Just bear in mind that the brushed-aluminium frame with black grille costs £1,250, but if you fancy a bit of the smoked-oak frame with grey grille you’re looking at £1,900. If you can justify that kind of outlay, there are no other downsides to report.
Pros: Great build; lovely looks; chic finishes; scale, weight and focus of sound all impress Cons: Goes from ‘quite expensive’ to ‘very expensive indeed’
Price: From £1,350 | Check price on John Lewis | Selfridges
Unrivalled sound if money (and space) is no object
Size: 12.5 x 126.5 x 17.1cm (HxWxD) | Weight: 18.5kg | Finishes: Black | Voice: No | Surround: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X | Connections: Bluetooth 4.2/ HDMI ARC/ digital optical
The Sennheiser Ambeo (£2,199) isn’t a soundbar we’d recommend to just anyone. But if you’re an audiophile with a big TV and you want the soundbar to match, Sennheiser’s first consumer speaker is it.
Everything about the Ambeo is big: big product, big price but, most importantly for our purposes, big sound. So yes, it weighs nearly 20 kilos and will need serious space in your living room. And yes, it’ll set you back a touch over two grand. Once you press play on a Dolby Atmos movie, though, all other considerations will melt away – there’s a reason we awarded this a rare 10/10 score in our Sennheiser Ambeo review.
The sound stage is wide open and the Ambeo’s six 4in woofers, five 1in tweeters and two 3.5in top-firing full-range drivers combine delicacy, detail and dynamism in a way that’ll have you on the floor. If sound is what you’re about, this is the best 3D surround sound we’ve heard from a soundbar, bar none, and it handles regular 5.1 and stereo soundtracks very nicely too.
There’s no new-fangled voice controls – Alexa wouldn’t hear you over this thing anyway – but elsewhere, setting up, calibrating and using the Ambeo is all clear skies plus with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, stereo RCA analogue inputs and Chromecast built-in, it’s ready for anything you care to throw at it.
Pros: Pain-free to use; impressive 3D sound; accurate calibrationCons: Big object for a big price; needs space to shine; no voice
Price: £2,199 | Check price on Sennheiser | Sevenoaks
DALI Katch One
Prioritises hi-fi sound quality