Aesthetic appeal, installation ease, and new built-in, wall-recessed options make soundbars a popular choice for home theaters and media rooms.
Soundbar speakers have forever altered the home audio landscape. For most people, it’s a welcome change. While audio purists might covet the wide soundstage produced by separate speakers and subwoofers planted throughout a room, most listeners prefer an immersive sound solution that clashes less with the room design and installs more easily.
Soundbars are the answer. Comprising technology that brings out the best of movie soundtracks, special effects and dialogue, soundbars deliver 3, 5, or even 7 channels of audio, including the latest generation of surround-sound Dolby Atmos. Soundbars are widely available from many name-brand speaker manufacturers, and most have designed their products to be both striking visually and audibly.
In a conventional installation, the soundbar remains exposed and visible, so choosing a product that suits the style of your display and the room décor is just as important as its ability to produce high-quality, realistic audio. Finding the right mate for a display isn’t hard, but for some folks, there’s an alternative worth exploring. With mounting hardware from WALL-SMART, the soundbar can be recessed completely into the wall, with only a decorative grille exposed. Here’s how this unique in-wall design compares with a standard soundbar installation:
The Design Advantages of a Standard Soundbar Installation
When integrating a soundbar into your media room or home theater there’s no need to clear off cabinets or free up floor space. Slim, sleek, and of the perfect length for your display, one soundbar does the job of several individual surround-sound speakers. Also built into the housings of some soundbars is a subwoofer to bring out the bass, as well as an amplifier and surround-sound receiver. Everything you need is self-contained in one device, minimizing the AV clutter in your entertainment space considerably. Plus, because it’s the only component you need to plug into your display, it eliminates the tedious job of stringing multiple strands of unsightly cabling throughout the room.
Usually, the soundbar either mounts to the bottom lip of your display or rests on or inside an entertainment cabinet. Easy enough. But what happens when there’s no room to slide the soundbar into place? As skinny as they are, soundbars still need some space to stretch across a fairly wide length of cabinetry or hang beneath a display. If neither exists, furniture rearrangement could be in your future. Or, for a completely fresh aesthetic, recess the soundbar into the wall.
Specializing in custom mounting hardware that fuses technology seamlessly with walls and ceilings, WALL-SMART offers an elegant, decorative approach to soundbar installation. Exhibiting a combination of design- and technology-friendly features, the new mounts from WALL-SMART recess into the wall, creating an acoustic chamber for a soundbar. A beautiful fabric speaker grille snaps over the wall cavity, rendering the soundbar invisible and adding visual interest to the room environment. It’s a creative, elegant, cutting-edge design that sets your surround-sound system apart from those of your friends and neighbors but with all the audio performance you’d expect from a high-quality soundbar. And although WALL-SMART has customized its mounts for Arc and Beam soundbars from Sonos, they are just as accommodating of other brands. You have the freedom to use whatever soundbar you’d like—minimal matching required.
Soundbars have singlehandedly shape-shifted surround-sound environments, and WALL-SMART is altering the landscape even more with a unique installation alternative. Able to be retrofitted into a variety of wall surfaces, WALL-SMART’s mounts for soundbars take technology where it’s never been—recessed seamlessly within the wall surface where it looks more like a decorative feature than a home audio component.
Smart home products come in all shapes and sizes. With wall mounts from WALL-SMART, many can look high-end, expertly integrated, and up the level of a project’s fit and finish.
Walls are the home’s blank canvas—a place to hang art and a backdrop for furniture. They are also the best place to put smart home controls. Putting technology in walls eliminates the clutter of disparate handheld devices, expertly tucks away wires and power so you can’t see them, creates a place to store equipment when furniture isn’t an option, and serves as one convenient spot that residents can rely on to find the controls they need, every single time.
Smart home device manufacturers don’t always make wall mounts that allow you to integrate the device with a degree of expertise and exquisite fit and finish that is appropriate for a high-end installation or residence. That’s where WALL-SMART wall mounts come in.
WALL-SMART is the go-to resource for putting nearly anything in your wall and making it look good, from lighting controls to touchpanels to wireless access points to soundbars. In fact, many integrators turn to WALL-SMART to create bespoke solutions based on integrators’ requests. (For a complete list of current brands that WALL-SMART makes products for, visit wall-smart.com/catalog.html.)
