About the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
A jaw-dropping demo
A jaw-dropping demo
When I got to hear this sound bar, our trainer played a sneaky but effective trick. He said he was going to put the Sennheiser AMBEO up against a standard system. First, he'd play a Dolby Atmos demo with a standard 5.1.4 system using a receiver, subwoofer, and a bunch of speakers placed precisely around the room.
With three speakers up front, two in the back, and four for overhead effects, the traditional system sounded great — obviously. Then he told us that it was all actually coming from the AMBEO bar, and I saw more than a few jaws drop.
The AMBEO sound bar's brushed aluminum exterior has a graphic OLED display with brightness sensor.
How does it work?
The bar uses room calibration to capture the characteristics of your space and the objects and surfaces in it. Once calibrated, the bar's AMBEO 3D technology can “virtually” place speakers around your room to create an enveloping surround sound experience from a single bar, no matter what you're watching. It sounds far-fetched, but I've heard it, and it knocked my socks off.
More oohs and ahs
When our trainer played the Live Aid scene from the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody,” I was impressed by the precise and detailed sound the AMBEO delivered. The near-silent anticipation of a packed Wembley stadium followed by the surge of the crowd as Freddie began to sing gave me the chills.
The bar has 13 individual drivers, including six 4-inch long-throw woofers that play down to an impressive 30 Hz. But I should note that because of the large size of our training room, this particular demo used the bar's convenient mono RCA subwoofer output to bring some extra oomph to the low end.
Dial in the sound you want
You can choose from several preset sound modes, including movie, music, and sports. There are also four AMBEO settings that adjust the amount of 3D sound processing: light, standard, boost, or off. And if you want to truly personalize your audio experience, you can dig into equalizer settings using the Smart Control mobile app.
It's great for music, too
Whether you want to stream your favorite Spotify® playlist, shuffle all your Pandora® stations, or listen to your downloaded songs, this sound bar has you covered with Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, and Chromecast capabilities built in.
And the AMBEO bar is beefy — probably the biggest by weight and volume that I've ever seen. That bulk houses a lot of high-quality drivers that provide a depth and clarity to music that you won't find in most sound bars. And the bar's “Upmix Technology” can turn stereo or 5.1 audio into an immersive 3D experience. We got to hear this demoed on “Hotel California” and it was very cool.
- 13 built-in drivers deliver 5.1.4-channel sound from a single sound bar
- supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and MPEG-H for heightened, three-dimensional soundstage
- two 3-1/2-inch full-range up-firing drivers are angled to reflect sound off the ceiling for overhead effects
- five 1-inch aluminum dome tweeters
- six 4-inch cellulose long-throw woofers
- frequency response: 30 Hz-20,000 Hz
- 500 watts of amplification
- brushed aluminum exterior has graphic OLED display with brightness sensor
- built-in Dolby® decoding, including Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Atmos
- DTS Digital Surround and DTS:X
- supports Dolby Vision™
- add voice control with a Google Home device (sold separately)
- built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers
- Chromecast built-in for streaming music from the cloud with compatible mobile apps
- 3 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output
- one cable included
- HDMI connections support 4K video and Audio Return Channel (eARC)
- optical digital audio input
- analog stereo RCA input
- mono RCA subwoofer output for adding your own powered subwoofer
- Ethernet port for wired network connection
- USB port (service only)
- AMBEO 3D technology creates an immersive experience using 32-bit processing and room calibration to virtually place speakers around the room
- preset sound modes: movie, music, sports, neutral, AMBEO off, and AMBEO on (light, standard, boost)
- Upmix Technology can turn stereo or 5.1 audio into a 3D sound experience
- tailor your acoustic experience with the Smart Control mobile app
- remote control
- includes microphone for room calibration
- wall-mount bracket sold separately
- 49-13/16"W x 5-5/16"H x 6-3/4"D (including feet)
- weight: 40.8 lbs.
