Gadgets

RIP Amar Bose, a pioneer of high-end audio

Above: Amar Bose, the founder of Bose Corp. He died Friday at 83.

Image Credit: WBUR.org

Amar Bose, the man who pioneered high-end audio and became a billionaire as the founder of Bose Corp., died at the age of 83 on Friday.

In the 1960s, Bose pioneered research into the way that sound bounced off walls in acoustic concert halls. He used that knowledge to create a new type of stereo speaker based on psychoacoustics, or the way that we perceive sound. He created multiple small speakers aimed at surrounding walls rather than at the listener in an attempt to re-create sound more exactly.

The New York Times said the death was confirmed by his son, Vanu Bose. The elder Bose was the founder and chairman of the privately held company. He focused on relentless engineering innovation in audio technology, coming up with technologies such as noise-canceling headphones and a suspension system for cars. He introduced the first speaker, the Bose 901 Direct/Reflecting speaker system, in 1968. The systems took off when car makers like Mercedes and Porsche began installing them in their vehicles.

In a 2004 interview in Popular Science magazine, Bose said: “I would have been fired a hundred times at a company run by MBAs. But I never went into business to make money. I went into business so that I could do interesting things that hadn’t been done before.”

Bose taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 45 years. In 2011, he donated a majority of his company’s shares to MIT.

He was born in 1929 in Philadelphia, the son of Noni Gopal Bose, a Bengali freedom fighter who fled to the U.S.

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