Soundbars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and while there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to placement, depending on your individual needs, there is a happy medium that should be found. Soundbars come in various shapes and sizes, but there is a happy medium that should be found.
Today, we will show you where should a soundbar be placed in your home theater. Whether you have a large living room or a smaller family room, placement is critical and has a lot to do with the size of your TV.
Should I Put My Soundbar Above or Below the TV?
Both options are possible: you can place your soundbar either above or below your TV. Mounting it is as easy as mounting it. Your TV’s location and the place you intend to set it up will also affect its placement. But more about that later.
You might be wondering, Which spot is best? The answer depends on how the angle is. For the best sound quality, it should be in front of your ears.
There are many heights for TV racks and TVs. Consider your setup and preferred position. It shouldn’t take too much to determine if the soundbar should be mounted above or below your TV. Surround sound systems, which may include subwoofers or satellite speakers, are an exception to this rule.
The remote is another thing you should consider. The remote control for your soundbar should be easy to use. The soundbar should not be too high that it makes it difficult to reach the receiver or raise your arm to adjust the settings.
Whether it is mounted above or below the TV, the remote’s IR blaster can affect its position.
It’s important to mention that the soundbar can be placed below the TV for greater flexibility in placement. It can be placed on top of your TV rack.
Mounting it above your TV will require drilling and screwing. We recommend that you skip the extra work and mount a soundbar to your TV rack.
Soundbar Above the TV
Your soundbar should be at ear level if mounted on top of the TV, either on the wall or the TV itself. A lower TV is possible for some people who have higher entertainment consoles and couches. Mounting the soundbar higher than the TV is ideal in this situation.
Reasons You Should Mount a Soundbar Above a TV
It is typically placed below a TV, as mentioned earlier. However, there may be instances where a soundbar is placed below a TV.
It would help if you had soundbar speakers that are upward-firing and can be used in addition to the TV
Soundbars that have upward speakers should not be placed below the TV. To take advantage of the room’s acoustics, soundbars with speakers should be placed in a way that reflects sound off the ceiling.
These models were designed to make a more immersive soundstage by using the walls and ceilings in a space.
They are always equipped with Dolby Atmos technology.
It should be placed below the TV to prevent the sound from reaching the ceiling or bouncing off it. This would not create the desired effect. It should not be placed too close to the ceiling of your home theater as it may not produce the desired effect.
- No Remote Sensor Blocking Issues
A soundbar placed below a TV can cause problems. It could get in between the TV remote and remote sensor. This issue could be avoided by placing the external speaker higher than the TV.
However, if you insist on placing the soundbar under your TV, ensure that the soundbar is not too thin or that the TV is high enough.
To avoid this problem, you can adjust the TV’s height from its stand or mount it at a higher height. However, if you cannot move the TV vertically or don’t wish to mount it, you might need to know the thickness of the soundbar.
You don’t want to have to get up from your couch or raise your arm every time you change the channel or settings.
- Ideal for Low-Lying Seating or TV Stand
Mounting soundbars above the television would be both aesthetic and acoustic. If the TV’s height is not too high, the couch or seating arrangement can be adjusted to make it lower than usual. In such situations, it is not ideal to position the soundbar below the television.
- Anti-Kids and Pets
It is possible to place it underneath the TV if the TV stand or table does not have enough depth. If there are children in the home theater, it may be challenging to reach the soundbar from the table.
Soundbar Below the TV
Contrary to what was described above, if your TV is mounted on the wall and you prefer to view the TV from the ground, mounting a soundbar beneath the TV may be the best choice.
Mounting it at the ear level will make the acoustics better almost every time. The same applies to TVs. To get the best viewing experience, most people place their TVs slightly above eye level. Many very popular soundbars are mounted below the TV to ensure that it is closer to your ears.
Reasons You Should Place the Soundbar Below a TV
A soundbar is usually mounted on the wall beneath the TV or place in front of a television. These are just a few reasons it is so popular.
- Aesthetically Pleasing
Soundbars are best placed below a TV. The setup won’t look right if the speakers are placed above the TV. You may feel like the sound is flowing above your head, especially if the speakers are pointed upwards.
