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Sound Engineer and Entrepreneur Amar Bose Dead At 83 129

Posted by timothy
from the audiophiles-can-just-be-polite-ok? dept.
countach44 writes with the news that Amar Bose, founder of the electronics company that bears his name, has died at age 83. "Dr. Bose founded Bose Corporation almost 50 years ago with a set of guiding principles centered on research and innovation. That focus has never changed, and never will," said Bob Maresca, president of Bose Corporation. "Bose Corporation will remain privately held, and stay true to Dr. Bose's ideals. We are as committed to this as he was to us. Today and every day going forward, our hearts are with Dr. Bose; and we will do everything we can to make him proud of the company he built." The slideshow that accompanies the MIT posting shows some of his sound-related inventions over the years.
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Sound Engineer and Entrepreneur Amar Bose Dead At 83

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  • Eh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Desler (1608317) on Friday July 12, 2013 @07:15PM (#44266059)

    No highs. No lows. It's Bose.

    • Re:Eh (Score:5, Funny)

      by rei_slashdot (558039) on Friday July 12, 2013 @07:20PM (#44266107)
      BOSE: Buy Other Speaker Equipment
      • by djl4570 (801529)
        Wasn't Bose behind the "direct reflecting" loudspeaker? It couldn't have been designed by an engineer with a basic understanding of reflected waveforms, phase and wave interference. I listened to a set of these at a stereo shop in Monterey, California back in 1983. The space in front of me with sound, but the violin solo was distorted and smeared across the space.
    • Re:Eh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rwa2 (4391) * on Friday July 12, 2013 @08:00PM (#44266403) Homepage Journal

      Oh yay, all of the audiophiles will be squirming out of the woodwork on this one :D

      I really like my triport headphones, and despite having a bunch of other gear, the little Companion II speakers keep migrating around the house after my wife's laptop or one of the tablets. Now I didn't pay actual money for them, I got them both from trading in rewards points on credit cards or from work or crap like that back before I figured out how to redeem them for gift cards or something more liquid. But they are noticeably better than most of the other junk headphones / earbuds / speakers I have. I can pick out more details in my music, and bass seldom hits the weary resonant monotone drone that comes out of most other speakers I've played with.

      The headphones are comfortable since they cup your skull around your earlobes. The speakers are relatively compact for the sound that comes out of them and have 2 sets of RCA inputs. They start to sound a bit muddy when you turn them all the way up, but we never really need to.

      Yes, Bose crap is probably overpriced, but it certainly seems as if some science and engineering and testing went into them, compared to other crap.
      Yeah, I'm not an audiophile. And I don't really want to become one either.

      • Audiophiles? Spending half the price of what Bose charges for better quality makes one an audiophile?

        • by schnell (163007)

          Audiophiles? Spending half the price of what Bose charges for better quality makes one an audiophile?

          I am not an "audiophile." Not even close, and I do gauche things like listen to MP3s (gasp). That being said, I have read all about how awful Bose speakers are in this thread, but I have not seen anybody offer an answer to this question:

          What are the speakers that are much better than Bose and/or cheaper? I'm not trying to defend Bose, I just don't know much about "high end" audio gear and I'm curious.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Klipsch, Def Tech, Infinity, B&W (Bowers & Wilkins -- the lower end stuff is cheaper but they get much more expensive), Martin Logan, Energy... The list really goes on but that's a good start off the top of my head.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by StormUP (892787)
            Almost anything at the same price point is going to be better. If you want better AND cheaper, it is a bit harder, but very easily doable. Bose himself may have created some great products in his day, but the company for the last 20 years or so has mostly been putting out overpriced crap. Personally, I just use Polk monitor 40's in for my side and rear speakers in my surround setup. I think they sound better than Bose and it cost me something like $200 for 2 pairs. My left and right mains though are Poly
          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            There are lots of products that sound "better" than Bose for a lot less money, depending on your definition of "better".

