Subwoofer Placement with a Soundbar

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Updated September 22, 2022

If you’ve just bought a set of top-tier speakers, you may wonder where to place a subwoofer with a soundbar. Picking the ideal location for a full-sized or compact subwoofer will increase the sound quality of your premium soundbar setup. While there are multiple options for subwoofer location, the wrong choice can cause unnecessary vibrations during bass frequencies. Read on to learn the ideal subwoofer placement with a soundbar.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Most users should place their subwoofer alongside their TV and soundbar, facing the audience.
  • Corner placement is ideal for large speakers since they might otherwise distract from a movie listening experience.
  • Rear placement isn’t ideal for a family viewing setup, but it is a powerful option for a solo listening space.

Until you figure out the ideal placement, you may wonder what a subwoofer does for a soundbar. While some soundbars feature a built-in subwoofer, most utilize external subwoofer sound for bass quality and low-frequency sound effects. If you’re curious why your soundbar keeps cutting out, consider switching to wired sound system components.

Insider Tip

You should try multiple potential locations for your subwoofer to find the sweet spot for optimal performance in a truly captivating home theater room.

Users concerned with bass boost and power quality should compare Bose Bass Module 500 vs. 700.

Best Potential Locations for an External Subwoofer

Subwoofers are a critical component of a complete home theater setup because they provide bass tones and a wide range of low-pitched audio. Since bass sounds aren’t as directional as high-pitched noises, multiple potential locations may deliver an ideal sound experience.

Front-Facing Placement

The most popular placement option for most subwoofer owners is a front-facing layout with the speaker facing the audience. You can place the subwoofer next to your entertainment center or along the same wall. That said, you shouldn’t put your subwoofer inside or on your entertainment center.

Warning

Unless you use an HDMI ARC connection, you will need a different remote control for your basic soundbar, TV, and additional speakers like the subwoofer, rear speakers, and center channel speakers.

Corner Placement

If you have a larger subwoofer, many users recommend placing it in the corner. Corner placement keeps the subwoofer out of your viewing experience and delivers good bass quality. That said, you should set the subwoofer at least 6-inches away from the wall to allow the sound waves space to move.

STAT: A 2019 Pew Research Center survey showed that 25% of US adults use a smart speaker at home. (source)

Rear Placement

Placing your subwoofer behind you isn’t the best choice for an audience, but it can deliver excellent bass for a single user. With the subwoofer directly behind your seat, you will get smooth, chest-vibrating bass tones.

Subwoofer Placement with a Soundbar FAQs

Can I put a subwoofer in my entertainment center?

Unless your entertainment center has a dedicated subwoofer cabinet, don't place powerful speakers like subwoofers in an enclosed space. Whether you have a dedicated home theater room or simple entertainment center, your high-powered subwoofer belongs in the open. The bass waves and low-pitched audio will cause the entertainment center to make vibrating or jiggling sounds, disrupting your viewing enjoyment.

What is a dead spot in a home theater setup?

A dead spot or bass null is an area in your audio setup where sound waves cancel each other out as they bounce around the room. While a dead spot isn't entirely noiseless, you will not get the same sound or bass quality in that home theater area.

Is a wired or wireless subwoofer better for sound quality?

Experts recommend that you keep your subwoofer wired for the best listening experience. While wireless options are great for most situations, they are open to signal interference and can lose connection. Additionally, wireless subwoofers cost more than wired options, but you will get a more dependable entertainment experience with wired subwoofers.
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