Soundbar Placement Options

Before buying a soundbar, it is worthwhile to consider its placement options. This is because considering soundbar placement options will not only narrow down your choices but will assist in enhancing the sound quality of your soundbar as well.

After reading this guide thoroughly, I’m confident that you would be an expert in setting your soundbar in a perfect spot and would be helping out your family and friends on the topic as well.

Best Soundbars to buy in 2020

SoundbarManufacturerPrice
Sony HT-X9000F SoundbarSonyCheck Price
Sonos PlaybaseSonosCheck Price
Yamaha YAS-108 SoundbarYamahaCheck Price
Bose Soundbar 500 BoseCheck Price
Polk Audio MagniFi Polk AudioCheck Price

Introduction

Did you know that LG’s OLED, 4K TV is thinner than an iPhone?

Yeah! You just read it right. LG’s OLED, 4K TV is just 2.57 mm in thickness, whereas the iPhone X is 7.7 mm. 

Too much to swallow? Wonder what lies in the future!

Now, imagine inserting all the latest smart features, such as 4k display, built-in Wi-Fi system, Speakers System, etc. into a 2.57 mm slim device.

Seems like a daunting task.

But thanks to the nanotechnology, integrating multiple smart features into a slim device has been made possible.

The problem at hand

However, like everything in the universe, nothing is perfect.

As the great Stephen Hawking said:

One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…. Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”

And these modern thin TV’s are also a victim of this imperfection.

The imperfection being, the sound produced by the stock speakers of modern TV’s is not up to standard, or not loud or clear enough.

This is because, at the moment, high-quality speakers’ technology is not sophisticated enough to be fitted inside a slim TV. In other words, the speakers are not thin enough to be fitted inside the slim TV. Therefore, the sound produced is not good enough to experience the ambiance of a cinema.

This argument can be supported by the fact that all major brands of TV are offering external sound devices along with TV. Evidently, they know that the internal speakers are not only less than usual in size but are underpowered as well. Furthermore, the internal speakers are integrated into a position where the direction of the sound is not directly reaching the audience. Rather it is downwards or punching the wall behind the TV, eventually. All of these factors have pushed the brands to make external sound speakers so that they can complement the crisp screen quality of the TV.

The Solution

There is a lot of sound equipment to choose from the market. But the one gaining popularity these days is a Soundbar.

Soundbar

A soundbar is a type of a speaker system which has multiple speakers embedded inside a long bar-shaped cabinet. They occupy less space, are easy-to-install, less expensive and has less wire clutter than a typical home theater system. 

Soundbars are an excellent complementary device to support the crisp video of modern TV. They upgrade the audio of TV and they’re quality is way better than the internal speakers of the modern slim TV. 

Soundbar – Consideration when buying

When planning to purchase a Soundbar there are certain things which need to be considered. Like, for example, Should you buy a soundbar with a subwoofer or without? What are the best placement options for your Soundbar? Should you prefer a Soundbar or Home Theater for your room or department?

However, In this piece of writing, we’ll focus solely on Soundbar Placement Options. Where you should place it? And some recommendations before buying a piece as well.

Read Also: Best Soundbar for Gaming

Soundbar Placement Options

The correct placement of the soundbar is necessary for optimal acoustical performance. There are several options you can consider according to the setting of your room. For instance, you can place the soundbar on a piece of furniture like a table, cabinet or stand, or you can mount it on a wall below or above your TV. Therefore, deciding where to place your soundbar depends on your personal preference and the decoration of the room.

Point to ponder when buying

When buying a soundbar, considering its placement options can simplify your decision. Also, it can help you choose the right device for your room or apartment. If you want to mount your soundbar on the wall then you need to consider the one which has specific features for mounting, keyholes at the back for brackets, for example. On the other hand, if you want to place your equipment on a platform then you don’t need to consider such features. In such a scenario, a simple long bar without any keyholes would suffice.

soundbar placement options

Optimum Positioning

Considering placement options can not only help in selection but can also help in getting the best sound quality. Mounting it in the wrong direction can really mess up your experience and opinion about the equipment.

A schematic diagram depicting how sound reaches the ‘sweet spot’ is shown. This shows if the soundbar is placed in the perfect position then the sound from the soundbar can create a surround effect by reflecting with walls.

soundbar placement angles

The sound from the soundbar is in blue color and sound coming after reflecting from the ceiling is red in color.

The placement of a soundbar is dependant on how your TV is placed.whether it is mounted on a wall or placed on a platform. We’ll discuss both the scenarios below:

The TV is wall mounted

Before considering mounting your soundbar on the wall, you should know that installing your soundbar more than 3’’ from your screen may delay the audio from video and can result in the poor listening experience. Therefore, the soundbar should be as close to the TV as possible for strong connectivity and best listening experience.

When the TV is wall mounted then the soundbar can be easily mounted above or below it.

