo.

If you rely on just the one eARC and your TV is ARC, it'll work, however you just won't get the better quality if your movie has it.

To see what's happening, keep your Bluetooth device on with the Smart Control app. Verification of the working codec can be seen in the app's home page while the actual movie is playing.

Now, let's say we'd do things the opposite way: to connect the disc players into the Ambeo via HDMI, and then from the Ambeo to the television via ARC or eARC, you'd get sound but no picture. Well, I suppose it's best like I done above with the dedicated HDMI for audio only, something not all disc players have.
Hi TheBloop,

I have an Oppo 205 and after reading your post I've decided to use the same arrangement as you recommend, split the audio and image feeds in order to retain DTS:X and Dolby Atmos.
My question is would I benefit by also connecting my Firestick 4K to the HDMI IN on the Oppo to also take advantage of this arrangement?
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post #332 of 981 Old 06-28-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Guelmi Salgado View Post
I have had lip sync issues with everything I get on it. I have everything connected to the soundbar and one HDMI from the soundbar to the TV, any advice on how to fix this???

It is just like the guy said its SO close to being correct that I stare at lips a lot seeing if its right.


Is the audio ahead or behind the picture? Could it be a delay from TV processing? For a test you could put the tv in game mode and see if the sync is better.
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post #333 of 981 Old 06-28-2019, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Dirk Manderin View Post
FWIW, Cnet's review is up. I can't post links yet. Ty Pendlebury calls it the best Atmos soundbar he's heard. I would take it with a grain of salt, since his comparisons don't include the Q90 or the Nakamichis.
You can also take it with a grain of cayenne (hot pepper).

My Ambeo konked out; stopped working.

Power (hot and neutral) is fine by voltage testing on the cable end. The standby red indicator simply won't light when plugged in. Hardly been used except during testing. On my TV I disabled "speaker out" because it would trigger the soundbar when I didn't prefer it, but that shouldn't have affected the Ambeo's power. Won't even go on when the power button is pressed. Wonder if there's a fuse compartment. Doubt if it resests itself because it's been over two days.

Well, it's gotta go back. Not just its app, the unit ain't any better, at least mine ain't. Waiting for email return instructions.

Regret that I hadda say this.
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post #334 of 981 Old 06-28-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BN08 View Post
Hi TheBloop,

I have an Oppo 205 and after reading your post I've decided to use the same arrangement as you recommend, split the audio and image feeds in order to retain DTS:X and Dolby Atmos.
My question is would I benefit by also connecting my Firestick 4K to the HDMI IN on the Oppo to also take advantage of this arrangement?
Like you, I have the Oppo 203 and 205. Aren't we proud? Sad they left the electronics business.

Can't verify about the Firestick. In fact, up until you mentioned it, I never knew what it was. Since you have both, just try it. To see if you get 4K from the Oppo, check your television's "Display" or "Info" button. For the audio, check the Smart Control app. If it comes from the Oppo, think it would work.
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post #335 of 981 Old 06-28-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TheBloop View Post
You can also take it with a grain of cayenne (hot pepper).

My Ambeo konked out; stopped working.

Power (hot and neutral) is fine by voltage testing on the cable end. The standby red indicator simply won't light when plugged in. Hardly been used except during testing. On my TV I disabled "speaker out" because it would trigger the soundbar when I didn't prefer it, but that shouldn't have affected the Ambeo's power. Won't even go on when the power button is pressed. Wonder if there's a fuse compartment. Doubt if it resests itself because it's been over two days.

Well, it's gotta go back. Not just its app, the unit ain't any better, at least mine ain't. Waiting for email return instructions.

Regret that I hadda say this.
Sorry to hear that. Hopefully it was a one-off and you get a replacement that doesn't have issues.
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post #336 of 981 Old 06-28-2019, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBloop View Post
You can also take it with a grain of cayenne (hot pepper).

My Ambeo konked out; stopped working.

Power (hot and neutral) is fine by voltage testing on the cable end. The standby red indicator simply won't light when plugged in. Hardly been used except during testing. On my TV I disabled "speaker out" because it would trigger the soundbar when I didn't prefer it, but that shouldn't have affected the Ambeo's power. Won't even go on when the power button is pressed. Wonder if there's a fuse compartment. Doubt if it resests itself because it's been over two days.

