Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Sony HT ST-5000 which is better?

Now, this Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Sony HT ST-5000 is going to be something epic! The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is one of the most impressive and imposing soundbars I have ever come across. Putting it head to head with the Sony HT ST-5000, which was once the top dog from Sony is going to be very interesting. The last time I looked at the ST-5000 it was in my Sonos Arc vs Sony ST-5000 which is better? it was beaten by a second, just like Apollo Creed in Rocky II! As these are both Dolby Atmos compatible soundbars, I am very excited to get into the nitty-gritty of this!

The Price

As we always do, we are having the price as our first category. The price difference here is kind of nuts, to be honest with you! Still, this Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Sony HT ST-5000 has to start somewhere and how much money they want out of your piggy bank is the best place to start if you ask me.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar:

I have no doubt many people will see the price of the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar and just keep on walking. This at one point had a price of $2499.99! Currently, it seems to be going for around $1999.99 which is still a ton of money to spend on a soundbar. With a price like this, the Sennheiser Amebo Soundbar is 100 percent something that I would class as a luxury item. As much as I love my big cinema style sound, there is no way in hell my wife would be cool with me spending this much money on a soundbar. The thing is, while it is very expensive, this is one of the most high-end soundbars you can get and that is why it is priced the way it is.

Sony HT ST-5000:

One of the best thing that the Sony HT ST-5000 currently has going for it is that the price has come down a tad. It has an RRP of $999.99, but as of me writing this, Amazon has this listed for $879.99 which I think is fantastic value for money. Now while I think that is a good price. I do have to tell you that with this soundbar, you need to do some shopping around as there are many deals to be had with this. I have seen 3rd party sellers on Amazon have this for sale in the $700 to $800 price range. If you can get this for close to 700 bucks, that my friends is a freaking steal! There are some good deals on eBay, there is this one seller who has refurbished soundbars and they have one for a bit over 500 dollars. However, as it is refurbished you are taking a risk.

The Verdict: 

With such a massive price difference I do have to give this one to the Sony HT ST-5000. I do think that sound wise things will not go this way. However, the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is over twice the asking price! That is a ton of money extra to spend. Just think what else you could get for 1100 bucks! You could get a new TV, a projector you could even go on vacation! I just feel that the asking price between these two is far too much to ignore.

The Design

The design category in our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Sony HT ST-5000 battle is very interesting. These are two soundbars that both look great in their own way. If you have read anything else I have written here on the site, you know I am a massive Sony fan (verging on fanboy some might say) so will my Sony glasses allow me to be impartial in this epic round?

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar:

The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is one of the largest soundbars that I have ever seen! Just check out the size of the box in this Sennheiser AMBEO – Ultimate Soundbar? Unboxing and first Impression video! The dimensions of the soundbar are ‎49.8” x 6.73” x 5.31”. That near 50 inches of length means it is very unlikely this is fitting between the legs of a 52 inch TV! However, it is the 6.73 inches of height that could be the issue. The fact this is so tall means that if you did have it sitting between the legs of your TV, chances are it would cover the bottom part of the screen. Now, this seems like I am doing a lot of complaining, but the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is a very stylish looking soundbar, I like how it is not just a rectangle as the sides do angle out a bit.

The first thing you notice when you pull this out of the box is just how high-quality it feels. Oh, you might also want to call in someone strong like Thor as this weighs 40 pounds! This is one of the best built soundbars I have ever held and I was blown away by the quality. They have used a fabric grill to cover the majority of the soundbar. The front and sides are covered by this, but you can see the immense number of speakers behind it. This can be removed if you want with the idea being making it easier to clean. My worry is that could cause more problems! A fabric grille looks cool, but it is also easily damaged. The top of the soundbar is made with a mixture of plastic and then metal at the sides. Oh, you also have a little LCD on here which is probably the best LCD I have seen on a soundbar. I know this thing already weighs a ton, but I wish they had a plastic grill on here. If it had a plastic grill, I probably would have picked this as the winner hands down!

Around the back of the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar, we have our various hookups and this thing is stacked! You have an HDMI Arc and then three standard HDMI ports. There is an optical port, an ethernet port, a USB port and there is even an RCA port on here as well. They have well and truly made sure that this has all you need in terms of connections and if you have a home theatre with a bunch of devices, you should have no problem getting them all hooked up to this.

Sony HT ST-5000:

I am like a 5 year old kid in that I love unboxing videos. That is why I am suggesting you check out this Sony HT-ST5000 Atmos Soundbar Unboxing Setup and First Impressions | Dolby Atmos | DTS-X video. In all seriousness, you do get a good idea of what the Sony HT ST-5000 has in store for you in terms of its design. Sony products tend to have a certain style, you could take the logos off this and I would still know that this was a Sony product, it just has that look about it. This has a real weight and premium feel to it when you take it out of the box. I like the rectangular and angled design of the soundbar and at 46.5 x 3.2 x 5.6 inches it has a real quality look about it in terms of the size. This is a pretty damn big soundbar so you will need quite a big TV if you plan on having this sitting between its legs.