Soundbar below TV

This is the default setting of most people these days. The sound produced in such configuration is directly reaching the listener, making the whole experience worthwhile. In this way, the sound is not scattered sideways and reaches the listener directly; with less echo and deflection from walls.

soundbar below tv

For better connectivity between soundbar and TV, the soundbar should be as close as possible to the TV. The connectivity plays a major role in the synchronization of both devices. If both types of equipment are out of sync, then there would be a delay in audio and video and it would mess up the whole experience. If the soundbar is below the TV, then the chances of out-of-sync are minimalistic.

Another advantage of this placement option is that you can easily control the soundbar with wireless remote without any hassle. The sensors of remote controlling of both the devices will be in close proximity with each other, which would help in controlling them easily.

soundbar below tv

With soundbar under the TV, the overall look of the room really looks modern and up to date. If both, the TV and soundbar, are black in color then it really portraits a crisp design with in-contrast white walls in the back. It gives the room a neat, minimalistic and a techy vibe. The whole environment of the room lits up and it makes you feel rich as well.

The drawback of placing it below the TV

A drawback of placing your soundbar below the TV can be if you have a table or a shelf below it, and you’ve placed some decoration pieces on it then they might be interfering with the sound and remote sensor of the soundbar. This can be seriously frustrating as the obstacles might be affecting the sound quality of the soundbar.

The best practice is to remove or avoid any such distractions and give the soundbar a clear path to perform to its ultimate potential.

Soundbar above TV

You can mount your soundbar above the TV as well. But it hinges on how high from the floor your TV is hanging. If it is at a lower height then it is a good idea to place it above it, but if the TV is at mid to high from the floor then it might not be a good idea to mount it above the TV.

The sound coming from the soundbar would be in the straight direction, similar to soundbar below the TV. The two speakers at each end of the bar are titled at a certain angle which helps in creating a sort of surround sound. Just like the eyes of the frog, you can imagine them giving the listener a peripheral sound vision. So, it doesn’t matter whether the soundbar is below or above the TV. It is rather than a matter of personal preference and style.

However, if your sitting arrangement is on the floor instead of on a couch, and your TV is at a close to the floor height, then this configuration is best suited to you. Placing soundbar below in such configuration would not be ideal.

Considering the feel of the room, soundbar on top of the TV looks awkward. It looks boring and unfancy. Sometimes it almost feels like the sound is flowing above your head. I personally, won’t recommend this position.

The drawback of placing soundbar above the TV

A major drawback is that you would’ve to go an extra mile in controlling the soundbar because the sensor would be at an extra height. If you’re not meeting the sensor of the soundbar, then it could’ve been a painful encounter and ultimately you would become frustrated. It can be severely annoying if you’re not able to change the channel at your comfort. Trust me on this on. I’ve been there.

However, this is possible only in the scenario if you’re soundbar is really at a certain height. If it is at a certain height then it won’t be that much of a bother.

Cluttering issue and solution

Cluttering of wire is one of the main reason for which people avoid home theater. Most of the wires are left-off with the soundbar but power cords are still there. If the soundbar is wall-mounted, whether above or below the TV, then these cords can sometimes look untidy.

A simple solution to this untidiness is to roll the extra cord in a circle and clamp it with an adhesive or any other tape. Then you can simply tie the cord circle to a nail drilled into the wall behind the TV. This would most certainly hide your extra power cord hanging from the TV and soundbar.

Considering mounting your Soundbar on the Wall? Read this before you do it.

If your TV is wall mounted then you need to consider the soundbar which can be easily mounted on the wall. Read the description of the soundbar carefully, and check if it is mountable or not. Some soundbars come with mountable kits while others do not. Even if your soundbar doesn’t come with a mountable kit, but it has the keyhole slots to be mounted via brackets, then you can buy the additional detachable brackets to mount it.

For example, the LG 2.1ch 300W Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Bluetooth® Connectivity does not have the keyholes to help them mount on the wall. If they are to be mounted on the wall, then shelves have to be installed and them you’d have to rest them on the shelves.

On the other hand, Samsung HW-R450 Sound Bar-Easy to Install comes with a package of Wall mount kit to easily mount it on the wall.

TV placed on a table, cabinet or stand

If your TV is placed on a Table, Cabinet, Stand or any way other then mounted on a wall, then the soundbar can be placed in front of the TV.

soundbar on cabinet

in such scenarios, there are certain conditions that need to be considered when connected in such a configuration. 

First, you have to consider the height of the soundbar. The height should be low enough so that it does not cut the visibility of the screen. Although, most of the bars these days have a low profile and they do not interfere with the view of the screen. However, before buying a soundbar, it’s height should be compared with the height from the bottom of the TV to the top of the table or cabinet so that it can be easily placed in front of the TV. An advantage of this setting is that the soundbar will be close to the TV and as a result it’s connectivity will be strong as well.