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 508683
What's in the box:
- Active soundbar speaker
- 6' AC power cord
- Remote control (SB01-RC)
- CR2032 3V battery
- Calibration microphone
- 5' HDMI cable
- Quick Guide
- Safety Guide
Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar reviews
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More details on the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
Features & specs
|Pieces in System||1|
|Tweeter||1" Dome (5)|
|Midrange||3.5" Top-Firing (2)|
|Woofer||4" Cone (6)|
|Surround Sound Decoding||7.1|
|HDR Video Compatible||HDR10, Dolby Vision|
|Audio Return Channel||Y (v.2.1, eARC)|
|Remote IR Passthrough||No|
|Works with TV Remote (IR)||No|
|Voice Control||Google Assistant optional|
|Control by App||Apple iOS, Android|
|Bluetooth Connectivity||Built-in 4.2|
|Mounting Bracket Included||Yes|
|Surface Mount Stand Included||Yes|
|Speaker Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Speaker Labor Warranty||2 Years|
|Amplifier Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Amplifier Labor Warranty||2 Years|
|System Frequency Response||30-20k Hz|
|Sound Bar RMS Power||250|
|Subwoofer RMS Power||N/A|
|Inputs and Outputs|
|Mini Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|RCA Stereo Audio Inputs||1|
|Optical Digital Audio Inputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs||None|
|HDMI Video Pass-through Resolution||4K|
|Sound Bar (inches)||5-5/16H x 49-13/16W x 6-3/4D|
|Sound Bar Weight||40.79 lbs|
|Subwoofer (inches)||No Subwoofer|
Active Soundbar Speaker: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar combines support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X (up to 5.1.4ch) with the latest in virtualization technology and auto room calibration for an immersive surround sound experience from one active soundbar speaker. By capturing the characteristics of your living room and reflective surfaces, and using AMBEO virtualization technology, the soundbar merges with the acoustics of your room environment to create a 3D sound experience. Its thirteen independent drivers, along with the AMBEO technology, produce three-dimensional sound that puts you in the center of the action. The AMBEO Soundbar not only sounds great, but also looks great too, thanks to its brushed aluminum exterior.
Multichannel Driver Array: Powered by thirteen high-performance drivers, the AMBEO Soundbar delivers a 5.1.4ch sound experience while also producing extremely deep 30Hz bass without the need for an extra subwoofer. The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar's multichannel driver array consists of front-firing, side-firing, and top-firing drivers. On the front of the AMBEO Soundbar are five 1" aluminum dome tweeters and four 4" cellulose-sandwich cone long-throw woofers for the Front, Center, and Surround channels. There are also two angled side-firing 4" cellulose-sandwich cone long-throw woofers (one on each side) for the Surround channels. On top of the soundbar are two top-firing 3.5" full-range drivers for the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X elevation effects channels.
AMBEO Virtualization Technology: AMBEO is a state-of the-art 3D virtualization technology with 32-bit digital signal processing that delivers an incredibly immersive surround sound experience from a single speaker component for practically any content and in almost any room. The AMBEO Soundbar uses reflections off the walls to virtually position speakers in the room by calibrating its acoustics based on the room characteristics and the individual seating position. The result, is sound information from all directions around the main listening area. Using the Smart Control app for Apple iOS and Android, you can select between four AMBEO 3D modes - Light, Standard, Boost, or Off.
- The best acoustic results occur with the soundbar speaker 3.3' to 16.4' to the left wall, to the ceiling, and to the right wall. However, if there are any walls that are further away, reflections will still work but they may be slightly delayed.
- When positioning the soundbar, keep in mind that the sound is reflected by walls and ceilings. Many curtains, thick carpets, and other absorbent surfaces can affect the 3D spatial sound.
Auto Room Calibration: The AMBEO Soundbar uses wall reflections to virtually position speakers in the room, so it requires an exact calculation and room-based adjustment of the acoustics. Because most rooms do not offer perfect acoustic characteristics, the automatic room calibration microphone provided with the AMBEO Soundbar is necessary to adapt the soundbar speaker's sound to the room surroundings and successfully work with the reflections off the wall.