            Bose do not aim to accurately reproduce the sound. They aim to sound good to people who don't care about accuracy, which is probably most people. I'm mostly into headphones and my equipment doesn't have any a tone control on, no equalizer or other processing. Of course I still get fantastic bass on some tracks, but that's because that was recorded and I prefer it because otherwise all musi

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              Bose do not aim to accurately reproduce the sound. They aim to sound good to people who don't care about accuracy, which is probably most people.

              Exactly. They're also into aesthetics - heavily so.

              They know people would pay a lot for those tiny cube speakers - which given all their size, aren't really suited for anything more than the range humans "care" about. The big subwoofer helps get to the lower frequencies, while the cube speakers that make the system "cute" and has high WAF really get you the parts t

          • by jrumney (197329)

            Pretty much any big boxy speaker is going to be better than Bose. Consider the big boxy floor standing audiophile speakers to be like uncompressed WAV or some really expensive smaller models that sound just as good could be like FLAC. You can also buy some smaller bookshelf sized ones that might be analogous to 320kbps MP3 (most people who doing a direct comparison and know what to listen for would consider these to be just as good). Bose is like 128kbps MP3 (artifacts are audible, but most people tolera

            • Aka Klipshhorns - Great sound - very very efficient. I was able to bounce my wife's good china with an appropriate Pink Floyd song and 5 watts of power.
        • by jd2112 (1535857)

          Audiophiles? Spending half the price of what Bose charges for better quality makes one an audiophile?

          No, Spending double or more what Bose equipment costs for worse quality and then bragging about the quality of your hyper-expensive equipment makes you an audiophile.

          • Re:Eh (Score:5, Informative)

            by russbutton (675993) <russ@russbutMONETton.com minus painter> on Saturday July 13, 2013 @01:09AM (#44267899) Homepage
            I'm not sure at what level you think "hyper-expensive" is. The top end Bose loudspeaker, the 901, is only about $1400/pair, which is pretty pedestrian these days. To me you'd have to drop $20,000 or more to begin to get into what I think is "hyper-expensive". Certainly you can drop $50,000 to $100,000 to $200,000 on a two-channel system without much trouble. That's where I put the phrase, "hyper-expensive"

            I'm an Old School, two channel audiophile. To me the word "audiophile" is someone who loves listening to music in such a way that it attempts to approximate the original live performance. This is really only relevant to acoustic music.

            Sadly to many others, the word "audiophile" means someone who is anal-retentive to the max and spends insane amounts of money on cables, room treatments and a lot of other wacky stuff.

            I'm a big band trumpet player and my wife is a professional violinist, so acoustic music is what we listen to. I love hearing the life-like quality a good recording can bring into my home. I've probably got about $6,000 total into my audio rig and feel that it sounds as good as any other system I've ever heard, at *any* price. Oh, and I use 14 gauge zip cord for speaker wire.

            If you want to hear truly extreme hi-end sound without having to sell your wife and children into slavery, check out the Linkwitz Orion system at:

            http://www.linkwitzlab.com/orion_challenge.htm [linkwitzlab.com]

            Could you get sound this good with the top end Bose stuff? Not a chance. Not even close. The Bose 901 was a screwball idea when it was new, but it was fun.

            But if you really want to ruin your life, go hear a Linkwitz Orion rig. Three dimensional, detailed, life-like and a great pleasure.
            • 14 gauge zip cord (Score:5, Informative)

              by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @03:24AM (#44268279)

              There's a good, measurable, audible reason you want to use low resistance cables for speakers. Speakers have a resonance frequency. When the membrane is pushed/pulled out of the center the membrane will want to move back to the center. Because of the speed it's traveling, it will overshoot that and there's your resonance. To stop that from happening, you'd ideally want the coil that's attached to the membrane to be "shorted out" on the outside. That way, the electrical energy generated by the coil moving over the magnet will be converted in to heat and the resonance will get dampened. Good amplifiers have a "damping rate" that's high. Essentially, that means they are very good at shorting out the speakers to eliminate resonance. The thing is, speakers themselves have a very low impendance, typically 4-8 Ohms. To effectively dampen out those speakers, you'll need a low resistance, way below 1 Ohms. This resistance is for the entire circuit combined, amplifier, speakers and all the connecting terminals in between. Having speaker cables that add a few tenth of an Ohm to this resonance will make your speakers sound "like someone is banging on a cardboard box" for lows and "a bit like a tin can" for highs. This effect is clearly measurable, and audible and has nothing to do with audiophile subjective arguments.

