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Bose Corporation ( ) is a privately-held, Americanmarker company, based in Framingham, Massachusettsmarker, that specializes in audio equipment. Bose products can be found in Olympics stadiums, The Broadway Theatremarker, the Sistine Chapelmarker and the Space Shuttle. Bose operates 5 plants, 151 retail stores (as of October 20, 2006) and an automotive subsidiary at Stow, Massachusettsmarker. Bose is known for the 901 speaker series.

In respect of sales in the USA for Home Audio retail and Portable Audio retail sales Bose was ranked third for the period of November 2008 to April 2009.


Bose Corporation develops and manufactures audio equipment (including speakers, amplifiers, headphones, automotive sound systems for luxury cars ), automotive suspension systems, and performs some general research (such as debunking cold fusion). The company was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, a professor of electrical engineering (who retired in 2005) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologymarker. Bose has contracts with the US military (Navy, Air Force & Army) and NASAmarker. Amar Bose is still the Chairman and primary stockholder, and also holds the title of Technical Director.

History of Bose Corporation presidents

  1. William (Bill) Zackowitz (1964-66)
  2. Charles "Chuck" Hieken (1966-69)
  3. Frank E. Ferguson (1969-76)
  4. Amar G. Bose (1976-80)
  5. Sherwin Greenblatt (1980–2000)
  6. John Coleman (2000–2005)
  7. Bob Maresca (Since 2005)

The company dedicates a 6,500 square meter (70,000 square feet) building in Framingham for research, development, and engineering (RD&E) purposes with a minimum annual RD&E budget of $100 million. In 2004, Bose purchased an additional site from HP in Stow, Massachusettsmarker, to house growing automotive and marketing divisions.

Early years

In 1956, while a graduate student at MIT, Amar Bose purchased a high end stereo system and was disappointed when it failed to meet his expectations. He later began extensive research aimed at fixing what he saw as fundamental weaknesses plaguing high-end audio systems. The principal weakness, in Bose's view, was that the overall design of the electronics and speaker failed to account for psychoacoustics, i.e. the listener is part of the system. Eight years later, he started the company, charging it with a mission to achieve Better Sound Through Research (which is also the company's slogan).

Research history

During the company's first year in business Bose Corporation engaged in sponsored research. Its first loudspeaker product, the model 2201, dispersed 22 small mid-range speakers over an eighth of a sphere. It was designed to fit in the corner of a room, reflecting the speaker's sound as a mirror would for light in a corner cube and giving rise to an acoustical image of a sphere in a vastly larger room. Amar Bose used an electronic equalizer to adjust the acoustical output for flat total radiated power.

Although these speaker systems accurately emulated the characteristics of a simulated, massless, ideal, spherical membrane, the results of listening tests were disappointing (some of the reasons for this are detailed in a later publication from Bose's research department). This led Bose to conduct further research into psychoacoustics that eventually clarified the importance of a dominance of reflected sound arriving at the head of the listener, a listening condition that is characteristic of live performances. This finding led to a revised speaker design in which eight of nine identical small mid-range drivers (with electronic equalization) were aimed at the wall behind the speaker while one driver was aimed forward, thus ensuring a dominance of reflected over direct sound in home listening spaces, replicating the dominant reflected sound fields listeners experience in live performances.

Before hearing his new design for the first time, although confident that his new design would produce a dominance of reflected sound arriving at the ear of the listener, faithfully replicating that aspect of a "live" listening experience, Amar Bose was unsure as to whether his new "direct/reflected" design would be a small audible improvement or a large one over his earlier design and the best commercially available loudspeakers. The new pentagonal design, named the Model 901, was a very unconventional design for speakers at the time (which were generally either full-size floorstanding units or bookshelf type speakers accompanied by a subwoofer that handled only the very lowest frequencies). The Model 901 premiered in 1968 and was an immediate commercial success, and the Bose Corporation grew rapidly during the 1970s.

