stephenbravo
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Aug 29, 2019

Baffling Bose move to abandon SoundTouch

I’m honestly shocked Bose introduced a new smart speaker line-up and discontinued support for their SoundTouch speakers. How are these speakers not going to be compatible? People have literally spent upwards of thousands of dollars only to have their systems rendered obsolete for Alexa, an addition many people couldn’t care less about. The new Soundbars are nearly identical to the ST300 but with minor changes and suddenly it’s a brand new speaker line-up. To me, it’s kind of irritating. residential projects in mumbai

I haven’t heard much discussion regarding this move from Bose, so I’m curious to see what the community thinks. Are you guys supportive of this move and think I’m out of line? Or do you agree that this recent move is somewhat baffling?

Looking forward to hearing your responses! flats in mumbai

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jimgfitz
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Oct 18, 2017

Re: Baffling Bose move to abandon SoundTouch

I have a Bose Soundtouch 300 with subwoofer and rear surrounds.  I love it as a 5.1 system for my LG OLED65C7P.  As far as I know, the hardware is the same as the Bose Soundbar 700, but a different operating system.  I am not aware that Bose has discontinued support for the Soundtouch line of products.  I have an Amazon Echo device, but I hardly use it.  I was going to use it to play my music apps, but it is very limited and will only play the six presets using the Soundtouch app.

 

I don't mind that Bose has developed and introduced a new line of products.  I bought my Bose Soundtouch 300 based on what it was at the time.  It did, and still does, everything it was advertised to do.  Car companies introduce new cars every year.  It's called progress, although I'm not sure the Bose Soundbar 700 is not a step backwards from some of the threads on this forum.  That doesn't take anything away from my Bose Soundtouch 300.

rickatk
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Nov 12, 2015

Re: Baffling Bose move to abandon SoundTouch


@stephenbravo wrote:

I’m honestly shocked Bose introduced a new smart speaker line-up and discontinued support for their SoundTouch speakers. How are these speakers not going to be compatible? People have literally spent upwards of thousands of dollars only to have their systems rendered obsolete for Alexa, an addition many people couldn’t care less about. The new Soundbars are nearly identical to the ST300 but with minor changes and suddenly it’s a brand new speaker line-up. To me, it’s kind of irritating.

I haven’t heard much discussion regarding this move from Bose, so I’m curious to see what the community thinks. Are you guys supportive of this move and think I’m out of line? Or do you agree that this recent move is somewhat baffling?

Looking forward to hearing your responses!


 

Bose hasn’t discontinued support for the SoundTouch line. In fact they continue to sell SoundTouch speakers including the ST 300, Lifestyle series and ST 10,20 and 30 speakers. As well the SoundTouch wirless adaptor is still aviailable. From time to time you also see firmware updates. The big one everyone is waiting for is Airplay 2.

 

When the Smart Line of speakers was announced and more importantly that the speakers were not backwards compatible, there was a huge outcry which still continues today in theses forums. I agree this was a bad decision and certainly leaves one with a sense of abandonment.

 

In real life use however I have found SoundTouch products to be stable and good sounding. So much I recently bought a ST 10 to add to my SoundTouch collection. I remain happy with the SoundTouch line, all the speakers work and the app is stable. When It is time to upgrade, which I don’t beleive will be for a while I will take a look at the Smart Series.

 

However what Bose did with lack of backwards compatibility is a two way street, I won’t be compelled to stick with Bose products because I have aging SoundTouch gear.

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Marty K.
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Jan 9, 2016

Re: Baffling Bose move to abandon SoundTouch

Its not as if the SoundTouch products suddenly stopped working or stopped doing what they've always done - at least when there are no service interuptions as was the case recently with Sirius.  So in terms of how the speakers work or don't work for me, I'm no less happy with my speakers than I've always been.

 

On the other hand, realistically, "support", at least in the sense of future enhancements, adding new music services, etc. has basically stopped.  Maybe Bose hasn't announced that its stopped, but I think we all know that it has.  Even if AirPlay 2 ever happens (which seems highly suspect), does anyone really expect anything after that?  And that's disappointing from the standpoint that SoundTouch still lacks basic features - not basic features by today's standards, but basic features by the standards of the time period when they were first released - especially for products with a premium price.  No alarm clock?  No sleep timer?  Can't fast forward / rewind / seek within a track?  Really?  So in that sense, yeah, I am not as happy as I once was because I used to have hope that Bose would eventually add these things, but now I see that they will not.

 

As for Home Speakers and not making them compatible, this seems like a decision that has no underlying technical reason.  I don't see why SoundTouch and Home Speaker products could not do multiroom audio together.  Of course, maybe there is a technical reason, but Bose, who values secrecy more than the KGB, isn't sharing.  Instead, as customers, we're left to feel as if this decision was made to try and force people to buy the newer products.  And that's one of several reasons I don't think I will ever buy any of the Home Speaker products - its not a smooth upgrade path, the experience of being a SoundTouch customer has overall been poor for me, and I really have no confidence that in four or five years, Home Speaker customers won't be dumped by Bose as SoundTouch customers have.  No thank you.

jimgfitz
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Oct 18, 2017

Re: Baffling Bose move to abandon SoundTouch

When people buy products, they should do their homework first.  Examine the specifications and make sure the product you choose has the features and specifications you want and need TODAY.  There are no promises of future enhancements, that's just wishful thinking.  Never buy a product based on what you hope it might become in the future.