              Low resistance cable doesn't mean hellishly expensive by itself. You can get good results by keeping your wires short, using as little interconnects as possible and making sure the resistance at the interconnects is as low as possible. Low resistance is achieved by tightly coupling as much surface area as possible. If you have screw type terminals, make sure to tighten them sufficiently. You usually can get affordable 4mm2 Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) wire for a reasonable price at electronics stores. The wire with the fine strands will remain bendable and in theory will give you "better transients". Since audio frequencies don't really get influenced by that I personally think it's not that important, but having cable that will flex will make it a lot easier to put in place and work with. You could spend fortunes on brand cabling, silver cabling, gold plated silver cabling and whatnot, but for any "normal" application, the 4mm2 copper wire is just fine.

              • If you were to examine the Linkwitz website, you'd find that the Orion loudspeaker is tri-amplified with an active crossover and that it calls for four channels of amplification on each loudspeaker. That's 8 runs from amplifier to loudspeakers. That's a *LOT* of cable.

                I remember buying my cable from Parts Express. It was several years ago. All I can say is that EVERY time a serious audiophile comes to my home to hear the Orions, they come away filled with audio lust.

                I recently purchased a new DA
                • You lost me at 'turntable'.

                  • I got my start with audio back in the early 1970s. Back in those days, nobody had computers at home to fool with. Being both a musician and an engineering major, it only made sense that I take an interest in audio. I got into building my own loudspeakers as well as doing location recording of classical music and jazz. And when you bought music, it came on those round vinyl things called records, from which you extracted music with the use of a turntable.

                    Interestingly enough, it's now college aged peo
              • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

                Cat 5 network cable works really well and is dirt cheap. Ideal for cross-overs too.

                • by thegarbz (1787294)

                  Why use a cable that is mostly made up of insulation? For the same sized copper crossection as Cat5 you can get a MUCH smaller and cheaper cable.

                • by greg1104 (461138)

                  CAT5 is reasonable as things that are very cheap go. It doesn't sound very good in systems that need to deliver a lot of current. The problem is that the total wire gauge isn't that high. You have 8 conductors, but they're only 24 AWG each. You're better off picking up a 14AWG extension cord from a hardware store and cutting off the connectors. There was even a brief period in audiophile land where this one very thick appliance extension cord from Home Depot was being recommended as better than many ex

              • by gopla (597381)

                I can't make out are being funny here

                Are you serious! Do you even know what you are talking about?

              • by speedlaw (878924)
                The version for toasters and heaters has nicer looking copper.
            • by thegarbz (1787294)

              I'm not sure at what level you think "hyper-expensive" is. The top end Bose loudspeaker, the 901, is only about $1400/pair, which is pretty pedestrian these days. To me you'd have to drop $20,000 or more to begin to get into what I think is "hyper-expensive".

              Maybe absolute cost isn't what the GP was talking about. The top end Bose 901 is only $1400 a pair and yet bang for buck wise is bested by many other speakers costing the same. It's hyper-expensive for what you get.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              The little people use their equipment to listen to music.

              True Audiophiles use music to listen to their equipment.

            • by John Allsup (987)
              Someone divided listeners into two categories:

              Music lovers use their equipment to listen to their music;
              Audiophiles use their music to listen to their equipment.

              In any case, little attention is paid to the difference it makes to seriously train your ability to listen: and a well trained ear can pick out either the music or the equipment on any decent system.
              • Well said!

                I can't tell you how many times I've been in the home of a serious musician and they no sound system better than a boom box. Musicians listen for the musical content of the performance and can generally get what they really need from even very poor quality reproduction.

                One of the great things about being an older guy is that I've got what I consider to be an ultimate system and no longer need to chase after newer gear. I just get to sit back and listen, though I do like to get my hands "di
      • by nabsltd (1313397)

        Yes, Bose crap is probably overpriced, but it certainly seems as if some science and engineering and testing went into them, compared to other crap.

