When you are installing the components of an entertainment system, you want to make sure that you are doing it correctly. Placement plays more of a role than you would think. After all, if you don't, you and your loved ones may not be able to enjoy it as much. One concern may be whether or not you can put a soundbar behind a TV.
You can put a soundbar behind the TV, although you should probably not put it directly behind it, as this will likely result in muffled, low-quality sound. It is typically better to place the soundbar either on the underside of the TV or on the wall above it for the acoustics you want.
Suppose you want to learn more about where you should place a soundbar and why read on. You might learn some information that could result in an excellent entertainment system that everyone can enjoy.
What Is a Soundbar?
Before learning about the optimal placement for a soundbar, it would help to learn what a soundbar is. Basically, it is a speaker system that is shaped like a long, slim bar. These bars typically have at least one speaker on the inside.
Some soundbars deliver expanded stereo sound, which they do with the help of an amplifier that is built into the system. Others will give you surround sound. These typically have digital processors that decode incoming 5:1 tracks and use different algorithms in placement, pitch, and delay to make virtual surround sound.
Even though the soundbar is in one discrete location in your entertainment room, the effects created by the speakers will make it seem like your living room is a virtual theater. You will experience a sensation that makes you feel like the sound is coming from all over the room.
This is why many people enjoy soundbars; they enjoy surrounding sounds without having to fill up the entire room with speakers. Typically, a soundbar will be paired with a subwoofer, which will deliver base frequencies. If it contains a built-in amplifier, you will not need a receiver, meaning that you can mount the soundbar in a location without having to run wires all over the room.
Many modern soundbars are wireless and can connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
How Do You Connect a Soundbar to Your TV?
In order for the soundbar to work properly, it needs to be connected to your TV properly. Before you decide where its final location is going to be, you want to make sure that you have the connections right. Most of the time, this is not too difficult.
The majority of soundbars have fairly simple designs, where all you need is an HDMI cable to connect the soundbar to one of the ports on your TV. Typically, even the most basic television will have a minimum of three HDMI ports.
For most people, this is more than enough, since you will only need one other free port for the device that is providing you with the content to watch (cable box, game console, or streaming device).
If you are using an older soundbar, instead of HDMI cables, you might be dealing with audio input cables that will plug into digital audio out optical slots on your TV. This is fairly uncommon nowadays, but if this is the type of soundbar you have, this is how you will test it to see if it works well.
Typically, it's preferable to use HDMI cables, since this will usually give you better sound and more control via your TV remote.
What Happens When You Put a Soundbar Behind Your TV?
When you are setting up a soundbar, you want to think about the acoustics. After all, great acoustic quality is the main purpose of the soundbar. You want to set it up so that the sound will move around the room in a way that everyone can enjoy.
You can actually put a soundbar behind your TV. However, this could severely compromise acoustic quality. If your soundbar is located behind your TV, and your TV is pushed back up against the wall, the sound is likely going to be very muffled.
This means that the sound won't travel to the entire room where viewers can hear it. It is more likely to travel towards the wall or within the open space behind the entertainment system.
What Are the Best Places to Put a Soundbar?
You probably don't want to put the soundbar directly behind your TV. Now that you know this, you might be wondering where you should put the soundbar. There are a couple of great options that will give you great sound quality without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.
Above the TV
One place where the soundbar can be very effective is mounted on the wall, right above your TV. There are likely mounting screw slots on your soundbar, which should be located opposite to the speaker. Typically, these slots can hold M4 x 14mm screws.
Before you screw anything in, position your soundbar on the wall just above your TV. You might want to use a leveler to make sure that it is not crooked and then mark the screw holes' locations with a pencil on the wall.
In order to be extra careful, you might want to measure the distance between the holes on your soundbar to be sure that these distances match up with the pencil markings on your wall.
Once you are ready to install the soundbar, screw a couple of simple L-shaped stainless steel brackets to the wall. Position the bar on top of the brackets, use the M4 screws to go through the brackets and the soundbar.
Many people like the setup because the soundbar is not visible, and the setup looks entirely natural.
On the Underside of the TV
While there are many people who prefer to put the soundbar on the wall as previously described, there are many others who find this process too complicated. It could also be that making holes in your walls is not an option for you for whatever reason. This is perfectly fine because there is another great option.
You can also attach the soundbar to the bottom of your TV. In this case, it will be located right behind the TV stand, with the speaker pointing towards the ground.
Some would say that this doesn't give you the best acoustics, but it is better than having the soundbar throwing sound waves towards your wall. In fact, there are some who may see this as the better setup, since the soundbar will be closer to the level of the ears of the people who are watching. It's likely a matter of personal taste.
What you want to do here is use double-back tape to connect the soundbar to your television. For every three inches of space on the soundbar, put a 3/4-inch strip of tape on the bar. Peel the second backing off of the other side of the tape, and attach it to the bottom of your TV. Hold the bar in place for a few seconds to make sure that the tape secures them together.
How Close Should a Sound Bar Be to a TV?
After that last section, you may be thinking, “whoa, affix the soundbar to the underside of the TV?” I don't blame you. I wouldn't do this either but it has worked for some people. Placing the soundbar right below the TV, on a TV stand so that the sound waves are ear level, is usually a good idea.
Can a Soundbar Go Behind You?
If you have a long HDMI cable or a wireless soundbar setup, you could try this, although I wouldn't recommend doing so. Having the loudest part of a sound system behind you doesn't immerse you very well and can lead to less satisfactory acoustics.
If you really want to put your soundbar directly behind your TV, no one can stop you. However, unless you want the sound waves to travel towards the wall, meaning that you will hear muffled noise, this will probably not be the best way to enjoy an entertainment system with this level of cost.
The exact location of your soundbar is entirely up to you. In the end, it'll probably come down to what you will find most aesthetically pleasing and what is the most convenient, while not sacrificing the sound quality of your entertainment system.