Well, it's gotta go back. Not just its app, the unit ain't any better, at least mine ain't. Waiting for email return instructions.

Regret that I hadda say this.
So sorry to hear this!!!... I am planning on buying this Soundbar within the next couple weeks.
Please keep us updated on the status and if the replacement one works better.
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post #337 of 981 Old 06-28-2019, 02:27 PM
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So sorry to hear this!!!... I am planning on buying this Soundbar within the next couple weeks.
Please keep us updated on the status and if the replacement one works better.
You got it. Thanks Dirk Manderin and pinman082 for your concern. I'm concerned for you, too. That's why I was obligated in saying so.

When I called Digital River yesterday, the woman (Lyn) said to expect an email within 48 hours with details and instructions. Not sure if the coming weekend interferes.

After I wrote post #333 I checked again. Cable tested again fine, enabled from the TV and all other devices are fine. This unit is totally dead.

Even when it would work, knowing the app bluetooth re-pairing hassle, I'd avoid it. After all, I wanted this only on occasions when I'd watch movies, not regular TV. Didn't do much for regular TV broadcasts, anyways. I kept it plugged in and only disabled triggering from the TV. Apparently it got mad at me!
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post #338 of 981 Old 07-02-2019, 01:10 PM
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Ordered mine today...will have it this Friday or Saturday!
Can't wait... timing couldn't have been better, since my Onkyo Receiver stopped working yesterday!
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post #339 of 981 Old 07-02-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pinman082 View Post
Ordered mine today...will have it this Friday or Saturday!
Can't wait... timing couldn't have been better, since my Onkyo Receiver stopped working yesterday!

You broke Onkyo's heart.

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post #340 of 981 Old 07-02-2019, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by pinman082 View Post
Ordered mine today...will have it this Friday or Saturday!

Can't wait... timing couldn't have been better, since my Onkyo Receiver stopped working yesterday!


Congrats! Please let us know what you think after you get it dialed in.


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post #341 of 981 Old 07-03-2019, 08:49 AM
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Is the Sennheiser app able to calibrate an external subwoofer?



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post #342 of 981 Old 07-03-2019, 10:00 AM
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Is the Sennheiser app able to calibrate an external subwoofer?



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Yes. In fact, you can have two calibrations: one with a sub and one without. This is also helpful for watching late at night to avoid disturbing others.


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post #343 of 981 Old 07-03-2019, 12:24 PM
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For anyone considering purchasing the Ambeo soundbar using Digital River let me save you the trouble, because based on my experience, I'd never make another online purchase from any company that uses Digital River to process their orders.

According to Sennheiser my soundbar, which I ordered June 24th, had been packed and ready in the warehouse since the 28th. Here's my correspondence from Sennheiser:

"I checked on your online order and from what I can see it was packed up on the 28th but since our warehouse does not ship on the weekends, it will go out today and you should receive your email with tracking later this afternoon. If you would like to check with the online customer service to verify they can be reached at 800-598-7450."

That was Monday and it still hasn't shipped. I called Digital River on Tuesday and asked them to let me know when they planned on shipping the soundbar. They said they didn't know but I'd see an email with a tracking # when it did. I asked to speak to a manager, which is apparently impossible, but they did escalate my request and assured me that I will get a reply from that department in no more than 3 days regarding the shipping date.

When I asked if I could cancel the order, since I was going away on vacation and had expected delivery well in advance of when I planned on leaving, they said that's impossible but that I could refuse delivery at that time. I called again today, Wednesday, and they still haven't a clue when it will ship.

Cliff Notes: Should have bought the Ambeo from Crutchfield not Digital River.
Hey, Digital River, you suck at what you do!
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post #344 of 981 Old 07-03-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BN08 View Post
For anyone considering purchasing the Ambeo soundbar using Digital River let me save you the trouble, because based on my experience, I'd never make another online purchase from any company that uses Digital River to process their orders.

According to Sennheiser my soundbar, which I ordered June 24th, had been packed and ready in the warehouse since the 28th. Here's my correspondence from Sennheiser:

"I checked on your online order and from what I can see it was packed up on the 28th but since our warehouse does not ship on the weekends, it will go out today and you should receive your email with tracking later this afternoon. If you would like to check with the online customer service to verify they can be reached at 800-598-7450."