- Superior Audio Performance
A soundbar placed under the TV is more likely to be at your eye level. This means that the audio travels directly from you.
Sideway scattering and reflection from the ceiling are eliminated, which leads to less echo and better overall audio quality. This is all provided. It can be placed under any TV or standard front-firing speakers.
- Easy Wiring
Soundbars come in wired or wireless versions. The soundbar can be placed as far away as the cable allows if there are cables. The length of the cable is typically not longer than 33 feet (10 m). Glass fiber cables can be up to 10 meters long. With a shielded cable, a 3.5mm copper connection could work for approximately 20 feet.
The TV’s bottom usually houses the necessary connectors. It is easier to wire a soundbar if it is placed underneath a TV. Hidden wires are easy to conceal when the soundbar is placed under or in front of the TV. For example, a concealment channel could run the cable.
It would help if you had some assistance mounting soundbar underneath the TV.
- No Mounting Needed
Soundbars are meant to be mobile. It shouldn’t be mounted against your wall. Mounting the soundbar below your TV can be done without problems. This is not true if it is placed above the TV.
Even if the stand were to be placed on a stand made of wood or glass, it would still need to be mounted.
You don’t have to worry about any locked-in equipment if a soundbar has been laid flat on the TV. It is possible to move the audio device in either a forward or a backward direction.
It is crucial to find the perfect spot for mounting a soundbar over the TV. It will take much of testing to find the right spot. It is also a lot of work to set up the mount.
Soundbar Behind the TV
The soundbar could be hidden behind the TV, but why would they? Many people might think this would hide the soundbar or unsightly wires.
We don’t recommend this because it will make it difficult for the soundbar to get commands via the remote. The TV will also block sound and hinder your enjoyment.
Soundbar Behind the Couch
The couch can also block the sound by being placed behind the TV. Although you may believe that it will provide the best audio experience, the back of your couch could block the sound.
It’s also better to record audio from the front. Soundbars are designed for placements in front of the audience.
Soundbar on the Floor
For the best sound quality, soundbars should be placed at your ear level. You don’t have to place the soundbar on the floor. Instead, lift it and place it in your entertainment center.
Although we are well aware that not all houses have an entertainment unit, wall mounting is the best option in those cases. It will not only provide superior sound quality but also won’t pose a safety risk.
If you choose a wired connection, a soundbar placed on the ground could sometimes cause wires to drag. They will not only be distracting from your interior aesthetics but can also cause injury to pets, children, and you.
Can You Put a Soundbar in the Cabinet?
If the cabinet doesn’t have doors or is of the correct height, you can install a soundbar inside. If your soundbar has upward-firing speakers, the cabinet’s top will block and muffle the sound.
To give you an all-inclusive audio experience, these upward-firing speakers use surround sound devices. These speakers were designed to bounce sound off the ceiling and create a 3D effect.
We would not recommend this placement if you have an advanced sound system such as Dolby Atmos soundbars that are first-rate.
Can You Position the Soundbar Vertically?
While it is possible to mount a soundbar vertically in rare cases, it is not recommended. Soundbars are designed to project sound in one direction or in a certain way.
A soundbar can be rotated 90 degrees to the side of the left, and the right and left channels of the soundbar may sound like they are coming directly from the ceiling and floor.
This would, of course, ruin the audio experience.
Mounting a soundbar vertically, as mentioned previously, is possible. This should only be done as a last resort or if all other options have failed.
Some people may find vertical soundbar placement impossible, either for aesthetic reasons or space constraints. Sometimes, wall mounts and furniture may not allow for a horizontal soundbar.
Even in these cases, it is good to start a small home theater renovation project or swap out furniture.
If the soundbar is bought without considering the space or the existing furniture, it can be challenging to place horizontally. You shouldn’t spend a lot on soundbars, but you should not be tempted to buy an unsuitable device.
Mounting a soundbar vertically is a problem. There are no vertical soundbar mounting options. Manufacturers recommend that soundbar mount manufacturers place the soundbars horizontally by default. No manufacturer of soundbar mounts even considers making vertical mounts.
