5 Tips Where to Place a Subwoofer with Sound Bar At Home

Setting up an entertainment system for your home can be a tall task. Everything has to be perfect to get the best viewing experience. Apart from the image on the screen, sound is the most important aspect of any entertainment system or home theatre.

Even with a simple living room setup, it is hard to settle for the sound coming from the television alone. A surround sound system is often too expensive, and many people just don’t have the dimensions in their room to pull it off.

Subwoofers with sound bars are a fantastic alternative, but an issue still presents itself. It is hard to tell the sweet spot to place a subwoofer. This may seem arbitrary, but there are good and bad locations for your speakers. Here are 5 tips where to place a subwoofer with soundbar.

1. Don’t Underestimate Placement

Many people don’t realize, but placement of speakers plays a massive role in how we interpret sound. The most influential factor in placement is the room’s dimensions.

Furniture, windows and walls all effect the way the listener hears the audio, especially the bass. This makes subwoofer placement, in particular, very important in terms of your listening pleasure.

Walls are the biggest factor, reflecting bass waves and bouncing them around the room. The bouncing waves will either cancel each other out, creating a dead spot of sound, or amplify the sound causing the bass to ring out uncontrollably.

These are called “peaks” and “nulls”. You have to take your room’s dimensions and acoustics into consideration when setting up your subwoofer if you want to optimize the sound and get the most out of your speakers.

2. Next to the Sound Bar

subwoofer placement next to TV
subwoofer placement next to TV

Though, not the best option, this is probably where you’ll start. It’s intuitive to a newcomer to put all of the subwoofer next to the soundbar, as this is where you are accustomed to getting most of your sound.

It’s certainly an acceptable starting point, and for a smaller room it may be adequate. The bass will not be optimized, but this is still a full sound and certainly better than the TV speakers.

If the sound is clear and the bass is good enough for you, this strategy is acceptable, provided that it doesn’t get in the way. It’s the easiest location, and likely the first location a subwoofer will end up. If it’s wireless, however, there is likely a better option for the best sound.

The Samsung HWF450 Soundbar with subwoofer may be best for this placement. Check out the review.

3. The Corner

subwoofer placement at corner
subwoofer placement at corner

The corner of the room is usually the most convenient place to put your subwoofer. Most people have at least one corner available and can squeeze a speaker in there without moving everything around.

It’s a decent option for most cases. Subwoofers with sound bars are often lower powered, causing the bass to be a bit underwhelming at times. This corner placement will help amplify the bass. Although this will make the bass louder, it won’t necessarily make it sound better.

To help keep the quality up, try to keep it a few inches from the wall. You can also plug the back of the speaker to keep the sound from bouncing off the rear wall.

This will help the overall sound remain sharp. This is a very common option because it is often the most convenient and is still acceptable.

4. Sub Crawl

subwoofer placement back
subwoofer placement back (Picture from DigitalTrends.com)

The sub crawl is a term known that is well-known to audiophiles. Everyone’s listening room is unique.

Therefore, it is impossible to give a blanket statement as to where to put a subwoofer. Even seeing a room is not enough to determine the best location for a subwoofer, there are just too many variables.

This is why a sub crawl is the best way to determine subwoofer placement for your particular room. To do this, place the subwoofer in the spot where you normally sit. After that, put on some music or a movie with some good bass and start sub crawling.

A Sub crawl is simply the act of walking or crawling around the room until you find the point at which the sound is at its best.

When you find a spot, mark it and continue on. After you have noted a few locations, narrow it down to the best. This is where you’ll place your subwoofer, and you’re ready to start listening.

While crawling, remember to try to stay about as low or lower than your listening chair. This will give you a more accurate preview of how the sound will move (this is why it’s called a sub crawl).

Not everyone will have the luxury of being able to put the subwoofer wherever they want, but if you can this will optimize your listening experience.

Check out this Vizio S4251W-B4 5.1 Sound Bar System. It is a 5.1 channel home theatre speaker system that cost less than $300. Also, it was an award winning speaker from CNET.

5. The Rule of Thirds

This is a popular and generally accurate approach to placing a subwoofer. The concept is simple; place the speaker one-third of the room’s dimensions from one wall, and your listening location one-third of the distance from the other wall.

For instance, if your room is ten feet long, your speaker will be about three feet from one wall and your seat will be about three feet from the opposite wall. It’s a simple solution and a generality, but is probably the best solution other than doing a sub crawl.

Again, not everyone has the ability to place their seat and speaker anywhere they want, but if you do, or if these dimensions work, this may the strategy for you.

Hopefully, this information will be able to assist you in your subwoofer placement. A sound bar certainly helps in the versatility of placement, as the sound is not solely reliant on the subwoofer location.

Obviously, if you are lucky enough to be able to place the subwoofer wherever you please, optimizing your sound will be complete after a sub crawl.

If you’re more restricted, the other options offer alternatives. While you may not be getting the most out of your subwoofer and your room’s acoustics, the sound will be adequate.

It’s all about getting the best out of your own entertainment or listening area, no matter how cluttered or cramped it may be.

Be sure to check out these 17 Best Movies for Surround Sound at Home.

Conclusion

There are many places where you can put your subwoofer. In fact, the factors that will affect the best sound quality are too much. It can be the dimension of the room, how far you will seat from it, and even the subwoofer itself.

Some more powerful subwoofer require a bigger space to release its full base. What you can do is to try out a few locations, and then try with a few powerful songs or movies to find your favorite spot to place your subwoofer.

5 Replies to “5 Tips Where to Place a Subwoofer with Sound Bar At Home”

  1. Great information.. I ran with just a sound bar forever but wanted to have a better bass so I bought a Bose with a subwoofer to step it up.. my biggest problem is the lay out of the room its not very spacious and slightly crowded but I did take your advice and I did notice the difference in sound quality following some of your tips.. Thank You.,

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