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.

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.

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

Since a 55 inch TV has a width of about 47.8 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 34.8 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 27.8 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.

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!

About S. Santos

Tech columnist and tech blogger, audiovisual aficionado trying to keep up with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology. If not fiddling with AV cables at home or in front of the computer, he can be found playing tennis or padel.

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