Does It Matter If My Soundbar Is Bigger Than The TV?

A soundbar has become an integral part of a comprehensive home theater system. It augments and dramatically improves the sound ...

By Dewayne

A soundbar has become an integral part of a comprehensive home theater system. It augments and dramatically improves the sound quality of your standard television sets. The question that often arises in this context is whether the size of the soundbar needs to be bigger than your TV for optimal acoustic performance. In the following article, we will attempt to address this query conceptually and practically, based on home theater design industry standards.

Before we dive into the details, it is worth mentioning that while a soundbar doesn’t necessarily need to be the same size as your TV, matching their sizes or having them a few inches apart generally enhances the aesthetic appeal and sound quality. However, it should be noted that there are various factors that could influence this, such as the size of your room, the placement of your soundbar, and the type of soundbar you have.

We are all aware of the convenience and superior sound quality that soundbars provide, but when it comes to size and fitting, many of us are left in the dark. This article aims to enlighten you on this very subject, and provide you the information you need to create the perfect home theater experience.

Understanding the Basics: What Is a Soundbar?

A soundbar is a sleek and compact device designed to amplify and enhance the sound output from your TV. It essentially transforms your TV into a mini home theater by providing a high-quality, surround sound experience. In contrast to conventional speaker systems, a soundbar is more convenient and space-efficient making it the perfect choice for modern living rooms.

Soundbars come in various sizes, designs, and feature sets – you could choose the one that fits your requirements and compliments your TV and home decor the best. But remember, while a bigger soundbar doesn’t guarantee an improved audio quality, it certainly adds to the aesthetic appeal of your home theater, assuming it’s proportionate to the size of your TV.

So, what IS the perfect size? And what happens if the soundbar is bigger than the TV? These are some of the questions we will address in the following sections, keeping in mind aesthetics, practical considerations as well as the all-important aspect of sound quality.

Importance of Matching Soundbar Size with Your TV

The size of your soundbar retains a significant role in your home theater system. It is crucial to choose a soundbar that is similar in size to your TV as it brings a sense of symmetry and balance to your home theater system. Moreover, a matching size will also contribute to better sound directionality, ensuring that the audio comes from the center of the screen, providing a more immersive experience.

Choosing a soundbar bigger than your TV, on the other hand, could lead to a mismatched looking setup and sound directionality issues. This could potentially cause the perception of sound originating outside of the TV’s visual perimeter, creating a disorienting sense of mismatch. Therefore, it is suggested that despite the temptation of buying a larger soundbar for supposedly better sound, one must consider the visual as well as auditory aspects of their home theater.

In terms of aesthetics, a soundbar that is roughly the same size as your TV appears more appealing. While in many cases, especially with larger TVs, the soundbar might be smaller, but getting them as close as possible aids in maintaining visual harmony. This matching also helps with practical positioning and placement which we will discuss in the following sections.

Implications of a Larger Soundbar

There seems to be a common misconception that a larger soundbar will inevitably provide better sound. While it is true that size can sometimes determine the number of drivers or type of technology inside the soundbar, it is not always the case. Some soundbars, despite being compact, may incorporate advanced technology or superior-quality components that may produce superior sound compared to a larger model.

A soundbar with a size larger than your TV not only has aesthetic implications but also practical ones. For instance, if the soundbar is too big, it might block the remote sensor forcing you to adjust your normal viewing habits. Further, it could possibly hinder the TV’s ability to disperse heat, potentially leading to overheating issues over prolonged usage.

While the appeal of bigger equals better might lead many to opt for a larger soundbar, considering the practical implications is vital. Therefore, rather than focusing solely on size, one must look into the specifications, technology, and features of the soundbar to ensure optimal audio performance and convenience.

Practical Issues with Bigger Soundbars

A bigger soundbar might sound tempting but it brings its own set of practical issues. A larger soundbar often indicates a heavier product, hence making the process of installing and moving it around more cumbersome. Also, if your TV is mounted on the wall, a larger soundbar might need additional support brackets, leading to more drilling and wall modifications.

Furthermore, a large soundbar might overshadow your TV, making the set up look disproportionate and mismatched. This could disrupt the overall decor and harmony of your living room, detracting from the aesthetic value of your home theater.

