Soundbar vs Home Theater Surround Sound System
If your home is not pre-wired for home theater speakers (e.g. 5.1ch, 7.2ch & so on), your best bet is to stick with a soundbar unless you’re ok with cutting drywall here and there to fish new speaker wires around the room which will be quite labor intensive and time consuming. And you’ll also have to deal with patching drywall & painting afterwards.
Before soundbars became really popular, 5.1 channel HTiB (Home Theater in a Box) speaker systems used to be quite popular. But it required running wires for all 6 speakers (5 surrounds & 1 sub-woofer). Dealing with all those speaker wires used to be a nightmare for most people. But now, soundbars have evolved over the years most soundbars come with a wireless sub-woofer and sound quality is actually much better than those dreaded HTiB speaker systems.
Shopping for Soundbars
Stick to a well known Audio brands if you’re going for quality sound like Bose, Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, Klipsch, Harmon Kardon / JBL, Paradigm, Sonos and so on.
Many popular TV brands such as Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sharp & Sony are AMAZING in manufacturing high quality televisions & they also have their own line up of sound bars. But when you compare the sound quality versus well established Audio brands mentioned above, you can tell that the TV manufactures are not quite there yet for high quality sound to compete with well known audio brands.
There are many sound bar brands and models in the market and there’s a huge gap in the price range. From a very basic entry level soundbar starting from around $100 to top of the line sound bars costing around $3,000 range. When it comes to sound quality, the old saying “You get what you pay for” is actually very true.
In our opinion, if you set your budget at least $500-ish for somewhat mid-range level sound bar, that should be a good starting point for some decent quality sound.
There are various ways that you can install your sound bar. From just simply mounting a sound bar directly against the wall or mounting it to your TV using universal sound bar brackets or mounting soundbar using specific soundbar brackets in conjunction with a full motion TV wall mount.
Sound is directional. So if you’re mounting your TV with a Full Motion TV wall mount, it is highly suggested to mount the soundbar to the TV using special soundbar brackets.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are few soundbar models that are not mountable. So if you’re planning on mounting your soundbar either below or above your TV, check the specifications of the soundbar that you’re considering to buy to make sure that it’s mountable.
Not all soundbars come with its own mounting brackets. Especially, Bose soundbars – Bose SoundTouch 300, Bose 700 Soundbar, Bose 500 Soundbar, Bose Solo 5 TV sound system, Sonos PlayBar, Sonos Beam and more. It’s a shame that Bose & Sonos don’t include mounting brackets with their soundbars for what you pay.
Soundbar Installation Examples
Sonos Beam Soundbar Installation
Below is an example of a Sonos Beam Soundbar installation using Sanus WSSBM1 soundbar bracket. Sonos Beam is mounted to a full motion TV wall mount so TV & Soundbar both swivel together.
Sonos PlayBar Installation
Below is an example of Sonos PlayBar. Similar to the photos above, this Sonos PlayBar is also mounted to the back of the TV using Universal Soundbar bracket in conjunction with Full motion TV wall mount.
More examples of Sonos Playbar installation.
Photos below show Samsung QLED TV wall mounted with Samsung’s “No Gap” wall mount against custom built wall with hidden components compartment behind the wooden panel. Samsung soundbar is mounted below the TV with all wires hidden inside the hidden compartment behind the wood panel. Laser level was used to precisely center the TV & soundbar to this custom built wall cabinet.
Depth Adjustable Universal Soundbar Brackets
These depth adjustable universal soundbar brackets are must have’s for sound bars that are shaped long from front to back. Ideal in situations where your TV is much thinner than the depth of your soundbar like the examples below.
Example below shows a 55″ Sony LED TV mounted on a custom built-wall with fireplace underneath. Denon DHT-S514 sound bar mounted flush against the TV using these sound bar brackets. This is an old house that’s been gutted out completely and renovated. The owner of the residence took the opportunity during renovation to have pre-wiring done for his AV setup like HDMI cables running from above the fireplace to the closet (not shown in this picture) on adjacent wall where the components are hidden away out of sight. Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home Remote was added to this AV setup to control the components that are hidden away in the closet.