Although the modern TVs are compact and smart yet they have one drawback that is lower sound. These flat and smarter TVs look elegant as compared to the past heavier versions. But, the smart design has compromised on the sound quality. Consequently, you get a full HD giant picture but the sound does not match it. A soundbar is a perfect solution but sometimes it is confusing where to place your soundbar. So we will discuss it in detail today and provide you all the possible ideas for soundbar placement.
Modern problems give modern solutions.
Attaching a soundbar to your TV is the best option to get louder audio. When it comes to TV, a soundbar is preferable to all other audio devices. Because, just like your TV, it is also flat and compact, requires little space, and costs less. You might be thinking where should a soundbar be placed?
It is not a big deal. There are various options for placing a soundbar. For example, you can place it above, below, or behind your TV. Other options include placing a soundbar on the table, floor, in the cabinet, and behind a couch.
Let us explore all these options one by one. We will discuss the feasibility of placing a soundbar in various locations and will also tell you the pros and cons of each location.
Design of a Soundbar
As the name indicates, a soundbar is a single bar-like device. It is flat, smart and long. The long body has the advantage to install multiple speakers. This design enhances the soundstage.
Different brands locate the speakers differently. Some soundbars have center, left, and right speakers to ensure a great bass and stereo surround sound. Some soundbars come with built-in subwoofers while some other soundbars come without built-in subwoofers.
Soundbars with no subwoofer are also available. However, it depends on your choice which one you select. These are internal features. Almost, the basic and general design of all soundbars is the same.
Some Useful Tips Regarding the Placement of the Soundbar
- Wherever you place your soundbar, be sure to place it closer to your TV. Because you have to make connections between your TV and soundbar.
- Your preferred location must have an electrical socket in the close vicinity of the soundbar. The soundbars usually have connectivity ports at the rear panel. So, it should be facing the socket for an easy connection.
- Be sure to maintain a distance from other power cords so that the cables of the soundbar may not mix with any other power cord.
- There should be nothing behind the soundbar to obstruct the sound. The speakers’ grill must face the room, not the walls.
- Place it in a position where it gets proper ventilation. Overheating damages electronic devices.
- Consider safety risks. If you have kids and pets in your home then placing the soundbar at a reachable level is not good.
- The main purpose of a soundbar is to deliver a rich sound. You should consider this factor and make sure nothing is coming in the way of sound.
- Think about your personal preference and convenience.
- Keep in mind the setting of your room. Aesthetic consideration is very necessary.
- Place it carefully and firmly to avoid any damage.
Related: Best SoundBars for Open Floor Plans
What is the Importance of the Position of a Soundbar?
While deciding the location and position of a soundbar, the basic thing to consider is the audio performance. Your soundbar should be placed in a position to deliver a wider soundstage and deeper bass. Be sure that any of its speakers is not facing any obstruction that may compress the sound.
The sound signals travel throughout the room to give you an immersive experience. If you place your soundbar at the wrong place or in the wrong position, it will not deliver sound perfectly. So, you can not place it randomly anywhere. It is very important to decide on a proper location.
Placing the Soundbar Below Your TV
It is a common practice to place a soundbar below the TV. Placing a soundbar below your TV is ideal when you watch TV from the floor if your TV is placed higher on the wall and has enough space under it to mount a soundbar. The advantage is that the soundbar is closer to the ear and you listen to sound clearly. The echo and deflection are reduced and sound is not dispersed sideways. You can hear a smooth and direct sound in this position.
Another advantage is that the TV and soundbar synchronize perfectly. The minimum distance between both devices ensures fast audio transmission. The wired connection is convenient and you can also hide wires. The bottom of the TV has most of the connectivity options. So, it becomes easy to connect other devices too. Moreover, you can easily operate the soundbar through a remote.
This setting is also preferable from an aesthetic point of view. A soundbar placed under the TV looks decent and visually acceptable. It seems a part of the TV and does not mess up your room settings.
Cons of Placing the Soundbar Below your TV
If you have placed a table or a shelf below your TV then placing the soundbar can create a problem. The table or the accessories on it may interfere with the sound. You get a compressed and half-sound. Another drawback is that pointing to the remote control is not easy. The remote sensors may feel obstacles.
Moreover, the things in front of the soundbar frustrate you by distracting your attention. Moreover, if your TV is placed too lower on the wall, the soundbar may obstruct your view.
Consider the design and height of the soundbar and make sure it does not obstruct your watch. Additionally, it is not a safe option if you have little kids in your home. The soundbar is under their reach and they cannot be stopped touching it.
Placing the Soundbar Above Your TV
The first thing to consider is the location of speakers in your soundbar. If it is an up-firing soundbar then it is not recommended to place it below your TV. Such a soundbar is engineered to enhance the bass. They support Dolby Atmos. If placed above the TV, the sound reaches the ceiling and bounces off. It gives you a real immersive experience.
In case you place an up-firing soundbar below your TV, the sound will be obstructed by the TV. Moreover, it will not give the desired results and you may blame the manufacturer. But, do not place it too close to the ceiling. Because the sound will not echo perfectly.
Another advantage is that you will not face any issue in pointing the remote. The remote sensors are free to access.
Another situation in which you can consider placing the soundbar above your TV is when the TV is placed closer to the floor. If it is slightly below eye level, then you should place the soundbar above the TV. It would look symmetrically good.
Furthermore, it will add to the beauty of your room. Another great advantage is safety. Your soundbar is out of reach of the kids and pets.
Cons of Placing Soundbar Above Your TV
Sometimes, you may feel that the sound is flowing above your head. It may be an annoying experience for your ears. Another drawback is that you have to stretch your arms long enough to send signals from the remote.