What I think I like best about this soundbar is just how awesome it looks. I would have this out on display in my house any day. The grill they have used on this is really cool and Sony does allow you to remove it which I am sure some people will. I like the look of it, but it is also there to protect those precious speakers that are there to rock your room with awesome sound. Now, on the back of the Sony HT ST-5000, we have three HDMI ports to make sure you have plenty of choices when it comes to what you hook up to this. There is also an optical port, your classic AUX port, an ethernet port, and a handy USB port on here too. Sony wants you to be able to connect multiple things to this soundbar at once if you want! I am more than pleased with the connectivity options Sony has put on the back of here.

As the Sony HT ST-5000 comes with a subwoofer as part of the package, it is only right that we spend a bit of time talking about that. This is a decently sized subwoofer coming in at 9.8” x 15.9” x 16.7”. I like how it is wireless and pairing it with the soundbar was as easy as pressing a button. It has a nice solid feel to it and I love the little stand/feet whatever you want to call it that it is sitting on. In all, it matches the soundbar very well and two of them make a better tag team than Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. If you get that reference you are awesome and we can be friends.  

The Verdict: 

Man, this is such a tough one to call as I love the design of both of them. You know usually when a soundbar is a fabric grill, I tend to vote for the other one. However, this one is coming in real close thanks to them having plastic and metal on the top. Hmm, I keep flip flopping on this one, to be honest with you. I think overall, I have to give this round to the Sony HT ST-5000. The thing is, it is not because of the grill, it is because the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is just a tad too big for its britches in terms of its height, it pretty much means most people will have to mount this on the wall and that is something I am not really a fan of.  

The Sound

The most important category in this Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Sony HT ST-5000 is sound and that is where we are now. These are both offering Dolby Atmos and I am all about Dolby Atmos these days. I swear, once you experience Dolby Atmos there is no way you can go back! The big question here has to be if the Sennheiser is worth over a grand more than the Sony.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar:

It is impossible not to be impressed by the sound that the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar produces. Just check out this Sennheiser AMBEO: The Ultimate Dolby Atmos Soundbar video and you will see why so many of us who have had the pleasure to check this thing out are so excited about it. This is packing 13 speakers and some of if not the best Dolby Atmos I have experienced from a soundbar. This is the best surround sound effect I have heard from a soundbar. The way this fills a room is just amazing, hell, this would be all you would need in a good-sized home theatre, that is how much power it has. I am a real sucker for all the movies from the MCU and I tested this out first of all with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and it was amazing. It was so amazing, I had to actually turn it down as I was sure my neighbors would complain. I have used the term “cinema quality sound” a million times, but this is the closest you can get to cinema sound at home from a soundbar.

I am all about Dolby Atmos these days and I have touched on it before, but the Dolby Atmos performance from the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is just amazing. It lacks a subwoofer so the bass is clearly not going to get to the same level as the Sony HT ST-5000. However, in my time with this, I never actually noticed or felt that the bass was lacking at all. I watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, it is not my favorite movie in the franchise, but I do know for a fact it has a Dolby Atmos track! I was very impressed and think that this is 100 percent offering better (actually much better) Dolby Atmos than what the Sony is. Of course, this costs over double the price so that is to be expected.

There really is nothing that the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar cannot do! While big budget Dolby Atmos is awesome. Even watching a TV show like The Office is going to sound amazing when pumped through here. From offering an immense clear and precise dialogue to big booming action scenes. You can throw anything at this soundbar and it is going to knock your socks off. The thing is, this is a soundbar that is clearly not for your average joe. This is designed for someone who first of all has a lot of money, but who also wants a home theatre. I could not imagine someone having this just sitting out in their living room, to be honest with you.

Sony HT-5000:

I know that this Sony HT-ST5000 7.2.1 Wireless Sound Bar – with Dolby Atmos | Expert Video | Currys PC World video is a sales pitch, but they do a great job when it comes to letting you know why exactly this was the flagship soundbar from Sony for a while. I want to start by talking about the Dolby Atmos capabilities of the Sony HT ST-5000. I think that they are pretty damn good, to be fair, this is a soundbar that is a few years old as I write this and for its day it was one of the best around. Even now if you are watching something that has a Dolby Atmos track like the awesome 4K remaster of Ghostbusters for example. You are going to notice just how good Dolby Atmos can be as it fills the room and really does make you feel like you are immersed in the sound. It does make movie nights that extra bit special when you are watching something that offers Dolby Atmos.

One of the main reasons that we had a soundbar boom was because when TVs switched to flatscreens, it was the speakers that suffered. It was especially noticeable with dialogue and that is why so many soundbars made it a point to talk about “clear voice” or “dialogue enhancement” and stuff like that. I am happy to say that the Sony HT ST-5000 is tremendous when it comes to vocal clarity. A movie that may not have been as great as the original, but was still a fun watch for me was Bill & Ted Face The Music, which I checked out with this soundbar and I was very happy with the results in terms of how clear the dialogue was. Actually, this movie really showcased just how balanced the sound this soundbar offers can be. It really did give me theatre vibes when I was watching it and at the end of the day, that is exactly what I want when it comes to a soundbar.

