There are so many placement options for your soundbar, but that leaves a lot of room for mistakes that can negatively impact your viewing experience, so it’s important to get it right the first time.
I understand how it feels to not know exactly what to do, especially when it comes to placing a soundbar, so I’ve made this guide to help new and experienced users optimally place their soundbar.
Quick Tip: In general, you don’t want your soundbar to be blocked in any sort of way, so that means to ensure that your soundbar has a clear line of path to the viewer for the best experience.
Are Soundbars Worth It?
Soundbars are definitely worth it, they drastically improve the listening experience if you’re used to listening to standard TV speakers. They also have features that are aimed at delivering an exceptional experience.
For home theaters, soundbars are useful in the sense that they offer an affordable surround sound experience in a small package. They don’t take up nearly as much space as traditional surround sound setups.
If you like listening to music, then you’ll be pleased to find out that soundbars are great at enhancing how you view and enjoy music. A soundbars subwoofer will replicate low-frequency noises perfectly, this will make music more impactful, especially tunes with a lot of bass.
But to reap the full benefits of a soundbar, it’s important that you place it optimally, this is because poor placement can easily ruin and hinder the performance of your soundbar.
Soundbar Placement Fundamentals – Follow These Tips
The first rule with placing a soundbar is that the soundbar sounds best when it’s placed at ear level, this is why many people will place their soundbar just underneath the TV on a cabinet. But this rule isn’t as important as others.
The second fundamental is that you should never block or inhibit any speakers on the soundbar, so this means ensuring that side firing and upfiring drivers are not blocked in any way.
Thirdly, you should never place the soundbar in an enclosure that can suffocate it, this has the potential to block speakers as well as cause the soundbar to heat up. This is why it’s not recommended to place the soundbar in a cabinet.
Good Soundbar Placement Options
The placement options explained below are generally accepted in the soundbar community, and you shouldn’t experience any problems with sound issues.
1. Soundbar On Cabinet
Placing the soundbar underneath the TV on a cabinet has the most benefits for the user, and it’s one of the most recommended placements for its ability to deliver the best audio performance.
Placing the soundbar under the TV is also pretty easy, you don’t have to set up any mounting, it’s as simple as placing it, and hooking up all the cables. And if the soundbar is slightly smaller in width than the TV, it should seamlessly integrate without looking bad.
Placing the soundbar on a cabinet is also convenient when it comes to hooking up the cables. This is because the cables necessary for the soundbar are usually in close proximity to the bottom of the display, so the soundbar has quick and easy access to these cables.
2. Soundbar Mounted
There are two options you can choose from when mounting a soundbar, you can either mount it below the TV, or mount it above the TV. Traditionally, the soundbar is meant to be mounted below the TV so it’s close to ear level.
Mounting the soundbar is ideal if your TV is also mounted, and you do not have a cabinet to place it on. So, mounting the soundbar is a great alternative to placing it on a cabinet.
Overall, we think mounting it below the TV is best in most cases, it’s easier to set up as the cables are closer to the bottom of the TV, it’s more immersive as it’s closer to ear level, and it arguably looks better compared to mounting it above the TV.
Also Read: Soundbar Above Or Below TV
3. Soundbar On Floor
Placing the soundbar on the floor is ideal if you do not have the ability to place it on a cabinet, or mount it. Placing it on the floor is convenient for most people, and it sounds great.
The main problem with placing the soundbar on the floor is that it’s susceptible to damage from kids, pets, and people tripping over it. So you should definitely consider your options before placing the soundbar on the floor.
Placing the soundbar on the floor shouldn’t be a permanent solution, merely a temporary situation till you have the option to either mount the soundbar or place it on an appropriate surface such as a cabinet.
Also Read: Can I Put A Soundbar On The Floor
Bad Soundbar Placement Options
Bad placement options violate the key fundamentals such as never blocking it, or suffocating the soundbar. The options discussed below should always be avoided as they serve little benefit.
1. Soundbar Behind TV
Placing the soundbar behind the TV is completely a bad idea, this is because it blocks the front firing speakers, which means the viewer will have a distorted listening experience due to the majority of the sound absorbed by the TV.
Secondly, placing the soundbar completely blocks the ability of the viewer to control it via remote. Remotes often require a direct line of sight, this is violated when the soundbar is behind the TV, and this completely ruins the user-friendliness of the setup.
Placing the soundbar behind the TV is inherently dangerous, it leaves the potential for the soundbar to fall which can potentially damage it. When the soundbar is producing sound, it may naturally vibrate backward which means it will eventually fall.
Also Read: Soundbar Behind TV
2. Soundbar In Cabinet
Placing the soundbar inside a cabinet isn’t nearly as bad as placing the soundbar behind the TV as you can potentially make a soundbar inside a cabinet work well for you.
But most of the time, a soundbar will contain upfiring and side firing drivers which will be blocked by the walls of the soundbar, this will undoubtedly negatively affect the listening experience as the sound will be absorbed by the walls of the cabinet.
And lastly, placing the soundbar in the cabinet can potentially reduce the lifespan of the soundbar. This is due to the fact that the soundbar can get pretty hot, and placing the soundbar in a cabinet leaves it with little room to remove the heat.
The only soundbars that can work inside a cabinet are 2.1 soundbars as they have no side firing and upfiring drivers. But even then, the soundbar is still susceptible to overheating.
Also Read: Can You Put A Soundbar In A Cabinet
3. Soundbar Behind You
Placing the soundbar behind you is a really bad idea for a few reasons, the main reason is that it will completely ruin the immersion. Perception issues will be prominent as the wrong sounds will be sent to your ears.
Secondly, placing the soundbar behind you ruins user-friendliness, this is because you will now have to turn around just to control the soundbar with the remote.
And finally, placing the soundbar behind you is pretty hard, ideally, you will want the soundbar to be placed at ear level, and there are likely fewer placement options for a soundbar behind you.[
Also Read: Can You Put A Soundbar Behind You
In conclusion, the best placement options for a soundbar are either on a cabinet, mounted, or placed on the floor. You should never place a soundbar behind a TV, inside a cabinet, or behind you as they will cause many issues.