Bose launches SoundTouch, updates across entire range

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Seamus Byrne is the Editor of CNET Australia. At other times he'll be found messing with apps, watching TV, building LEGO, and rolling dice. Usually at the same time.

Bose launches a major overhaul of its product line-up, introducing new SoundTouch music-streaming features across 12 new and updated products.

The three dedicated SoundTouch models:
SoundTouch 20, SoundTouch 30, SoundTouch Portable (right to left).
(Credit: CNET/David Carnoy)

Bose is entering the wireless audio streaming market with a bang as it introduces its new SoundTouch range today. Three new SoundTouch-specific speaker systems are being introduced, as well as nine further updates to its existing range and related accessories.

In launching the line-up, Bose representatives told CNET Australia that this is Bose's biggest single launch in its history.

The SoundTouch service streams music across your Wi-Fi network. At launch, you can stream your own music, internet radio or Pandora. The system also supports Apple Airplay technology. You control the service via apps available for Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS platforms. Through the apps, you can control each individual SoundTouch system in your home individually, or you can combine them into a multi-room party mode, where some or all of the speakers will play in sync.

The key models being launched are the top-of-the-range SoundTouch 30, the smaller SoundTouch 20 and the SoundTouch Portable. The Portable is the smallest unit but also includes a battery to be easily moved around the home for streaming music wherever you want to take it.

The breakout feature for the wireless streaming scene is a set of preset buttons on top of the units. Six numbered buttons let you assign certain playlists, internet radio or Pandora stations for easy access without needing to go to your phone or desktop to start listening. Just tap and listen.

The preset buttons as featured on the new SoundTouch speakers and remote control.
(Credit: CNET/David Carnoy)

Bose sees SoundTouch not just as a new product range, but also as a feature for its entire range, updating versions of its Wave system, VideoWave and Lifestyle ranges, as well as introducing additional SoundTouch stereos, amplifiers and dedicated remote controls.

At launch, SoundTouch falls short of some of the more advanced features in the home wireless streaming offerings of competitors like Sonos. There is no stereo pairing across speakers, no default zone grouping options and no support for subscription services like Spotify, MOG, Deezer and Rdio. Bose representatives suggested the platform is set to be developed further with more features expected in around six months time.

Australian pricing for the SoundTouch models is AU$899 for the top-end SoundTouch 30, AU$549 for the SoundTouch 20 and AU$549, again, for the SoundTouch Portable. The Wave SoundTouch will be AU$899, the SoundTouch SA-4 amplifier package is AU$699 and the SoundTouch Stereo JC system will be AU$1599. The SoundTouch controller is AU$149.

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