The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar and Sonos Arc are both high-end soundbars that deliver excellent sound for immersive movie watching, with features such as Dolby Atmos support, room correction and more. But there is a massive price difference between the two, with the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar costing about 2.5x more than the Sonos Arc. If you are in the market for a premium soundbar, does the Sennheiser AMBEO provide enough of an upgrade over the Sonos Arc to warrant its price? Below is our comparison of the two to help you out.
By the way, in this Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar review and comparison against the Sonos Arc, we’ll be taking a look specifically at the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX model.
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar vs Sonos Arc Comparison Chart
The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Max is massive and it’s also heavier than the Sonos Arc.
The most obvious difference between these two soundbars is their size. The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX measures 49.8 x 5.3 x 6.7 inches and it weighs 40.7lbs. You’ll have trouble fitting this soundbar between the feet of your TV due to its length, but more importantly, due to its height. At 5.3 inches, this is taller than most soundbars, and even if you do manage to fit it between the legs of your TV, chances are, it will obstruct the bottom part. Wall mounting is pretty much a given with this soundbar.
Meanwhile, the Sonos Arc is a bit more compact, at just 45 x 3.4 x 4.5 inches. It also weighs significantly less, at 13.78lbs. It will fit between the legs of 55-inch TVs without issues, but you can also wall mount it if you desire. It comes in black or white, whereas the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX is only available in black.
As for build quality, both are excellent. The heft of the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX gives it a more premium feel than the Sonos Arc, but in reality, both have excellent build qualities. The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX is made of metal and plastic, with fabric grilles that cover the speakers. On the other hand, the Sonos Arc is made of mostly plastic and some metal parts. The speakers are protected by a plastic grille.
Features and Connectivity
Both support Dolby Atmos, but the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX has more ports and better DTS format support than the Sonos Arc.
As far as features go, both soundbars offer plenty. They both have companion apps that give you access to all of these features. The Sennheiser Smart Control app has a room correction feature to optimize the sound, EQ presets and graphic EQ, and sound enhancement features for dialogue, music and more. In addition to its app, it also comes with a physical remote controller.
Meanwhile, the Sonos S2 app has a simple bass and treble adjustment, various sound modes and Trueplay Room Correction. The Trueplay Room Correction feature is only available on iOS, though, so if you don’t have an iOS device, you won’t be able to use this feature.
As for connectivity, both soundbars can connect to your WiFi network so you can stream music wirelessly. The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX, however, also has Bluetooth connectivity and built-in Google Chromecast. Both of them support Apple Airplay 2 and Spotify Connect.
At the back, the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX has more ports than the Sonos ARC, so you can use it as a hub for all your media devices. The same can’t be said of the Sonos ARC as it only has one HDMI port. In terms of flexibility and versatility, the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX is better.
The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX and Sonos Arc are pretty much on par with each other when it comes to sound quality and performance.
The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX and Sonos Arc are both capable of outputting native Dolby Atmos content. They do so using their upward-firing speakers that bounce sound off of your ceiling to simulate height channels. They perform decently in this area, but we have to give the slight advantage to the Sennheiser soundbar since it has a more normalized volume level. The Sonos Arc’s upfiring speakers volume level isn’t as loud as its other speakers, so they can be hard to hear.
As for surround sound performance, the two soundbars do a decent job. But ultimately, the sound still comes from the front rather than the side or back due to the limitation of their designs. You’ll want to have dedicated surround channels if you want true surround sound immersion.
The center channels on both the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX and Sonos Arc are pretty much on par with each other when it comes to performance. They sound clear and detailed, without muddiness, so you’ll hear dialogue without issues. There are also sound enhancement features that can improve dialogue on both soundbars.
The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX has more features, but those features are not enough to warrant the price premium over the Sonos Arc.
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
Cheaper by a significant amount
Both soundbars offer premium experience as far as soundbars go, but ultimately, the Sonos Arc offers better value than the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX due to its significantly cheaper price. Yes, you’ll get more features and better connectivity with the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX, but we don’t think those features are enough to justify the price premium that it has over the Sonos Arc. They have comparable performance in sound quality.
Yes, it has excellent dynamics so you can crank the volume up and the soundbar will still accurately output sound without distortion and degradation.
Yes, the Sonos Sub is compatible with the Sonos Arc if you want better low frequency reproduction.
The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX has WiFi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
It has built-in Google Assistant and Alexa.