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Soundbar Placement Options – Where To Place It?

Whether your soundbar is big or small, it’s useless if you don’t know where to place it. We know it can be hard for first-time buyers, so we’ve created this simple guide to make it easier to fit your soundbar seamlessly with your entertainment system.

Sonos bar lit by sunlight

Should I Put My Soundbar Above or Below the TV?

Putting your soundbar above or below your TV are both feasible options. If you decide to mount your soundbar, you just need to make sure it’s unobstructed. The best placement for the soundbar would also depend on where your TV is and where you plan to sit, but more on this later.

You may be asking yourself, which is the best spot? Well, the answer to that depends on the angle. It should be directly in front of you and preferably at ear level for the best audio quality

TVs and TV racks have differing heights, so take into consideration your setup and your preferred position. Generally, it shouldn’t be hard to decide whether it’s best to mount the soundbar above or below your TV. The exceptions to the rule are for surround sound systems where a soundbar may come with subwoofers, satellite speakers, and more.

Another thing to consider is the remote. If your soundbar comes with a remote, you want to be able to point it at the receiver and have an instant response. As such, the soundbar shouldn’t be placed too high that you have to raise your arm or stand up to change the settings.

So, whether you mount the soundbar above or below your TV, remember that its position can also be affected by the IR blaster on the remote. 

However, it’s worth mentioning that placing the soundbar below the TV gives you more flexibility in terms of placement. You can just put it on the surface of your TV rack and you’re done.

On the other hand, if you prefer placing it above the TV, that will most likely involve mounting with drills and screws. If you don’t like the extra work, we suggest skipping it altogether and simply put the soundbar on your TV rack.

Soundbar Above the TV

If your soundbar is mounted above the TV, whether on the wall or on the TV itself, you would need it to be ear-level. Some people have higher couches and lower entertainment consoles, which results in a lower TV. In this case, mounting the soundbar above the TV closer to ear-level is optimal.

View of a living room with TV and blue chair

Soundbar Below the TV

Contrary to the above setup, if you have a higher TV (mounted on the wall) and lower couches or prefer to watch TV from the floor, then mounting the soundbar below the TV is the best option. 

The acoustics will almost always be better if you mount it at ear level. It’s the same way with TVs. Most people have their TVs set up slightly above eye level to get the best visual. Similarly, a lot of popular soundbars are often mounted below the TV so it’s closer to ear level.

Soundbar Behind the TV

Why would anyone want to hide the soundbar behind the TV? A lot of people may think of doing this to hide the soundbar itself or the unsightly wires. However, we don’t suggest this placement at all because not only will it be difficult for your soundbar to receive commands via the remote, the TV itself will also block the sound and hinder your experience.

Soundbar Behind the Couch

Similarly to placing it behind the TV, the couch could also seriously obstruct the audio. You may think that having it close to you will give you the best experience, but the back of the couch will only be a barrier to the sound. Plus, it’s better to register audio from ahead. After all, soundbars are made for placements where the audience is in front.

person lounging in front of a turned off TV

Soundbar on the Floor

Again, we recommend soundbars at ear level for the best audio quality. If you are just going to place it on the floor, why not lift it up a few inches and place it on your entertainment console?

We are aware that sometimes the arrangement in an individual’s house doesn’t include an entertainment unit, but in that case, we recommend wall mounting it above all else. Not only will it provide better sound quality, but it won’t be a safety hazard either.

A soundbar sitting on the floor would sometimes involve wires dragging if you opt for a wired connection. Not only will they detract from the beauty of your interior aesthetics, but kids, pets and even you can easily trip over them.

Can You Put a Soundbar in the Cabinet?

Yes, you can put a soundbar in a cabinet if it doesn’t have doors and if it’s of the right height. However, if your soundbar is advanced enough to have upward-firing speakers [1], the top of the cabinet would also hinder and muffle the sound.

These upward-firing speakers are built on surround sound devices to give you an all-inclusive experience. They were meant to use the ceiling as a sounding board to bounce off the sound and provide you with a 3D effect. If you have an advanced sound system like this, we would advise against this placement. 

Otherwise, if you only have a basic model with only front-firing speakers, placing the soundbar in the cabinet is fine.

living room with furniture and TV

Conclusion

The placement of a soundbar isn’t as simple as aesthetics, it also affects the sound delays and general quality as well. Take a look at your setup and device to determine which soundbar placement best suits your needs. Remember to keep it at ear-level if possible for the best home theater experience.

Want a great viewing experience without going over budget? Read our comprehensive guide on the best budget soundbars you can buy today.

Willie Greer

Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.
Willie Greer

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