        The only "science and technology" that goes into Bose products is how to make the product more visually attractive (even Apple could take lessons from Bose) and configure the built-in equalizer to alter the sound to make people respond more positively to it. By definition, this make the reproduction less accurate.

        Even insanely cheap speakers are better than Bose, simply because they are at least trying to reproduce sound accurately. They may not succeed, but they aren't any less accurate than Bose product

        • by greg1104 (461138)

          The most innovative part of Bose's R&D is actually in avoiding warranty returns. Their bandpass woofer design is the best example. That got a lot of bass out of a box in a way that eliminated really low bass from playing. Do that, and now your woofer won't get burned out if you try and play the system too loud. The mechanical structure of the venting is fighting against overload for you.

          They do a similar trick on more expensive systems like the 901 models. Those also carefully limit deep bass so th

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Bose sold mostly crap speakers and crap products for an inflated price. The 501's were actually pretty good (I got a good trade-in for some 501's when I decided to get real speakers that had high fidelity). But mostly, it was all based on marketing and betting that customers did not know better.

      Note well, that the President of The MathWorks (Jack Little, just a few miles down Route 9 from Bose) idealizes Bose (as well as idealizing Bill Gates), and operates much the same way. He actually gives (or used t

    • Seriously, did Bose EVER make a good speaker? I've heard Pristine ones from all the way back in the 70s and even those were crap. Their car stereos are boomy over sound processed crap. Usually with proprietary connectors, amplifiers, even line levels so if you removed any part of the system you had to scrap the entire thing. I remember replacing a bose system in one car, and when I tested the door speakers they were running at 1ohm in series down each side of the car. WTF is that? If you look at the only pi

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        I don't know why MIT holds him up as some kind of great engineer; his real skill was obviously in marketing.

      • by adolf (21054)

        Actually, that's one thing Bose did get right with speakers: Making them all sound about the same.

        I don't particularly like that sound, but it is what it is.

        Meanwhile, there's nothing wrong with 1 Ohm speakers, except for the fact that they seem to be the only ones doing it. Really. If nothing else, it can simplify the power supply of the amplifier by reducing the voltage on the rails.

        And if you wanted to, you could have easily-enough used some transformers to convert that 1-Ohm nominal impedance to what

        • by nabsltd (1313397)

          Meanwhile, there's nothing wrong with 1 Ohm speakers, except for the fact that they seem to be the only ones doing it. Really. If nothing else, it can simplify the power supply of the amplifier by reducing the voltage on the rails.

          That "1 Ohm" is not a measure of resitance, but instead is impedance. It is much harder to drive a low impedance speaker to equivalent sound levels and keep the sound accurate.

          • by adolf (21054)

            Now that you've lectured me on the difference between impedance and resistance (which is not something I'm confused about), perhaps you'll care to explain why it's "much harder" to drive a low-impedance speaker in a system designed to do nothing but that.

            • by greg1104 (461138)

              As impedance drops, you have to raise the amount of current delivered to reach the same voltage to the speaker. Referencing this table [westhost.com], getting an 8 ohm speaker to 28V takes 3.5A of current, while it takes 28A at 1 ohm. Since the wall current available is typically 15A, you can't just adjust an 8 ohm amplifier design to work at 1 ohm. There are transistor related reasons that favor lower current designs too. If you want to tap into the cheap audio amplifier designs, which are available in large quantiti

        • by Artemis3 (85734)

          I believe Bose speakers are factory equalized. I have read people say they are simple cheap speakers but equalized, which too many people fail to do, so they are paying to have someone do it for them when buying the Bose brand.

          In theory we should all try to aim for a flat eq response, which is what sound engineers do to their monitors in studio. I don't think that's what Bose eq aims but i could be wrong.

          People sometimes think flat eq is "boring", but that its actually what the sound engineer wanted it to s

          • Modern amps ship with a microphone and a built in pink noise generator. They equalize the speakers _and_ the room for you, if your into that sort of thing.