It is really annoying to raise your arm at a full height each time you adjust the volume or change the channel. So, if you are placing your soundbar above your TV then place it at a reasonable height.
Placing the Soundbar Behind Your TV or Couch
Some people do not like their soundbar to be visible. So, they hide it behind the TV or couch. This is advantageous as it hides the wires completely.
If you have very limited space then this positioning is good. But, it is not an ideal choice. We do not recommend placing your soundbar behind your TV or couch.
Cons of Placing Soundbar Behind the TV or Couch
This position has many drawbacks. The sound feels like coming from a far-off place. It resonates from the walls and ceiling. It also feels compressed. The full sound with deep bass cannot reach your ears. The sound quality is affected greatly. It ruins your experience.
Furthermore, remote control becomes impossible. If the sensors are not visible then how can you send remote signals? So, this position is not recommended so far. But, if you like a compressed sound then you can go for this option.
Placing the Soundbar on the Table
This option is good when you do not want to mount the soundbar on the wall. Moreover, if you have a TV mounted on the stand instead of the wall then placing the soundbar on the table is a good option.
The advantage is the closeness of both devices and ease of connection. The sound feels coming from the TV itself and perfectly synchronizes with the picture. You can place the table in front of or beside the TV.
If your TV is placed closer to the floor then do not put the table in front of the TV as it may obstruct the view. Placing the table beside the TV is a better option. Also, consider the ease of controlling via remote.
Cons of Placing the Soundbar on the Table
The major drawback is that you are engaging your table and it is no longer available for other purposes. Another thing is that table occupies extra space from your room. If you have a small space then it would not be a good option.
However, for larger rooms, it can be considered. Another drawback is the risk of interference by kids and pets. So, you should keep all these things in mind while deciding the table as a permanent location for your soundbar.
Placing the Soundbar on the Floor
This option is availed by many people. The reason may be a hassle-free setup. You do not need to put the effort into mounting the soundbar on the wall. You just take it out of the box and connect it to your TV.
Another reason may be that people do not have an entertainment console. So, they do not have any proper place to keep their soundbar.
If your TV is closer to the floor then this option works. You can connect both easily. Mobility is another advantage. If you intend to move your soundbar from one place to the other then placement on the floor sounds good.
Cons of Placing the Soundbar on the Floor
An obvious drawback is that your soundbar is in the reach of kids and pets. Another is that there are clusters of wires on the floor. You may accidentally trip over the wires. There is also a risk of dropping something on your soundbar. So, you can ruin it.
In this position, you also have to compromise on the sound quality. The soundbar is below the level of your ear. The sound does not perfectly synchronize with the display. It does not reach your ears directly. So, the whole experience is ruined.
Also Read: Best Soundbars for Samsung TVs
Placing the Soundbar in a Cabinet
Placing a soundbar in a cabinet is a good option only when the cabinet is open-facing. Some people have cabinets below their TV. However, the cabinet must have more space than the soundbar. It does not mean to fit the soundbar in the cabinet but some extra space is also required.
Another thing is proper ventilation. Your cabinet must have air passages. A box-like fully closed cabinet is never recommended for placing the soundbar. There should be pathways for making connections. You have to consider that how wires will be connected and from where they will come out and go into the cabinet.
Cons of Placing the Soundbar in a Cabinet
Placing a soundbar in a cabinet is in no way comparable to placing it in an open place. A major drawback is compressed sound quality.
Even if you place the soundbar in an open cabinet, it still obstructs the sound. Because the soundbar sends wavelength signals throughout the room. The sound travels in the room and reaches your ears in its fuller form.
Another problem is IR signals. The remote will not work properly when a soundbar is placed in a cabinet.
Mounting the Soundbar Vertically
Commonly, soundbars are mounted horizontally. But, you can also mount them vertically. However, it is not an ideal position to get the best sound quality.
Speakers are placed at the left and right sides of the soundbar. When a soundbar is hanged at a 90 degrees angle, the sound disperses in opposite directions. Hence, you feel like the sound is coming from the ceiling or floor.
There are few situations that need to hang the soundbar vertically. For instance, if you have a small space or any other position that does not look suitable.
Sometimes, your walls may have decorations, and mounting a soundbar horizontally can spoil the beauty of your room. Or you may have furniture articles right under your TV.
It is recommended to readjust the settings instead of mounting the soundbar in a vertical position. It is ideal to consider your room settings before buying a soundbar.
Cons of Mounting the Soundbar Vertically
The soundbars are manufactured for horizontal placement. They come with a horizontal mounting option. Unfortunately, there is no default setting to mount a soundbar vertically on the wall.
You may be thinking that the horizontally mounted soundbar can be rotated to place vertically. But, this idea does not work practically. One major reason is that the horizontal position divides the weight of the bar and is risk-free.
If you place it vertically, you will be putting extra weight on a single spot on your wall. It may not adjust properly and there is a risk that it may fall out.
So, you will damage both your wall and the soundbar. One option is standing the soundbar in a shelf or cabinet that is vertically placed. But, again you should consider safety measures.
Also Read: Loudest Soundbars For Large Room
The major question is the design of your soundbar and the placement options it gives. Before buying a soundbar consider its placement options.
Most importantly, you should consider your own feasibility according to your room setting. We have given you many options for positioning a soundbar.
Placing the soundbar below TV is regarded as an ideal position. The second good option is placing the soundbar above the TV. These two positions are popular than others. However, you can go for other options based on your taste and preference.
From this detailed guide, you would have learned where to place a soundbar. Be sure to consider the drawbacks of each place.
Hi, I’m Noor Alam, founder of SpeakersMag.com. I love music and got my Bachelor’s degree in Sound Engineering. Now I have started my own blog about music products. Just like you, I also love different music products and in my spare time, I share my knowledge with audio lovers on this site.