A soundbar is a great way to enhance your TV’s audio. However, determining the best placement for your new device may mean you need a non-traditional approach to mounting your soundbar. Most soundbars are designed to be mounted on their bottom or on their side, but you may be wondering if you can mount your soundbar upside down.
A quality soundbar should be able to be mounted upside down but sound quality may be affected. The direction of the sound can be fixed by reversing RCA cables, but HDMI and optically connected soundbars can't be corrected unless the soundbar is designed for this.
One of the best aspects of a home theater is the ability to customize your surround sound system to fit your space and needs. Mounting a soundbar upside down may be the best option for you. Below, I help explain why you may want to mount your soundbar upside, some issues you may need to address, as well as how to pursue this option.
There are plenty of reasons you may want to mount your soundbar upside down. For starters, you may think the upside down soundbar looks better for your particular home theater set up.
Many manufacturers ignore the aesthetics of the bottom of their soundbar. Therefore, if you want to mount your soundbar above your TV (our guide), the bottom may be an eyesore. But, aesthetics aside, there more reasons commonly cited for upside down mounting of a soundbar.
Sometimes, space can affect where your soundbar is placed. For example, if you have limited space on your entertainment center, like the Altus Plus Floating TV Stand by Prepac (on amazon), it might make more sense to install the soundbar upside down beneath the center’s top shelf.
If you have a fireplace immediately below a wall-mounted TV that does not allow enough space for the soundbar buttons to be accessible when mounted beneath the television itself, then you may need to mount the soundbar upside down to access these buttons.
Most soundbars today are structurally capable of being mounted upside down if desired. Because the internal components of quality soundbars are solidly built and installed, the orientation of the soundbar itself will not damage them or cause an issue with functionality.
However, orientation may affect the way you hear the sounds being produced. Soundbars enhance your home theater’s audio because they provide directional sound. When action is coming from the left side of your screen, the corresponding sound will come from the left side of your soundbar.
When you flip your soundbar upside down, this can cause an issue as the sounds that are supposed to be coming from the left are now coming from the right. If you have a soundbar that is connected via RCA cables, you just need to make sure you reverse the left and right jacks on your soundbar to ensure the correct signal is produced by the correlating speakers.
However, if you are connected via an HDMI or optical cable, there is no way to reverse this and you will simply be stuck with the sound being produced through the opposite side of the screen.
For smaller screens and soundbars, this may not be a big deal. For larger setups, however, the distance between the speakers and the TV visual may be glaringly obvious to anyone watching. Some advanced soundbars, like the Sonos Playbar (on Amazon) actually have internal sensors that detect upside-down mounting and correct for it automatically.
Placement may also be an issue, which may or may not be easily addressed. Soundbars should be mounted at the target ear level. This means, if you are looking to mount your soundbar above your TV, you may already be altering the effectivity of your soundbar. While this may not be avoidable, it is something you should consider before mounting your soundbar.
Some soundbars come with built in mounting capabilities. Often, this is in the form of keyhole style openings on the back of the soundbar. After installing the proper screws and/or anchors in the wall, you then insert the head of the screws into these holes and slide the soundbar down to lock it into place.
This minimal way of mounting a soundbar means you need very little additional equipment. However, the orientation of these keyholes will not work with upside down mounting. This is because the locking portion of the keyhole is at the bottom and the screw will not be securely locked in place.
In most cases, you will need a mount in order to secure your soundbar upside down. Options, like the Pyle Speaker Wall Mount (on Amazon) or the Excel Life Universal Soundbar Mount Bracket (also on Amazon), are capable of supporting most soundbar models in almost any orientation.
Simply use the included wall anchors and screws to securely attach the mount to the wall. Then slide your soundbar onto the supports. And after your soundbar is mounted, be sure to check our article on 6 ways to make your soundbar sound better to fine-tune things.