For the longest time some of the best high-end audio gear has beared the brand name of Bose. On Friday, audio tech pioneer and founder of Bose Corporation, Dr Amar Gopal Bose died at his home in Wayland, Mass aged 83.
Born on November 2, 1929 at Philadelphia, Bose gave glimpses of his business skills from a very early age. During the World War II years, he enlisted school friends as co-workers in a small home business repairing model trains and home radios, to supplement his family’s income. By 1950 he had graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and would then go on to complete his PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT, writing a thesis on non-linear systems.
It is believed that while working on his thesis, Bose bought home a ‘hi-fi’ system, but was left disappointed by its audio quality. It was then he decided to create new technologies that would bring concert-style audio to one’s home. He observed that a lot of sound was lost in a concert hall as it bounced off walls and ceilings before reaching the audience. Using this idea and basic science, he designed a set of multiple small speakers aimed at the surrounding walls, rather than directly at the listener, to reflect the sound and, in essence, recreate the larger sound heard in concert halls.
In 1968, he introduced the Bose 901 speaker system, which became a massive hit and would be one of the company’s bestsellers for more than 25 years. He would also go on to develop Bose’s famous Wave Radio and noise-cancelling headphones.
Though his business boomed, Bose remained primarily a professor at MIT till 2011. His son Vanu G. Bose said in a statement, “While my father is well known for his success as an inventor and businessman, he was first and foremost a teacher. I could not begin to count the number of people I’ve met who’ve told me that my father was the best professor they ever had and how taking 6.01 from him changed their life.”
Image Credit: MIT