Can a Soundbar Work With High Ceilings? Best Soundbars To Consider For Large Rooms

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Many people have questions about how soundbars will work in their living spaces.

One of the common questions is can a soundbar work with high ceilings?

Soundbars can work with higher ceilings but you will most likely need a high-performance soundbar and satellite speakers to feel immersed with sound in such a spacious room.

Generally speaking, You should look for soundbars with at least 7.1 channels for a wider soundstage.

The bigger the soundbar the better.

There are plenty of options to choose from, the best soundbars for Large rooms with high ceilings will be expanded on later in this article if you want to skip ahead

Can a Soundbar Work With High Ceilings?


There are several factors to consider when determining if a soundbar can work with high ceilings.

One important consideration is the size of the room.

If the room is particularly large, you will need a soundbar that has a high wattage ouput to provide enough sound to fill the space.

Another factor to consider is the type of soundbar you choose.

As mentioned before you want at least a 7.1-channel soundbar, the more soundbar channels the better.

However pretty much all 7.1 soundbars or above will have Dolby Atmos technology.

One of the biggest bummers of high ceilings is you won’t be able to experience any of the height effects that Dolby Atmos can produce.

The way it works is the upward-firing speakers will shoot directly toward the ceiling and bounce back to you so you can hear overhead effects, this won’t work with high ceilings obviously.

According to Dolby, these soundbars work best when there is a ceiling height of 8 to 14 feet, and the speakers are placed at a certain distance from the ceiling.

This isn’t a huge deal though in my opinion, I have a Sonos beam (amazon affiliate link) and it doesn’t produce any Atmos height effects and I’m more than pleased with the sound.

You will need to find a high-powered soundbar that comes with rear speakers for your room with high ceilings. I will give specific recommendations on which soundbars to buy later in this article.

Also pairing your soundbar with a subwoofer is not a bad idea.

Understanding Sound Dynamics in High-Ceiling Rooms


Before you purchase a soundbar for your room with high ceilings you need to better understand how sound travels in such a room.

So you can get the best audio experience possible.

Impact of Ceiling Height on Sound Quality

Ceiling height can have a significant impact on sound quality.

In a room with high ceilings, sound waves can struggle to bounce off the walls and ceiling, resulting in a hollowness and loss of sound quality.

By the time the sound travels to you it has died out from traveling so far.

This can make it difficult to experience great sound design in movies or thunderous bass while listening to music.

A soundbar can help to mitigate this issue by providing a focused sound that is directed towards the listener.

Make sure you are sitting at an optimal distance from the soundbar for the best experience.

Forget height effects, you won’t get them, but if you pair your soundbar with rear speakers and a subwoofer and sit at a good distance from them you will experience good surround sound.

Selecting the Right Soundbar for High Ceilings


As we have established soundbars can work well in rooms with high ceilings, but you need to choose the right one.

Here are some things to consider when selecting a soundbar for a room with high ceilings.

Soundbar Size and Power Considerations

One of the most important things to consider when selecting a soundbar for a room with high ceilings is the size and power of the soundbar.

A larger soundbar with more power is generally better for a room with high ceilings.

This is because a larger soundbar can produce more sound and can fill the room better than a smaller one.

When it comes to power, you should consider the wattage of the soundbar.

A higher wattage generally means more power and better sound quality.

However, keep in mind that a higher wattage also means a higher price tag.

Best Soundbars for Large Rooms with High Ceilings

If you’re looking for the best soundbars for high ceilings, there are a few options to consider.

Some of the best soundbars for high ceilings include:

Budget Pick
VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar

VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar

  • Low-Profile Modern Design - Clean silhouettes, subtle textures, and matte finishes seamlessly blend into any environment.
  • Powerful Performance - Brilliant clarity, thunderous bass, and Dolby Audio and DTS Digital Surround support combine for performance beyond its size.
  • Simple Setup, Streaming & Control - Get setup and listening in minutes with HDMI ARC and Bluetooth connectivity for unparalleled ease of use, control, and access to your content.
  • 5.1-Channel Sound - Experience a powerful room-filling, surround sound experience.
  • 6 Total Speakers - Full-range drivers deliver coherent sound and brilliant clarity.
My Pick
Sonos Beam Gen 2

