I suggest a note to Bose requesting the Bose Music app be redesigned for backwards compatibility to work with SoundTouch gear.
Additionally: The Bose Portable speaker works really well outside on the patio. I wonder if Bose is intending on customers buying “stand alone” speakers as you suggest, passing on the whole amp/wiring/external speakers.
The Soundtouch line is completely gone now. The reference and link in Smart Speakers is gone. But it is just not Soundtouch - looks like most speaker systems are now discontinued - ie Bookshelf 201 and 301, lower end wall and ceiling speakers, the iconic outdoor garden speaker, all wall speakers, etc. All that is left is the 791 ceiling and 251 outdoor and it remains to be seen how long they last.
There are still a few soundbars with subwoofer and one classic Lifestyle 650 system. I guess they still have inventory. The non-streaming Wave is there - but out of stock - and maybe going too. The is still the small portable smart speakers - but those are such a commodity item now.
It is really is a shame to see a major premium brand sound company for years (which could command list prices only) basically going out of business. As I predicted in my post above some months back - looks like Bose is becoming a headset and earbuds company with a few portable smart speakers. These products can be produced in mass volume in China and distributed through retail channels. These are items that require little support - when it breaks you throw it out. I guess it is all about being profitable in the highly competitive business of sound.
I feel sorry for all the great people that have worked at Bose - I have to assume that with all these product reductions with no replacements many are losing their jobs.
I guess Apple pulling all third-party audio products from its store was the final nail in the coffin.
Oh dear, I am disappointed too.
I, like so many others, bought into a platform and hoped it would last decades… we have perfect SoundTouch speakers, but connected support is presenting business model challenges, or so it appears.
The question for me is how to keep them working, never mind expanding the system, we may end up with nice looking bricks - and these were too expensive to ‘junk’ after so few years.
@RanB I hope your assessment is wrong and Bose is taking a breather, retooling for a post Covid world. You are correct, to see Bose slim down to a very narrow product lineup would be a shame not only for the customers but for all the very hard working Bose employees.
I did notice the products being delisted appear to lack streaming and smart home features. Perhaps Bose is simply sticking with speakers that have smart features and dropping so called “dumb” speakers.
Fingers crossed that Bose is not at an intersection, rather a rest stop on the highway of technology sales.
@aks I wouldn’t worry to much about longevity with your SoundTouch speakers. As a network speaker they work very well and there is no indication that changes in standards will effect them for some time. In fact Bose made a major commitment to supporting the SoundTouch line by adding Airplay. I shipped two ST30 speakers away for Airplay upgrade at no cost to me. I use my speakers every day either on the SoundTouch or Airplay platforms without any issues. In fact I use Airplay to connect my SoundTouch and Smart speakers without any problems.
I have a Cinemate 130 with SoundTouch as my home theatre. Connecting to my new Samsung TV over HDMI - ARC, I have the latest in audio connection save Atmos and Apple Spatial. My Cinemate 130 speaker still sounds great!! I really like what the phase guide speakers can do with virtual DD5.1 sound.
Fear not, as long as you aren’t looking for Siri, Alexa or some other virtual assistant your SoundTouch gear will do I the job for years to come.
I use for local network streaming, including sync music across speakers. Also internet radio. All have worked well for many years (I purchased my first units in 2013 (I think)).
my concern is with the reliance on a connection to a Bose server, I just don’t want these speakers to “die” unnecessarily!
ideally I’d also have an upgrade/expansion path, but that door seems to have closed.
I certainly hope my assessment is wrong. I really like the Soundtouch - I don't want Alexa or any connected smart speaker which captures and records you voice and sends it back to Google. You are giving Google an open microphone into your home.
As long as the Apple and Microsoft Soundtouch apps are maintained with newer versions of Apple IOS and Microsoft Windows - I am OK.
I have 4 - SA-5's, 2 - Wireless Link adapters connected to Sony amps, pair of S10s, and a Wave IV. I am still setting up the fourth SA-5 - these are in my main utility room with wires running through out the house. They easily connect to my FIOS router. I prefer wired Ethernet over the WiFi.
Since Bose has discontinued all Bookshelf speakers - I just went out and bought a pair of Polk T15 for a SA-5. (on sell for $79 a pair - how can you beat that - and great sounding - better than the Bose 161's I have) I am replacing Polk S15 because the T15's are Front Ported Bookshelf Speakers versus S15 rear ported. Rear ported doesn't work in an enclosure - because the bass comes out the back. I am not sure why vendors call rear ported speakers bookshelf (I guess to mean size). The T15's were the exact size I needed down to the 1/8th of an inch. T15 sounds better than S15.
How can Bose compete with that. I don't know how Best Buy and Polk can sell such a quality constructed, good sounding speaker and package in a sturdy box for $79 a pair.
For reference - my music choice is low volume background - piano and violin music (Pandora) piped throughout a 3 story house. Also - price of components is not a consideration - size, form factor with good sound are.
Although what really hit me was the discontinuance of that iconic green, garden outdoor speaker. They are all over our local town center type of shopping center (Apple Store, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Barnes and Noble, etc) where the sound is directed to the ground so you hear it as you walk around and it doesn't blast out. I don't think Bose has any competition with that type of outdoor speaker at $500 a pair.
Sadly you are correct in many of your observations. Hopefully as I have started, Bose will move forward with heir line in an expanded fashion. Fortunately there are many other options out there. But beating the Bose line will be hard to do.
I like the Green speakers as well. I have heard them in a public setting and was quite impressed by the low key warm detailed sound.
Jan 6, 2016
I recently bought the Bowers and Wilkins AM 1 for outdoor use. Beautiful design speakers with a very high quality sound! I plan to buy a few more for our new patio.
My problem now is how do I connect these. Bose no longer sells the SA5 and I want a separate circuit.
I may be considering SONOS, but don't feel like switching between Bose and SONOS every time,
if I change, I'll change everything at once.
I think I'll wait until next summer and then take the plunge.
@Staelinski The B&W speakers are very handsome. I suggest any integrated app with Airplay. Consider BlueSound Powernode series amps..
As an aside, Bose is directing customers to their “personal” line of speakers as an outside speaker solution. I have the Bose Portable speaker. Works great on the patio. Gives me rich deep sound. Presets via an app, Airplay, BlueTooth and WiFi. No more hanging speakers.