Does Soundbar Size Matter? (Comparing With TV & Room Size)

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Soundbars are equipped with speaker drivers that are very small and hidden within their bodies. That’s why knowing about their sizes is difficult. But they are very critical for the acoustics of the room. So, does soundbar size matter?

At A Glance: The Soundbar size does matter to fill the room. As a general rule of thumb, the length of the soundbar (in inches) would be better if it is 18% of the room length and the edges of the soundbar should not exceed more than 1 foot apart from the TV edges.

Keep reading as I will deep dive into this topic and will open it for you further. I will throw light on a few more related stuff to this topic.

How Do You Know What Size Soundbar To Get? (In-depth Analysis)

Room Size (inches)Soundbar Length (inches)
Small (120X144)26 inches (round figure)
Medium(144X216)39 inches (round figure)
Large (192X240)43 inches
Values are researched and tested by me

Here I talked about two rules for the perfect soundbar size.

  1. The soundbar would be better if its length is 18% of the room length
  2. The edges of the soundbar should not be more than 1 foot apart from the TV edges

I kept the length metrics and tested them out in my living room, where I installed the TV and soundbar.

The length metrics really helped me fill the room. I brought two soundbars from my showroom for this test.

The 18% sweet spot really stands out.

Why am I saying that the length of the soundbar should be 18% of the length of the room?

Because the manufacturers increase the length of the soundbar. They usually then equip them with bigger speaker driver areas and violate the other rule (The edges of the soundbar should not be more than 1 foot apart from the TV edges). I will come to that rule later in this section.

But for now, discuss this 18% rule. They have bigger-size drivers. The soundbar speaker drivers are not meant to be round as usual speakers, but they are oval. The oval shape of the drivers is aesthetically friendly and contributes to more length. And when increasing the area of these speaker drivers, the sound also improves.

That’s why you should compare the length of the soundbar to the length of the room.

When you are about to buy a new soundbar. You should first measure the length of the room and apply this 18% rule. The obtained value will be your desired soundbar length size.

Why should the edges of the soundbar not be more than 1 foot apart from the TV edges?

This is due to the phenomena of the stereo-transitioning of the sound. When a hero is running from one edge of the screen to another. Their travel is depicted by the speakers’ audio in the room. You feel like he is running from one edge of the soundbar to another edge.

Now here is a simple rule. If you want this stereo-transition to be felt in your room and life-like then keep the soundbar length more than the width of the TV but if you want to sync this stereo-transition to the TV’s screen then keep the length of the soundbar as same as the TV width.

But I don’t like syncing it with the TV screen. I want to feel the train or hero running in my room and at the same time, I want my soundbar to fill my room with sound. That’s why I recommend this 18% and 1-foot rule.

What if they collide with each other? Keep reading to know.

What if your room is bigger and the TV is small to meet this rule?

Then ask these two questions from you. Do you want to sync the stereo transition of soundbar audio to the TV screen or want to fill the room with sound?

If yes, for the first question then by soundbar according to the width of the TV but if you want to fill the room then go with this 18% rule of length.

But you can consider more channels with a soundbar if your soundbar is smaller. Keep reading to know how the channels of the soundbar impact its room-filling ability.

Recommendations

I will recommend this soundbar below. It fills your room better because it has two separate speakers along with a subwoofer.

Soundbar channels number VS Room size: How Many Channels Soundbar Do You Need?

Room Size in InchesRequired Soundbar Channels
Small (120X144)3 channels
Medium (144X216)3.1 channels
Large (192X240)5.1 channels
The first number describes the speaker drivers in the soundbar, the numbers after the first point describe the subwoofer, and the numbers after the second point describe the speaker drivers for Dolby Atmos.

I am recommending to up the soundbar channels number because if the soundbar size is small but it has two separate speakers with it that can be placed behind you. Then these additional speakers will help you to fill the room.

Now add a subwoofer too. The room will be better filled by a smaller soundbar. When there are additional channels and a subwoofer with a smaller soundbar then you can confidently lower that (the 18% soundbar length rule).

Why do I recommend These Numbers For Every Room Size?

  1. Small Room: The soundbar with just left, right, and center channels will easily give you a nice experience with any kind of content.
  2. Medium Room: The already 3 channels with one subwoofer will work for you
  3. Large Room: Two physical speakers at your back along with 3 channels in the soundbar and a sub will satisfy your needs.

Read my this guide to know which soundbar is right for you cheap or expensive. Don’t forget to read the poll data at the bottom.

Does the width of the soundbar matter?

In-Short: The width matters only when the speakers inside it are built according to the width of the soundbar. Because the speaker driver needs room to move back and forth and produce sound. But if the width of the speaker inside it is smaller than the soundbar width is of no use.

In-Depth: If the soundbar width is 12 inches and the speakers inside it are 8 inches each then the width of the soundbar matters but if the speakers are 4 inches each then the width of the soundbar is of no use. The deeper the speaker’s width, the deeper the driver can move and the deeper sound will be. Because the speaker drivers inside the soundbar need space to move in. As a result, the sound and bass will be deep and accurate. 

But the width should not exceed a lot more than what is needed. But don’t worry, the engineers in the soundbar companies are aware of it, and they will never cut or increase the width of the soundbar unless it is not a reputable company.

Reputable companies always keep these little things in check. Because these little things affect the sound more.

Read my this guide to know if you need an eARC soundbar. You will know more about soundbar technologies.

Did you get something out of this Soundbar size guide? Hold On We Have Something Exciting To Share.

FAQs

Do all soundbars fit all TVs?

Not all soundbars fit all the TVs because of the demand and supply. Many users are okay with just 3 channels in the soundbar, and others will demand Dolby Atmos from the brands. That’s why all the soundbars can’t fit all the TVs.

But many brands are working on infusing all of these drivers in a very small soundbar cabinet. Few have succeeded in doing so.

Does the soundbar need to be under the TV?

You can place the soundbar at the top or bottom of the TV, but the soundbar should be very close to the TV. Because every soundbar has a center channel built-in and the center channel speaker should be placed close to the TV and should be at the center for the optimal experience.

Should the soundbar be as wide as the TV?

If the length of the soundbar matches the edges of the TV, then it is a good thing. But if you can’t find a size that can match your TV from edge to edge. Then get a soundbar that its left and right speaker drivers not apart more than 1 foot away from the TV edges.

Do you need a soundbar with a 4K TV?

You need a soundbar with any type of TV because nowadays, the TVs are so flat that brands can’t fit a good quality speaker in them.

That’s why you should also buy a soundbar for it to lift the game up.

Are bigger soundbars better?

A bigger size of soundbar has nothing to do with the quality of sound. The speaker drivers’ size, which is built into the soundbar matters. A bigger cabinet of soundbars can’t ensure good quality. You should always investigate the size of each speaker driver in it. Read the product manual carefully before buying a soundbar.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. This was my opinion, read more about it from LifeWire Blog. (Resource for the second answer)
  2. This was my opinion, know more about it from this buyer guide by DigitalTrends Blog. (Resource for the fifth answer)

Watch To Learn More

This video might help you to choose the right size for soundbar

This article was first posted on Homelytainment.com.
Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

Ayaan khan is a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After his degree, he started an internship with his father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month he realized that this is the best job in the world for him and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when his internship ended, he joined his father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. He tests new equipment and approves it before it can be installed in the customer's house. He loves to test equipment and sometimes loves to install it by himself in the customer's theater room. Ayyan has the right experience and knowledge to learn from his articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy.

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