Soundbar Size Guide: What size Soundbar for Your TV

So you’re looking to pair your brand new 55 inch TV with a soundbar but you’re struggling to decide what size of soundbar you need. I was struggling with this issue too, so I spent several hours researching the subject, and my findings are in this article.

We’ll cover topics such as soundbar size, soundbar wattage, where to place a soundbar, as well as other practical subjects. Don’t buy a soundbar until you finish reading this article!

Does a Soundbar Need to Be the Same Size as My TV?

The idea is to buy a soundbar with a speaker size that matches the width of your TV, but the problem is TV sizes are measured via the screen size, diagonally, from one corner to the other. What you need to do is to find the width of the TV so you can buy a soundbar that matches it.

A soundbar doesn’t need to be the exact same size as your TV but they should be similar, or at least a few inches apart. You can get a soundbar that’s a little smaller or bigger than your TV, but if it’s too small, the experience might not be the best.

The reason you want a soundbar that matches the width of your TV is so the audio sounds like it’s coming from the sides of your TV, instead of the center. A larger soundbar will suit a large TV because it will create the illusion of surround sound, not to mention larger soundbars are usually more powerful too.

Key Takeaway:

A soundbar that is roughly the same size as your TV (or slightly smaller) should work well for most situations.

Calculating TV width from Screen Size:

An easy solution to find the width of a TV would be to simply measure it. But maybe you ordered the TV online and you don’t have physical access to it yet. Another way to calculate your TV’s width is by using the Pythagorean Theorem formula, with the screen size, and aspect ratio.

Don’t feel like doing math? I listed the most common TV width sizes below. Once you know the width, then you simply need to search for a soundbar that matches, and before long you’ll have a very nice and powerful entertainment center.

TV SizeTV WidthRecommended Soundbar Size
32″27.9″ / 70.9 cm20-30 inch soundbar
40″34.9″ / 88.6 cm30-40 inch soundbar
43″37.5″ / 95.3 cm30-40 inch soundbar
50″43.6″ / 110.7 cm40-50 inch soundbar
55″47.9″ / 121.7 cm40-50 inch soundbar
60″52.3″ / 132.8 cm50-60 inch soundbar
65″56.7″ / 144.0 cm50-60 inch soundbar

To use the table, simply find your TV size in the left column and look across to the recommended soundbar size in the right column. For example, if you have a 55 inch TV, you should get a soundbar between 40 to 50 inches in size.

What Size Soundbar Do I Need for a 55 inch TV?

Since a 55 inch TV has a width of about 47.9 inches, it’s recommended to get a soundbar with a size of between 40 to 50 inches. If the soundbar is a few inches smaller or lager, that’s acceptable, but for the best results, it should at least cover the base of your TV.

What Size Soundbar Do I Need for a 40 inch TV?

TVs with a 40-inch screen size have a width of 34.9 inches. A soundbar within the 30 to 40-inch speaker size range would be perfect for 40-inch TVs.

What Size Soundbar Do I Need for a 32 inch TV?

A 32-inch TV has a width of 27.9 inches, so a 20 to 30-inch soundbar would work great. The good news is there are plenty of budget-friendly 30-inch soundbars, finding one to pair with your 32-inch TV shouldn’t be a problem.

Soundbars for a 80-inch TV?

It’s worth noting that finding a soundbar for larger TVs, especially those larger than 60 inches, can be a bit of a challenge. While there are soundbars available for 65-inch screens, finding options for screens larger than 65 inches can be more difficult. However, there are some solutions available. Sonance, for example, makes expandable soundbars that can accommodate screens up to 80 inches. These types of soundbars are a great option for those with larger TVs who want to enhance their audio experience. Just keep in mind that they may be more expensive than traditional soundbars, so it’s important to consider your budget when shopping around.

If you’re unable to find a soundbar that matches the width of your TV, don’t worry. You can always use a slightly smaller soundbar and compensate for it by adding additional speakers. For instance, you could add a pair of bookshelf speakers or a subwoofer to your sound system to enhance the audio experience. Keep in mind that adding additional speakers to your soundbar setup may require extra cables, a receiver, and a bit of extra time and effort to set up. But in the end, it’s worth it if it means getting a better audio experience.

Is Soundbar Wattage Important?

When it comes to soundbars, most people will assume the more watts, the better and louder the soundbar, but actually the wattage is not that important. As a matter of fact, the number of watts on a soundbar is kind of irrelevant.

Soundbars and watts can be a little complicated because watts are usually used to measure the maximum power output of an amplifier. Since most soundbars have built-in amplifiers, the amount of power the built-in amplifier sends to the speakers is not really that important. Most manufactures don’t even include this information, they won’t even tell you where they measure the power from, so it’s not accurate.

If the number of watts is not important, you might be wondering what specs to look for. Here are some things to look for when buying a soundbar:

The features you need, such as:

  • Connectors (HDMI ARC, optic, etc)
  • Bluetooth
  • The Audio Channel (2.1, 5.1, etc)
  • Virtual Surround Sound
  • Speaker Size

and Others.

When it comes to buying a soundbar, looking for certain specs can be confusing because there are lots of different specs, and they’re not always accurate. Hence, looking at a chart of specs is not the best way to decide which soundbar is best.

it’s also almost impossible to tell if a soundbar sounds good just by reading the list of specs. There are a lot of things that are left out of the spec sheet, such as the decibel rating or the speaker’s sensitivity.
The average consumer (unless he’s an audio technician) probably won’t even understand how all these systems and specs work, they simply want a soundbar that sounds good and is within a reasonable price.

My advice:

Take the soundbar for a test drive, listen to some audio, and compare the sound quality to other models, until you find one that you think sounds the best.

Don’t worry about the number of watts and the other technical details, simply use your ears and decide for yourself. What you’re looking for is clear audio with rich bass and a touch of virtual surround sound.

The truth is that most modern soundbars sound pretty good, a mid-range soundbar should last you for several years, or until you upgrade your TV.

The Bottom Line:

To summarize, there’s no exact perfect size for a soundbar and TV, it comes down to your personal preferences, the room layout, and your budget. I recommend looking for a 2.1 audio channel soundbar with a speaker size that is almost equal to the width of your TV.

2.1 soundbars include a subwoofer for deep bass, it can take your media consumption to a whole new level. Overall, play it by ear, and don’t worry too much about technical details and specs, simply look for the soundbar size you want.

Does it sound good? Will the soundbar look good under or in front of your TV? Does the speaker size match the width of your TV? Then it’s probably a good choice!

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About S. Santos

👋 I'm a technology columnist and blogger with over 10 years of experience, currently serving as Blue Cine Tech's AV Editor. Specialising in gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology, my work has been featured in top technology blogs. I'm dedicated to breaking down the complexities of the latest tech trends, from explaining the intricacies of Dolby Vision to optimising your streaming experience. This blog serves as a platform for my ongoing exploration of the ever-evolving tech landscape. If you see me at industry events like CES or IFA, feel free to say hello.

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