How to Mount a Soundbar

Author: Gina Cunsolo

How to Mount a Soundbar in Your Conference Room

If your company frequently conducts video conferencing sessions, it’s no surprise that you’re looking to get the most from your conference room audio system. As a result, you’ve invested in a sound bar such as the ESB-1090 Enterprise Sound Bar from Yamaha Unified Communications.

You’ve already made a smart choice, but there’s one more issue to consider: How and where should I mount that sound bar? To answer that question, let’s consider the issues involved.

Soundbar audio vs built in speakers

Although many flat-panel displays include built-in speakers, the sound they produce isn’t always sufficient for conference room audio. Display bezels, or the frame around the screen itself, continue to shrink, leaving little room for forward-facing speakers. As a result, display manufacturers often have speakers facing the back, resulting in less-than-stellar audio performance.

This difference in audio quality virtually makes external speakers a requirement. And when balancing space, price, and audio quality, a sound bar is often the best solution. 

Sound bars offer several benefits when used as part of a conference room audio system. Here we’ll list just a few.

Soundbar advantages in the workplace

1. They enhance the sound quality of nearly any conference room audio system

Sound bars can deliver excellent audio performance in a small package. 

The ESB-100, for example, features built-in subwoofers, dome tweeters, and full-range speakers, ensuring crystal-clear sound throughout the audio spectrum.

2. They’re inexpensive compared with other solutions

When it comes to a conference room setting, a sound bar delivers quality audio comparable to that of an elaborate, high-priced speaker system at a fraction of the cost. They can be an excellent solution if budget is a concern.

3. They’re easy to install

Sound bars such as the ESB-100 connect to an audio system via a single optical or HDMI cable, eliminating the need to run unsightly speaker wires above ceiling tiles or along the walls. 

The ESB-100 also features Bluetooth connectivity, enabling you to ditch the wires completely.

Soundbar Mounting Methods for Conference Rooms

How you mount a sound bar to a wall as part of a video conferencing system will depend in large part on how the display is mounted. There are typically two options: wall mounted or tabletop.

Situations where one might choose a tabletop mount include those where you desire a movable setup, such as a rolling cart. In that case, the sound bar will rest on the table at the base of the display. Be aware, though, that displays tend to be top-heavy and can easily be knocked over. Unless you plan to regularly move the display between rooms, mounting the display and sound bar on the wall is the preferred solution. 

Should I mount the sound bar above or below the TV?

Although in most cases it’s preferable to mount the sound bar below the display, there’s no hard and fast rule. For smaller conference rooms, experts suggest placing the sound bar at about ear level for seated participants. For larger conference rooms, it may be preferable to place the sound bar above the display to those in the back of the room will be able to hear the proceedings clearly. 

And if someone brings up the question, “Can I mount a sound bar vertically?” do everything you can to dissuade them of that notion. Doing so could completely ruin the stereo experience a sound bar provides.

The mounting process

In most cases, users are going to wall mount a sound bar and display at the same time. Every conference room is different, and each is going to come with its own set of challenges when mounting a sound bar.

Here are some general guidelines for mounting a TV and sound bar to a wall. If you’re in leased space or your building has a maintenance department, be sure to involve them in the process. 

Select a mounting bracket

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of mounting brackets on the market. Yamaha UC, for example, offers a variety of mounting brackets that can handle the task, with several incorporating a mount for both the display and the sound bar in a single bracket. These can be installed with the sound bar either above or below the display. 

Measure to find the best spot

Measure the wall to find the best spot to mount the display and sound bar. There’s an old carpenter’s adage: “measure twice and cut once.” Although you’ll be drilling instead of cutting, the sentiment still applies. Make sure your chosen spot is close to a power source and that you’ll be able to run the connection cables.

Locate the studs

Installing the mount to drywall only is a recipe for disaster. It’s not strong enough to support the weight of a display and sound bar, and within seconds your equipment will come crashing to the floor. Instead, use a stud finder to locate the studs and mark where you plan to drill holes for mounting bolts.

Drill pilot holes 

Once you’ve chosen an appropriate spot and located the studs, mark spots to drill pilot holes to make the mounting bolts easier to install. Make sure the mounting bracket will be level once it’s installed. If not, you’ll likely have to drill another hole to make it so. Once you’re sure, install the bracket.

Mount the display and sound bar

Enlist at least two colleagues to help mount the display. Two of you can hold the display in position while the third connects the cables and secures the display. If your mounting bracket can hold the sound bar, secure that as well. Turn on the system and ensure everything works. If it does, you’re good to go.

If the mount for your display doesn’t include accommodations for a sound bar, or you’re adding a sound bar to an existing system, it may be safe to install it to drywall using drywall anchors. Most anchors can support around 20 pounds or so. The ESB-100 weighs 7.5 lbs., well under that limit. If in doubt, though, mount the sound bar to a stud.

Again, before undertaking a mounting project it’s a good idea to check with the building maintenance department or an A/V professional. And 

Conference room soundbar solutions by Yamaha UC

If you’re seeking advice about the products that can help create an outstanding videoconferencing solution, reach out to the experts at Yamaha UC.