As the Sony HT ST-5000 comes with a subwoofer to keep it from getting lonely, I thought we should have a look at what that is bringing to the table. I was actually pretty damn impressed with the extra bass that this provided. It 100 percent made a difference to the overall experience and if you are watching something like Kong: Skull Island that has a lot of big booming sounds, you will really appreciate what the subwoofer is bringing to the table. I would have to say that this battle would probably not be as close as it is if this did not come with a subwoofer, that is now much of a difference it makes!

The Verdict: 

Look, the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is a few years newer than the Sony HT ST-5000. That alone in theory would make it better, but truth be told as good as the Sony is and the fact it comes with that subwoofer is awesome, the Sennheiser is just better in every regard when it comes to sound. While it may lack that thumping bass you get with a dedicated subwoofer, the bass it offers is more than fine. However, the Dolby Atmos and the 3D surround sound offered by the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is truly amazing stuff indeed and as much as I love Sony, it just cannot go toe to toe for 12 rounds. The thing is while it is better, you have to ask yourself is it as much as 1200 bucks better?

The Remote Control

I am a big fan of a remote control so it will not surprise you to hear that this is one of my favorite categories to talk about in our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Sony HT ST-5000 contest. Sony since the 80s for me has made some of the best remote controls around and that trend continues to this day so this is going to be a very interesting category to look at.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar: The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar comes with a pretty basic remote control. I like the overall design of the remote control and it has a nice quality feel about it. They have given you control of the basic functions of the soundbar with this remote control. It has a few different presets such as sport, movies, and news. However, if you want full access to all the impressive features and settings that this offers, you will have to use the app. To be fair, more than a few companies are doing this these days. However, I think that with the price of this soundbar, it should have come with a truly amazing remote control. Look at the remote that comes with the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 then look at the one Sennheiser gives you with this! I think this should have come with a remote similar to what Bose offered.

Sony ST-5000: If you follow Sony products the remote that comes with the Sony HT ST-5000 may give you a sense of Deja Vue. The reason that I say this is because the remote that they use here is similar to remotes they have used in the past. I love this remote control I really do. Sony makes sure there are a ton of buttons on here so you have full control over the soundbar and subwoofer. This does not make it hard to use though. It is very easy to figure out what each button is for and the major features of the soundbar have their own dedicated buttons. As well as being great to actually use, this remote control also has a very stylish design and feels fantastic to hold.

The Verdict: I have to give this round to Sony. I do not think I have used a Sony remote that I do not like, although the PlayStation 5 Media Remote I must admit is not one of my favorites.  I think that the remote that comes with the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is fine, but to use some of the more advanced features of the soundbar, you do need to use their app. I wish I could just control everything with the remote control, rather than having to also use an app!

What Is In The Box?

As these are both rather expensive, well one is way more expensive than the other that is for sure. I do believe that what is in the box is an important category in our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Sony HT ST-5000 fight to the death! Here you will see what your hard earned money is actually getting you.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar:  I have already talked about how massive the box for the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is! Seriously this box is so huge that I would imagine any store that decides to stock this will only be able to have a couple in stock at any given time. Inside the houseboat sized box, you get your soundbar and power cable. You also get a remote control, but there were no batteries! You are going to charge people two grand and not throw in a set of batteries? It also comes with an HDMI cable, an instruction manual, and this handy room correction microphone so you can set it up perfectly. To be honest, I would not bother with this, and had I not been sent the unit for review and was actually keeping it, I would probably flip it on eBay for a couple of bucks!

Sony ST-5000: Like most soundbar and subwoofer combos the box that the Sony HT ST-5000 comes in is pretty big. It is also a really awkward L shape that I am not a fan of. Look, I know there is no other way to package something like this, but perhaps separate boxes would have been better? You of course get your soundbar and subwoofer. They also give you some batteries for the remote as well which is pretty awesome. You get an HDMI cable and you also get a set of instructions as well. You may need to get a couple of other cables such as an optical cable, more HDMI cables, and so on if you want to use all the available connections with your devices. To be fair most people have plenty of these in their home and if you do have to buy them, they are dirt cheap on places like Amazon.

The Verdict: I am calling this round a tie. Look, I know that is a bit lame and kind of “cheating” however, I feel it would be pretty unfair for me to pick a definitive winner in this category. Both Sennheiser and Sony are giving you what you need to get their soundbars hooked up to your TV.  

What Is The Best?

Here we are at the end of our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Sony HT ST-5000 battle and it has been a hell of a ride. I genuinely like both of these soundbars. If a friend or family member told me that they purchased either the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar or the Sony HT ST-5000, I would say well done and you will be very happy. These are both great soundbars. Picking a winner though is very challenging as the price is so different between them. Look, if money is no object, then without a doubt the winner is the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar. It offers better Dolby Atmos support and the way it fills the room gives you as close to 3D surround sound as you can get from just a soundbar. The thing is, 1200 bucks is a lot of money. So much money that I would have a hard time unless someone was Richie Rich style rich saying that they should get it over the Sony HT ST-5000. If someone said to me, I could have either of these for free, I would pick the Sennheiser hands down. However, if I had to pay, I would actually go for the Sony.

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