Also, as touched on earlier, larger soundbars tend to block the TV’s remote sensor and may lead to overheating issues as well. So, while a bigger soundbar might seem like an exciting prospect, one needs to consider its practical implications carefully before making the final choice.

Aesthetics of Soundbar and TV Sizes

When it comes to setting up your home theater, the aesthetics play a highly significant role in creating the ambience. The size of the soundbar alongside your TV is an integral part of creating a visually appealing setup. A soundbar that is too large or too small relative to the TV may disrupt the harmony and balance of the setup, while a proportional soundbar can lead to a more aesthetically pleasing experience.

In contrast to common belief, the soundbar does not necessarily have to be exactly the same size as your TV. However, having a soundbar smaller or larger than your TV by a few inches should not drastically impact the aesthetic appeal or the sound quality. The idea is to create a harmonious visual balance between the TV and the soundbar.

Furthermore, if the soundbar is going to be placed directly below the TV, especially on a TV stand, the soundbar width should ideally be less than that of the TV. This would help prevent the soundbar from unnecessarily protruding from the sides of your TV, maintaining a clean, elegant look.

Positioning the Soundbar: A Few Inches Apart

The positioning of the soundbar plays a fundamental role in the sound quality and overall home theater experience. The soundbar should ideally be positioned directly below or above the TV as close to the center as possible. This placement ensures that the sound seems to be coming directly from the screen, enhancing the immersive experience.

If a soundbar is larger than the TV and does not fit directly under it, you may need to set it a few inches apart, either to the sides or below, depending on your setup. This positioning could however impact sound quality and hamper uniform sound distribution. So, again, when choosing the size of your soundbar, a multitude of factors beyond just sound quality needs to be taken into account.

Remember, the goal is to aim for symmetry and minimal distraction in terms of visual deviation from the TV to the soundbar. Therefore, a slight overlap is alright, but significant deviation from the TV’s size might impact the overall experience negatively.

Balance of Sound: Does Size Affect Audio Quality?

The size of a soundbar can affect the quality of sound, though it’s not the sole determinant. While larger soundbars have the potential to house more speakers and hence produce a fuller sound, smaller soundbars may incorporate superior-quality speakers and advanced technology, ensuring high-quality sound.

So, does the size of the soundbar play a decisive role in defining the quality of the audio experience? The short answer is no. However, it does contribute to the overall experience and could both positively and negatively influence the sound quality, as detailed in our earlier sections.

The quality of your audio experience will depend on a number of factors such as the quality of speakers in the soundbar, the technology used, the layout of your room, and the placement of your soundbar, among others. Consequently, audio quality cannot solely be assigned to the size of the soundbar.

Getting the Most Out of Your Soundbar: Setup Tips

Now that we’ve cleared up some misconceptions about the size and impact of soundbars on your home theater experience, let’s discuss a few tips to help you get the most out of your soundbar.

Position is key: As discussed earlier, ideally, the soundbar should be placed directly under or above your TV at the center. This position ensures the best audiovisual sync and immersive experience.

Control sound requisites: Consider the size of your room, wall material, and floor type while tailoring sound settings. Make sure the speaker settings correspond to the room size for optimal sound dispersion.

Cable management: Organize and manage your cables well. Not only does this improve aesthetics, but can also prevent any potential signal interference.

Explore Bluetooth/Wi-fi options: If your soundbar supports, try using Bluetooth or Wi-fi to connect to the TV or other devices. This can reduce the mess of cables and allow for more flexible placement.

Firmware Updates: Keep your soundbar up-to-date with the latest firmware upgrades. This can sometimes improve sound quality and provide new features.

Remember, your ultimate goal is to create a home theater that offers top-notch sound quality and great aesthetics. The size of your soundbar can be a defining factor, but it certainly is not everything.


In conclusion, the size of the soundbar can have varying implications based both on aesthetics and practical considerations. While a bigger soundbar doesn’t automatically mean better sound, a well-matched soundbar can enhance the visual appeal of your home theater.

The perfect soundbar size, therefore, would depend on individual preference, the size of your TV, the size of your room, and other related factors. The key is to maintain a balance between size, placement, audio quality, and aesthetics of your home theater system. This comprehensive understanding would ensure you make an informed choice for your perfect home theater experience.

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