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Aug 26, 2018

Sound Touch 20 as an Alexa device?

Well, very disappointed with my SoundTouch 20 with Alexa and Bose Retail store's knowledge.

 

I bought one only because of Bose employees in store clearly stated that the SoundTouch 20 would integrate with my Alexa network and act as an Amazon Alexa device.  I already use an iHome Radio in the bedroom and it works just fine as if it was an Alexa Echo product, except the "broadcast" function isn't currently supported.

 

Set it all up, updated the SoundTouch 20 firmware, added the Bose Skill in Alexa and finally connected SoundTouch 20 under devices to Alexa service with a strong wi-fi signal.  It shows up fine.

 

Tried speaking to the SoundTouch 20 asking it anything with the "Alexa" command, but nothing ever happens.  After two days of research, I finally discovered that the SoundTouch 20 ONLY works if connected to a real Amazon device like my DOT, via Bluetooth etc.

 

So, essentially I bought a $500 dumb speaker that only outputs music or information because it's getting it as an external speaker from Amazon Echo Dot in the same room.  Very misleading store practices.

 

I should have just kept my Sonos Play 5 in the room with my Amazon Echo Dot and plugged it in directly to my Amazon Echo Dot and I'd have had the same thing without spending a dime.

 

It's possible I'm missing something or made a mistake about what the SoundTouch 20 is capable of, so if I have and before I take the SoundTouch 20 back to the Bose retail store for a refund, can anyone suggest any other options?

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

 

Regards,

Doug

 

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Aug 31, 2017

Re: Sound Touch 20 as an Alexa device?

I don't know what the retailer told you, but none of the current Soundtouch devices have microphones in them.  These are wireless speakers, not smart speakers.  To use them with Alexa, you need to an Amazon device to receive commands, the same as you would with your Play 5.  I don't understand why you didn't add a Dot to your Play 5 in the first place?  Since you're already in the Sonos ecosystem, if you were actually planning to add another speaker, you may want to look at the new Play One which has internal microphones for Alexa (and maybe other assistants), not to be confused with the older Play 1 which does not. 

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Aug 26, 2018

Re: Sound Touch 20 as an Alexa device?

Thanks for the feedback... much appreciated.

 

You're confirming what I suspected, that the local Bose retail staff are obviously poorly trained and don't know their own products.  They were just kids with ties, so I guess the minimum wage has its downside.

 

I can't use my existing Play5 as you suggest, as it's a very old version 1 and I need to version 2 for supporting Airplay and any other comms protocols, so I decide to move to what I thought was more modern technology.  I guess I was wrong the Sound Touch 20 is just a glorified wi-fi speaker.  Even my lowly iHome wif-fi clock radio acts as an Alex device and you'd think that a high-end brand like Bose with all of their profitability would have gotten their act together by now.

 

By the way, I also discovered in testing that the "Ask Bose to play Preset 1" etc., doesn't work either.  Stike another failure for their software.  I sent Bose tech support a request but never even had the courtesy of a reply from them.

 

Thanks again.

 

Regards,

Doug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 24, 2016

Re: Sound Touch 20 as an Alexa device?

As was mentioned, the SoundTouch products do not have a mic, and therefore will not respond to any Alexa commands.  They do have an Alexa skill, allowing you to talk to an existing Echo device and it will play through your SoundTouch speaker, however that capability is limited in my experience.

 

Bose just released their new smart home speaker lineup, which does have Alexa built-in, allowing you to talk directly to the speaker with Alexa commands.  It sounds like that might be what you need?  That said, I would strongly advise against it, and would recommend that you just go buy a Sonos:One, as it 1) has Alexa built-in, and 2) will integrate with your existing Sonos speakers.  It is worth noting that the new Bose smart speaker does not work with any of their existing SoundTouch speakers, so that SoundTouch 20 you just purchased is already a legacy product.  Smiley Sad  Very frustrating for those of us that have invested a lot of money in the SoundTouch platform.

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Aug 26, 2018

Re: Sound Touch 20 as an Alexa device?

Thanks Jereld.

 

It just gets better and better. Smiley Frustrated

 

Now it appears I'll be returning an obsolete product as well.

 

Regards,

Doug

 

ps: I also found out that the Bluetooth function in the Sound Touch 20 is useless, as it times out after a few hours.  So, one has to get the Alexa Dot to re-connect Bluetooth with it.  Apparently, the Bose Skills app software development team didn't think to build in an option of "no timeout".