 

I think Bose decided the Soundtouch application had reached the limits of it's capabilities and it was time to develop something new and better.

vandrew
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Jan 8, 2015

Re: Baffling Bose move to abandon SoundTouch

Just read all the fustrations from the community and replies by Bose. 

Mojojojo0
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Apr 28, 2019

Re: Baffling Bose move to abandon SoundTouch

"The big one everyone is waiting for is Airplay 2."

 

Everybody has been waiting for it for the last 2 years now, and every few months an update arrives without mention of it. Two years ago Bose told their customer base how excited they were to be bringing Airplay 2 to their speakers. Since then nothing but "we can't say when but it is coming". Some people bought Bose products based upon this promise. For some people, the Bose experience has not been a pleasant one. 

Rock Dancing
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Aug 31, 2017

Re: Baffling Bose move to abandon SoundTouch

My feelings are very similar to Marty K.’s. Since the introduction of the Smart Speaker line, most of the updates have been underwhelming. In the past year, the biggest change was the addition of custom url streams, but that was primarily in response to the outcry of cutting off services to VTuner. 

 

I don’t have any skin in the Airplay game, but it still feels disappointing the way the timeline keeps getting stretched. I use the Alexa Skills, and while we were waiting what felt like ages for those, we were told that they would be expanded even further later.  I’ve posted before that it’s really annoying that the Skills broke the ability to link Alexa using Bluetooth, and Bose has seemed to ignore that problem.  "Passed up to development": the black hole of moderator responses.  Since the Smart Speakers came out, they’ve been the only ones to get any new features on Alexa (and largely in general).  It isn’t so much that Bose has completely pulled away all support for SoundTouch, but that they put more focus on the Smart Speakers as their premium product, and SoundTouch gets whatever leftover resources might be available.

 

I disagree with the assessment that we only buy products based solely on what they do today. From the beginning, a selling point of SoundTouch was its ability to receive firmware updates. Some product features are not very well explained in advertising.  For example, I thought the ST300 would automatically rebroadcast to Soundtouch before the AUX rebroadcast feature was delivered.  The ads emphasized what the product could do, not what it didn’t do.  Thankfully, this feature was added later.  I think it’s obnoxious that the “universal remote” doesn’t access Smart TV menus when SmartTVs had been out for years prior (and there was no disclaimer in their ads).  Even some sales reps misunderstand what products can do.  Some features are delivered; some are not even though they have widespread support (alarm/sleeptimer); some features just never work well for certain people (HDMI); and occasionally existing features are cut (VTuner). 

 

As someone who had already purchased several SoundTouch speakers, I’m not interested in the Smart Speaker line because they won’t sync. SoundTouch still has more types of speakers (e.g. there is no Smart Speaker equivalent to the ST10 or Wireless Link yet).  If I didn’t already have SoundTouch and I were just now looking for wireless speakers, I think there is good chance I would have chosen another brand.  I expect cost effectiveness and a smooth user experience would probably have won over the differences in sound quality for me personally.  I'm not about to abandon my gear, and I'm still hoping (perhaps wishfully) that ST won't be abandoned in terms of new feature updates.

Jereld
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Nov 24, 2016

Re: Baffling Bose move to abandon SoundTouch

I agree with the OP and what some others have said.  I am not happy with how they have handled the SoundTouch product line.  That said, the thing that REALLY baffles me is that when you look at this from the product and business accumen standpoint, what they did makes no sense, and that does not give me hope for future products.  

 

I am not aware of Bose pulling all support for SoundTouch products, but it is apparent that SoundTouch is now a legacy product.  Product support and updates were slow before, when SoundTouch was their primary product.  Now that the Smart Home speakers have taken the limelight, you can count on support starting to slow down for the SoundTouch platform, and I believe we have already started to see that. 

 

To the people in the community who argue that you buy an item based on what it can do at time of purchase, I want to welcome you to 2019, where almost everything you buy can be updated in some way.  If the fact that feature updates being a modern reality isn't enough for you, consider these two points. 1) Bose has been selling everyone on what their devices can do with future updates for years.  Amazon Alexa support coming soon?  AirPlay 2 support coming soon?  Sound familiar?  Bose even touts future updates as a feature for these products, so asking them to deliver on a feature that was promised at time of purchase is not too much to ask.  2) We can't just put our head in the sand and say "do better research" or "you get an item based on what it can do at time of purchase" when literally all of the competition out there is beating Bose at their own game.  If the rest of the world is moving ahead, asking Bose to keep up is not too much to ask.