Amar Bose believes that imperfect knowledge of psychoacoustics limits the ability to adequately characterize quantitatively any two arbitrary sounds that are perceived differently, and to adequately characterize and quantify all aspects of perceived quality. He believes, for example, that distortion is much over-rated as a factor in perceived quality in the complex sounds that comprise music, noting that a sine wave and a square wave (a hugely distorted sine wave) are audibly indistinguishable above 7 kHz. Similarly, he does not find measurable relevance to perceived quality in other easily measured parameters of loudspeakers and electronics, and therefore does not publish those specifications for Bose products. The ultimate test, Bose insists, is the listener's perception of audible quality (or lack of it) and his or her own preferences.Unlike other major speaker manufacturers, Bose does not publish specifications relating to the measured electrical and objective acoustic performance of its products. This reluctance to publish information is due to Bose's rejection of these measurements in favour of "more meaningful measurement and evaluation procedures".

Additionally, the company researches portable audio within the fields of Circumaural and Supra-aural headphones, centering within the lines of Acoustic Noise Cancellation (see Bose Headphone Family).

Cold fusion research

In 1991 Bose Corporation began research into cold fusion. Company engineers built a precision calorimeter, began replicating prior experiments, and concluded that there was no net energy gain.

Bose stores

In 1993 Bose opened its first store in Kitterymarker, Mainemarker. Since then Bose has opened 160 stores in the United Statesmarker and numerous locations worldwide. In Britain there are 8 Bose stores, including one on Regent Streetmarker. Bose stores feature a 15 to 25 seat theater which has a short film that demonstrates a Lifestyle Home Entertainment System using a high-definition front LCD projector. At one point in the show a three-sided box is placed in front of the center speaker, and the Lifestyle system automatically adjusts and corrects the sound in the room via AdaptIQ technology. Stores located in factory outlets discount prices on some products and sell both new and factory renewed (retested open-box) products.

Trademarked technologies

  • Tri-Port Earcup Drivers
  • Acoustic Noise Cancellation
  • Acoustimass Technology
  • Acoustic Waveguide Technology
  • Direct/Reflecting Technology
  • Psychoacoustic Equalization
  • TrueSpace Technology
  • Electromagnetic Suspension System for Automobiles

Lines of specialized products

Car audio

Bose Car Audio
Bose produces a range of speakers and audio products for automotive use. Different Bose audio systems are available in vehicles with most GM labels (including Buick, Holden, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac and SAAB), as well as in some European models from Alfa Romeo, Audi, Ferrarimarker, Lancia, Maseratimarker, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, and also in some Japanese-production cars, like Nissan, Infiniti and Mazda. Bose currently does not offer its car audio products on an aftermarket basis in order to ensure proper integration and appropriate in-cabin acoustic adaptation.

At the 2007 auto show in Genevamarker, Switzerlandmarker Bose launched a new media system—incorporating stereo, navigation, and hands free calling—with the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. In 2007 the Bose media system won the International Telematics Award for the "Best Storage Solution for In-Car Environment".

Automotive suspension system

Another area of research and development at Bose Corporation is two-state, non-linear power processing and conditioning. Several early patents were awarded to Amar Bose and other Bose engineers and this technology is one of the key elements in an innovative project that the company disclosed in 2004 after more than 20 years of research, an automobile suspension system that uses electromagnetic principles instead of the hydraulics that are common today. This system uses electromagnetic linear motors to raise or lower the wheels of an automobile in response to un-even bumps or potholes on the road. The wheels are raised when approaching a bump, or extended into a pothole, within milliseconds, thus keeping the vehicle steady. This technology is another application of Bose's active noise reduction technology for speakers and earphones. The unevenness of the road is sensed, and processed much like a sound wave. A cancelling wave is generated, which is applied to the wheels through the linear motors. Amar Bose expects the system to be available commercially on high-end luxury cars by 2009. In a French interview Bose even shows off the car jumping over an obstacle. Bose says that the system is "high cost" and heavy, even after nearly three decades, and $100 million, of development.