            Audiophiles will complain about the noise the equalizer introduces and continue to spend fortunes on perfectly 'flat' speakers. I wish I could afford a pair of electrostatics. Then again if I could I'd likely do something boring like pay off the house.

          • by rochrist (844809)
            You don't get true flat response by trying to overpower phase distortion with eq. You get a hot mess. You get a flat response by designing a speaker cabinet properly and not pretending that speakers the size of a shoebox can do what speakers the size of a small refrigerator can do. See the previously referenced Klipschorn. You don't NEED active electronics for those.
      • They're hardly flat.

        9 3.5 inch drivers is an unusual setup.

        Wouldn't have paid the price for new ones. $1400 pair last I looked.

      • The advantage of 1 ohm speakers in car stereo is that it's possible to get almost 100 watts from a car's traditional 14 volts (when charging). 4 ohm speakers are limited to 25 watts. This saves the money of building a boosting power supply if more than 25 watts per speaker is desired.
  • Marketing company (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Bose had "sound-related inventions"? I thought they were just marketeers with crappy paper cone speakers [audiogon.com].

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Paper cone speakers aren't really a bad thing: there's a reason paper has been used for speakers for so long: it's stiff, lightweight, and cheap. With a speaker cone, the first two qualities are of the greatest importance. Stiffness is important for accurate sound reproduction, and lightweightness is important for efficiency (the heavier the cones, the more energy is required to move them with the speaker coils, meaning you need a more powerful amplifier to generate the same volume of sound). And of cour

      • by NJRoadfan (1254248) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @01:50AM (#44268023)
        A small read from another speaker manufacturer about technology and marketing. It addresses the paper cone myth.: http://www.humanspeakers.com/cgi-bin/page.pl?page=human/oldnews.txt [humanspeakers.com]

        While I wasn't really a fan of BOSE's newer products (their WaveRadios have a high failure rate due to shoddy components and the amps in an OEM BOSE car stereo I had failed), the older 70s stuff was fairly decent. I do give them credit for building stuff in the USA long after others have moved overseas. I think the only part in that car with the BOSE stereo that was made in the USA were the speakers and amps!
        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Interesting that you point to Human Speaker's site; I happen to have a pair of Genesis speakers rebuilt with Human drivers (the guy who runs Human was one of the employees of Genesis when it folded, and continued making EPI and Genesis speakers and parts on his own).

          • I own a pair of EPI 250s. While not as well known as some other classic speaker manufacturers (Advent, AR, etc.) they do hold their own.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've yet to like a Bose product, but he obviously made many, many people's life a bit more enjoyable.

    • The old 501s rocked, but this was in the 1980s....
      • And their wave radio was really only of note, not because it was that great, because most of the other radios being put out at the same time were utter shit.

    • by bonehead (6382)

      Their noise cancelling headphones are actually somewhat decent.

      Of course, that's more due to the noise cancellation rather than the sound quality, and the price is at least double what it should be.

  • by soundhack (179543) on Friday July 12, 2013 @07:23PM (#44266147)

    Long time ago (Acoustics). It was by far the best class I took as a grad student. He genuinely was not only a great engineer but a great teacher. He showed he movie Stand By Me to the class, and hosted the entire class to a tour of Bose. Most importantly, he was the only professor to really stress that common principles in engineering (lumped parameter model) exist throughout multiple domains, whether electrical, mechanical, or acoustic.

    I really hated my experience at MIT for the most part, but his class was one of the few bright moments and I would like to think I am a better engineer because of him.

    • It's unfortunate, then, that the products his company made were sold at far higher prices than they were actually worth. But I guess you sell at the price the idiots who buy into your marketing campaigns will let you.

    • by Reverberant (303566) on Friday July 12, 2013 @07:34PM (#44266219) Homepage

      The two notable things (other than the quality of teaching) about his class: infinite time is given to take exams (exams started at 7pm and a teaching assistant would stay until the last student left - the record during my tenure was 5:00am, or so I heard) and he provide free Tosci's ice cream during the exam.

