By now, everybody knows that the inbuilt TV speakers don’t offer the best sound experience. Even with the most advanced features fitted into all television brands, manufacturers have a hard time adding practical sound tools to match the quality.
The simplest solution is adding an external sound output, preferably a soundbar, to account for the deficiency. But what is the best distance between a TV and a soundbar?
The best distance between a TV and a soundbar would be about 10-15 cm (4 – 6 inches). Most people often find themselves placing soundbars wherever they look beautiful when observed from the couch. They overlook the fact that distance has a significant impact on sound quality.
Check out my article on the best positioning of a soundbar.
This article explains how to measure the correct distance between the soundbar and the TV, how to get the best sound experience, proper TV and soundbar installation tips, and all you need to get started with quality sounds.
Where Should You Place Your Soundbar?
If your TV is on a cabinet, shelf, or table, you can place your soundbar just below the TV. This position is an ideal place because the sound comes from where you’re facing.
You need to take into account your soundbar’s height against the vertical space between the bottom of the TV and the stand. This approach is to ensure the soundbar does not obstruct the Tv’s screen.
If you place your soundbar on a shelf inside a cabinet, then it should come forward as much as possible so that it does not obstruct sound directed to the sides. Soundbars featuring DTS Virtual:X, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, and audio capability are advisable to be placed within the cabinet shelf.
Soundbars with such features project the sound vertically to create an overhead surround sound effect.
Soundbar With a Wall-Mounted TV
With a wall-mounted TV, they can have soundbars mounted on the wall either above or below the TV. Read my article to know how. However, mounting it under the TV would be ideal because the sound will be directed to the listener.
Most soundbars come with a paper wall template or hardware for wall mounts. Some soundbars may not come with the wall mounting template or hardware. However, some manufacturers offer them as an optional purchase. Sometimes, manufacturers give all explanations in the user guide.
Best Distance Between TV and Soundbar
Trying to figure out where you’ll place the soundbar can be a little confusing. However, most soundbars find their home just below the TV because that’s what most people prefer. It’s also where the best sound seems to come from, and this design looks simple yet stylish, but does it always give a better sound advantage than other arrangements?
Yes. When you place your soundbar just below the TV, the sound keeps you focused on whatever you’re watching. It draws you away from distractions. Once you learn how to set up your TV and soundbar in the right position, Gaming, movies, and entertainment will never be the same again.
Two other factors come into play in your quest for the best sound experience.
The Distance Between the TV and Soundbar
Positioning the soundbar in a center alignment with the TV ensures that the sound is synchronized with the images. There should be a gap of between 10 and 15 cm (4 and 6 inches) between your TV and soundbar. The distance is ideal to allow easy access to connectivity and controls.
Keep a minimum distance of 1 meter (3 feet) between the soundbar and the nearest sidewall. This arrangement helps in equal dispersion of sounds around the room. It also reduces the noise that comes as a result of wave interference.
The Distance Between You and the Entire Unit
The TV and the soundbar should be at least 3-7 meters (10-23 feet) away from you. This arrangement will also depend on the size of the room. However, if you have a big room, feel free to distance yourself. Soundbars are still powerful enough to produce more precise and more in-depth sounds that bounce off the wall.
Some soundbars from major manufacturers could be more powerful than other sound systems. For this reason, you should ensure that there’s some distance between the soundbar and the nearest wall. You should also position your couch a few meters away if you want to experience the soundbar’s best sound.
Remember, your carpet, curtains, and shelves may improve your experience by absorbing noise and smoothening the echoes. Other soundbars come a little bit different from what you’d expect. They have inbuilt features that help users calculate the best distances for best performance.
Determining Distance for Soundbars With Digital Sound Projectors
Some soundbars such as Yamaha Sound Projectors have digital sound projection. Digital sound projection uses beam drivers to distribute sound across the room. If you have this type of soundbar, you may have noticed that it’s setup process is different from other soundbars.
You can set the specific channels you want and test the room using a specially designed microphone. It collects the sound test data and sends it to the soundbar, analyzing the information to generate performance results. This helps you determine the optimum distance from the TV for the best quality sounds.
Yamaha Sound Projectors work best in enclosed rooms where the sound can be reflected and amplified to deliver an immersive experience.
Soundbar vs. Soundbase Setup
If you prefer a sound base to a soundbar, then you’ll have to make a slight adjustment to your TV setup and configuration. Soundbars work with all types of TVs, but a sound base works best with TVs with a central stand. Typically, the TV is placed directly on top of the sound base.
Remember to check the vertical height of the sound base, and make sure it’s lower than the TV’s lower bezel, or it will obstruct your perfect view.
How to Get the Best Sound From Your Soundbar
Getting the best sound experience from your soundbar depends on the type of soundbar and the distance between you and the TV. However, you can’t just get any soundbar, mount it wherever you wish, and still expect the best sound experience. Smart people always determine the angles carefully to obtain the best position.
They also determine how other factors, such as the surround sound will be affected by the positioning. Surround sounds add more detail to your experience.
For instance, an explosion will sound almost like the real explosion due to the depth of the surround sound. Therefore, positioning the soundbar in perfect alignment with your TV will generate better surround sounds.
Several other soundbar options work perfectly with your TV to produce high-quality sounds. The choice is yours, but if you want a better appearance and convenience, choose something with wireless connectivity. This way, you can position the soundbar wherever you want.
But if you choose sound quality over everything else, choosing a soundbar with an HDMI input would be the best option.
TV and Soundbar Installation
Setting up your soundbar in alignment with your TV doesn’t have to be a hard task though sometimes, the soundbar may cause obstruction. There’s a simple solution.
You need to mount your TV on the wall and place the soundbar at least 10 cm (4 inches) away. Such an arrangement gives room for clearer sound, free from interference and obstruction.
You can also place the soundbar close to the subwoofer. Remember, most sound devices perform better in open spaces than enclosed cabinets.
If you’re thinking of building a decorative shelf around the soundbar or its subwoofer, don’t. It will only worsen the sound quality. You should also check on the compatibility of your TV and the soundbar and find out if it has the right sound input options.
Some soundbars support HDMI and optical cables for data while others work best with the 3.5mm (0.14 inch) jack. HDMI cables carry more data, hence higher quality sounds than ordinary audio cables.
Using HDMI also reduces the mess that comes with too many connection cables. Therefore, always check your devices first because, with the wrong compatibility options, you could be signing up to a lengthy frustration.
Wireless connectivity is also a great option though it falls a bit short of what HDMI cables offer.
Determining the best distance between you, the TV, and your soundbar defines the extent you can enjoy quality time with your family. Soundbars are among the best audio solutions for those searching for quality sound experience. Remember, getting the best position is not a one-day task because it needs time and experimentation.
Testing the soundbar will reveal the spot you’ve been looking for. You would be surprised how much you miss with high-quality soundbars that produce clear and more detailed sounds.
Check out my top recommendations for soundbars.
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.