That was Monday and it still hasn't shipped. I called Digital River on Tuesday and asked them to let me know when they planned on shipping the soundbar. They said they didn't know but I'd see an email with a tracking # when it did. I asked to speak to a manager, which is apparently impossible, but they did escalate my request and assured me that I will get a reply from that department in no more than 3 days regarding the shipping date.

When I asked if I could cancel the order, since I was going away on vacation and had expected delivery well in advance of when I planned on leaving, they said that's impossible but that I could refuse delivery at that time. I called again today, Wednesday, and they still haven't a clue when it will ship.

Cliff Notes: Should have bought the Ambeo from Crutchfield not Digital River.
Hey, Digital River, you suck at what you do!
Thank you for your feedback on Digital River... I contacted Sennheiser a couple of weeks ago to find out what retailer companies they would be using. Found out that Magnolia (within BestBuy) would be. So I spoke with their local regional manager and got them to place the order for me.
This way I can return it locally if I have any issues, etc.
Plus able to finance for 24months with Zero interest.
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post #345 of 981 Old 07-03-2019, 04:02 PM
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For anyone considering purchasing the Ambeo soundbar using Digital River let me save you the trouble, because based on my experience, I'd never make another online purchase from any company that uses Digital River to process their orders.

According to Sennheiser my soundbar, which I ordered June 24th, had been packed and ready in the warehouse since the 28th. Here's my correspondence from Sennheiser:

"I checked on your online order and from what I can see it was packed up on the 28th but since our warehouse does not ship on the weekends, it will go out today and you should receive your email with tracking later this afternoon. If you would like to check with the online customer service to verify they can be reached at 800-598-7450."

That was Monday and it still hasn't shipped. I called Digital River on Tuesday and asked them to let me know when they planned on shipping the soundbar. They said they didn't know but I'd see an email with a tracking # when it did. I asked to speak to a manager, which is apparently impossible, but they did escalate my request and assured me that I will get a reply from that department in no more than 3 days regarding the shipping date.

When I asked if I could cancel the order, since I was going away on vacation and had expected delivery well in advance of when I planned on leaving, they said that's impossible but that I could refuse delivery at that time. I called again today, Wednesday, and they still haven't a clue when it will ship.

Cliff Notes: Should have bought the Ambeo from Crutchfield not Digital River.
Hey, Digital River, you suck at what you do!
There's a reason I avoid writing posts, here. I feel like blasting, and then I calm myself. Relax Bloop. It's supposed to be fun. Yeah, right. And then I say: get that PayPal account ready, Bloop. You're gonna need 'em.

I'm with you, BN08.

It's like you're going around in circles. I'm going though those circles now, actually since last week.

Let's not blame Digital River, though. If I were selling a product from overseas, I'd be sure it's through reliant people. People who know their business. People whom we would say: "Ah, they really are an authorized bunch." Frankly, I think we'd be better-off from any unauthorized seller! From the start it wasn't going smoothly. That's a Sennheiser mistake.

Buy it at Crutchfield? Why, they don't have stock, neither. They're probably going through the same misery.

Anybody wonder why when the Ambeo was ready, its bracket was available in every country even as far as Australia, but not in the US?

Maybe what should be said appropriately, avoid this product all together.
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Last edited by TheBloop; 07-03-2019 at 04:32 PM.
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post #346 of 981 Old 07-03-2019, 06:51 PM
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It seems only 2 out of the, what maybe 5, early adopters in this thread who have actually received this product have consistently reported satisfaction with it. Caveat emptor, indeed.

Russ (another one)
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post #347 of 981 Old 07-03-2019, 07:52 PM
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It seems only 2 out of the, what maybe 5, early adopters in this thread who have actually received this product have consistently reported satisfaction with it. Caveat emptor, indeed.


Too small a sample to make broad conclusions. When this has been out in the wild for awhile, a clearer, more accurate picture will emerge.


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post #348 of 981 Old 07-04-2019, 03:50 AM
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There's a reason I avoid writing posts, here. I feel like blasting, and then I calm myself. Relax Bloop. It's supposed to be fun. Yeah, right. And then I say: get that PayPal account ready, Bloop. You're gonna need 'em.

