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Oct 27, 2017

My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

Dear Bose,

 

I have a ST300 sound bar and Acoustimass 300 that I have purchased last 21st October 2017.

I just realized yesterday when I went to a Best Buy shop and tried their demo, that the sound quality coming from their demo setup (same system ST300 plus Acoustimass300 - no VI300s) was sounding better than my system. The sounds were very much brighter and crispier. Difference can obviously be felt. I also tried playing the shop's system without the Acoustimass 300 - same audio quality difference.... Initially, I was playing their default demo music and movies, so to have the same reference point, I played music and videos via youtube using my phone and connecting via bluetooth.

Also note that I have calibrated my system a number of times and played around with the Bass settings and Center level settings of the sound touch app, but I couldn't get the same quality coming from the shop.

 

Can you please advise? I recon there is something wrong with my system or maybe there is something else I do not know regarding the settings. By the way, I can still replace my system right? My 90 day purchase does not expire until tomorrow, 18th January 2018.

 

Thanks.

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Dec 5, 2016

Re: My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

Hi edge1019,

 

Thanks for the post.  The demo systems in Best Buy are the same as the systems we sell, running the same software as well.

 

It's hard for me to say if there is indeed something wrong with your system unless there is an apparent popping or symptom of poor audio.  If you think there is something wrong audio wise with the system, I'd recommend contacting your local support center to arrange for a replacement.

 

If you have any more questions, please let us know.

 

Best Regards,

Brandon - Bose Support

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Dec 13, 2017

Re: My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

I thought the same thing, until I ran AdaptIQ. After I set that up and played similar content, I was just as pleased, if not more. I thought mine sounded slightly better. One thing I did notice at my Best Buy, they were using optical instead of HDMI. I know some will say that with ARC and a soundbar, you will get the same quality whether you use the optical or HDMI. I think my sounds slightly crisper with HDMI.

 

I wonder why the Bose displays are setup with optical over HDMI? Does each individual merchant have the ability to set up however they want, or do they have to go by Bose's guidleines?

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Re: My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

Hi Sistm,

 

Thank you for your reply! Running ADAPTiQ is indeed an important step for getting the best sound out of the system. It is also important to consider what content is being played. The store displays will likely be playing content that uses full 5.1 digital audio content that really shows off the performance capabilities of the system. Now, if you go home and watch a standard TV show or something like the news, you will likely not be as impressed in comparison to what you heard at the store. Many TV shows and other programs are still broadcast in a simple 2.0 format. I'd suggest testing with a good Blu-ray movie (or something similar) during a scene with a lot of action sound effects. 

 

In regards to your inquiry about optical vs. HDMI/ARC, I'd recommend reading this CNET article. This provides a pretty good explanation of the similarities and differences. HDMI/ARC can certainly support some newer audio formats, but it is important to know that the SoundTouch 300 isn't fully compatible with all of these formats, to begin with. However, in some cases, the TV may also be a reason to choose HDMI over optical. Even though digital optical cables are fully capable of supporting digital 5.1 formats, many TVs will actually only send a 2.0 signal through these cables. In a situation like this, it might be a good idea to use HDMI instead of optical.

 

I also can't say for sure how certain stores choose to set up their displays. But, it would be safe to assume that they are connecting to TVs that allow for optimal performance via whatever cable they are connecting with. 

 

Please let us know if you have any additional questions!

 

Best regards,

 

Brian - Bose Support

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Oct 27, 2017

Re: My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

Dear Sistm, Brian_M, Brandon_M,

 

Thank you for your reply and apologies for my delayed response.

 

Just to be sure and to have peace of mind, I had my system (ST300 + AM300) replaced. By the way, it was so easy to get it replaced. No hustles. Thank you Bose.