- The auto calibration process only takes a few minutes to complete. The room calibration should be performed when the soundbar is put into operation for the first time in a room, the position of the soundbar has been changed, a powered subwoofer has been connected or disconnected, or the room has been changed (furniture moved around).
- The auto calibration microphone should be placed on the main listening seat in front of the soundbar and positioned approximately at ear height during normal listening. The auto calibration microphone's cable plugs into the 2.5mm jack on the front of the soundbar speaker.
- High volume test tones will be played through the sound bar (avoid disturbing surrounding noises). The auto calibration process will take several minutes to complete.
Note: The auto room calibration is necessary for the measurement of your room in order to let you get the optimum spatial sound experience.
High Resolution Multichannel Formats: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar utilizes a dual-core 1.2GHZ ARM Cortex-A7 processor and two dual-core 500MHz SHARC digital signal processors for support of high resolution multichannel audio formats.
|Digital Audio Connector||Audio Signal Type||Audio Signal Format|
|HDMI||High Definition Audio Bitstream||Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, |
DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution
|Bitstream||Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS ES, DTS 96/24|
|PCM||2ch, 5.1ch, 7.1ch|
|Optical||Bitstream||Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS ES, DTS 96/24|
|PCM||2ch, 5.1ch, 7.1ch|
Immersive Surround Sound: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar is capable of delivering up to 5.1.4-channel surround for Dolby Atmos & DTS:X through its HDMI inputs and HDMI eARC output.
- Dolby Atmos: With Dolby Atmos sound comes alive from all directions, including overhead, to fill your home theater with astonishing clarity, power, detail, and depth. Rather than being constrained to channels, sounds exist as individual entities that are precisely placed and moved in three-dimensional space. A new sensation of height immerses you in the action, creating a full audio atmosphere and realistically depicting objects moving overhead. Dolby Atmos renders everything from dialogue to quiet scenes to whirlwind action with astonishing clarity, richness, detail, and depth. It all comes together in sound that excites your senses and inspires your emotions to deliver the full impact of entertainment.
- DTS:X: DTS:X is the next generation object-based, multi-dimensional audio technology from DTS. Unbound from channels, DTS:X conveys the fluid movement of sound to create an incredibly rich, realistic and immersive soundscape - in front of, behind, beside and above the audience - more accurately than ever before. DTS:X offers the ability to automatically adapt the audio to the speaker layout that best fits your space.
- To enjoy Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, you should connect the HDMI output of your Blu-ray player, satellite receiver/cable box, and game console directly to the AMBEO Soundbar's three HDMI inputs.
- Your TV must be equipped with a HDMI eARC input to send Dolby Atmos and DTS:X signal to the soundbar. If your TV is only equipped with an HDMI ARC input, the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio signal will be downmixed to Dolby Digital or DTS.
- The soundbar's optical (toslink) digital input only supports Dolby Digital (5.1ch), DTS (5.1ch), and 2ch PCM.
Dolby Audio Settings: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar offers several unique settings specifically designed for your Dolby Audio content. These settings are found in the Smart Control app on your compatible Apple iOS or Android device.
- Dolby Virtualizer: Dolby Virtualizer transforms 2ch stereo and 5.1 multi-channel content into immersive surround sound with virtual rear and overhead effects from one speaker component.
- Dolby DRC: This function compresses the dynamics of the Dolby Audio signal, thus shrinking the audible volume level change between soft and loud passages. Dolby DRC can be set to Normal, Heavy, Auto, or Off.
- Dolby Dialog Normalizer: This function makes dialog from Dolby Audio content easier to understand by reducing loud music/background noise and amplifying softer dialog passages.
Equalizer: The AMBEO Soundbar lets you tailor your listening experience with a built-in Sound Profiles, a 4-Band EQ, and Night Mode.
- Sound Profiles: Sound Profiles include Movie, Music, News, Sports, and Neutral.