Another factor to consider is even if the height of the soundbar is not interfering with the view of the screen, it should still be minimal enough so that it does not block the TV’s sensor or TV’s remote sensor. Otherwise, it would really be a painful act of changing positions in order to change the channel on TV.

Lastly, the soundbar should be placed as forward as possible on the cabinet, especially if it is placed inside the cabinet so that the sound can reach you directly without any hindrance. But it should be assured that the soundbar doesn’t stick out of the cabinet or shelf because it would look untidy and would have the chance of falling over and breaking, consequently hurting someone if nearby. 

An ideal arrangement of a soundbar and its auxiliaries connected to tv is shown below:

Soundbar Placement Options – Recommendations by Brands

Here is a list of recommendations to consider before placing your soundbar.

Conclusion

In conclusion, buying a soundbar with TV is a no brainer. You just simply cannot rely on internal speakers of your TV.

Soundbar placement options should be considered before selecting your piece. Placing it below your TV beats all other positions. Also, It is a matter of personal choice whether to place your soundbar above or in front of the TV. At the end of the day, what pleases the eyes and the heart matters the most.

Finally, I would like to say that I’ve tried my level best to provide you with the best guide there is on soundbar placement options. I hope I’ve done justice to the topic. Also, I’m always open to suggestions. If you feel I might’ve left something out or you want to share your personal experiences with soundbar, feel free to share it in the comments section below.

15 thoughts on “Soundbar Placement Options”

    • No. The vertical position is not the ideal position to place the soundbar. The sound will degrade in the vertical position. The ideal position to place the soundbar is horizontal. You’ll lose the “whole room-filling quality” in the vertical setting because the speakers throw the sound out in more than one direction. If you want to mount it vertically, then you might have to install additional audio equipment, such as a sub-woofer, which might be costly, and it will kill the whole purpose of having a soundbar, which is to not have an expensive surround system.
      I hope I’ve answered your question effectively. If you need more info, feel free to ask anything.
      Thanks.

      Reply
      • I have a 3-shelf cabinet. The TV is on top, the cable box is in the middle shelf and the sound bar is on the bottom. Is this a bad place for the sound bar? (Note the 3rd shelf that the sound bar is on reaches the floor).

        Reply
        • Hi Louie,

          Sorry for late reply. I’ve been busy with deadlines at the Uni.

          Well, for your query, I would say the best place for the soundbar in such a configuration is above the TV because sound from the soundbar will not have enough space to spread and reach ear level. If your bottom shelve is too close to the floor, then I would suggest you to place your soundbar above TV somehow. But if the soundbar is at a certain distance from the floor then it might be okay.

          Therefore, if it is possible, try to install your soundbar above tv if the whole setup is too close to floor. If not, you can place your soundbar in the bottom, but still I would suspect the quality would be good.

          If you need any further help, please feel free to contact me again. I’m happy to help.

          Again, apologies for the delay in reply.

          Thanks
          Regards

          Reply
          • I have th Sonos arc Soundbar and was going to put it on a TV stand 18 inches off the ground. The bottom of my tv is at 35 inches. Is that too much room between the Soundbar and the TV? Is the Soundbar too low to the ground? What would be the optimal height for the Soundbar?

    • Question: My TV is kept in an armoire. I open the doors of the armoire to watch tv. If I were to purchase a Soundbar, where would I place it. Placing it in the armoire at the base of tv wouldn’t be ideal, right?

      Reply
  1. You did not mention that some of the top sound bars have top speakers that throw the sound up and reflect off the ceiling, in this case wall mounting especially under tv would be unsuitable I would think

    Reply
  2. Hey Sal, I wanted to show you my setup to see if you could advise me on if my Soundbar (upward facing speakers) could go on top of my TV. Can’t tell if it’s too high to work right or not. I wanna attach pics but it doesn’t give me that option so if you could shoot me an email when you get a chance so I can show you I’d appreciate it.

    Reply
  3. Hi Sal, I have a projector and want to buy a sounbar but I have some limitations I cannot avoid: I have to hang it from the ceiling (should I tilt some degreees so the front side faces to the couch?), I have a wall 1 meter to the right, another wall 5 meters to the left, and another 10 meters behind the couch. I’d like to know what soundbar would be better for me, a 2 channels one (DHT-S216H) or a 13 channels (Enchant 1300) keeping in mind how the sound moves. Thanks a lot!!

    Reply
  4. Hi Sal, I have a Naim Muso, which is effectively a posh soundbar. Following what seems to be sensible (as per your advice), it’c currently on a reinforced floating shelf below the wall mounted TV.

    The trouble is my wife hates the shelf, and wants to relocate the Muso to one side. I think this mad and will compromise the sound. Any way it would work?

    Cheers!

    Alex.

    Reply
  5. Hi – thanks for a helpful article.

    I want to hide the cables between my wall mounted TV and the sound bar I plan to mount on the wall. Would there be any issue if I mound the sound bar so that it is almost touching the bottom of the TV (I’d leave maybe 3mm gap.

    Reply

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