Dec 15, 2016
Thanks for posting. Those are great questions! To answer them in order
Tony G - Community Support
Dec 5, 2016
Soundtouch and Soundlink are totally different platforms, so you can't sync them. I suppose "comparable" could mean they are both made by Bose and have dedicated apps, but they are not compatible. Soundtouch does it's syncing through your wifi network, whereas Soundlink is bluetooth only. Certain Soundlink speakers can sync with each other through their app in "party mode" but this is limited to bluetooth ranges (smaller distances than wifi). The type of products you're looking for (portable, waterproof Soundtouch speakers) don't exist. I wish they did too, but I don't expect them to ever be developed at this point. You aren't the first to ask about this on here. My guess is that wifi is simply too power-hungry for the smaller battery powered speakers. Even the Soundtouch Portable, which was still a big speaker in comparison to most portables, was phased out years ago. I think the only way to get a waterproof speaker on the Soundtouch platform is that there is a Bose waterproof speaker that can be connected to one of their Soundtouch receivers (SA-??). Too expensive for me, but it's an option for some people.
The "official" response from Bose is something like "We plan to continue to support Soundtouch products for the forseeable future." The Airplay 2 update is still planned for the ST systems with bluetooth only (not the older systems which had Airplay 1). Beyond that, they have been silent regarding potential new features or products. The "official" answer to any request is to watch this board for announcements. With the introduction of their new Alexa speakers, I highly doubt Bose will develop new speakers for the ST line; probably the best we can hope for is for them not to complete abandon the development of new features that would be in addition to the promised Airplay update.
I think the biggest reason why people feel like Bose could be abadoning the ST line is because they have been absolutely clear that Soundtouch will never integrate with their newer Smart/Alexa Speakers. At this point, they've promised us nothing beyond Airplay 2 and "continuing support" which could mean as little as that they continue to address customer service questions. They've mentioned that they're working on Spotify and Audible integration for Alexa with their new speakers, but not for ST.
It's impossible to guess what the future holds. The way they distribute their resources may depend heavily on how well their new smart speakers sell. I wasn't at all suprised that they put out a smart speaker with a microphone (other companies were doing this, and they had started Alexa integration in ST), but I was shocked that it wasn't part of the ST line. There's a lot of competition in this market, and they've sort of put themselves in the position of competing with themselves (or at least, with their current owners) by not integrating the formats.