- 4-Band EQ: The 4-Band EQ (Foundation [bass], Low-Mid [midbass], Clarity [midrange], Brilliance [treble]) features an adjustment range of -10dB to +10dB.
- Night Mode: Night Mode allows you to enjoy late night movies with clear dialog and sound effects even at a low volume levels.
HDMI Connectivity: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar is equipped with three HDMI 2.0a inputs and one HDMI 2.1/eARC output. The three HDMI inputs allow you to connect your Blu-ray player, cable/satellite box, and game console directly to the soundbar and then from its HDMI eARC output to your flat-panel TV. The HDMI inputs and output are HDCP 2.2 compatible and support 4K Pass-Through, as well as HDR video.
- 4K/60Hz + HDCP 2.2: The soundbar's HDMI 2.0a inputs and HDMI 2.1 output can pass 4K ultra-HD video @ 60Hz, as well as 1080p, 1080i, 720p, and 480p video. The soundbar's HDMI inputs and output support HDCP 2.2, which fully complies with the latest copyright protection standard for 4K video transmission.
- HDR (High Dynamic Range) Video: HDR delivers a much higher level of contrast between light and dark to produce an image that is more realistic and closer to what the content creator imagined. This increased contrast reveals the subtle nuances of the image, from detailed blacks and shadows to the brightest whites and colors, plus greater depth. The AMBEO Soundbar offers support for HDR 10 and Dolby Vision.
- eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel): Along with standard ARC (Audio Return Channel), the AMBEO Soundbar will support eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) through the use of its HDMI 2.1 output. ARC and eARC allows audio to be sent from your compatible TV to the soundbar system through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio and video to your television. This eliminates the need for extra cables connected to your television. eARC will support uncompressed audio formats like Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, & DTS HD Master Audio - where standard ARC is limited to Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, DTS HD, and PCM.
- Your TV will also need to support eARC or ARC for this feature to work. Some newer TVs will support eARC, but most TVs only support ARC.
- The ARC-enabled HDMI input on some TVs will only pass 2ch PCM from devices connected to the TV via HDMI or analog, we recommend that you connect your Blu-ray/DVD player, Satellite/Cable box, or Gaming console to the soundbar system directly; and then connect the system's ARC-enabled HDMI output to your TV's ARC-enabled HDMI input. This setup will give you with the best overall sound performance.
Digital & Analog Audio Inputs: The AMBEO Soundbar is equipped with an optical (toslink) digital input which supports 2ch PCM, Dolby Digital (5.1ch), and DTS (5.1ch); up to 24-bit/192kHz. The AMBEO Soundbar also features an analog Auxiliary input that consists of stereo RCA jacks to plug in your external legacy device; some TVs may require and stereo RCA-to-minijack adapter (sold separately).
Note: The digital optical output terminals of most flat-panel TVs only send a Dolby Digital or DTS audio signal when receiving Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound from the TV's built-in tuner, network connection, or connected USB device; and will output only 2ch PCM from sources connected to the TV via HDMI, or RCA (like your Blue-ray/DVD player or satellite/cable box).
Subwoofer Output: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar is outfitted with a mono-RCA subwoofer output for connecting a powered sub (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) for even deeper and more immersive bass. When connecting a powered sub, set the subwoofer's volume level to approximately 50% and its low pass crossover to the maximum setting. The AMBEO Soundbar's auto calibration will take of setting the soundbar's subwoofer output level and low pass crossover frequency.
Mounting Options: The AMBEO Soundbar can simply be placed on a tabletop or shelf, or wall-mounted using Sennheiser's SB01-WM wall-mount bracket (143AMBESWM, sold separately). The correct placement of the AMBEO soundbar is important for optimum sound performance.
- The soundbar speaker should be centered below the TV. The distance of the soundbar to the TV should be at least 3.9".
- The main listening seat (optimal "sweet-spot") should be positioned centrally in from of the soundbar and have a distance of at least 6.5' to the speaker.
