When it comes to listening to music, watching a movie with family, or even playing a video game, everybody wants the best quality of sound. Usually, people tend to lean towards a soundbar for their TV or home theater system.
Where Should I Place My Soundbar? The recommendation from all soundbar manufacturers is to place them just below the bottom in front of the TV. The optimal height will be centered at the level of your face when sitting.
Location affects how well the sound quality of your soundbar is such as above or below, in front of or behind your TV, and the vertical placement of your soundbar.
It also differs on whether or not your TV screen is mounted or sitting on a TV stand. So now, let’s talk about all of the different options there are to placing a soundbar and which one would be the best for you.
Where To Put Your Soundbar If Your TV Is On A Stand
As the owner of multiple sources of sound (soundbars, speakers, subwoofers, towers, etc.), I can confirm that the placement of your soundbar can greatly impact not only the sound quality but also the aesthetics and the layout of your TV set.
Your soundbar should always be in front of your TV and never behind.
After making some common mistakes my whole life with speakers, I can confidently say that I have busted some myths about soundbar locations.
People often make the mistake of planting their soundbar behind their screen in hopes of the sound waves hitting the TV and distributing the sound around the room.
The truth is that every time a sound wave bounces off of a surface, only a small portion is reflected back- most of it gets absorbed.
Most flatscreen TVs have built-in speakers on the back, but out of all of the flatscreens that I have owned, I would have to nearly double the volume on the ones with speakers behind them because almost all of the sound would get absorbed by the wall behind my screen.
In simpler terms, to get the best quality of sound, the waves would have to bounce off the least number of items on their way to your ears.
Where To Put Your Soundbar If Your TV Is Mounted On A Wall?
I’ve been to plenty of houses where there are two speakers that are mounted on the left and right side of the TV on a wall. That is because most people want their screen to be eye level whereas they want their sound source to be at ear level.
With a singular bar, that can be difficult since you cannot split a soundbar in half. But should you always mount your soundbar below your TV, or can it be mounted above?
What advantages would mounting your bar above your screen give you versus below? Well, there’s not really a difference, actually.
Most people often put their soundbar below their TV because that’s how they see it in TV shows, movies, house models, etc., but there’s no factual reason for a soundbar to be below your TV screen besides for aesthetics.
A couple of years back, people who would mount their soundbar above their screen found it a little uncomfortable since their TV was angled down to avoid neck straining, but the sound that came out of the bar would directly hit the wall near the ceiling.
Nowadays, there’s no worry because manufacturers have invented angled soundbars that throw sound out in multiple directions.
In other words, it is completely up to you and the layout of your TV set.
To test this hypothesis, I configured my setup to meet both conditions separately. The conclusion I came up with was that both configurations are perfectly fine and produce the same quality of sound.
However, when I mounted the bar below my TV, it was a lot less appealing because there were now two more wires running down my wall than before.
Some flat-screen TV’s nowadays have a built-in soundbar, so there’s no need for extra wires.
So, if aesthetics is a big concern, I would play it safe and place the soundbar on a stand below or above your TV unless you find a way to safely hide the wires.
Is There Anywhere Else I Can Place My Soundbar?
A few years ago, I made one of the best purchases in my life and bought a Samsung HW-Q60T Soundbar with Subwoofer You can check here on Amazon. This duo gave me a long, angled soundbar to put below my TV and a subwoofer to put somewhere behind me or in a corner of the room. The sound quality that came out of the combination of the two speakers gave me a surreal feeling.
Lots of people buy multiple speakers to set up a home theater system of speakers around their room to replicate the feeling of a movie theater at the convenience of their own house/apartment. Some, like myself, have invested into ceiling speakers as well. But is it appropriate to put a soundbar behind you?
Most of the soundbars today have two different nodes. For example, if a movie you’re watching has an explosion on the right side of the screen, the audio output will come out of the right side of the speaker which produces realistic audio as if you were actually in the movie.
With that being said, if you were to put a soundbar behind you with that exact configuration, the sound wouldn’t match up with the video, depending on what soundbar you have (the explosion on the right side of the screen would now be heard from your left ear).
Long story short, speakers and sub-woofers are perfect to be placed behind you, but I would try to avoid soundbars.
But Can You Put Your Soundbar On The Floor?
TV stands are very expensive, and some people don’t have the money to spend on an entertainment stand after buying a TV and a soundbar, so naturally, their thoughts lean towards setting the soundbar on the ground.
While this doesn’t seem like a bad idea, we run into the same problem that we did previously with mounting the soundbar above the TV screen- the sound waves would hit your feet or the part of the walls closest to the floor.
I would try to avoid setting a soundbar on the ground unless it is necessary. Now, if only there was a vertical soundbar that we could set on the ground…
Turns out, there is! A tower speaker has its own story to tell.
One of my purchases a while back included a tower speaker- it is basically a vertical soundbar meant to be placed on the ground; no mounting or extra wires required!
Don’t get me wrong, tower speakers are a great purchase for casual listeners and all, but I wouldn’t hook it up to my TV to watch a movie or play video games.
When it comes to tower speakers, the best approach would be to buy two connectable ones and place them on both sides of the TV or the entertainment center (this is basically like purchasing two tall speakers and setting them on the ground). Currently, my tower speaker sits in the corner of my living room, usually playing the radio and listening to music.
Depending on how your TV is set up, this is where you should place your soundbar and more:
- Don’t place a soundbar behind a TV screen. Ever.
- Most people will recommend putting a soundbar under the TV to hide wires better.
- Mounting vs. setting on a table makes no difference.
- Sub-woofers and speakers work best for putting them behind you.
- If you can’t afford a stand to set your soundbar on (or don’t have anywhere for it besides the floor), buy a tower speaker instead.
Different Types Of Speakers Mentioned In The Article
|Soundbars||Tower Speakers||Subwoofers||Ceiling Speakers|
|Pros: Easy to set up, wall-mountable, sleek aesthetics||Pros: No mounting required, stand-alone||Pros: Great bass addition, compatible with most systems||Pros: Incredible surround sound, hidden wires and speakers|
|Cons: Can’t hide wires when mounted, no surround-sound most of the time||Cons: Only for casual listening, need at least 2 for entertainment set||Cons: Sometimes expensive and unmountable||Cons: Set up is costly, need to hire professional to run wire through walls|
Related Soundbar Articles
Can I Add a Subwoofer to My Soundbar?
You will need to check the compatibility of your soundbar. Below, I will list step by step instructions…
Leave A Subwoofer ON All the Time?
There are a few issues that can come up when you turn your sub on and off frequently….
Can You Put Things on Top of a Subwoofer?
There are ideal places to put subwoofers. So, below I will explain more detail about…