Sound quality is about the same, but battery life is longer, and comes with a charging base. Also uses a micro-usb charger, so any micro-usb cord will work to charge it. The old model used a proprietary cord. So this, along with the charging base, allows you to keep one cord plugged into its "home" wherever you choose to put it, while any other micro usb cord can be taken out and about when you travel anywhere with it (there are USB ports both on the charging base and on the unit itself). I think it makes the extra $20 worth it.