- The distance of the AMBEO Soundbar to the side walls should ideally be the same, so the soundbar speaker is centered in the room. The optimum distance between the soundbar and the walls is between 3.3' and 16.4'.
- There must be no objects that block the sound or have a strong sound-absorbing effect (such as furniture, curtains, etc) between the soundbar and the side walls and the ceiling of the room.
- The distance of the soundbar to the ceiling should be between 3.3' to 16.4' (it should not exceed 16.4'). The ceiling should be flat and horizontal (not pitched roof or domed roof).
Note: Inadequate ventilation may cause the soundbar speaker to overheat. Do not place any objects on the soundbar and keep adequate clearance around the speaker for proper ventilation.
Software & Firmware Updates: Software & Firmware updates can be done over a network and Bluetooth LED connection through the Smart Control app on your Apple iOS or Android device. Updates can also be done by downloading new software & firmware from the Sennheiser website and then loading it on a USB thumbdrive to plug into the AMBEO soundbar's rear-panel USB-A port.
Note: The USB-A port is only for software, firmware, and service updates. The USB-A port does not support audio/video/photo playback; nor does it support connection of an Apple iOS device, Android device, or laptop/computer.
Wireless Audio Integration
Wired or Wireless Network Connectivity: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar provides wired and wireless network connectivity. The soundbar is equipped with an Ethernet (RJ-45) LAN jack for a wired connection to your home's network. It also offers built-in dual-band (2.4/5.0GHz) WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) for a wireless connection to your home's WiFi network router.
Note: The AMBEO Soundbar supports WPS (WiFi Protect Setup) for easy setup. If your WiFi router does not support WPS, you can also use the Google Home app (for Apple iOS and Android) to connect the soundbar speaker to your WiFi network. Once the soundbar is connected to the network, the Smart Control app can be used to manage your network connection.
Chromecast Built-in: Chromecast built-in lets you instantly stream a variety of music apps from your Apple iOS or Android mobile device to the AMBEO Soundbar. Chromecast built-in works over WiFi and allows you to connect more than one device at a time to the soundbar, as well as control what's playing from anywhere in the house with your compatible mobile device. Chromecast Built-In streams audio directly from the cloud, so you get the highest sound quality (up to 24-bit/96kHz) and the ability to enjoy crystal clear sound exactly the way the artist intended. You'll need to download the Google Home app (for Apple iOS 10.3+ and Android OS 4.4+) in order to setup Chromecast built-in.
- Simple-to-Use: Simply tap the Cast button from a Chromecast Built-in compatible music app to start streaming to the AMBEO soundbar. You can search, browse, play, skip, and turn up the volume directly from the music apps you know and love on your compatible phone, tablet or laptop. While you cast your music, you can still use your phone to answer a phone call, play a game, send a text, and even leave the room, all without interrupting what's playing on the receiver's speaker system.
- Supported Content: Chromecast built-in offers Internet Radio apps like TuneIn & iHeart Radio; plus online music service apps like Pandora, Spotify (requires Premium subscription), Tidal, Google Play Music, and more. Click here for a complete list of compatible apps. You can even wirelessly stream exactly what's playing on your Android phone or tablet through the soundbar system. Or, if you're on your laptop or computer, you can also cast any music streaming website through the Chrome browser to the soundbar. Chromecast built-in supports FLAC, WAV, AAC, and MP3 music files.
- Multiroom Audio: Using the Google Home app (for Apple iOS 10.3+ and Android OS 4.4+), you can sync multiple speakers with Chromecast built-in in multiple rooms of your home to play the same song from a Chromecast built-in music app throughout your house at the same time. Friends and family can even use their own Chromecast compatible smartphone or tablet to cast music to your system by connecting to your home's WiFi network. Only Chromecast built-in compatible music apps are supported for multiroom audio distribution.
