By Emily Peck
Knowing how to mount a soundbar on a wall opens you up to a host of design possibilities at home. After all, when it comes to styling a room, positioning plays a crucial part in the finished look. Having a clear idea of where and how you can position your audio and visual gadgets including TV, soundbar, record player or surround sound system will put you more in control of your end interior design vision. Let's dream big.
For the best acoustic performance on your TV, the best soundbars are the pièces de résistance - the icing on the cake - the Mulberry handbag on the arm - the perfect paint sample discovered - you get the idea. As while sleek TV design can streamline your decor, the sound quality can often be compromised. That's why choosing the best soundbar as a natural add on and positioning it correctly is such an important part of your tele experience. But also - don't forget the snacks.
'TV speakers are almost always aimed in the wrong direction, firing sound downward or toward the wall behind the TV,' says Mike Gregory, sales director at Klipsch Group. 'The goal of the soundbar is to create a sonic experience that matches the TV’s lifelike picture and any soundbar you choose is going to make your TV content sound a whole lot better.'
How to mount a soundbar on a wall - follow the best tips and tricks from the experts
Find the best position for your soundbar
When considering your soundbar mounting ideas, it's important to put your soundbar at the optimum position for the best sound. 'The forward firing speakers should be pointing roughly at head height when sat down in front of the TV,' says Michael Price, brand development specialist at Panasonic. 'This is particularly important for TVs that create a Dolby Atmos effect (sound coming from above) from forward firing speakers. Some soundbars may have up-firing speakers to bounce off the ceiling. There will likely be some way to calibrate these speaker to take into account the distance from the ceiling, which varies depending on the room.
'I often see TVs mounted quite high up on a wall which is not a great idea. If you're looking up at a TV at quite a sharp angle, the picture quality can suffer, especially on LED TVs. The soundbar speakers may also be too high and pointing above the viewers head.'
How to find the best position for your soundbar
Interior designer Caroline Milns from Zulufish says:
- Mounting a soundbar on a piece of furniture like a table, cabinet or stand works well, or you can mount it on a wall below or above your TV.
- Mounting it in the wrong direction can really mess up your listening experience. Before mounting your soundbar on the wall, know that installing your soundbar more than 3 inches from your screen may delay the audio from video and can result in a poor listening experience. Therefore, the soundbar should be as close to the TV as possible for strong connectivity and the best listening experience.
- After the TV is wall mounted, then the soundbar can be easily mounted above or below it. With a soundbar under the TV, I think the overall look of the room looks clean and modern.
- Mounting a soundbar underneath a TV means the sound is not scattered sideways and reaches the listener directly, with less echo and deflection from walls.
Prepare with the best electric drill
Before carrying out any DIY work that involves electricals, it's important to seek advice from a professional - you don't want to have invested in one of the best surround sound systems only to drop it like Del Boy and that chandelier. That said, having a few essential DIY tools to hand is always a good idea for simple tasks such as putting up shelves, fixing furniture and carrying out basic wall-mounting jobs. An electric drill and a bit is a good piece of kit to have to hand when mounting a soundbar to a wall.
You can find a range of drills to choose from online including a drill-driver or combination, corded or cordless drill. 'Whether you enjoy getting hands-on with home improvement projects or you only do occasional DIY, if you’re a homeowner you're likely to need a drill at some point,' says Zoe Warren, Interior Designer from Price Your Job.
'A good drill will hold its charge, have easy-to-use controls and be able to handle a variety of tasks. The main reason for buying a drill is to be able to bore holes and drive screws without too much effort. Different drills are designed to excel at these tasks. Most cordless drills have the same type of chuck - the part that grips the drill bit - so you can swap between various sizes of bit depending on your requirements.'
Choose the right wall mounting tools
The majority of soundbars will come with some sort of wall mounting tool included in the box. This makes them relatively straightforward to fold into your living room ideas as you can follow the step-by-step instructions.
'Soundbars are generally easy to wall mount, and many of them will come with small brackets in the box,' says Michael Price, brand development specialist at Panasonic. 'These are designed to hook securely on to a screw into the wall. Wall screws are typically not supplied, as the type of wall will vary.
'Another popular way to mount a soundbar is via a bracket that attaches to the TV - but these are not generally supplied with the soundbar. Typically, these are long brackets that attach to the TV wall mount so that the soundbar can mount underneath the TV. This means fewer holes drilled into the wall and also keeps the soundbar close to the TV. This is important, as you want speech to sound like it is coming from the screen, not some distance below it.'
To attach your soundbar to the wall you need the brackets designed specifically for mounting soundbars. 'These typically have two arms that you attach to the front of the bar with screws,' says Zoe Warren, Interior Designer from Price Your Job. These arms can be attached securely to a wall stud using drywall anchors. This is by far the easiest way to mount a soundbar in your home.'
Zoe also advises that you:
1. Use an electric drill and bit to mount your soundbar
'The size will vary depending on your soundbar's wall-mounting solution and what type of drywall anchors you use. Typically a 1/8 inch or 3/16 inch bit is needed for wall anchors.'
2. Get the right wall anchors
'There are many different types of wall anchors. Some hold the screw in place, while others expand when you put in a screw so that it has more holding power.'
3. Measure up correctly
To ensure the look is easy on the eye and gives you the best audio performance, make sure the soundbar is centred below the TV. 'The brackets need to be level with each other and once you have decided where to mount your soundbar, mark it using a pencil so that the drill has an easy place to start.'
Why choose a soundbar?
Soundbars are a great tool for transforming your living room into a home cinema - we find they often go hand in hand with the best smart speakers.
'A must-have for film buffs, a soundbar will enhance your viewing experience so sounds such as helicopters or rainfall are crisper and clearer, creating the feeling that you’re in that very moment,' says Alan Whyte, Managing Director at Loewe.
'Supporting technology such as Dolby Atmos that is available on many soundbars really bolsters this. Some soundbars come with a matching subwoofer and together you'll really notice an improvement in sound quality.'
What is the benefit of wall mounting a soundbar?
Soundbars not only look attractive wall mounted as part of your living room TV ideas, but it is on the wall that they are best positioned to improve your TV's audio. Mounting them inside a cabinet will not give you the best sound quality as so many of them fire sound sideways.
'The benefit of mounting a soundbar on the wall is that it removes the negative effects from acoustically reflective or absorbent surfaces and objects from around the soundbar,' says Dean Hayward, head of sound device, Samsung Electronics. 'By removing artefacts that have an adverse impact to the sound quality and by positioning the soundbar on the wall, you can be certain to experience the sound track crisp and clear just as the director intended.'
One of the UK's most respected tech and smart homes writers, Emily Peck also covers everything from interiors style to decorating trends. She is a contributor to Wired UK, and has also had a column in House Beautiful. She has written for publications such as Grand Designs, Stylist, Shortlist, Woman&Home, BBC, Ideal Home and House & Garden. She was once the Features Editor of Ideal Home.
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