Soundbar Placement Guide

Updated: Feb 13, 2024 1:19 PM

Did you know that your room’s layout, including walls, windows, and furniture, can interfere with the sound coming from your soundbar? If you are brand new to the world of assisted audio, now you may wonder about the optimal placement of a soundbar. Some of the best speakers are soundbars, and these devices need the proper placement to maximize their potential.

Key Takeaways_

  • Placing a sound bar in the ideal location is crucial for maximizing your audiovisual experience as you watch TV.
  • Generally speaking, the best place to lay a soundbar is directly at ear level/eye level of where you sit.
  • The optimal placement option depends on your space and how high your TV is. There is no single, right answer for everyone.

Optimal Placement Options

Your viewing experience largely banks on where you position your soundbar. As shared in the previous section, some factors can affect the audio output. This includes the room’s layout, walls, windows, and furniture, among others. Let’s focus on three optimal soundbar placement options:

In Front of the TV On The Entertainment Center

  • Perhaps the most used placement option is having the soundbar sit in front of the TV. It’s not only effortless to set up, but it works well with various external speaker systems, including subwoofers and advanced setups like Dolby Atmos. When synced properly, it provides an immersive audio quality that can elevate your home theater experience.
    • Be mindful when dealing with soundbars equipped with advanced features like Dolby Atmos technology and surround sound drivers. These devices depend on side and overhead sound waves to create a realistic, multidimensional soundscape. By enclosing them, you’re obstructing this functionality. Maintain a free space around them, and the sound will be able to bounce off the ceiling and walls, and you’ll be awed by the excellent sound quality they can provide.
Dolby Atmos soundbars are designed to project sound upwards towards the ceiling. This technique allows sound waves to bounce off the ceiling, creating a three-dimensional audio effect.

  • Remember to give your soundbar enough breathing space to optimize sound effects. As a rule of thumb for proper placement, make sure the sides of the soundbar are at least 1 cm away from another surface.

Below the TV On The Wall

soundbar to be placed above or below the tv on the wall.
  • Placing a soundbar below the TV seems to be a common practice – and for good reasons. Usually, TV’s bottom houses the necessary connectors, making it easier to wire a soundbar when placed underneath.
  • Hidden cables become much less of an eyesore as they’re easily concealed in this position. A concealment channel, for instance, can run the cable quite well.
  • You need to consider the source of your soundbar’s power cord as well. Because these cables are typically located at the lower edge of TVs, positioning the device below the television is generally a practical choice.

Above the TV On The Wall

  • If you have higher couches and lower TV consoles which result in a lower TV not at eye level, mounting the soundbar above the TV, closest to ear level, is optimal. Contrarily, if you have a higher TV mounted and prefer watching TV from a lower position, mounting the soundbar below the TV proves best. This also applies if you tend to watch TV from the floor.
  • Mounting the soundbar above the TV is a viable option, but it involves the extra steps of planning and learning how to mount a soundbar to a TV if you don’t already know. It usually requires drills and screws so be prepared. It’s important to note that if it’s mounted above the TV, you’d want it at ear level of a seated user.
    • Wall mounting your soundbar not only provides a neat look but also ensures that no obstacles, like cabinets or other devices, interfere with the sound reaching your listening position.
    • Learn how to hide soundbar wires as well for better aesthetics.

insider tip

A Bluetooth soundbar is a good way to maximize your placement options without all the cable clutter.

Remember, a vertically mounted soundbar is generally not recommended by most manufacturers due to potential sound distortion issues, so stick to horizontal soundbar setup.

Universal wall mounts for soundbars are available online that are compatible with different wall types and most soundbar brands.

Getting the perfect soundbar placement heightens your audio experience significantly. So it’s worth taking some time to try and test different positions to figure out what works best for your setup.

Avoiding Common Placement Mistakes

Some don’t get soundbar placement correct right off the bat. Try to avoid these common mistakes.

  1. At the heart of any home theater system lies the TV, a key device that dictates your soundbar placement options. A common mistake made is mounting the soundbar in spaces prone to high foot traffic, thus risking it being knocked over.
    • Your TV’s position also matters immensely – a common blunder is setting it off to the sides rather than in the center, directly across from the seating area.
    • Correct placement can even help stave off maintenance and repair issues, so you won’t have to learn why a soundbar keeps cutting out.
  2. Keep your soundbar away from metal cabinets, which can negatively affect the sound quality.
  3. Avoid placing the soundbar on the floor, behind a shelf, behind the couch, or behind the TV.
    • All of these placements ensure that the audio signal will not be at ear level, thus impacting your enjoyment.
  4. Lastly, don’t neglect cable management. No one likes to see hanging cables from their TV or soundbar.
    • Keep things neat with cable ties or a cable cover for a more polished look to your home theater. Don’t let cable chaos impact the aesthetics of your space.

Now You’re Ready To Place Your Soundbar

In conclusion, optimal soundbar placement is crucial for maximizing audio quality and creating an immersive experience. There is no correct answer. It depends on your space and TV.

Whether positioned below or above the TV, or integrated into a custom setup, the placement should align with room acoustics and personal preferences for the best results. Experimentation and adjustment are key, as even slight changes in placement can significantly impact the overall sound performance and viewer immersion. After you properly place your soundbar, you’ll then need to sync the soundbar with the TV.

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