Siddharthpatil
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Aug 26, 2019

Soundtouch 20 vs Home speaker 500?

On the fence on which one to get. The 200 is 80 dollars cheaper but I am just curious on the oversee sound quality and always to volume of the speakers. I figured the 200 would be lounger based on its size but it seems like the 500 may be even lounder. Is that true? top real estate companies in mumbai

Anyone have any info comparing the two and which one is the better buy? I'm more interested in sound and loudness over amazon alexa and the other features of the 500 that I probably can do without. senior living homes in india

 

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davidmelis
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Apr 10, 2017

Re: Soundtouch 20 vs Home speaker 500?

Great question. I had the exact same curiosity when the 500 first came out.  I understood all the practical and technical differences but what about the sound?   I do own both and  indeed they do sound different to the discerning ear. Which one is better?  Well, let me explain the differences and you can decide for yourself.  To my ear the SoundTouch 20 sounds a little more warm while the 500 is instead more crisp and clear.  Though I would note acuse the 500 of being overly bright, the sound signature seems (to me) to not have as much of that natural reverberation (warmth) such as in a male vocalist or an acoustic stringed instrument. I would place the 500 as having the sound quality somewhere between the SoundTouch 10 and the SoundTouch 20. That said, there are other arm-chair audiophiles that I respect who disagree. They prefer the more crisp sound of the 500 and would place the quality as being between the SoundTouch 20 and 30. Our disagreements are probably both physiological (our ears hear differently) and psychological (different aspects of sounds trigger certain emotion). 

 

As to which gets louder. The 500 definitely gets louder but the sound signature changes once you get to about 80 percent volume or louder. The bass does not increase with the rest of the sound frequency at these high volumes. I assume this digital signal processing is to keep the speaker from distorting. To me, it is a good trade off. I would rather not have distortion at any costs. In the end, when I play both speakers at the top volume that still sounds good then their max decibel level is almost exactly the same. 

 

One final note. The SoundTouch 20 is a rear ported speaker. This means that the bass gets stronger the closer the speaker sits to a wall. To my ear, the SoundTouch has a proper frequency response sitting on a table in the middle of a room. Ours is placed about 6 inches from a wall so we have to compensate by using the Bose app to take the bass down a notch or two. The 500 is different and “better” in this regard as it sounds fairly balanced no matter the placement. The sound only changes in the aspect of imaging (stereo soundstage breadth). Since the 500 has side firing speakers, you want to be sure to place it somewhere where walls are equal distant left and right. Hope that makes sense. 

 

Final thought... in general I see Bose leaning towards a cleaner sound signature than they used to. Many of their new speakers (SoundBar 700, SoundBar 500, Bass Modules, etc) have their new quite port technology. It is similar to their older Wave tech but they found a way for the volume to increase in the port without receiving unwanted harmonic distortion. To my ears, the quite port in general does not sound as good to me. It sounds a little too tame and unnatural. I have owned all of Bose’ newest sound bars, lifestyles, subs and smart speakers; yet, I still prefer the sound of my good old Bose Cinemate GS Series II for Home Theatre. I also prefer my faithful Bose Companion 20 for computer / bookshelf speakers and also the SoundTouch 20. I just prefer the sound signature of these over their newest stuff. Oh, I also prefer the warmth of the QC 35 headhones over the clarity of the new Bose NC 700 Headphone.

 

I know others will disagree and that is okay. Anyway, for what it is worth!  I hope this helps 🙂