MikeSoundTouch30III
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Jul 17, 2019

No substantial difference between SoundTouch 20 and 30?

I have found an exploded view of Bose SoundTouch's insides and was surprised to find out they don't really differ that much except for the 30's subwoofer and "twisted accordion labyrinth" that reflects and amplifies the bass sound. Seems like the most important part - the pair of drivers - is the same in both speakers (probably 2,5").

 

ST20.jpegBose SoundTouch 20ST30.jpgBose SoundTouch 30

So am I right in thinking that the only substantial audio difference between SoundTouch 20 and 30 is more bass and higher volume with less distortion thanks to better stability provided by heavier build of 30 (9 kg compared to 20's 3 kg)? Is the sound, especially in middle and higher ranges at lower and middle volume, more-or-less identical thanks to the same pair of drivers or is there something more in the hardware that can't be seen in the pictures?

 

My theory when deciding to buy SoundTouch 30 III was that even in middle-size room (15x15 feet) it's better to have SoundTouch 30 as a larger speaker will provide clearer sound even at lower volume. Like driving Ferrari at 50 mph is still more comfortable than driving Fiat at that speed even though Ferrari was built for 100+ mph. But now that I saw identical sets of drivers, only play music under 50-60% of the volume and like to lower the bass to -2 or -3, I don't really see a raison d'être for spending more on SoundTouch 30 anymore. Should have bought SoundTouch 20 and save rest of the money for some nice Bose headphones instead? Please argue (everyone, but especially the Bose people)...

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Marty K.
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Jan 9, 2016

Re: No substantial difference between SoundTouch 20 and 30?

I have an ST10, four ST20's and one ST30.  If I had it to do over again I'd probably have bought six ST20's and not bothered with the 10 or the 30.  The 20 is a huge jump up from the 10, the two can't really compare.  The 10 sounds fine but doesn't really do higher volumes well and doesn't have much bass.  It sounds hollow when pushed.   The 20 sounds great in almost all circumstances - clear, with punchy bass and you have to get the volume going pretty high before it starts to struggle.  I mostly agree with your assessment of the 20 vs the 30 - the 30 gets a lot bassier (can be a bit overbearing if you don't lower it) and can even start to shake the room a little, which the 20 doesn't really.  Its also more comfortable at higher volumes.  Beyond that, at volumes where the ST20 performs well, the ST30 doesn't really do anything better but provide more bass more prominently, and I rarely have the need to play at volumes where the 30 excels over the 20.  The 30 is worth the extra money if you want to feel the bass, if you want the neighbors to know what you are listening to, or if the room where you need the speaker is large enough that higher volumes are needed to fill it.      

MikeSoundTouch30III
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Jul 17, 2019

Re: No substantial difference between SoundTouch 20 and 30?

Thanks for confirming what the pictures indicated, especially when having all three makes you competent. I suspected SoundTouch 20 to be just two 10s glued together, but have an x-ray of that one alike...

05CCD33E-53DF-4551-B490-66BC1E175D80.jpeg

...and not only it has just one middle-to-higher ranges driver, but the bass channel is much, much smaller. SoundTouch 20 doesn’t just multiplies 10 by two, but also offers some bonus synergies. So the insides proves what you said - a huge leap from 10 to 20, even more than 100%, but only very limited (even if crucial when applied in bass, higher volume and less distortions) step, maybe not really higher, but rather on a side (for most home speakers useless). BTW putting SoundTouch closer to a wall (I heard it should be at least a feet away) creates new reflective area and amplifies basses in some extent for those who find the 20 weak in deeper lows (as it doesn’t have a subwoofer).

 

So seems like no “Ferrari effect” at middle volume without a need for heavier bass coming with SoundTouch 30 and, as I suspected, might as well have bought the 20 and saved enough for new Bose headphones. Can someone else confirm, refute or deepen our knowledge and can Bose guys provide some insider information? Try encipher it so as not to hurt sales of 30s - but as they are being discontinued, you can come out with the truth now!;-)

MikeSoundTouch30III
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Jul 17, 2019

Re: No substantial difference between SoundTouch 20 and 30?

Can someone from Bose explain that drivers in SoundTouch speakers are somehow more technologically advanced or just better sounding for some mysterious reason (hidden passive radiators, invisible dwarf with magic flute...)? Because if that's not the case, then SoundTouch 30 is a total oddball among other wireless speakers in the same price range. 10 years old first Sonos Play:5 had 5 drivers and the 2nd gen. have even 6 (3 middle-bass, 3 higher tones), B&W Zeppelin Wireless has 5 (1 bass, 2 middle, 2 tweeters), even smaller Naim Mu-so Qb also has 5 (with two more passive radiators on sides) and cheaper Riva Festival 6 similar to Sonos (3 plus 3, just positioned in three directions) with 4 more passive radiators (!). And most of those drivers are larger than those two 2,5'' in ST (and size matters...), even the subwoofers. Did Bose rest on their laurels or are they making their drivers from gold, diamonds and cosmic dust?

Sonos.jpgSonos Play:5 2nd gen.Zeppelin.pngB&W Zeppelin WirelessNaim.jpgNaim Mu-so QbRiva.jpgRiva Festival

heatman5
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Dec 8, 2016

Re: No substantial difference between SoundTouch 20 and 30?

Hello All,

You can have my Bose SoundTouch 30, Series 1, when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers...and it's not really mine, I gave it to my wife for Christmas years ago.

But thats just me... thanks for listening.

 

Sincerely,

John Wagner

heatman5