So how do you know which type of wall mount is right for your project? WALL-SMART makes it simple to find exactly what you need by offering several categories of mounts. The mounts within each category have been engineered to meet the specific installation requirements of certain types of wall surfaces and applications. Here’s the breakdown:
Solid Surface Wall Mounts
Solid Surface mounts were developed to recess a variety of home tech devices flush with the surfaces of solid materials such as wood, metal, glass, marble, granite, and more. Designed with depth calibration screws to adjust to different wall thicknesses of solid surfaces, they create a smooth, seamless transition between the surface and the wall-mounted device.
The devices appear as natural parts of the surface wall, a more attractive look than those that have been mounted directly atop the surface. Take touchscreens. They’re slim by design, sure, but why not render them even less obtrusive by using a WALL-SMART mount to fuse them with the wall material?
To help a Crestron 7-inch touchscreen blend in with the beauty of walls made of black walnut, systems integrator Creative Systems USA used a WALL-SMART Solid Surface to recess the device flush with the surface.
Retrofit Wall Mounts
WALL-SMART created Retrofit Mounts in response to field requests from home technology professionals and partners for simple mounting solutions when adding technology to existing homes. Requiring no construction or paint work to install, WALL-SMART’S Retrofit Mounts are the perfect solution for quick upgrades from older devices and speedy installations due to project constraints. Unlike WALL-SMART’s Solid-Surface and New Construction Mounts (see below), the Retrofit Mounts are finished with a painted bezel.
The bezels provided with WALL-SMART’s Retrofit mounts provide some wiggle room when updating old smart home devices with new models, like this switch from an outdated square-shaped touchscreen to a modern rectangular-shaped touchscreen. (Installation by Creative Systems USA.)
New Construction Wall Mounts
As the name suggests, WALL-SMART New Construction mounts are designed for a flush installation of a variety of smart home components within the drywall as a home is being constructed. The installation of the New Construction mounts is straightforward, following standard drywall construction procedures. WALL-SMART’s line of New Construction Mounts is extensive, ranging from mounts for surveillance cameras and Wi-Fi access points to tablets and touchscreens.
Below, TYM Home Technology Design utilized WALL-SMART’s New Construction wall mounts to recess a variety of technologies, like voice assistants and touchscreens, in a broad range or wall surfaces, like stucco and drywall.
Whatever your unique application is, whether it’s retrofitting a historic home with touchscreen panels for smart-home control, outfitting a new construction with access points and voice assistants, or working with solid surfaces, WALL-SMART has you covered with the right solution for all your smart home devices. If they don’t have the wall mount for the particular device you are looking for, chances are, they can make it.
Creative Systems USA elevates the fit and finish of touch screen installations in custom homes, MDUs, and yachts by using WALL-SMART mounting solutions.
If there’s one thing that rubs Harry Blanchard of Creative Systems USA the wrong way, it’s technology that looks as if it was “slapped” onto expensive wall materials. “It pains me to see homeowners spend a fortune on marble backsplashes or rare hardwood finishes only to the surfaces marred by white electrical outlets and surface-mounted screens,” Blanchard says.
Specialty mounting hardware that enables these and other home tech products to be recessed flush with wall and ceiling surfaces certainly helps create a more pleasing aesthetic, but according to Blanchard, WALL-SMART’s solutions take this effective strategy a step further. “WALL-SMART’s attention to detail in the design, engineering, and fabrication of its mounts make touchscreens appear to be a natural part of the wall, not an accessory that was added later,” he offers as an example. “They become not just a technological addition, but a design element that complements or enhances the fine finishes of a home.”
Camouflaging Cavities in Retrofit Projects
TVs aren’t the only technology that has shape-shifted from a squarish 4:3 aspect ratio to a 16:9 widescreen format. Touchscreens have, too. For many of Blanchard’s retrofit projects, this technological evolution has required yanking out old 4:3 touchscreens and fitting new 16:9 versions in their place. Blanchard facilitates the swap by widening the wall cavity, “not a problem,” he says, “but the open space that remains above or below the new touchscreen also needs to be contended with.” Here’s where WALL-SMART’s retrofit-friendly mounts “save the day.” The paintable bezel that applies easily around the perimeter of the WALL-SMART touchscreen mount completely covers the cavity, saving Creative Systems USA from needing to
Minimizing Large Touchscreen Footprints
As touchscreens have grown rectangular in shape, they’ve also sized up significantly. And for good reason. These command centers of the smart home juggle many responsibilities, many of which users need to visually monitor and manage. It’s simply easier, more efficient, and intuitive to initiate lighting scenes, review and monitor the status of devices, and choose music from a large library of playlists when you can use a 22 -inch screen instead of a 10-inch screen. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to minimize the visual impact of the bigger option, “unless it can be recessed flush with the wall surface,” Blanchard says. “I wouldn’t dream of surface-mounting a 2-inch-thick touchscreen in a luxury home.” Needless to say, WALL-SMART has become his go-to mount provider for Crestron’s 22-inch panels.
