Soundbar performance: 3 common practices holding your soundbar back

Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar on TV stand as a movie with a car plays on television

The Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar brings an immersive audio experience into your living room, making your favourite chair feel like a front-row seat for a film premiere, a spot on the 50-yard line during the big game, or like you're standing just a few feet from your favourite musician.

However, as powerful and transformative as soundbars can be, this tech still requires a bit of know-how to get the most out of it. Watch out for these common mistakes that can hinder soundbar performance.

1. Poor placement

Deciding where to position your soundbar, much like deciding where to place a subwoofer, can make a big difference in the sound that ultimately comes out of it. That's because the speakers and transducers inside fire in various directions to create a three-dimensional soundscape, with you at the centre.

To get the best sound, you’ll want to avoid these placement faux pas:

Recessed spaces. Don’t tuck your soundbar into a cabinet or recessed shelf. The upward-firing transducers’ sound waves will bounce against the top of the shelf or cabinet, preventing proper sound distribution and diminishing overall sound quality. Instead, position your soundbar on the edge of a surface, or mount it on the wall to facilitate better sound projection.

Too close to the TV. Whether mounting the soundbar or placing it on the stand, position it at least four inches away from the TV to prevent interference between the two devices.

Too close to wireless devices. Keep any wireless devices at least 30 cm from the soundbar to prevent the signals from clashing. If you have a powerful, long-range Wi-Fi® router or Wi-Fi range extender, aim for at least 2.4 metres of distance between it and the soundbar; any closer might cause a humming or buzzing noise.

On an unstable surface. Ensure the surface holding the soundbar is stable and level. Both of the soundbar's rubber feet should rest firmly and fully on the surface. An unsteady surface can lead to unwanted vibrations and affect sound quality.

Improper height and direction. Your soundbar should face the listening area and match the ear level of your primary viewing position. Deviating from this can obstruct sound flow.

In the line of fire. Excessive light and heat can harm electronics over time. Try to keep your soundbar away from direct contact with them, or consider using a cover when not in use.

Person using the Bose Music app to control their Bose soundbar

2. Untapped soundbar features

Don’t forget about the equalizer settings on the Bose Music app, which allow you to fine-tune the signal to your own sound preferences. You should also explore other features like wireless music streaming, voice control, and integration with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to maximize soundbar performance.

3. Blocked speakers

Sound needs an unobstructed path to pass through with maximum power and cohesion to create the best effect, so keep the area around the soundbar clear. Otherwise, the sound coming from the speakers can bounce off them in unintended directions.

Avoid placing anything on top of the soundbar, as the upfiring speakers are key to the overall effect of Dolby Atmos's revolutionary sound design. Dust and wipe off the soundbar regularly too, as debris and grime can affect performance.


Home theatre setup in living room with Bose Soundbar on TV stand, Surround Speakers behind couch, and Bass Module 700 next to plant

“Unleash your soundbar’s full potential”

Using a soundbar from Bose for the first time can seem like magic, breathing new life into your favourite content. Achieving peak soundbar performance takes a bit of consideration and adjustment to avoid obstacles that get in the way of stellar sound. The good news is that it takes little effort and mere minutes to put that magic at your fingertips — and into your ears.

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