Introduction: Kitchen Sound System
The chances of your new kitchen cabinets fitting exactly into the space in your existing kitchen are low, and after renovating ours we were left with a 4" wide strip between a high cabinet and the wall. A filler strip would have worked but been boring, and the dimensions of the space were just large enough for a sound bar. The sound bar also had a wireless subwoofer, and we had space in the other corner of the kitchen for that. A bit of careful measuring and cutting to make a custom bracket, and we have a great sound system in the kitchen.
This project was inspired by a desire to repurpose some old hardware - both the soundbar and an old iPad. But it's proved such a hit that if I were to design a new kitchen, I'd be sure to reprise this idea. Listening to music while cooking is great, especially if you tend to get a bit hangry (I'm looking at you, mirror). I put on some upbeat happy music and instead of grumping and banging around the kitchen, I'm tapping and singing instead. Kitchens also draw people in during parties and having some music in there helps set the scene.
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Step 1: Frame
Measure the space between cabinet and wall and cut a filler piece exactly that width. It's unlikely to be perfectly parallel so scribe to fit as needed. Cut to the height of the cabinet. Mark a hole the size of the back of your sound bar in the filler piece (such that the sound bar is centered) using a drill and a jigsaw. Our sound bar was a Samsung one about 8 years old without bluetooth or voice controls or anything fancy. Build out the frame with some strips of plywood. This step allows the soundbar to be held in place by two plywood crosspieces screwed into some of the existing screw holes of the case (after removing those screws, of course).
Step 2: Installation
This is easy - just pop it in place and drive some screws through the cabinet into the frame. I used the holes already there for the shelf supports. The under-cabinet strip should be extended all the way to the wall for a seamless look.
Step 3: In-wall Screen
When I first installed this setup 3 years ago, I added a bluetooth receiver to the setup and tucked it up behind the soundbar. This was OK, but it required switching on before each use and running from a phone, which if taken too far away would cause the sound to glitch (many soundbars now seem to have bluetooth included). I recently decided to install an iPad in the wall so we had a screen for recipes as well as a source for Spotify, podcasts, etc. It was an iPad 2 from 2011 (the only grand prize I've won through instructables!), which amazingly enough still works well, but is sufficiently slow that it now doesn't find much use in our household. Permanently mounting it in the wall gave it a new lease on life. I cut a hole the same size as the iPad, ran the audio and power cables through the wall behind the sound bar, and tidied it all up with a lasercut surround (dxf file attached, in case someone else also has a surplus-to-requirements iPad 2 that they too want to put in a wall!). All parts were attached with double-sided carpet tape. I used the two cutouts, plasterboard from the wall and the 3 mm plywood from the center of the surround, to support the back of the iPad. The iPad is 8 mm thick so that plus the tape and the plywood made it flush with the wall surface.
Step 4: Enjoy
... a kitchen with 30 million songs on demand and room-filling bass.
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