AMBEO for Loudspeakers

Sennheiser’s experts share their best practices in recording immersive music for 9.1 / 5.1.4 loudspeaker setups and beyond.

AMBEO for Loudspeakers is an effective way to capture music for immersive loudspeaker setups, to transport your listeners to the venue where it was originally recorded. These recordings give music the natural sound of the original performance in full spatiality. AMBEO invites you to experience a new quality in music – be it classical concerts or even festivals, AMBEO gives you the feeling of “being there” when listening to it.


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Sennheiser MKH 800 TWIN

Due to the Sennheiser MKH 800 Twin two capsules, their pick-up pattern can be remotely controlled at the mixing desk or via the AMBEO Pattern plugin for DAWs, seamlessly allowing any intermediate characteristic. As a result, this facilitates fine-tuning the pick-up pattern of your main microphones, plus you can adjust the characteristic in post-production – or even experiment with alternative pick-up patterns.

Sennheiser MKH 800 TWIN

Sennheiser MKH 8090

The Sennheiser MKH 8090 high-end RF condenser microphone with a wide cardioid pick-up pattern delivers very natural sound. It is the ideal main microphone when less acoustic impression of space is demanded. Its advantages are an extremely low inherent self-noise, the capability to handle high sound pressure levels without distortion, and a high resistance to adverse climatic conditions.

Sennheiser MKH 8090

Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic

The Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic easy-to-use Ambisonics microphone is fitted with four matched KE 14 capsules in a tetrahedral arrangement. This special design allows you to capture the surrounding sound from one single point which makes it an ideal candidate for scenarios where setting up a full cube is not feasible and a small, single point, form factor is required.

Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic

Microphone arrangement

  • AMBEO Square

    • This is the simplest and most efficient set-up for recording immersive music. It sits vertically in the room and employs four MKH 800 TWIN RF condenser microphones, one at each corner. The MKH 800 TWIN features two capsules for creating an immersive sound image. A fifth MKH 800 TWIN for the center is optional.

      AMBEO Square
  • AMBEO Cube

    • This is probably the best and definitely the most flexible way of recording music in AMBEO for loudspeakers. It is based on the classic AB stereo technique and uses nine microphones.

      To set up the AMBEO Cube, select the same distance between the four lower microphones (with the ninth microphone placed in the classic center front position in the same plane), then position the four upper microphones at half the distance above the four lower microphones.

      AMBEO Cube
  • AMBEO Lean Cube

    • The AMBEO Lean Cube uses the same microphone set-up as the AMBEO Cube, but uses MKH 8090 wide cardioid instead of the previously recommended MKH 800 TWIN. You can either replace the rear microphones with MKH 8090s and keep TWINs for the front microphones or use MKH 8090s on all microphone positions.

  • AMBEO VR Mic

    • The AMBEO VR Mic operates on the Ambisonics principle and thereby records the sound field from a specific point in space. This means that the position of the AMBEO VR Mic defines the final perspective that can be used in your final mix. Therefore, place the mic where you would want to be able to listen to later from. Experimentation may be required to achieve the final effect you desire.



For mixing the MKH 800 TWINs in an AMBEO Cube or AMBEO Square, we recommend using the AMBEO Pattern plugin which enables you to conveniently select the pick-up patterns and control the intensity of the immersive effect. Each microphone channel should be panned to one dedicated loudspeaker. In a Dolby Atmos environment you might have to create four objects to replicate the height channels.

AMBEO Square

With a square recording, you should duplicate the four microphone tracks. Using the AMBEO Pattern plugin , you can create four pickup patterns facing front and, from the same microphones, four pickup patterns facing back for the rear speakers. Each of these channels should be dedicated to one speaker only.

Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic

There are different solutions to decode Ambisonics for loudspeaker playback. Harpex is an AMBEO certified DAW plugin that enables you to render directly to loudspeakers from AMBEO VR Mic channels. Render the Ambisonics signal to either 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 depending on your output encoding and corresponding bed format.


For playback, the AMBEO recording set-ups work with both channel-based (like Auro 3D) and object-based (such as Dolby Atmos) immersive loudspeaker solutions. With Auro 3D, every channel or track of your recording will play back through a dedicated loudspeaker. Using Dolby Atmos, the audio objects are transmitted with information about their position. A processor does the actual panning of signals during playback, which allows for great flexibility in the loudspeaker set-up.


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