I'm with you, BN08.

It's like you're going around in circles. I'm going though those circles now, actually since last week.

Let's not blame Digital River, though. If I were selling a product from overseas, I'd be sure it's through reliant people. People who know their business. People whom we would say: "Ah, they really are an authorized bunch." Frankly, I think we'd be better-off from any unauthorized seller! From the start it wasn't going smoothly. That's a Sennheiser mistake.

Buy it at Crutchfield? Why, they don't have stock, neither. They're probably going through the same misery.

Anybody wonder why when the Ambeo was ready, its bracket was available in every country even as far as Australia, but not in the US?

Maybe what should be said appropriately, avoid this product all together.
I got my soundbar about two weeks ago and then ordered the Sennheiser wall mount kit and received it last week....both were from Abt.
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post #349 of 981 Old 07-04-2019, 04:01 AM
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I received an email from Senneiser at 11pm last night that the soundbar was shipped on 7/2.
They provided the tracking number. Unfortunately when I checked the tracking number
UPS says that they haven't received the soundbar so they can't estimate when they will deliver it.
The saga continues!

When I spoke with Crutchfield they're expecting more stock on the 12th.

7/5 Update: Still hasn't shipped so I've cancelled my c/c so they can't bill it.
I can't imagine what Digital River would be like if they already had my money and I had a problem with the soundbar and needed to return it.

A real shame as I recently tried out the Nakamichi 9.2 SSE and was underwhelmed. I was holding out a lot of hope for the ambeo soundbar.

Last edited by BN08; 07-11-2019 at 06:38 AM.
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post #350 of 981 Old 07-04-2019, 12:40 PM
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It seems only 2 out of the, what maybe 5, early adopters in this thread who have actually received this product have consistently reported satisfaction with it. Caveat emptor, indeed.
I’ve had mine for about a month from launch. Overall very happy as i primarily bought it for the best audio solution from a one box under the tv. Couple of observations which people may find helpful.

- mine is connected via arc to Q9FN. Atmos content mainly Netflix via Apple TV.
- front sound is amazing. Best I have heard and great for streaming music (via Apple TV)
- surround is strong for Atmos content if sound is turned up relatively high. Although not as good as dedicated system you definitely get effect from side and behind.
- struggles with rear sound with non-Atmos and lower volume. Clarity still great from front and sides though.
- there is lip sync issues if using tv content. This is solved if you plug sky and Apple TV into the soundbar.
- not sure why Apple AirPlay was not included at this price point.
- app is good but does lose connection regularly

Hope that helps
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post #351 of 981 Old 07-04-2019, 01:17 PM
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Has anyone done or read a comparison of the Nakamichi 7.1/9.2 vs. the Sennheiser Ambeo? Was wondering how do they compare on performance (surround, ATMOS, etc.).

I have an older sound system Marantz/B&W. I recently got a new ATMOS enabled 4K and have been contemplating the two soundbars.
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post #352 of 981 Old 07-04-2019, 01:24 PM
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Has anyone done or read a comparison of the Nakamichi 7.1/9.2 vs. the Sennheiser Ambeo? Was wondering how do they compare on performance (surround, ATMOS, etc.).

I have an older sound system Marantz/B&W. I recently got a new ATMOS enabled 4K and have been contemplating the two soundbars.
Unfortunately I haven't found any retailers that have these two brands - so hard to make a decision without test driving them
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post #353 of 981 Old 07-04-2019, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sjmess View Post
I’ve had mine for about a month from launch. Overall very happy as i primarily bought it for the best audio solution from a one box under the tv. Couple of observations which people may find helpful.

- mine is connected via arc to Q9FN. Atmos content mainly Netflix via Apple TV.
- front sound is amazing. Best I have heard and great for streaming music (via Apple TV)
- surround is strong for Atmos content if sound is turned up relatively high. Although not as good as dedicated system you definitely get effect from side and behind.
- struggles with rear sound with non-Atmos and lower volume. Clarity still great from front and sides though.
- there is lip sync issues if using tv content. This is solved if you plug sky and Apple TV into the soundbar.
- not sure why Apple AirPlay was not included at this price point.
- app is good but does lose connection regularly

Hope that helps


Good, fair and honest review which approximates my experience. One of the recent online professional reviews criticized its performance on music, which I found puzzling: it sounds excellent to my ears.