      During the Bose factory tours, he showed off Project Sound [thecarconnection.com] a decade before it was revealed to the press. And inevitably a student would challenge some of the concepts the Bose company popularized (direct/reflecting, lack of tone controls, etc) and Dr. Bose would gently, but convincingly slap down the student using a blizzard of engineering arguments (rumor has it that Ken Kantor was the only student that could successfully go toe-to-toe with Dr. Bose).

      RIP Dr. Bose.

      • by chipschap (1444407) on Friday July 12, 2013 @08:02PM (#44266413)
        In 1968 I took an introductory circuit theory class from Dr. Bose (I was in the 2nd semester of my freshman year at MIT). It was a fantastic class but far from easy, and Dr. Bose liked to teach in a manner that implied you were as smart as he was. (Few if any of us were.) And I only got a "B" in the class :( The final exam was a killer. The only Bose product I've ever owned over the years was a set of Bose 10.2 speakers. I liked them very much; they made music sound great but they were not accurate. I was running a 16-track studio and while the clients loved the sound, I always had to explain that the speakers were no good for mixing because they seriously overemphasized the bass. My JBL monitors were much better in terms of flat response.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @08:02PM (#44266415)

        The two notable things (other than the quality of teaching) about his class: infinite time is given to take exams (exams started at 7pm and a teaching assistant would stay until the last student left - the record during my tenure was 5:00am, or so I heard) and he provide free Tosci's ice cream during the exam.

        During the Bose factory tours, he showed off Project Sound [thecarconnection.com] a decade before it was revealed to the press. And inevitably a student would challenge some of the concepts the Bose company popularized (direct/reflecting, lack of tone controls, etc) and Dr. Bose would gently, but convincingly slap down the student using a blizzard of engineering arguments (rumor has it that Ken Kantor was the only student that could successfully go toe-to-toe with Dr. Bose).

        RIP Dr. Bose.

        I'm not going to argue with you on how intelligent or unintelligent Dr. Bose was (undoubtedly he was pretty smart).

        Unfortunately, the products of his company are overpriced shite.

        Bose makes marketing agreements with their retail partners. Notice how Bose has its own exclusive section in any retail electronics store? That's because it's so good, right? Nope, that's because it's part of the agreement Bose reaches with the big box stores like Best Buy in order to limit the customers' ability to compare other equipment with Bose. Bose understood early on that a combination of clever marketing and a slick exterior form-factor would allow the company to charge significantly more than their competitors in the home-theater market.

        • So you're saying not only was he a good engineer but apparently a brilliant business man? Uhh, OK I agree then.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Bose understood early on that a combination of clever marketing and a slick exterior form-factor would allow the company to charge significantly more than their competitors in the home-theater market.

          Bose understood that men often want a nice sound system but their wives don't want big hulking speakers in their living room. Bose offers a compromise: a decent (ok, that is questionable too) sound system in a package the wife will accept. They figured out that they could charge big time for that last part.

          They have a new wave TV. The sound quality is obviously not nearly as good as real speakers but it has one A++ benefit: no external speakers. That makes it an easy sell to a wife. And it's still bett

          • Where's my mod points when I need them? You're right: Bose is a good compromise for people who do not want big speakers but still get decent sound. And yes, it's a decent system for people who are not too discerning about sound quality, i.e. most of us. These days you can do better for your money, but for a good while Bose was the only name in town for those looking for small speakers with decent sound.

            Personally, I'm still looking for speakers that excel at reproducing music (modern as well as classi
            • by Sorny (521429)

              "Personally, I'm still looking for speakers that excel at reproducing music (modern as well as classical) but also do a good job in a home theater setup. I settled on a pair of Acoustic Research Status S-50 floor standers, good but still a bit of a compromise. Hearing good things about the LinkWitz Orion but I still have to find a pair I can listen to, to decide whether all that extra cabling and equipment is worth the effort."

              Magnepan MMG. Order them direct from Magnepan, by phone, for a shade over $600/pa

        • by MattGWU (86623)

          Bose makes marketing agreements with their retail partners. Notice how Bose has its own exclusive section in any retail electronics store? That's because it's so good, right? Nope, that's because it's part of the agreement Bose reaches with the big box stores like Best Buy in order to limit the customers' ability to compare other equipment with Bose. Bose understood early on that a combination of clever marketing and a slick exterior form-factor would allow the company to charge significantly more than their competitors in the home-theater market.

