Whether you have a soundbar or maybe you’re looking to add a powerful subwoofer to complement your soundbar package, where you’re going to place the subwoofer is one huge question you can’t afford to ignore. Most people have often asked whether it’s necessary to add a subwoofer to their soundbar systems. The simple answer is no.
A soundbar can work alone as it includes a series of speakers enclosed in a box. However, since the sub is responsible for reproducing the low frequencies, pairing it with a soundbar is somewhat inevitable as it helps to complement your soundbar by adding a quality bass loudness.
In this article, I will discuss the best subwoofer placement and how to tilt it to achieve the right configuration depending on your room’s setup.
What is a Soundbar?
But, before I get started, what exactly is a soundbar? Well, in a layman’s language, a soundbar is a set of individual speakers enclosed in one thin rectangular box. Its main purpose is to improve your TV’s audio quality by replicating a surround sound stereo effect.
What makes them some of the best audio peripherals in the audio business is the fact that you only require a single cable to pair them with your TV, Blue-Ray, DVR, or any gaming console for improved audio quality.
When choosing a soundbar, however, you need to note that these peripherals are quite different from home cinemas. Home cinemas on their side consist of individual speakers positioned in separate locations within the room to offer a surround sound advantage. With a soundbar, the speakers are contained inside a single box.
Why is a Soundbar so Essential?
The advancement in technology has brought in a lot of notable improvements across all sectors one of which is the television department. Traditional televisions had bigger bezels that allowed the manufacturers to fit speakers on the sides. This tradition has continued to change over the years where TVs have become skinnier and bigger leaving no room in the bezels to fit the speakers.
To compensate for this, most homeowners have no other alternative but to consider soundbars as the only option to complete their entertainment experience. Since the speakers are concealed inside one box, soundbars use a clever vibration technology that creates a surround effect for a perfect stereo sound.
Where Do I Place My Subwoofer with Soundbar?
When it comes to finding the perfect place to put your subwoofer with soundbar, there are several factors you’ll have to think of. One of those is your room’s dynamics where every room is different from the other. Another factor is your subwoofer’s quality while the last is room acoustics. With that said, this section will discuss several ways you can place your subwoofer with a soundbar based on these three parameters.
1) In Front of the TV
Perhaps one of the most popular subwoofer placements is putting it right in front of the room. This can be on the left or right side of your TV stand where there will be less interference or traffic. Although sometimes it doesn’t appear to be the perfect spot, most experts agree it’s the perfect place to start as it helps to keep the wires consolidated in one place instead of spreading dangerously throughout the room.
In case you’re not getting the best bass quality, you can opt to place the subwoofer close to the wall. Corner placement usually helps to improve your subwoofer’s bass definition giving you a punchy bass without having to use any room correction software.
2) Next to the Couch
Another perfect spot you can place your subwoofer with the soundbar is next to the couch near the armrest. This position is considered the best as it gives you rich bass for a more advanced cinematic experience. The only downside is that the trembles and vibrations can be too extreme and can easily dominate the crisp surround sound effects of the soundbar.
So, to take care of this, you can opt to place the subwoofer a few inches away from the couch or you can try other placement alternatives such as behind the couch or next to the coffee table. However, for the case of the latter, you need to have a wireless subwoofer to get rid of chaotic wiring on the floor.
3) On a Shelf
Some people might consider placing their subwoofers on the shelves next to their televisions. This placement option is also great and can work really well especially if your main intention is to decouple the sub from the floor. However, you must consider the vibrations generated by the sub when reproducing that loud punchy bass.
In most cases, shelves made of wood are the best to consider as they’re more firm. Also, you need to ensure the TV stand doesn’t house delicate essentials made of glass or ceramic.
4) Inside a Cabinet
Most people enjoy the idea of having multiple subwoofers in their homes. Although they do give the rich punchy bass you might be craving for, one notable downside with this strategy is that they create a lot of clutter that makes your room feel full.
To de-clutter the room, some people opt to fit their subwoofers inside cabinets. Now, placing your subwoofer inside a cabinet isn’t bad. However, this strategy can affect the rich quality of sound your subwoofer produces.
For that reason, you need to find a custom-made cabinet that’s designed to handle rattles and resonances quite well. Also, the doors of the cabinet should have proper ventilation to offer sufficient breathability of the subwoofer driver when firing.
How Far Should the Subwoofer be From the Soundbar?
Now that I’ve discussed some key subwoofer placement spots you might wish to experiment, my last discussion will be looking at how far away should the subwoofer be in your specific placement strategy. When it comes to this, there’s one factor you’ll need to think of which is determining whether your subwoofer plus soundbar are wired or wireless.
In case you’re trying to set up a wireless soundbar and subwoofer, then it’s better to have the two as close together as possible to maintain a rich sound. However, if you must space them for surround sound effects, then the subwoofer should not go beyond 30 ft. to prevent any latency or intermittent connectivity issues.
On the other hand, if the subwoofer and the soundbar are wired, then you can go as far as the wires take you. However, you need to conceal the wires properly to avoid exposing them to any damages from moisture, kids, or rodent attacks.
To cut the long story short, the idea of proper subwoofer placement with a soundbar will melt down to your personal preference. Even two rooms with the same size and similar acoustical outfits will still have different subwoofer sweet spots. This, therefore, means that everything will melt down to your personal specifics.
Thankfully, this guide has discussed some pro tips that can be of tremendous help when placing your subwoofer. I’ve also discussed how far apart your sub should be from your soundbar. With all these in mind, I believe you’ve got some solid information on how to place your subwoofer without interfering with the quality of sound produced.