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post #354 of 981 Old 07-05-2019, 05:45 PM
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I guess I need to stop going to AVS forum. Simply every product I start to like, after coming here I start to kind of dislike.

Initially I wanted to purchase Samsung HW-90 as it has rear and upfiring speakers, it sounded as a perfect soundbar with small footprint, but then I've read the dialog can be really bad, and the rear speakers don't really work unless you're playing Atomos.

Spent reading reviews about Ambeo last few days, and finally came to AVS forum.
After reading the thread I must admit I am quite disappointed that people are reporting bad rear channel experience. I am not sure if this is room related or configuration related or it simply doesn't work. I mean, in all the reviews I've read the rears are incredible, yet the users here report the opposite.

Two questions, though:

My room is 18x19 (8ft ceiling) and I would be sitting some 12ft from the soundbar, and there would be 6ft behind me to the wall. What do you think of this room, and my sitting position, would it be a good fit? The back wall is 18ft wide, but there is a 4 ft opening at the very edge (the very left back corner) for the stairs. Per manual this is quite good, but there is no mention of the back wall distance, and that opening (4ft of 18ft back wall at the very corner) is a bit of concern.

How good is the sound for near by positions? Let's say I am in sweet spot on the sofa, but my wife sits 3 ft away from me.

Last edited by mirekti; 07-05-2019 at 06:39 PM.
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post #355 of 981 Old 07-06-2019, 12:48 AM
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Does anyone know if they are selling this in Europe (France, Germany, etc.)? Couldn't find it anywhere in Italy.
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post #356 of 981 Old 07-06-2019, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mirekti View Post
I guess I need to stop going to AVS forum. Simply every product I start to like, after coming here I start to kind of dislike.

Initially I wanted to purchase Samsung HW-90 as it has rear and upfiring speakers, it sounded as a perfect soundbar with small footprint, but then I've read the dialog can be really bad, and the rear speakers don't really work unless you're playing Atomos.

Spent reading reviews about Ambeo last few days, and finally came to AVS forum.
After reading the thread I must admit I am quite disappointed that people are reporting bad rear channel experience. I am not sure if this is room related or configuration related or it simply doesn't work. I mean, in all the reviews I've read the rears are incredible, yet the users here report the opposite.

Two questions, though:

My room is 18x19 (8ft ceiling) and I would be sitting some 12ft from the soundbar, and there would be 6ft behind me to the wall. What do you think of this room, and my sitting position, would it be a good fit? The back wall is 18ft wide, but there is a 4 ft opening at the very edge (the very left back corner) for the stairs. Per manual this is quite good, but there is no mention of the back wall distance, and that opening (4ft of 18ft back wall at the very corner) is a bit of concern.

How good is the sound for near by positions? Let's say I am in sweet spot on the sofa, but my wife sits 3 ft away from me.
The first line is a cute statement; I could relate to it. That's because nowadays we shop online and we don't know if we'll really like a product until it's been had at our home. So best that can be done is to shop from a reputable place which will take returns with not too much of a hassle.

If decisions seem confusing, I think it's all dependent on whom you ask. Their audiophile level matters. It's dependent on the media he/she is using. Also dependent on what they are comparing it to, whether of other soundbars or dedicated systems.

Sometimes a phrase comes to mind: "You can't make everyone happy."

Of those who are happy, of coarse that's fine by all means. But that doesn't mean that you'll be happy.
Those who aren't like myself, this unit is very good but may be lacking in an area that may be so minute, that had a certain feature been included, it would've been a whole different story.

For example, I wish the controls on each of the speaker channels in the Ambeo were separate. What we get is a self calibrating system that once it sets itself with its own mike, it really doesn't allow your personal touch thereafter. For instance, if you boost the volume (deeper bass or whatever) through the app, all channels boost together. And this washes out what you crave for. Had I had customizable control after calibration, I think this model would be perfect.

With that said, yeah, they (Sennheiser) can make at least most happy.