Sonos Beam Gen 2

  • Enjoy vibrant bass, crystal clear dialogue, and a panoramic soundstage.
  • Experience a 3D surround sound effect with Dolby Atmos.
  • Stream music, radio, podcasts, and audiobooks from all your favorite services when the TV is off.
  • Control with the Sonos app, your TV remote, Apple AirPlay 2, and your voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
  • Breeze through setup with only two cables, step-by-step guidance from the Sonos app, and smart Trueplay tuning. Easily expand your Sonos system over time to enjoy true surround sound and multi-room listening. Everything connects over WiFi.
Most Popular
Roku Streambar

Roku Streambar

  • Simple sound settings: It’s easy to perfect your sound no matter what you’re watching—automatically lower loud commercials, boost the volume of voices, and optimize the sound for night listening so you don’t wake the house
  • Quick and easy setup: Everything you need is included in the box—just plug it into your TV and connect to the internet; it’s that simple
  • No more juggling remotes: Power up your TV, adjust the volume, and control your streaming all with the Roku voice remote—use your voice to quickly search, play entertainment, turn captions on, and more
  • Bluetooth streaming: Bump your music in vibrant, studio-quality sound from your favorite channels or your connected Bluetooth device
  • Easily expandable: Add heart-pounding bass with Roku Wireless Subwoofer and immersive surround sound with one or two sets of Roku Wireless Speakers
Best Value
JBL Bar 9.1 - Channel Soundbar System

JBL Bar 9.1 - Channel Soundbar System

  • 820W Output power
  • Built-in Dolby Atmos and DTS: X decoding
  • With detachable, battery powered surround speakers you can enjoy real surround sound without the wires
  • Experience deep bass with a 300W, 10" powered subwoofer
  • Ultra HD 4K Pass-through with Dolby Vision
  • Use the built-in calibration to ensure the best possible sound no matter what the room
Best Overall
SAMSUNG HW-Q990C 11.1.4ch Soundbar

SAMSUNG HW-Q990C 11.1.4ch Soundbar

  • 11.1.4 CH. TRUE DOLBY ATMOS SOUND: Feel sound all around with 11 front-facing speakers, 1 subwoofer and 4 up-firing channels for a true Dolby Atmos experience; Flood the room with audio from all angles, for sound so real you can almost touch it
  • WIRELESS DOLBY ATMOS: Feel surrounded; Cue up Dolby Atmos sound and skip the cumbersome HDMI cables; Feel free to arrange your space exactly how you want without compromising the audio experience**
  • SPACEFIT SOUND PRO: Sound amplifies everything; This soundbar reacts accordingly; Get room-filling sound, calibrated to your space, with a soundbar that analyzes your environment and automatically optimizes the audio
  • UP / SIDE FIRING REAR SPEAKER KIT INCLUDED: Ready to have your mind blown? Be captivated by dense layers of all-around sound with up/side firing rear speakers
  • ADAPTIVE SOUND: Hear voices better, even at low volume, with intelligently optimized audio; Scenes are analyzed in real time to pull out the most important audio based on the type of content
Most Immersive
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra

  • MEET THE REINVENTION OF #1 RATED DOLBY ATMOS SOUNDBAR. Designed based on 70+ years of audio excellence and feedback from 5000+ reviews from existing owners, we have supercharged 2022’s flagship with unmatched 360° surround & bass performance. Powered by SSE MAX – a unity of ultra high performance hardware & software – get ready for a powerfully convincing audio experience like never before with upgraded Dual Wireless Subs and Four Modular Surround Speakers (2nd Gen). Setup within 30 min.
  • Spatial Surround Elevation (SSE) MAX TECHNOLOGY: A PERFECT CONVERGENCE OF POWER, PROCESSING AND PERFORMANCE. Combining new, upgraded custom-matched hardware and Nakamichi-exclusive software into state-of-the-art architecture, our precisely-tuned high output amplifiers, extended range twin-cone drivers and silk dome surround effects tweeters deliver enhanced multi-directional surround from 3 advanced audio processing engines, delivering the most immersive 360° cinema, music and gaming experience.
  • SUPERCHARGED DUAL 10” WIRELESS SUBWOOFERS (INDUSTRY-EXCLUSIVE) propel bass performance to new heights, featuring upgraded high output amplifiers (up to 600W) and subwoofer drivers that harness effortless power, transforming your entire room into a sweet spot filled with thunderous, yet balanced lows as deep as 20Hz without any localization or distortion even at cinema-level volumes. Real bass is felt, not heard. Our system showcases TWO subwoofers which are a must for the ultimate home theater.
  • 2ND GEN QUAD 2-WAY SURROUND SPEAKERS (INDUSTRY-EXCLUSIVE). A significant upgrade featuring extended range twin-cone drivers and silk dome tweeters, our surround speakers transport you into a rich, all-enveloping 360° sound bubble filled with lifelike surround objects. MODULAR in form, they can be used as 4 individual speakers (signature setup) or attached to dipoles for expanded 360° surround effects with minimal footprint. Each speaker connects to sub via RCA cable (included).
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These soundbars can all work well in large rooms and offer a range of features to improve your listening experience.

