The Bose SoundTouch line represents some of the best smart speakers that Bose has to offer. Comparing the SoundTouch 20 vs. 30 can be a difficult task, however, both are excellent speakers that fill a different niche. For a small speaker with big audio that can fill the room, the SoundTouch 20 is a viable contender.
When size isn’t a concern, however, the Bose SoundTouch 30 will blow you away with high volume and a deep, rich bass from an impressive woofer.
Which SoundTouch smart speaker is right for you? Let’s take a look at the commonalities and differences to figure out what makes each device special.
Bose SoundTouch 20 vs. 30 — Things in Common
Stereo Output – Both the Bose SoundTouch 20 and 30 feature Stereo output. This technology uses multiple audio channels to play music to give sound a richer feel. While both smart speakers use stereo sound, neither supports stereo pairing — leaving you with a single speaker rather than two with dedicated left and right channels.
Audio Line-in – The audio line-in featured on the SoundTouch 20 and 30 offers the ability to play music from any device that supports an auxiliary connection. Whether you’re playing music from a friend’s phone or hooking your speaker up to the TV, the audio port adds greater flexibility to setup and daily use alike.
Comes with Remote – The primary way most people will interact with their Bose smart speaker is through the dedicated app, but the SoundTouch 20 and 30 are both equipped with a dedicated remote — allowing you to adjust the settings and control your music when your phone isn’t handy.
Voice Control over Amazon Alexa – The smart speaker control with the SoundTouch 20 and 30 comes via Amazon Alexa support. This means that you can use an Echo or Echo Dot speaker in order to control your music with simple voice commands. It’s the perfect feature for when you’re otherwise occupied, and allows you to queue up your favorite tunes without manually selecting songs.
Voice Control Over Google Assistant – the audio line-in also allows you to use Google Assistant to control your speakers in a bit of a roundabout way. By hooking up a Google Home via an auxiliary cable, you can bypass Alexa and use Google Assistant instead. This flexibility allows those who prefer Google products to still take advantage of the smart capabilities — albeit by taking up the audio line-in indefinitely.
Set Up Over WiFi – Getting your Bose SoundTouch set up and ready to play music had never been easier. Just take advantage of the speaker’s support for dual band 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 and 5Ghz connection support in order to configure your speaker via WiFi through the dedicated Bose app.
Bluetooth Streaming – Whether it’s to get around an unstable WiFi connection or to play audio directly through your favorite apps, the Bluetooth connection on the SoundTouch 20 and 30 is a useful perk that gives yet another option to play your music on demand. While many will continue to use WiFi, Bluetooth connectivity is a viable option that may come in handy in a pinch.
On-Device Control – The two speakers have dedicated buttons on the device itself in order to control key aspects like volume, play/pause, and skip tracks. You won’t be able to queue up new music like you can using the SoundTouch app, but it’s a useful feature for when you don’t have your phone or the Bose remote at hand.
SoundTouch App – The SoundTouch app allows you to play music that is stored on your device as well as giving access to all your favorite streaming services from one convenient app. Bose-supported streaming partners include major services like Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora.
Flexible Mount Options – Having multiple options available to mount your new SoundTouch 20 or 30 helps avoid a situation where you can’t find a place to put it. With the SoundTouch 30 especially being pretty large, it’s helpful to have different ways to integrate it into your home.
Bose SoundTouch 20 vs. 30 — Differences
Difference #1: Sound Quality – The difference in sound quality between the SoundTouch 20 and 30 is definitely noticeable.
Both devices have two speakers, but the 30 produces louder sound with impressive lower frequencies due to the included woofer.
Essentially, there is little reason to decide on the SoundTouch 20 if your primary concern is high-quality audio, as the 30 puts it to shame across all fronts with the more impressive audio technology.
Difference #2: Sound Space – It can be difficult to tell the difference between the SoundTouch 20 and 30 at first glance as the speakers provide the same key features.
