Creative audio recording. Sure, you could invest $1,650 and then some into the Sennheiser Ambeo VR Microphone, but unless you work with a production company that can afford to do so, that’s an insane asking price. By Ben Jacklin. The mic mounts via a Rycote suspension: one of those types with plastic suspension arms for cushioning (rather than elastic bands) and very tight tolerances to firmly grip the mic without any threading or tightening of nuts. Couple that B-format audio with game development, 3D movies, virtual reality HMDs and who-knows-what in the near future: Ambeo VR owners have a microphone that becomes a wildly creative tool on the cutting edge of post-modern content creation. It’s a ground-breaking endeavor and makes sense, really. You can even try creative vocal recordings. This arrangement allows for a sort of “Mid-Side-times-four” arrangement. I was troubled with strain-relief. No wireless rear speakers, no separate subwoofer; just a lot of drivers, amplification, and some sonic magic to create a fully immersive surround experience from a single bar. Sennheiser recommends four identical preamps—with exactly equal gain across all four—for proper imaging and stability. I have stereo monitoring in my recording studio and only work with surround sound at broadcast facilities, so my hands were somewhat tied when it came to the many apps capable with this mic. However, being condensed into one microphone is pretty new, and with new technology by AMBEO to better understand and process the 3D audio field, this VR mic is of exceptional quality. The Sennheiser microphone is a long rod that is connected via a hinge on a metal base. Now, imagine being able to hear that around you just like in the video, but without any speakers around you: just the soundbar in front of you. The AMBEO VR microphone makes its surround recordings by taking “tetrahedral” recordings using four KE14 condenser capsules. This microphone is something of a trailblazer for those who love immersive audio. But Sennheiser’s Ambeo VR looks to be a very high-quality yet reasonably priced solution for futuristic immersive audio capture. Using an omni-directional microphone in each ear, it records the audio where you hear it. Review: Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar finally manages to get the holy grail of surround from one device. There are a number of reasons to record sound isotropically, or equally from all directions: to capture the totality of environments and natural sound; to capture music organically as if from an “in the thick of it” perspective; and, last but not least, to capture sound that, when paired with video capture or animation (that is coincidentally from the same point in space), will recreate a virtual reality. Sennheiser provides its Ambeo A-B Format Converter software (Mac OS X/Windows OS-ready) as a free download. Likewise, with the ambisonic filter option, I bypassed it, too; it seemed to take away fullness and add some overbearing 12 kHz sizzle. My DAW had numerous quad signal processors, but I didn’t use any in my mix in order to maintain signal purity. It also requires phantom power to operate. This microphone may not have been simple to design, but in theory, it simplifies the process of recording in immersive audio. Sennheiser Ambeo Headset vs. Ambeo VR Microphone Sometimes the best thing for the job is what’s easiest to use, and the headset follows the “plug and play” philosophy. [For such binaural delivery, Sennhesier recommends Noisemaker’s AmbiHead plug-in, available at noisemakers.fr/ambihead/)—Ed.]. When processed with Sennheiser’s own ambisonic software and third-party down-mix software, Ambeo VR’s signals can be decoded to stereo, surround sound or a fully spherical 360-degree soundfield, contained in four channels of B-format ambisonic audio as utilized in today’s interactive virtual reality (VR) standards. ... Schrijf review. Microphone 3D AUDIO capture - AMBEO VR Mic is an ambisonic microphone fitted with four matched KE 14 capsules in a tetrahedral arrangement - Sennheiser Discover True Sound - sennheiser.com The new Sennheiser SB01 AMBEO soundbar is designed as a true surround system replacement in one chassis. Heb jij ook een Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar? For in-studio use, the mic’s head basket provided plenty of wind protection, but the supplied foam windscreen simply does not fit the mic—it’s too small. Sennheiser’s Ambeo VR mic uses four pre-polarized KE14 condenser capsules in a tetrahedral array. (A 5-foot extension may now be shipping with the Ambeo mic, which I would highly recommend). With emphasis on the latter, Sennheiser’s Ambeo VR mic uses four pre-polarized KE14 condenser capsules in a tetrahedral array. I used a Focusrite ISA428 mkII with 40 dB of gain and found a bit of a noise floor that I attributed to equipment fans and actual room noise, not the mic. Here, these four cardioid capsules are utilized in an arrangement where none are pointing directly to the front or sides, but all are at 45 degrees off-axis. Hear my 90-second, stereo, 3-D binaural webclip that uses only voice, shaker and a couple of drums to illustrate a portion of the Ambeo’s abilities at prosoundnetwork.com/july2017. The partially-interactive clip for NBC’s Blindspot uses the Ambeo VR for natural sound on set and then augments that with score, SFX and some close mics. I did apply the Ambeo A-B Format Converter and found that the Ambisonic process took away a lot of raw bottom end that came off the mic, so I didn’t use the software’s high-pass filter. For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to our newsletter here. In terms of setup, this mic uses XLR connectors and needs a multi-channel recording device to operate. Field recordings that can later be used in audio mixes, either for special effects or even as part of a musical project. This makes a great “room mic” for picking up all of the sounds within the room or auditorium you are in. The frequency response is superb whether you want to pick up low bass rumbles or higher sounds like the tweeting of birds. Instead of using loads of microphones, why not use just one, which picks up sound equally from all directions? The Rycote suspension has a slim retaining clip to grab the four very small (yet strong) cables, but at only 18 inches long, there’s not enough length to get the connections down on the floor (where they belong). The mic has a two-year warranty. Review: The Sennheiser AMBEO VR Microphone. Update my browser now. Within that software, users can rotate the sound field left or right (simulating the turning of your head), engage a global high-pass filter, apply Ambisonic filtering (said to enhance the imaging and soundstage when mixing for a 3-D sound field), place the software to the mic’s original positioning (either vertically up, which is the ideal method, straight down or horizontally), and mix to one of two Ambisonic formats (Classic FuMa or ambiX), all in post-production. Simply stated, Sennheiser’s Ambeo VR is a very good condenser microphone with a well-balanced frequency response, powerful dynamics, ample sensitivity and nice stable imaging.