The bass is good not because it's the best. I've heard far better than this. However, Sennheiser provides the means to add to it. Everything else, though, is: What you get, is what you got, period. So, the bad that you're reading about peoples "bad rear channel" is not really bad. I think the fronts are so loud that they wash out the backs. Unless customizable controls are upgraded through an app update in the future, if ever.

As for speaker levels, I used a disc for checking. Sure enough, I verified that I ain't deaf. I was right about the surrounds. They'd all work. Except when the monitor would show the rears during the test disc playback of pink noise, sound didn't sound like it was coming from the rear. Perhaps if the fronts could be faded or just with a rear boost, probably so.

You said that you've been reading threads a lot. Research is good. Sometimes it's mind boggling, though. That's why I just done it. My best advise, be sure it's returnable without too much trouble.

Finally, welcome to the club!

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post #357 of 981 Old 07-07-2019, 09:17 AM
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Earlier in this thread I posted a few points about the impact of environment on systems like this, which depend upon reflection and psycho acoustics. Unlike separates, which are far less dependent on environment, the Ambeo works optimally in a room that is set up for it.

Apparently this system needs at least a medium-size room, because rear sound effects need some decent volume to be most effective. The other reason probably has to do with the potential for interference or cancellation effects to be more pronounced in very small rooms, because you would likely have a much more complex reflective sound field. Simply put, cancellation effects cancel out sound, rather than support it, and can collapse part of the sound field. In such a scenario the front effects would predominate because of the sheer force of direct sound. The Ambeo, or a similar system, needs a clear and ample space to engage the most effective reflection.

I asked one of the early somewhat critical posters what his room was like, and though he commented on the size, he did not describe his walls and furnishings. Absorptive materials hanging on, or spread out across walls, would not assist the Ambeo in projecting the best sound.

Given what firmware upgrades have accomplished for other systems, I don't think it's insurmountable for Sennheisey to add some optimization features down the road.

Based on the positive reviews, when it's set up properly this thing really performs, producing height, and surround, as well as impressive midrange, which is the most difficult for any system or set up. Being a fan of planar and full range drivers, which can produce tremendously coherent sound, I'm completely intrigued with the array of 4 inch Neumann drivers, which should be capable of really pure and unified sound and tonality. And all of this without cluttering your room.

I wish I had the budget to get one.

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post #358 of 981 Old 07-07-2019, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
Earlier in this thread I posted a few points about the impact of environment on systems like this, which depend upon reflection and psycho acoustics. Unlike separates, which are far less dependent on environment, the Ambeo works optimally in a room that is set up for it.

Apparently this system needs at least a medium-size room, because rear sound effects need some decent volume to be most effective. The other reason probably has to do with the potential for interference or cancellation effects to be more pronounced in very small rooms, because you would likely have a much more complex reflective sound field. Simply put, cancellation effects cancel out sound, rather than support it, and can collapse part of the sound field. In such a scenario the front effects would predominate because of the sheer force of direct sound. The Ambeo, or a similar system, needs a clear and ample space to engage the most effective reflection.

I asked one of the early somewhat critical posters what his room was like, and though he commented on the size, he did not describe his walls and furnishings. Absorptive materials hanging on, or spread out across walls, would not assist the Ambeo in projecting the best sound.

Given what firmware upgrades have accomplished for other systems, I don't think it's insurmountable for Sennheisey to add some optimization features down the road.

Based on the positive reviews, when it's set up properly this thing really performs, producing height, and surround, as well as impressive midrange, which is the most difficult for any system or set up. Being a fan of planar and full range drivers, which can produce tremendously coherent sound, I'm completely intrigued with the array of 4 inch Neumann drivers, which should be capable of really pure and unified sound and tonality. And all of this without cluttering your room.

I wish I had the budget to get one.
Hello.

Everything in the world has its good as well as its bad. If it were only one way of both, there would be no reason to follow forums to discuss these things. And to those who post, it's preferable to be factual good or bad, information we can use. It's always appreciated so long as respect remains in the group.

So far, I think this is a very respectable group.

During shopping, sometimes we base judgment on feedback. Not just about products, this goes for movies, television shows, music, everything. I'll be perfectly honest. I usually skip the bad reviews with a blind eye. I'm always thinking: What are these people talking about? A product can't be THAT bad.
Did they set it up right?
What did they play?
What did they expect?