UPnP (Universal Plug-n-Play): The AMBEO is UPnP compatible, which enables you to play your digital music library stored on UPnP servers (such as NAS drivers, Windows PC, and Mac computers) through the soundbar speaker system. You can stream a variety of compressed, lossless, and high-res music files. UPnP music file browsing and playback control can be operated from the Smart Control app on your compatible Apple iOS or Android device. Supported music file formats include -
- High Res Audio: WAV, FLAC, AIFF, and ALAC music files (up to 24-bit/96kHz)
- Compressed Audio: MP3, AAC, and OGG music files (up to 320kbps/48kHz)
Bluetooth 4.2: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar is equipped with built-in Bluetooth 4.2 with support for wireless audio streaming (A2DP) and remote control (AVRCP). You'll be able to wirelessly stream music apps, stored music, and other audio content on your Bluetooth source device (such as your smartphone, tablet, or computer) to the soundbar speaker. You'll also be able control basic playback functions (such as Play/Pause & Previous/Next Track) from the soundbar's top-panel buttons or the included IR remote. You'll still use your Bluetooth source device for advanced music browsing and to view song/artist/album information.
- Supported Codes: In addition to the standard SBC Bluetooth codec, the AMBEO Soundbar also supports AAC for higher quality playback from Apple iOS devices. The soundbar does not support aptX.
- Multi-Device Pairing: The soundbar speaker can pair with up to eight Bluetooth devices, but only one can be connected and used at a time. The speaker supports SSP (Simple Secure Pairing) and NFC (Near Field Communication) for easy pairing.
Note: The soundbar does not support Bluetooth hands-free communication for making or answering phone calls.
Simple Intuitive Control
Top-Panel Controls: The AMBEO Soundbar offers top-panel controls for frequently used functions such as Power On/Off, Source Selection, Volume Up/Down, Mute, Media Playback, AMBEO Virtualization Technology, and Bluetooth Pairing. Not all functions of the soundbar can be performed from the top-panel controls.
IR Remote: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar comes with an IR remote for wireless operation of the soundbar speaker. Not all functions of the soundbar can be performed from the wireless remote control.
HDMI-CEC: The AMBEO Soundbar also supports HDMI-CEC for linked operation with other HDMI-CEC devices such as your Blu-ray player, satellite/cable box, and TV. This allows the soundbar to turn on when you turn on a HDMI connected source device. It also provides volume up/down from the source device's remote control.
Smart Control App: The Smart Control app (for Apple iOS 11.0+ and Android OS 7.0+) allows you operate all functions and settings of the AMBEO Soundbar from your compatible smartphone or tablet device. From the Smart Control app, you can adjust your acoustic settings and tailor the sound to your own personal taste from your compatible mobile device. You'll also be able control frequently used functions such as Power On/Off, Source Selection, and Volume Up/Down. You can also customize the name of sources within the Smart Control app.
Note: The Smart Control app requires a WiFi and Bluetooth LE (at least version 4.2) connection between your compatible Apple iOS or Android device and the AMBEO Soundbar.
Google Assistant Voice Control: Purchase a Google Assistant enabled wireless speaker (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) and gain voice control of compatible Chromecast built-in music apps. You'll be able to access a specific music app and then select a specific station or song using only your voice. You'll also have voice control over Play, Pause, Skip, & Volume. The AMBO Soundbar & the Google Assistant enabled device must be connected to the same wireless (WiFi) network.
- The AMBEO Soundbar is not equipped with a built-in microphone and requires an external Google Assistant device for voice control.
- Google Assistant Voice Control is limited to Chromecast built-in apps, playback functions, and volume control. You cannot control other functions of the soundbar speaker with your voice.
Standby Modes: The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar offers Auto Standby and ECO Standby to conserve energy. Both standby modes can be activated or deactivated within the Smart Control app on your compatible Apple iOS or Android device.
- Auto Standby: If the AMBEO Soundbar is inactive (without an audio signal) for 20 minutes, it will automatically switch to standby mode. The time duration can be adjusted or the feature turned off.
- ECO Standby: When ECO Standby is activated, the soundbar's power consumption is lessened. However, the boot-up time for the Soundbar will take lone.
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