Personally, If you want the best soundbar to fill a large room then the Q990C or Shockwafe Ultra are great options.

The Shockwafe Ultra, in particular, is fantastic as it is a 9-channel soundbar and comes with 4 satellite speakers and 2 subwoofers.

No other soundbar offers that. Nakamichi is a great band and their soundbars are of excellent quality.

They are the closest you can get to a traditional home theater setup with a soundbar.

But they do not have the eye sore (wires, bulky speakers) or hard-to-use functionality that a traditional home theater setup mandates.

If your ceilings are high but not that pronounced and you want the best value then the JBL Bar 9.1 is a solid soundbar.

It can produce 820 watts and has JBL’s trademark bass.

The Nakamichi is POWERFUL so if you have a smaller room with high ceilings the JBL Bar is a better choice.

Enhancing Audio with Additional Speakers and Subwoofers


If you have a high ceiling in your room, you may find that the sound from your soundbar is not as immersive as you would like it to be.

Fortunately, you can enhance the audio experience by adding additional speakers and a subwoofer to your soundbar setup.

Let’s go more in detail and why this is a great option to consider, I highly recommend it.

Integrating a Subwoofer for Deep Bass


One of the most effective ways to improve the sound quality of your soundbar is to add a subwoofer.

A subwoofer is a speaker that is designed to reproduce low-frequency sounds, such as bass and drums.

Adding a subwoofer to your soundbar setup can significantly enhance the audio experience, especially if you enjoy watching action movies or listening to music with a lot of bass.

When choosing a subwoofer, you have two options: a wired subwoofer or a wireless subwoofer.

A wired subwoofer is connected to your soundbar using a cable, while a wireless subwoofer connects to your soundbar using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

A wireless subwoofer is more convenient, as it eliminates the need for cables and allows you to place the subwoofer anywhere in the room.

Wireless subwoofers are pretty standard and are popular.

Adding Speakers for a Surround Sound Experience


You can also add additional speakers to your soundbar setup.

By adding external speakers, you can create a surround sound experience that immerses you in the audio.

You can add multiple speakers to your setup, depending on your budget and the size of your room.

Originally I bought my Sonos Beam and thought that would be plenty for my small bedroom, in fact I intentionally avoided rear speakers as I thought it would be overkill.

After a couple of weeks, I decided to upgrade and get two Sonos-era 100s (amazon affiliate link) to create a more immersive sound experience.

If I needed them in a bedroom I can definitely say you are going to need rear speakers in a large room with high ceilings.

Budget and Cost-Effective Solutions


I have already given you my top 3 recommendations for the best soundbar for high-ceiling rooms.

However, I know not every person wants to spend over 1,000 dollars on a soundbar and are looking for an alternative.

Fortunately, There are affordable soundbars that can work well in large rooms with high ceilings.

In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the best options for those on a budget.

Affordable Soundbars for Large Rooms


One of the most affordable options for a soundbar that can work in a large room with high ceilings is the Polk Magnifi Max AX SR (amazon affiliate link).

I almost got this for my own home theater setup but determined it was too high-powered for my bedroom.

It is a 7.1.2 soundbar and is one of the loudest soundbars on the market which is great for filling up a large room with sound. Polk is an excellent brand for soundbars.

Another affordable option is the Vizio Elevate (amazon affiliate link).

The Elevate’s biggest perks which are the 4 upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers may be muted due to high ceilings but it is still an excellent soundbar.

It has impressive bass response and is capable of producing sound that can fully immerse you in the action.

I’m a big fan of vizio soundbars as they are cheap and of high quality.

Cost vs. Quality Trade-offs

While affordable soundbars are great for those on a budget, there are some trade-offs when it comes to quality.

Cheaper soundbars often do not have the same power output or sound quality as more expensive models.

If you’re looking for the best sound quality, you may need to spend a bit more money.

Just remember to take into consideration the size of your room, that is the most important part.

You will need a more powerful soundbar to immerse you in sound for larger living spaces.

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