However, the size and capabilities of these two models is pretty different. The SoundTouch 20 is a compact speaker that can deliver clear, room-filling sound in smaller spaces. The SoundTouch 30, on the other hand, is equipped with Bose waveguide speaker technology that produces a deep, rich sound that will fill even very large rooms.
For small to mid-sized spaces, the SoundTouch 20 has the chops to deliver beautiful music. When you need that impressive power with bass that will blow you away, however, it’s difficult to do much better than the SoundTouch 30.
Difference #3: Design – As mentioned above, the Bose SoundTouch 20 is a more compact device. Weighing just 7 pounds and taking up very little space, it will fit in perfectly on just about any space or shelf.
The SoundTouch 30, on the other hand, is much more hefty at nearly 26 pounds and will take up a significant amount of space. If your room is already cramped, this monster of a speaker may already be out of the cards.
Despite their significant difference in design, both speakers are available in black and in white.
Bose SoundTouch 20 vs. 30 — Comparison Chart
|Bose SoundTouch 20||Bose SoundTouch 30|
|Stereo Pair w/ Other Speaker||No||No|
|Connect to TV||Via AUX Cord||Via AUX Cord|
|Has its Own Remote||Yes||Yes|
|Voice Control over Amazon Alexa||Yes||Yes|
|Voice Control Over Siri||No||No|
|Voice Control Over Google Assistant||Via line-in port||Via line-in port|
|Amazon Alexa Built-In||No||No|
|Set Up Over WiFi||Yes||Yes|
|WiFi||802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 and 5Ghz||802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 and 5Ghz|
|On-Device Control||Button Control||Button Control|
|One App Control||Yes||Yes|
|Extend to 5.1||No||No|
|Dimensions||7.4 x 12.4 x 4.1″|
(188 x 315 x 104 mm)
|9.7 x 17.1 x 7.1″|
(246 x 434 x 180 mm)
|Weight||7.0 lb (3.18 kg)||25.75 lbs (11.68 kg)|
Bose SoundTouch 20 and 30 Integration
Both the SoundTouch 20 and 30 integrate seamlessly with SmartThings — one of the premier home automation systems. This means you’ll be able to control your speaker right alongside other smart devices you’ve already made a part of your home.
This smart functionality also allows you to use all SoundTouch devices together. If you find you like the 20 or 30 so much that you want to add the speakers to different rooms, you can control where your music plays with a high degree of customization — blasting your playlists to every room in the house, or keeping your tunes limited to the living room.
Bose SoundTouch 20 and 30 Accessories
As mentioned above, the Bose SoundTouch 20 and 30 have accessories you can use for flexible installation and to make the speakers look and function better as well.
The most notable accessory for the SoundTouch 20 is a wall mount that allows you to move this already-diminutive speaker off your shelf or table. The SoundTouch 30 also has its share of add-ons, like a stand mount, pouch bag, and Walnut Wood Cover.
Bose SoundTouch 20 vs. 30 — Our Thoughts
We feel that when comparing the SoundTouch 20 vs. 30, the latter comes out slightly ahead. Because it’s not possible to pair the two speakers like you would with the SoundTouch 10, we’re forced to compare the 20 and 30 with just a single speaker in the equation — and the 30 pushes the 20 out of the running.
With that said, we recommend looking at some other options as well. For roughly the same price, you could take a look at the Sonos PLAY:3 or PLAY:5 which offer better sound, more streaming partners, better smart home integration, humidity resistance (PLAY:5) and more. There is also the option to extend your speakers into a full 5.1 home theater using stereo pairing, and Trueplay software allows you to get the best sound out of your speaker each and every time.
While the Bose speakers are impressive and have a loyal following, they aren’t the only name in the game. Take a look at our Sonos PLAY:3 vs. PLAY:5 comparison for a closer look at the alternatives.
- Bose SoundTouch 20
- Bose SoundTouch 30
Let us know what you think!
Have you noticed other differences between Bose SoundTouch 20 vs. 30? Feel free to add them or share your experience with the products in the comments section below. Your input can help other people make the right choice!
Last update on 2019-01-18 at 16:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API