They promise "the world's most immersive sound" with this soundbar.
The soundbar market is flooded, to put it nicely. And everyone has some sort of solution with virtual 3D speakers. Sennheiser does it the German way, using technology from Frauenhofer - you know, the guys who invented the MP3 format.
Sennheiser has several versions, but here we're looking at the Mini version which, as the name suggests, is not very big, 70 centimetres in width, making it one of the smallest soundbars we've tested. So when Sennheiser calls it "compact" - they mean it.
For your £700, which is how much it costs in most places, you get a relatively compact device that delivers sound in the "cinema and audiophile class". And here I have to assume that the person who wrote the text has probably never been in a good home cinema, or a cinema at all, or ever heard a stereo reference system, because no matter how much voodoo and witchcraft is thrown into these soundbars, it's 500 light years away from anything even remotely resembling the real thing. You can write that it's as close as you can get with a single small compact unit, but anyone can tell you that a massive reduction in space and price means that it's just not the same experience - in any conceivable way.
The marketing material also talks about a "4" subwoofer" - referring to such a small midrange unit makes the product description extremely unreliable, and it doesn't get any better when you refer to the device as a "7.1.4 home cinema system" - as far as I know, this term applies to the physical devices, and having a single speaker that artificially tries to create the same feeling is not the same as having 11 physical speakers and a subwoofer. The word "virtual" is sorely lacking.
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But onto the soundbar itself and the installation. I don't quite understand why they want people to install yet another app - there are far too many of them already. But the sour man must also recognise that the fact that you can fine-tune after room calibration is done is actually smart enough. Fortunately, there is also a remote control hidden in the package. On the other hand, I don't understand why it's only possible to expand the system with a subwoofer, but it's not possible to buy additional physical rear speakers, even though almost all competitors offer it and at what I consider to be a very hefty price. And there is no wall bracket included - you have to buy it for extra...
There are six units, each with their own small class D amplifier, four 1.6" full-range units and two 4" woofers - I refuse to call them subwoofers. There's a lot of good stuff built in, Chromecast, AirPlay 2, Tidal Connect, Spotify Connect and anything that supports uPnP. There's HDMI 2.1, USB-A for power, Bluetooth 5.2 and WIFI 6. There's no optical input. It's designed so that you connect your devices to your TV, and then the TV's eARC HDMI output connects to the soundbar, and then everything else needs to be connected to the TV. I'm not sure how many people need the extra optical input, or if it's just not important, and in this price range I might have expected an HDMI passthrough when there's no optical.
But the most important thing is the sound. And it's quite excellent, though I don't care much for the virtual surround, especially the height channels are a bit lacklustre. The sound is quite rich and the bass from this small unit is impressive, but you don't have to have owned many subwoofers or floor speakers to know that it is far from reference - but when it comes to soundbars, the rich and bassy sound is definitely on the good end, where many soundbars unfortunately tend to be not just slim, but decidedly light in sound due to lack of bass and especially tuning. But I must also be honest and say that the price means that for the same money you can get a non-mini soundbar that admittedly takes up a lot more space, but also therefore has significantly more weight, and in that context also has significantly more and better bass reproduction. The soundbar works fine for regular series and speech, most films without real action as well, but if you want to watch movies and have the cinema experience Sennheiser believes it can deliver, you need a subwoofer, then the 4" units are just not enough, and here we end up with a system that costs well over £1,000.
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So, for its size it's a nice sound, but for movies you need to buy a subwoofer to get real bass, and you can't get associated rear channels, combined with a rather high price, I'm a little surprised that they didn't analyse the market better when pricing the product, because with a better price, the compact size and the otherwise reasonable sound for the size means that there would be a huge audience for this device.