Audio pioneer, Amar Bose, dies at 83, leaves behind legacy of research and innovation

Amar Bose

On Friday, Amar G Bose, founder of Bose Corp., passed away in his sleep at his home in Wayland Massachusetts. Bose was 83.

For most, the name Bose conjures up mental images of tiny cube-shaped speakers, frequent flyers with noise-cancelling headphones, and ads for table-top radios. But while Bose’s products are well-known, few are as familiar with the story behind the man whose name the company bears.  

Amar Gopal Bose was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. His father was an East Indian revolutionary who escaped prison and fled Calcutta, his mother American-born. During WWII, Bose’s father’s import business failed, leaving a 13-year old Amar as the primary breadwinner for the family. It was then that Bose’s penchant for tinkering with gadgets became more than a hobby. Bose worked with local electronic repair shops to help fix radios using a unique method that helped re-fuse broken filaments in vacuum tubes.

After graduating high school, Bose scored a scholarship to attend MIT where he earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering. But his relationship with the university didn’t end there. He joined the faculty in 1956 and remained a professor there for 45 years before retiring in 2001. Ten years later, Bose gave a majority of Bose Corp’s stock to MIT in the form of non-voting shares, the dividends from which serve to sustain and further MIT’s mission in education and research.

It was in 1968 that Dr. Bose founded the Bose Corporation. Apparently, the Dr. was let down by the sound quality he experienced from the stereo systems he purchased during his college years. As an avid fan of classical music, Bose was familiar with the sound experienced in concert halls. It was his belief that what was missing from home audio system was the indirect – or, reflected – sound experienced in the venues where music was performed live. Bose’s answer to this issue was his first speaker, the model 2201, which used 22 small midrange speakers aimed in multiple directions. The speaker was designed to be placed in a corner of the room and reflect sound from multiple points off of multiple surfaces. Unfortunately, the speaker was a flop. So, Bose dove into the deep end of psychoacoustics, a relatively fresh concept at the time.

From that point forward, Bose Corporations mission (and tagline) has been “Better Sound Through Research.” This research would ultimately bear fruit in the form of noise-cancelling technology that would ultimately be adopted by the military, as well as the Bose “waveguide” technology, which enables compact speaker products to produce higher quantities of bass by routing sound through a labyrinth of channels or tubes.

Today, Bose’s products remain some of the most recognizable audio equipment in the world. But it is Bose’s passion and dedication to scientific research in the area of acoustics that have had the greatest impact on society. Amar Bose is one of America’s great pioneers and, thanks to his dedication to MIT, his work will continue to bear fruit long after his passing. 

Product Review

JBL’s Live 650BTNC are a wonderful everyday listening companion

A long-lasting battery, solid active noise cancelation, and vibrant sound make the JBL Live 650BTNC a great pair of headphones for everyday listening. Looking for feature-packed wireless headphones at a low price? These are just the ticket.
Trash

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Trash

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Deals

Power up your Nintendo Switch storage with the SanDisk MicroSD card flash sale

Amazon's Deal of the Day features a collection of SanDisk microSD cards from 64GB up to 400GB and we put together the best offers that work with your Nintendo Switch. Now, you won't have to choose which games stay and which leave.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

What’s new on Hulu in May 2019, and what’s leaving soon

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for May 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Home Theater

Amazon and Google agree to more support for each other’s streaming services

Amazon and Google have taken a major step toward thawing their relationship: YouTube will be officially supported on all Fire TV devices, and Prime Video will work on all Chromecast and Android TV devices in the coming months.
Movies & TV

The best Black Mirror episodes are disturbing, mesmerizing, and provocative

After watching all 19 episodes across four seasons and one movie, we selected and ranked the best Black Mirror episodes released so far. Read on to find out if your favorite episode from the award-winning Netflix series made the list.
Movies & TV

From comedies to biopics, these are the best movies about music and musicians

The best movies about music range from hilarious comedies to powerful and informative biopics that illuminate the world of sonic expression from all possible angles. Here are our current favorites.
Home Theater

Here's how to turn off subtitles on Netflix, no matter the device

Subtitles are great if you want or need them, but they can be a major headache if you’ve somehow turned them on by accident and can’t figure out how to get rid of them. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it seems.
Home Theater

Run to the beat of your favorite music with the best running headphones

Running is a great source of exercise but isn't always the most thrilling, especially when you're fiddling to keep your headphones in place. Check out our picks for the best headphones for running, so you never have to miss a beat again.
Home Theater

Banish the buffer screen with these tips for silky smooth streaming video

If you’ve been having troubles with streaming Internet videos from Netflix and other services in HD, the problem may be your network. Here’s how to make sure your streaming video experience goes smoothly.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Puro’s kids headphones don’t just sound great, they help prevent hearing damage

Puro Sound Labs' PuroQuiet headphones are a pair of noise-canceling over-ears that are designed for young listeners, allowing them to jam out to their favorite tunes, but limiting volume to avoid long-term hearing damage.