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What Hi-Fi? Awards 2019: Sennheiser Ambeo among six soundbar winners

2019 What Hi-Fi? Awards: Industry gets serious about soundbars
(Image credit: Future)

With two all-new winners priced over £500, 2019 has certainly been a year in which the AV industry has pushed the boundaries of premium soundbars.

The splendid Sennheiser Ambeo is the most expensive soundbar we’ve ever graced with a gong and, damn, it’s worth it. It’s huge and fussy with positioning, but its massive array of drivers and Dolby Atmos support give it a soundstage and a quality like no other.

Naturally, there are home cinema speaker packages you could buy for less, but for some people that outlay and real estate of one is simply a no-no – and for such folk  looking for the next-best surround experience in a more compact solution, the Ambeo is a grand choice.

Our other new winner of the six awards in the soundbar and soundbase category is no budget offering either. The Dali Katch One replaces the four-time-winning Kubik One from the same stables, and all of the newbie’s £649 of price tag goes into pure audio engineering. There’s no fancy features or network streaming here, this is a soundbar for people who are serious about sound quality.

Hat-trick of hat-tricks

Sitting, price-wise, between those two new entrants at just over £1199 is a third award for the sonically excellent bar-and-sub-combo that is the Sony HT-ST5000.

Also celebrating a hat-trick of What Hi-Fi? Awards on the trot are the £249 Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar and Q Acoustics M2 budget soundbase – the most affordable winners here.

If you’re looking for streaming, multi-room and voice control features, the 2018 Product of the Year, the Sonos Beam, is still a winner at the £300-500 level twelve months on. Can it make repeat its Product of the Year status for a second time running, or will one of the other aforementioned winners seize the day?

Tune into on the evening of the 5th November 2019, when we are hosting our annual awards ceremony, to find out which is the best of the best.


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