I mean, if I were to listen to the bad critics, I'd never buy anything!

Everything counts in determination. From the start like with a customer's attitude (and mine was good) to the manufacturer (theirs is also good). Sennheiser processed a product in good faith. A slight delay was a good sign because it was hoped a release would come only when mature, the German way.

Then came Digital River. OMG. I was helped, but I had to make two calls plus three emails before that happened for a simple tracking number.

On the other side, when it was discovered by Sennheiser personnel that logging onto the app was difficult, it was greatly appreciated in my being helped of his own will by their main man himself, Max. I liked that.

I account the good as well as the bad. Those reports have mostly been mentioned here because people visit these sites and this gives others some insight, vague as it may seem. This reality is why some come here that we sometimes don't hear in professional reviews.

Those minor issues are long gone. So, what's the problem?

A customer who has only 30-days to decide whether to keep this or return it, isn't much time to play around. In fact, it's a subconscience pressure. And that means this thing better be good. The customer's view of "good" really means satisfaction because he'll live with it forever. Speak now or forever hold your piece.

Let it be noted heresay, the Ambeo when it worked, was pretty good. However, it was no secret that my unit didn't meet my expectation in various ways. Not just in rear sound effects as more was desired, its total performance as well. That crummy app was no help. Yes, "crummy" was as I told them so. Sure, it was fine on the first day, but that was when it initially paired.

"First day" and "initially paired" are the clue, here. Who knew that the app hadda be "initially paired" EVERY TIME? A link in the iPad's homescreen via bluetooth was pointless. I consider the app as part of the product I'm paying for.

Now it's time to mention about the main unit. I didn't just wish I had it. I had it. Pardon me for saying so, quotes like "The Ambeo works optimally in a room that is set up for it" and then "I wish I had the budget to get one" mean it was never had to be heard and based on theory and whatever others have said. Until it's experienced, experience counts most because that evaluation is factual. Please be understanding.

First thing's first: the update. Update was a problem both in WiFi and Ethernet. My router was moved in the same room and it wouldn't see it. Then direct plugging with Ethernet wasn't any good, either. Was my router bad? Was it me? After all, others were successful. Then again, Digital Trends also reported app hiccups. I've done this on other machines, before. Every other device from TV to BD player was seen and worked fine by the router. The app did reveal that it had the latest version, eventually. What a nightmare. How it got updated is not clear.

The sound effects were okay, not the best there can be and I didn't expect so from an all-in-one solution, nevertheless okay. Bass was ideal. For those of you who worry about the neighbors, this thing is great. In the late hours, I'd program a repetitive loud stormy sound effect from a movie scene, closed the window and gone outside. I could hear traces of the movie, but nothing that would disturb the neighbors. Yet it was satisfying inside.

Yes, theories about room reflections, room sizes, furnishings and so on, are important. That goes for any loudspeaker. Important guidelines, no doubt. For example, let's understand, the best placement for bass is not in mid-air under a TV compacted with high frequency drivers to begin with. Yet, it's commended that a company done a great job. Plus, they provide bass extension if more is desired. Let's face it, under the circumstances, not a bad toy.

About performance, a user presses a button which calibrates the room and everything within it. He's careful where he sets the unit and the mike. Then it says: "Done". Psycho is right, not just in acoustics, in the user too. Once calibration ends, the user sees "Done". That word "Done" means everything. Means that Dolby's guidelines of levels were established by the processors. Now the user thinks that in order to get to that point in the first place, the unit worked around all obstacles including room size, reflections, placement and so on. He expects, and in most cases, gets something worthwhile. The unit's self setting is one thing. Human perception is another. That's why further customization is essential.

Who cares if it works better in an ideal room? In my case, placement and purchasing was intended for a bedroom. A bed doesn't help reflections. Shall I get rid of the bed? I'd get rid of the soundbar before that happens or I'd sleep on the floor! Even if it worked better elsewhere, it wouldn't have fulfilled its initial purpose.

Likewise, I'm sure that the fore-mentioned early critic who didn't describe his walls and furnishings probably wouldn't accommodate for it, anyways. This unit was meant to deal with it, at least reasonably. Yet, that person's opinion, limited as it may have seemed, is far more informative than of some as I've heard complaining that this device was expensive time and time over.