 

So I tried the new one and it turns out that the system on Bestbuy is still having a slight edge in sound quality over my system. Before, I am thinking it is a problem with my system, but obviously it is not as my system was newly replaced. By the way, just to be clear, I am comparing the same content. I am not comparing my system to the default demos (music and movies) of the Bestbuy system, but rather I am playing music on youtube using my phone and sending it to the systems using Bluetooth. Therefore I could only guess that it could be my:

  1. ADAPTIQ Calibration – I am not sure how I can get this wrong. I place the headset on my head, calibrate in 5 different listening locations (I tried various combinations as well such as all 5 locations in my sofa, 3 locations on my sofa and 2 on the floor just below it and vice versa, 4 locations on all 4 corners of my room and 1 in my sofa, and many other variations), and I still could not beat or be equal the Bestbuy system. Is there any correct technique of doing the calibration? Can you please advise if so.
  2. Room properties – Will the properties of the room affect the sound? In Bestbuy the area is an open space. I have a small living room in an apartment with walls made of wood, and on one side, the wood surface is rough. Is this supposed to affect sound quality?

Can you please advise if you have any thoughts. Thanks.

 

On a side note, previously I thought my system was sounding very poorly because when I play movies using Netflix (which is supposed to have superior sound quality) on my Samsung TV, I felt that the sound quality was very good, but not blowing me away as it should. I also tried the youtube application built-in on my Samsung TV, and same thing, the sound was not as stunning as it ought to be. I just realized recently (from the exercise of comparing the Bestbuy system to my system) that when I connect my phone to my ST300 (via Bluetooth) and play music on Youtube, the sound is much better than when I use the TV’s Youtube app. So this leads me to conclude that the “hitch”is on my TV. By the way, my TV is connected to my ST300 via Optical. I would really like to try hearing the sound using HDMI ARC as it might make the difference, however I could not get it to connect to my Samsung TV. I have relayed this problem also on another post, and tried the advises of Bose moderators and other users, but I still could not connect, and I actually gave up on the connection as I could connect anyway via optical. However it would be nice to get to actually connect via HDMI arc just to test…. Please note that I am not asking help regarding the HDMI connection, I gave up on that already, though I am hoping that future updates will solve it… On my side note, I was just wondering if you have any thoughts. Thank you.

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Re: My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

Hi @edge1019,

 

Thank you for following up with us. I would like to see if you can test that optical connection to the SoundTouch 300 with a different device if you have one available, either a gaming system or Blu-Ray player. I want to find out if the poor sound quality you are describing follow with something different connected.

 

Let us know the results.

 

Kind Regards,

Joel

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Re: My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

Hi @Joel_D,

 

Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I do not have any other devices. I do not have a gaming console and I do not have a Blue Ray player.

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Re: My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

Have you tried changing the settings in your samsung tv?? I have to set mine in dolby/dts depending on the source. Go to audio settings-advance or something like that. In netflix you should use dolby. Its day and night for me if I leave the output in pcm. Good luck
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Re: My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

Hi @Joel_D,

I’d be interested to see your response regarding the question the poster had about any particular tips on the calibration process. I too have tried my 5 locations all around my living with no success in getting the sound to ‘ping’ in the corners. For example watching a film or listening to music, it fills the room. But in store, when something was done on the left side, the sound actually sounded as if it was coming from the left side of the room. I just cannot get this affect in my room
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Re: My Soundtouch 300 sounds better in the shop than in my home

Hi @unipablo80,

 

Yes I tried changing the settings before, playing around with combinations. By default I am setting it up as Dolby and PCM as well when I watch Netflix or  when I use the Youtube application on my TV. I feel the Netflix sounds are not as awesome as it is supposed to be but I have no basis for comparisson. It is just a feeling of mine. I mean if I had a Blue Ray player and directly connect it to the soundbar, I can compare it to the Netflix (TV application) sound.... However, I can compare the sound from the Youtube on my TV App (optical connection to my ST300) to the Youtube on my Phone (bluetooth connection to my ST300). The youtube playing via bluetooth connection (connected to my phone) was way much better than the other, which leads me to conclude that it has got something to do with my TV.