Flatscreen TVs aren’t physically capable of containing the equipment for stellar audio performance.
A soundbar is the best option to make a more robust and quality sound.
They’re usually designed to be placed under your TV, but what if there isn’t enough space?
When a soundbar won’t fit under a TV, it can be put above your TV, behind it, or in a cabinet. You can also raise your TV to give the soundbar enough room underneath.
In this article, I’ll discuss important factors to consider when deciding where to place your soundbar.
I’ll also go through the different options you have when your soundbar doesn’t fit under your TV.
Factors To Consider When Placing a Soundbar
There are some things you should keep in mind when deciding where to place your soundbar.
Applying these principles will ensure you get the best sound quality and experience.
The Soundbar Should Be Unobstructed
When deciding where to place your soundbar, you should check that nothing is in front of it.
Obstructions can muffle the sound and may even cause audio to echo weirdly.
An unobstructed line of sound from the soundbar to the sitting area ensures the clearest audio and sound quality.
The Closer to Ear Level, the Better the Sound
It only makes sense that the closer the soundbar’s speakers are to the level of your ears, the easier it is to pick up clear sounds.
The further the soundbar is from the level of your ears, the higher you’ll have to increase your volume to project the sound.
Soundbar Channels and Drivers
Soundbars start with two channels, each dedicated to right and left speakers.
As the price of a soundbar increases, so do the number of channels.
If you have a three-channel soundbar, its central channel has a speaker dedicated to midrange sounds and dialog.
You don’t want to obstruct the center speaker with the TV stand or the side speakers with the TV legs.
Your soundbar may also have front-firing drivers, upward-firing drivers, or both.
This dictates in what direction the sound is projected and will also affect where you should place your soundbar.
Alternatives to Placing a Soundbar Under Your TV
When your TV doesn’t have enough space under it to accommodate the height of your soundbar, you have several alternatives available.
The type of soundbar you have, the effect on the sound, and the amount of effort for each solution can affect your decision.
Raise Your TV
The simplest solution is to add space to accommodate your soundbar under your TV.
If your soundbar is too tall or too thick to fit under your TV, or if it blocks your TV’s receiver, all you need to do is raise your TV.
You can do this with an adjustable universal mount, which should allow you to raise and lower your TV screen’s height as needed.
If you’re really strapped for cash, you can choose any number of items to help raise your TV, as long as they’re stable and can support the weight.
On Reddit, one user suggests using reams of paper to raise the TV.
Though not the most elegant solution, they’re solid enough to support your TV.
Additionally, reams of paper are cheap compared to a TV mount, and you can disguise them with decorations (such as a cloth) to mask their appearance.
Put the Soundbar Above Your TV
One option if your soundbar won’t fit under your TV is to place your soundbar above it.
Though many soundbars are designed to be placed under your TV, some soundbars perform better when placed above.
Soundbars that perform better above your TV typically have upward-firing drivers or speakers that can be obstructed by the bottom of your TV.
Upward-firing speakers project sound meant to echo off the ceiling to create a more 3D audio effect.
This ECHOGEAR Soundbar Wall Mount Bracket available on Amazon.com is adjustable.
So, it’ll fit soundbars of different thicknesses.
They’re also compatible with soundbar brands, including Samsung, Vizio, Roku, etc.
These brackets can support your soundbar, whether installed on wood studs or drywall.
To place your soundbar above your TV, it can be installed by:
- Attaching your soundbar to the top of your TV: This is only applicable for specific models.
- Mounting your soundbar on the wall above your TV: This requires a mount or brackets to be driven into the wall. For the best audio quality, ensure that your mount is slightly tilted, so the front-firing speakers point toward the sitting area. The soundbar should be placed high enough that the top of your TV doesn’t obstruct the line of sound.
- Placing your soundbar on a shelf above the TV: Installing a wall shelf or floating shelf above your TV will be required so you can put your soundbar on it.
Put the Soundbar Behind Your TV
Before doing this, I need to define what “behind” your TV means.
“Behind” doesn’t mean installing your soundbar where your TV screen completely obstructs its sound path.
Installing your soundbar this way will cause muffled sound and majorly affect your audio quality.
An acceptable way to place your soundbar “behind” your TV is to put it a little toward the rear of it.
This can be done when there’s no room toward the front of your TV screen.
However, it’s important to note that this solution is only applicable for TVs mounted on a console that provides more space for the soundbar to the rear of the screen.
Additionally, the bottom of the TV screen may still obstruct your soundbar partially, so this isn’t the most ideal solution.
Put Your Soundbar In the Cabinet or TV Console
If your TV is standing on a console but doesn’t have room on the console’s top to place the soundbar, you can place it on the console’s shelf or cabinet.
This alternative applies only if that cabinet doesn’t have doors obstructing the soundbar and if your soundbar doesn’t have upward-firing speakers that the top of the console will block.
What to Do When a Soundbar Won’t Fit under a TV? Final Thoughts
When your soundbar doesn’t fit under your TV, you can raise it with a TV mount or decide to place it above your TV, behind it, or in your TV console.
The best solution for you will be determined by the type of soundbar you have and the available space on your wall or console.