Soundbars are a popular addition to entertainment rooms and offices, greatly enhancing sound quality for less cost than a full surround sound audio setup.
They’re generally quite affordable and easy to install, either per manufacturer instructions or by using a separately-purchased mount bracket. However, can you mount them upside down?
You can mount a soundbar upside down if needed or desired but it may reduce the sound quality. Since soundbars often contribute to a surround sound experience, mounting them upside down may affect the directional sound. You might need to switch up some wires in order to fix this.
The rest of this article will discuss what a soundbar is, why you might want to mount one upside down, and things to consider when mounting it in that orientation.
We’ll also touch on how to go about mounting the soundbar upside down if that’s the best option for your entertainment system setup.
Also read: How to Mount a Soundbar on the Wall
What Is a Soundbar?
A soundbar is essentially an extra external speaker. They are short, wide, and designed to be placed or mounted above or below a television, computer monitor, or home theater system.
With multiple speakers encased within the soundbar cabinet, a soundbar can be used to amplify volume and create a surround sound type experience.
Soundbars are generally inexpensive, especially compared to larger home audio systems. They’re easy to set up, either being easily mounted to the wall above or below your screen or placed on a shelf in front of, above, or below the screen.
Soundbars can make a huge difference in the sound quality of watching movies or tv shows or playing video games. They can make it easier to hear quieter sounds and to understand the dialogue. They give the soundtrack more depth and help draw you into a better viewing experience.
Most soundbars are designed to work with directional sound, which can help provide a surround-sound type of experience without a full array of speakers.
Why Mount a Soundbar Upside Down?
If a soundbar is supposed to be directly above the screen, below it, or perhaps just in front, why would anyone want to mount one upside down? The two main reasons for this are space and aesthetics, or how the soundbar looks.
Sometimes, space concerns might prevent you from mounting your soundbar the way the manufacturer intended.
Perhaps you have a wall-mounted TV located near a fireplace, a shelf, or some other furniture, blocking your ability to put the soundbar up the right way. Maybe there’s no room to fit the soundbar on the wall at all.
Perhaps your TV is in an entertainment unit that lacks peripheral space close to the screen, and your only option is to mount it upside down on a shelf above or below the screen.
Maybe the screen itself sits lower to the ground, and you want the soundbar mounted higher for the best possible sound quality.
Soundbars are designed with a size and shape that simply won’t always work with the placement of your TV or computer screen, or any furniture in the area. In such circumstances, mounting the soundbar upside down may well be the only way you can utilize one at all.
It’s possible that you just don’t like the way your soundbar looks, and mounting it upside down will make it more visually appealing.
Maybe the top or bottom is clunky and awkward looking. Maybe you’d prefer to mount it so that any buttons will be more accessible from standing in front of it, rather than having to reach underneath or on top.
There are many reasons why mounting the soundbar upside down would look better; it’s all a matter of personal taste here.
Why Can’t You Mount a Soundbar Upside Down?
For most soundbars, you can indeed mount them upside down. But it’s important to read the owner’s guide and manufacturer’s instructions for your specific soundbar before doing so.
While most soundbars are well-built and are not going to break or malfunction from being hung upside down, you may still need to adjust settings or even switch some wires in order to have the sound play correctly.
Most soundbars are meant to utilize directional sounds. They contain several speakers inside and perhaps even a subwoofer and can provide a surround sound-type of quality without you having to have a full array of speakers around the room.
Because of this, hanging the soundbar upside down may change how you hear the sounds from your movie, show, or game. Noises intended to come from the left side of the show will come from the right sound of the bar instead, and vice versa.
Thankfully, some modern soundbars are built with internal sensors that determine the orientation of your soundbar relative to your screen. If you mount one of these types upside down, the sensor will automatically know and correct the sound output.
But many soundbars don’t have this feature. Still, you can fix the problem relatively easily if your soundbar is connected via RCA cables. The correct sound should come out of each side by reversing the right and left jacks on the soundbar.
However, if your soundbar is connected via an HDMI cable or an optical cable, you can’t just reverse the jacks. If you have this type of soundbar and it contains no auto-correcting sensor, you will probably be stuck with reversed sound forever.
The good news is that this might not be too noticeable for many computers and average home TVs. But if you have a larger screen TV or computer monitor, or a full home theater setup, mounting the wrong type of soundbar upside down could definitely impact your viewing experience.
How Do You Mount a Soundbar Upside Down?
Some soundbars are specifically designed to be mounted on the wall and even come equipped with an easy mounting mechanism.
In many cases, this simply means a system of keyhole-type openings on the back of the soundbar. To hang the soundbar, you measure and install screws and possibly wall anchors into the wall, then hang the soundbar from them.
However, this type of mounting system will not work for a soundbar hung upside down. The holes will not be oriented correctly, the screws will not be able to lock into place, and the device is at risk of falling and possibly breaking.
Your best bet for mounting a soundbar upside down is to buy a specific mounting bracket that can be oriented in any direction.
The above Mounting Dream Soundbar Mount (Amazon) allows you to attack your soundbar either to the wall or directly to the TV or screen, can attach to any mounting holes already present in your soundbar, and can support a soundbar oriented upside down with ease.
Other soundbar mounts, like this MOUNT-IT! Sonos Playbar Wall Mount (Amazon) works with safety rails and sliders. The mount is attached to the wall, underneath the shelf, or wherever you want it to go. The sliders are attached to the back of the soundbar, and it simply slides into place.
One additional option is this Excel Life Universal Soundbar Mount Bracket (Amazon) which adjusts to hold your soundbar securely and can then be mounted on the wall in whatever orientation you desire.
A soundbar is a great addition to your home entertainment center or gaming computer station. You can usually mount a soundbar upside down if necessary.
However, it’s important to make sure you understand how doing so can impact sound quality and that you have the equipment necessary to mount the device securely.
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.