Can I Use My Soundbar as a Center Speaker

Can I Use My Soundbar as a Center Speaker?

Your sound system can benefit from regular improvement and changes. One of the things you may be wondering is whether you can use the soundbar as your center speaker. Yes, you can use your soundbar as your center speaker. With the proper connection, your soundbar will function perfectly and work with your entire sound system. That will help enhance your entertainment whether you are watching movies or playing video games.

ProTip: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. It is a feasible short term solution but in the long run, your will need a dedicated center channel speakers that matches your front left and right speakers for best audio response.

It is essential to mention that you will need to ensure that your line-level connections match the receiver, amplifier, and the right and left speakers. If you do not integrate the center speaker correctly, the entire home theater system will not work. You may notice that the sound quality will drop and affect your entertainment.

Bear in mind that soundbars are not made to function as center speakers. The drivers inside a soundbar are tilted, and most soundbars come with different channels instead of mids, tweeters, and woofers. That said, it is not impossible, and you can set it up in your home.  

How to use a soundbar as a center speaker

There are two methods you can use to connect your soundbar as a center speaker. First, you can combine all three speaker channels on your soundbar with the center channels on your receiver. If you do not want to do that, you can tap into the receiver to connect the center, right, and left receiver signals to your soundbar channels separately.  

Remember that a soundbar has more than one speaker. That ensures that you get a surround sound effect every time you play music or other sounds on your system. Most soundbar brands have left, right, and center channels. To connect your soundbar to your receiver, you can use any of the following.

Optical cable

Connect one end of the line to your soundbar and then the other to the receiver. For this to work, your receiver should have a digital optical port. You also need to ensure that both devices have similar digital encoding standards. If they do not, you will experience sound problems when you try to use them.

HDMI

Use the HDMI audio return channel to make the connection from the soundbar to the receiver.

RCA

You can use RCA cables to connect your receiver to your soundbar.

Pros and Cons of using a soundbar as a center speaker

Pros

  • It is easy to set up, and you can do it yourself. You do not need to hire a technician to do it.
  • Soundbars are easy to use and adjust to your sound preference.
  • Several manufacturers have created 5.1 channel soundbars that offer excellent surround sound functionalities.

Cons

  • If you use one channel set up, you may strain the center channel. The center channel is meant for dialogue, and this setup can overload it and result in poor-quality audio. It will also decrease the surround sound effect built into your soundbar.
  • If you use a three-channel hookup for your system, the right and left drivers will not work correctly. They will be out of phase with other speakers in the system. You will notice that your audio will have dead spots and random amplified areas.
  • You will also notice interference as the sound waves will keep canceling each other out.
  • Using your soundbar as a center speaker will also make the sound louder in some parts of the room but not others.

FAQs about soundbars

How do I make my soundbar a center speaker?

You can make your soundbar the center speaker by connecting all the speaker channels to the center channel of your receiver. You can also tap into the three channels on your soundbar and attach them to the right, left, and center channels on your receiver.

Is a center channel speaker the same as a soundbar?

No, a center channel speaker is not the same as a soundbar. Center channel speakers only use the center channel, while soundbars (passive soundbars)use all the front channels. That is the right, left, and center. Also, a center channel speaker requires other speakers to function, while a soundbar is a complete solution out of the box. You can connect it to power and your TV, then use it.

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Why is a center channel speaker crucial?

A center channel speaker ensures that the sound comes from the center no matter where in the room you are. It is possible to adjust your center speaker volume without changing anything on the other speakers. A center speaker makes sonic transitions accurate and smooth and ensures that sound flows smoothly from right to left speakers.

Can you use a soundbar as a center speaker?

Yes, You can use your sound speaker as a center speaker. That said, if you do not connect it properly to your receiver, that will affect your audio quality. An improper connection could also trigger an overload and damage your soundbar.