Saving Space and Shoulders
Touchscreens are slim by design; still, even the slightest protrusion from the wall can make a big difference in small spaces. Take the Lady Rebecca, a luxury yacht Blanchard outfitted with a Crestron control system some years ago. No conventional surface-mount installation would suffice, here, as even a minor lip of touchscreen could have been easily clipped by the shoulders of passerby strolling the vessel’s narrow hallways. Nor would it be acceptable for touchscreens to blemish walls made of black walnut harvested from the owner’s farm. Blanchard mitigated both concerns by using WALL-SMART’s solid-surface mount for Crestron touchscreens to recess the technology flush with the wall surface.
Securing Control Assets in Commercial Projects
iPads are one of the most familiar and pervasive of technologies, so it’s no wonder the administrators of an MDU development company wanted to use the device to control audio and video in its leasing offices and amenity areas. There was just one hitch in this plan—people could easily leave the iPad in a hard-to-find place or worse yet, walk off with the device. WALL-SMARTS’s flush mounts for iPads reduced the likelihood by providing a single stationary location to sequester the iPad.
Luxury homes require a highly customized approach to the integration of technology—including the way in which the devices are installed. Creativity, craftsmanship, and an eye for design must be applied. It’s a philosophy that Creative Systems USA stands by and has built a successful business around. “WALL-SMART’s flush mounts for touchscreens help me convey to my customers that I care about the final product—not just how it operates but how it looks. We’ve been able to go the extra mile in terms of design for our customers by using WALL-SMART’ solution, and the stellar fit and finish that WALL-SMART mounts provide is the icing on the cake.”
Innovative mounts from Wall-Smart recess 13 voice assistants, 4 thermostats, and 7 touchpanels flush with stone and stucco surfaces, rendering the technology nearly imperceptible.
Technology can dramatically enhance home environments, adding convenience, comfort, and connectivity. But it can also raise havoc with design and architecture. At least that’s what the custom builders at Boca Raton-based Compson Homes thought. This belief was quickly dispelled, however, by an innovative line of mounting hardware from Wall-Smart. Introduced to Compson Homes superintendent John Collins by the low-voltage contractors at TYM Home Technology Design at the onset of a recent project, the mounts turned what could have been a new home overwhelmed by unsightly smart devices into a thing of unparalleled beauty.
Tasteful Application of Technology
Having integrated a wide variety of systems into hundreds of luxury homes, TYM was well aware of builders’ concerns over the impact of tech on the home’s architecture and interior design. The possibility for a clash definitely existed in this home, as the owners had requested a huge array of smart home features: color-changing circadian lighting, more than a dozen voice assistants, automated window shades, and plenty of touchscreens and keypads to manage it all. The clincher: None of the technology could detract from the clean, modern decor.
TYM suggested using Wall-Smart mounts to downplay the appearance of the devices. Recessed into the simple, easy-to-install wall and ceiling mounts, the 13 voice assistants from Josh.ai, plus seven touchpanels and four thermostats from Savant sit flush with the home’s solid stone and stucco surfaces. “The Wall-Smart mounts make these devices look like a seamless part of the walls and ceilings, barely imperceptible yet easily accessible to the homeowners,” says TYM Vice President Greg Montgomery. “The beauty of the home was preserved without adding construction or design complexities to the workflow.”
Differentiation of Home Design
The remarkable result, thanks in part to the clever and covert implementation of technology, is a visually stunning and smart residence tailored perfectly to the tastes of its owners. They have the best of both worlds—technology that enhances their lifestyle and a design that is drop-dead gorgeous. What began somewhat as an experiment to obscure technology turned into a legitimate smart home solution for Compson Homes.