Minimum Sound Bar Height

My wife and I just moved into a summer home and I want to set up a 5.1 system for watching movies.  A top-quality system is out of the question for this place; reasonably high-quality consumer-grade level (preferably, used) will have to do.  I plan to hang the TV over the fireplace using a MantelMount, which also hangs the center channel speaker.  Since the bottom of the speaker must clear the top of the mantle, I need its dimensions before I can mount the TV on the wall.

A low profile speaker would have some advantages but I question whether small drivers can produce even reasonably good quality.  I'd love to hear opinions re how tall a sound bar needs to be to produce decent sound, or if this line of reasoning is completely wrong.  (The mains will be a pair of old Magneplanar MG-I after I re-cement the tweeter voice coils, which occasionally rattle a bit.)  Does anyone have a specific suggestion for a center channel speaker that I might find used?
Bob Simon


Better coordinate the depth of the Mantle and the various positioning of the moving parts of the movable bracket.

You might need to add some blocks behind the bracket to push the monitor/brackets out to make it work.

Buy the most heavy duty bracket, I put a common one in our Apt in NYC. Pulls out a bit, then angle it sideways to sofa. Straight when pushed against the wall, pull it out, it’s not quite level.

The bracket holes on the monitor are centered, but the weight of the monitor is not 50/50, so the off center weight of the monitor and the slightly flexible pivot joints of the bracket when extended let the right side sag a little bit. Many don't notice, I am an Interior Architect, have a good eye for level, pi---s me off!

And if monitor lowers, you need more clearance down to top of center.

I used this Bose Center Speaker for years, sounds surprisingly good, smaller, less clearance needed below monitor

or center speaker lower, angled up as someone suggested.


Has anyone used the TV’s speakers for Center Channel?



Don't forget the ergonomics of putting a TV over the mantle.  If you are too close it forces you to keep looking upwards.  Also, a soundbar can be under the TV as well.  Another alternative is to forego a sound bar and use L and R speakers built into the walls next to the mantle, along with matching surrounds.

Lastly, some TV's have really decent sound built in.  For your use it may be just fine.

Elliot, Mounting the center channel lower puts it in front of the wood burning fireplace. Wife vetoes this approach on aesthetic grounds. (We have great memories of burning logs last Xmas when we purchased the house.)

Erik, The TV mount is a MantelMount 540. It pulls down 27", which puts the center of the TV right at eye level while sitting on the couch, assuming a 5" high center channel speaker hanging below the TV.

The TV is an OLED65C2PUA. If I had considered possibly not using a receiver before I bought the LG, I probably would have purchased the Sony Bravia instead, and just added a sub.

Sounds like it's going to work.

I would be tempted to build a box full width of the TV, and put the center channel speaker in that full width box, Then you have many locations in the back to attach the box.

IF you are tempted by any used speaker, i.e. that little bose, or the Klipsch for instance. you can search for ’buy it now’ and ’free returns’

order it now, try it, keep it, work with it’s size, or return it

As I mentioned, the little Bose sounds surprisingly good, however, notice the top has some slots for sound dispersion, which negates boxing it in too tightly. That was the primary reason I changed to the Klipsch, to have it under a glass shelf below the TV, and no rear ports

It’s a lousy photo, but the 3rd photo shows my HT setup*1h50sbc*_ga*MTI4MDg3OTI2OC4xNjc0NDkxNTU3*_ga_SR0PMVVEN1*MTY4NjU2NTg4Mi40NTUuMS4xNjg2NTcxNDY5LjUuMC4w

I modified a tall unit, then built a C shaped riser of matching wood, placed a slab of glass on the riser, the TV on the glass.

Above the TV is a piece of art my brother made, not a speaker.

That photo is 'beyond lousy'.