Commercial Systems

Bose's Professional Systems Division designs and provides audio systems for use in commercial settings such as auditoriums, retail spaces, hotels, offices, restaurants, and stadiums.

Personalized Amplification System

Sound amplification for performing musicians has been an area of research and product development at Bose Corporation since the early 1970s. The attendant issues are complex: appropriate amplification of the instrument for the performer, companion musicians and the audience impose conflicting requiremets the discussion of which is beyond the scope of this article. The most recent Bose system is an individualized amplification product. This system, designated the "L1," is a vertical, portable, inline speaker array with broad forward-dispersion of the sound.

On October 15, 2003, Bose Corporation began selling the L1 Model I family of products through its internal sales division and selected dealers. Bose maintains an active Musicians Community Message Board for support, and there is an owner maintained Unofficial Wiki and FAQ


In 2004 Bose acquired company assets related to the development, manufacture and sales of materials testing equipment, founding the ElectroForce Systems GroupThe ElectroForce Systems Group provides materials testing and durability simulation instruments to research institutions, universities, medical device companies and engineering organizations worldwide.

Lines of home audio products

Multimedia systems

Speaker systems

Home entertainment systems

Opinions about Bose

Discussion of "Bose Quality" can sometimes elicit strong, and polarized opinions. There seem to be two major camps: those who see Bose as a maker of good high-end audio equipment, and others who see Bose as a company that uses marketing to make extravagant claims for otherwise ordinary products. The debates can be extended, and sometimes rancorous.

In some consumer-level publications outside of this debate, Bose is regarded as a producer of high-end audio systems. A market study published in March 2006 by the independent market research firm Forrester Research reported that Bose's brand name was among the 3 most trusted brand names (by the US population) of consumer-electronics or computer brand names in the US.

In 1968, Amar Bose presented a classic paper to the Audio Engineering Society entitled: "On the Design, Measurement and Evaluation of Loudspeakers" available from the AES at a small charge. Following the logic in this paper, Bose Corporation has endeavored to strike an economic balance between cost and performance to provide high quality as judged by the average listener whose criteria of quality include faithful reproduction of the listener's experience in a live performance, which according to Bose requires a dominance of the reverberant sound field in the listening space (a typical home environment). (see audiophile beliefs).


Bose's systems were criticized by Stereophile in 1975 in a review of the 901 system, stating that in the magazine's opinion, the system was unexceptional and unlikely to appeal to perfectionists with a developed taste in precise imaging, detail, and timbre, and that these shortcomings were an excessive price to pay for the improvement in impact and ambiance generated by the large proportion of reflected sound [to on-axis sound]. However, the author also stated that the system produced a more realistic resemblance of natural ambiance than any other speaker system.

Audio forums tend to talk about the non-linear frequency response of certain Bose systems. A reviewer in PC Magazine stated that he believes Bose is not a producer of high-end audio systems, because it didn't fulfill his expectations of what a high-end system should be. (Widely-accepted performance characteristics of 'high-end' audio systems typically include a flat frequency response curve throughout the audible spectrum, and precise impulse response.) Audio enthusiasts frequently criticize Bose in online forums, accusing it of overpricing its products and criticizing the sound produced by Bose products. In addition, Bose does not publish specific technical specifications; and as of November 21, 2008 none of Bose's products are THX certified. Bose claims technical specifications are meaningless , since what matters most is what the listener hears.

Legal action

In 1981 Bose unsuccessfully sued the magazine Consumer Reports for libel. Consumer Reports reported in a review that the sound from the system that they reviewed "tended to wander about the room." Initially, the Federal District Court found that Consumer Reports "had published the false statement with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of its truth or falsity" when it changed what the original reviewer wrote about the speakers in his pre-publication draft. The Court of Appeals then reversed the trial court's ruling on liability, and the United States Supreme Court affirmed in a 6-3 vote in the case Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc., finding that the statement was made without actual malice, and therefore there was no liability for libel.


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