The horizontal mount could theoretically be tilted 90° to make its orientation vertical. However, it won’t work in practice as soundbar mounts are designed to distribute soundbar weight horizontally. It can cause severe damage to your soundbar if it is vertically or sideways mounted.
Soundbar Shopping/Placement Considerations or Dos and Don’ts
Shopping will be easier if you already know or have decided where the soundbar should go next to the TV.
Look for soundbars with special mounting features such as keyholes in the rear for brackets and keyholes at the back. Mounting-friendly attributes are not necessary if the soundbar is placed elsewhere. You could use a simple long bar with no keyholes.
These are some other considerations when you place/mount the soundbar.
- The soundbar’s power cord (and socket) must be located near one another. This will ensure maximum audio output and no electrical problems.
- You should ensure that the soundbar’s cables do not run near any power cables. This will ensure that there is minimal interference with power.
- The rear of the soundbar must be free from anything in its immediate surroundings. It should be at least one centimeter from everything and anything. It is crucial to block the space behind the soundbar to ensure the equipment’s acoustics.
- The soundbar should be placed so that the speaker’s grille faces the home theater, not the wall. The soundbar should not be placed behind the TV.
- To avoid interference, make sure that there is no wireless equipment within a few feet of the soundbar. However, it is OK to be at least two to three feet from the soundbar.
- The soundbar should not be placed on glass, polished wood, or other smooth surfaces. The vibrations from the soundbar can cause the soundbar to vibrate and move in dangerous ways. For more excellent stability and support, it is recommended that you don’t place the soundbar directly on your table. Instead, use a rubber mat.
- You should also avoid placing your soundbar on varnished or delicate furniture. This could cause damage. Place the soundbar onto the rubber sheet.
- The best soundbars are placed in spaces that are not too small or have poor acoustics to ensure the best possible audio experience. If the space is too small or restrictive, even the most powerful soundbars can have difficulty performing to their full potential.
- No matter if the soundbar is located below or above your TV’s, ensure that it aligns properly with your TV. It should be placed in a way that is the same length as your television. If it is longer than the TV’s screen width, ensure it extends to the same extent on both sides. This center alignment ensures that audio and picture come from the same spatial point source, precisely as the cinema engineer intended.
- Ensure you are at least 3 m (300 cm) from the audio device for optimal surround sound effects. The ideal distance is between 5 and 8 meters (500-800 cm). Wireless soundbars should be placed closer to the TV to avoid video-audio latency problems.
- Although stands can be helpful, it is best to mount the TV and soundbar on the wall. Mounting equipment is not necessary. Make sure that the TV and soundbar are on the same stand or separate stands.
- If the wall-mounted devices are connected, ensure at least a 10 cm (4in) gap between them. This will ensure that both the controls and various connectivity options can be accessed easily.
- Carpets and curtains can be used to create a more authentic sound or dampen the reflections of noise. Soundproofing could also be made more accessible by echo foam pads.
- Your soundbar should not be hidden behind the TV. Hide unsightly wires if they are the problem. A Bluetooth soundbar is a better option than hiding wires. Hidden soundbars can cause audio problems as well as make it difficult to adjust its settings.
- You should also ensure that your soundbar is not placed behind your sofa or on your lap. Your couch could block the soundbar’s audio. Soundbars should be placed in front of the viewer, not behind them.
- The soundbar should not be placed on the ground. It will ruin the audio experience. You can mount soundbars on a platform or raised surface if you don’t have the space to mount it.
As we know that soundbars were not designed to be placed in front of your TV; however, now that technology has advanced, and now the technology exists that you can enjoy a crystal clear, high-quality soundbar directly in front of your TV.
However, there are a lot of factors that you need to keep in mind when placing your soundbar. If it is your first time buying one, take some time to read our complete guide on installing a soundbar.
So, Hooke Audio hope you enjoy this article, and please take the time to rate and comment on it. We will appreciate your feedback and any suggestions you might have.