I suppose either you like it, or you don't. Dependent on the individual. If you've heard the best like in a wired system with dedicated loudspeakers, you might think something's missing in this system. On the other hand, if you know you have limited freedom in installation and an all-out-easy setup is your only choice, this is a great option because it's better than the raw TV speakers. I now prefer the old way of dedicated rear loudspeakers. What can I say, I'm spoiled.

Again, 30-days is a pressure, particularly on an item which is not small change. Sure, eventually app updates may come. Who's to say that it's for desired features? No room for wishful thinking within 30 days. A smart purchaser knows that you ain't got nuthin' until it's materialized. They had over a year before being released. And maybe I'm wrong as I always blame operator error, being myself. One thing I know, whoever is wrong or right or even whatever I previously thought, goes out the window. Keeping an item is dependent by reasonable satisfaction.

It makes no difference one way or the other. My unit is dead; no longer powers up. Back it goes. After one whole week, I finally got an RMA. I still love Sennheiser, though.

Finally, I can say this because I wouldn't say so if I didn't do so. By all means, base decision on positive review. Don't forget the negatives. Those people logged on because they wanted to convey something. Better yet, for a neutral opinion, disregard what the manufacturer says. Disregard the reviews, the feedbacks, the theories. Moreover, disregard this post. It's the correct way in evaluating any speaker system. Buy it. Experience it. It's the only true way.

Thank you.


.

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post #359 of 981 Old 07-08-2019, 08:20 AM
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My tolerance for problems is inversely proportional to the price of the product. The higher the price, the less tolerance I have.
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post #360 of 981 Old 07-08-2019, 09:44 AM
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The idea in the previous post that all audio systems are impacted by room size and room acoustics misses the point. Systems like this operate within certain parameters that ordinary direct radiators do not.

Any system which relies upon reflection, whether it be a Yamaha, an LG, a Sony, or this Sennheiser will not function optimally if you have acoustically dead areas. Nor, apparently, will a powerful soundbar like this flourish in an overly reflective environment, such as a small room. If you are installing this in a bedroom, with acoustically dead areas, then get a Samsung with discrete rears.

People who buy this are early adopters, and early adopters always are the ones who help in sorting out problems. If people have low tolerance for problems, then they should wait for things to mature.

The idea that because I do not own one my posts are somehow irrelevant is illogical and high-handed. Ownership does not equal understanding. A reasonable person would understand that I'm posting in order to give some possible insight and to help. And after putting in a few hours of research I finally found a place that will be showing this in Southern California, properly set up.

Whenever this device is set up in a room which supports it the results are much more than merely good, according to some very persuasive accounts I've read by people of standing. In fact, there are posters on this site who are getting great results, which would not be the case if the sound bar was somehow mediocre, as some have implied. Over the years I've read a lot of reviews, and I've rarely seen as positive a review for a product on WhatHifi
as the Ambeo review:

https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/sen...ambeo-soundbar

"… By using bigger, higher quality drivers the Ambeo Soundbar is able to produce audio with rare, natural tonality, cohesion and solidity, and the 3D audio processing is utterly convincing.

This is the best soundbar we’ve tested, and the best way to get surround sound into your room without filling it with lots of individual speakers."

And they've tested a lot of Soundbars. As far as negative reviews the most negative I've read are on this forum. Not only have industry reviews been very positive, but anecdotal ones like the fellow on YouTube who traveled all the way from Asia to Spain to hear the Ambeo. If anyone had high expectations it was him.


When the disparity between the good reviews and the critical reviews are so pronounced, something's askew, and it likely has to do with how and where it's set up. This is not a casual piece of equipment that can be thrown into a room like a typical soundbar. Neither, for example, can a Yamaha 5600. In fact, for those who are interested in this kind of device, Yamaha made and probably still makes reflective screens to be used in rooms which lack proper reflective surfaces. It's the nature of the beast

One reason the Sennheiser should command respect is that it uses drivers that are far superior to those in any other soundbar I know of, with the possible exception of the Golden Ear. They are also far larger than virtually all other drivers used in soundbars, which allows them to play a wider frequency range without crossover. Any audiophile should be intrigued by that.

It's all about the room.

Last edited by taichi4; 07-08-2019 at 03:38 PM.
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