For an excellent cinematic sound experience, opting for a soundbar in place of relying solely on your TV speakers is the way to go. This is especially the case because flat-screen TVs can not physically house high-quality speakers in the first place. Furthermore, getting it mounted accurately will enhance its sound output, maximizing its potential to the full.
In answer to your question regarding the mounting of Sonos soundbar above your TV, well, it depends on the model of soundbar you are using. While you can place the Sonos Beam above your TV, you can not place your Sonos Arc above the TV. Although the same soundbar brand, certain built-in unique features make them best suited for mounting in different positions. So from this article, you will find out these unique features of the various models and their best mounting position that enhances your listening experience. So here we go.
For optimized sound output, the Arc is best suited below your TV rather than above it. This is because the Arc has got built-in up-firing speakers and, as such, will require to be mounted so as its waves can reflect off the surface of your ceiling. These up-firing speakers feature two extra drivers that are angled upwards to create that full sound immersion.
If placed too close to the ceiling, that distance will not be sufficient for such a reflection. The ceiling might end up absorbing the sound or muffle it up. If placed below the TV, the effect will enhance your desired surround sound, where you are enclosed in the high-quality sound output right from where you are seated.
Care, too, should be taken that when installing the Sonos Arc, it is not placed too close directly under your TV. This will obstruct the sound output meant to reflect off your ceiling and result in muffled sound output. In so doing, the purpose is defeated. Another essential thing to note is if you intend to flip the Arc, know that such a feature is not supported. Unlike the Playbar, it does not support multiple orientations.
We have listed best Sonos arc alternatives here, if you want to try other soundbars
You can remember that we indicated that it is best suited to be mounted above the TV from the onset for this soundbar. This is rightly so because the Sonos Beam has no built-in upward-firing drivers that require a reflective surface to maximize its full potential. It only features four full-range drivers, one tweeter, three passive radiators, and five class-D digital amplifiers. So, in this case, mounting it below your TV will not result in any enhanced sound output.
Therefore, in determining the best mounting position, you have to consider your TV set’s height to see if it is within the ear level range. If placed above the TV in some homes, it will be too close to the ceiling, and its sound output can be muffled in very few exceptional cases. Nevertheless, placing it above the TV is ideal since it is within the ear level range. There is not much obstruction. Setting it up this way will portray the right illusion that the sound emanates from your television screen.
You can read more about Sonos Beam here
The play bar is kind of unique with regards to how it ought to be mounted. Its design is flexible enough to allow multiple orientations, having its nine built-in drivers mounted on a 45-degrees angle. Moreover, two of its tweeters are placed on the unit’s ends at an angle that enhances broader sound coverage.
This invariably means you choose to place it on a tabletop or wall mount either above or below your television, and there will not be a drop in sound quality. When placed on a tabletop, it should lay horizontally and flat with both ends of the playbar being at least 1 ft (30cm) away from any obstruction or a wall. So this will rule out the option of placing the Playbar inside a table shelf if you desire the best audio performance.
Furthermore, suppose you prefer to mount the playbar on a wall either above or below your TV. In that case, the only requirement is to ensure that the connector panel faces away from your TV. Also, for optimum audio performance, allow a distance of 1″ (25mm) clearance between your TV and Playbar when it is mounted below. While, when mounted above, allow a clearance of 2″ (50mm) between the both.
As for the best mounting position for Sonos Sub, it is preferable to be placed below the TV, even right on the floor. In the first place, this sub’s weight will require an excellent platform if it were to be mounted on a wall or above ground level. It weighs approximately 36.3 lbs (16 kg), of which you will agree that such a weight is not just too easy for we humans to lift with our hand for long. So you will have to be very sure that if placed on an elevated platform, such a platform will not cave in and collapse due to its weight.
Before mounting it above ground level, you need to consider how the surrounding structures will be affected due to vibrations because this sub has got significantly powerful bass energy. It has got two powerful drivers that are faced inwards, responsible for its powerful bass. These vibrations can rattle your windows and doors, affect nearby wooden platforms, and may even pose a threat to walls they are mounted on. Moreover, a rule of thumb for subs is to never place them in an area that can resonate because even the quality of sound output will be affected by surrounding rattling noise.
So, mounting it on the floor is the best option because it is far less directional and will do a perfect job from anywhere in the room. You can decide to place it underneath your couch, flat on the floor, at the corners, behind the chair, and just anywhere. If mounted this way, it also provides a cool advantage of having to get its wires hidden underneath your rug quickly or any other means. However, if hung off the ground, you will have to develop a solution to keep the wires hidden if you hate to see dangling wire connections.
The Playbase is built to disperse sound wide to both the right and left sides in an open environment from its design. It has also got an internal subwoofer that mounted horizontally rather than vertically to provide a unique sound output. Judging from this, you can rightly guess the best mounting position for the Playbase. Since sound projection does not depend on your ceiling’s reflective surface, it can serve perfectly when mounted either at the top or below your TV.
You should use a vital principle when determining the best position for your need to consider if it is within the eye level. Placing a soundbar device within the range is recommended because the spoken audio should appear to sound from your screen and not too far off. So whichever you decide, to guarantee the best sound quality output, you’ll need to conserve this principle. Also, because the sound is projected to its side, ensure it is placed in an open environment having fewer obstructions. If placed within a shelf, such placement can limit its full potential. Such a cabinet will alter the sound’s direction, projecting them to come from a single focal point. Moreover, when that is the case, the purpose of this soundbar’s design is defeated.
Take Away From This Article
Opting for a soundbar rather than only the sounds projected from a TV screen is the best way to go if you intend to heighten your listening experience. However, as you have seen, to get the best out of these, you ought to mount them strategically in the right position for optimized sound output.
Although the same brand, Sonos, has been consistent at manufacturing top-quality sound appliances over the years now, mounting them is not a case of one style fits all. While a model is best suited above the TV, another is perfectly fitted below it. However still, another is flexible enough to undergo multiple orientations based on your preference. Mounting them within the eye and ear level range is vitally important too as well, in order to portray sounds as though coming from the screen itself.
So while putting into consideration the arrangement of your home’s decor and how a soundbar can seamlessly complement it, you will also have to make room for their unique mounting position based on the principle of their product design. In so doing, you will gain from the high-quality cinematic sound experience meant to portray a perfect artistic sound just as the artist intended.
Sam has been a Smart Things expert for years and the author of DIY SmartThings. Recently he’s really more into Nest smart devices and has a lot of experience with all sorts of projects from converting a regular Home to completely a smart home with the background degree in Electronics.