          Entenmann's has reached an agreement with grocery stores the world over in order to limit the ability of customers to compare other coffee cakes to Entenmann's

  • that their prices will go even higher? I don't understand why people think Bose is high end. I get better sound out of iHome speakers.
  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday July 12, 2013 @07:45PM (#44266307)

    The man was an engineer and a good one at that. It's a shame his company was centred around art. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I have a Bang and Olufsen system here for the simple reason that it sounds ok but looks damn spectacular. The biggest problem with Bose the company was their slogan "Better Sound Through Research." The reality is all of their designs sacrificed good sound in the name of artistic design.

    Nothing really innovative has come from the company. The double cube speakers effectively ensure that the room acoustics and design completely wreak any hope of having a proper soundstage, their Accoustimass module is nothing more than a cheap papercone subwoofer which is horn loaded and again prioritises being small over producing good bass, and they seem to be the last to the market with these sound bars which they are trying to sell these days.

    They do have a great set of noise cancelling headphones. They do a better job than any other I have worn. It's just a shame their sound isn't up to scratch and their cost is insane (I can get a set of Sennheiser Reference series headphones for cheaper, and I did).

    None the less Bose the person and his company have done great things. I credit the popularity of his products to the change in style in sound equipment over the past 10 years. HiFi's used to be something we'd hide in cupboards, heat permitting, yet they have now become the centrepiece of many living rooms.

    • by Skapare (16644)

      The QC-15 headphones I have sound OK. They are more quiet than anything else I've tried in the consumer market. But I still find it annoying they didn't come with a volume control. They must have saved $0.75 to leave that out.

  • by AlexOsadzinski (221254) on Friday July 12, 2013 @08:34PM (#44266647) Homepage

    I've never been a fan of Bose home audio equipment: the whole mall-store marketing schtick and, well, um, the actual sound, were enough to put me off.

    But they launched the first practical and useful noise-cancelling pilot headphones to the civilian population in 1998, after almost 10 years of military sales, and they quickly dominated the market, even at the then-lofty price of $999. They just plain worked, and worked well. Other manufacturers followed, and sometimes beat Bose's performance in later years, usually at about half the price, but there's no denying that they did pioneering, real audio engineering work in this space.

    They were also smart in offering a "panel install" of their proprietary connector into aircraft. If you've owned an aircraft, you'll know that installing anything permamently is (a) expensive and (b) requires a pile of paperwork and (c) you'll never rip it out. The connector eliminated the need for the little battery pack you had to carry around, and provided additional lock-in. Clever. Sucky, but clever.

    The Wave radio that "fills the room with sound" on the other hand. Meh.

  • One word: (Score:4, Informative)

    by Larry_Dillon (20347) <dillon DOT larry AT gmail DOT com> on Friday July 12, 2013 @08:56PM (#44266749) Homepage

    Klipsch

    • by stox (131684)

      Next words, ElectroVoice Eliminators. Even more efficient than the Klipsch's.

      Now then, if you want imaging, Magnepan.

      • by Sorny (521429)

        "Now then, if you want imaging, Magnepan."

        All hail Magnepan!

        Even if they're on the complete opposite end of the efficiency spectrum from the horn speakers.

        I feed my little MMGs 400Wpc (@ 4 Ohms), and back them up with a pair of HSU TN1220HO subs, but my little MMG/HSU setup is sonic bliss. Some day, when I've acquired more amplification, I'll be grabbing some bigger maggies and moving the MMGs to surround duty.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Bless you. Now what were you going to say?

  • by niftymitch (1625721) on Friday July 12, 2013 @09:51PM (#44267073)
    It sounds like the trolls woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

    I have listened to and on occasion bought the big B's products.

    Like anything ---even /. Listen with an educated ear (or read) and make up your own mind.

  • The only BOSE system that I have ever had was in my Murano. Unfortunately, it was integrated with the environmental system controls, so it took 8 years before Metra came out with a kit to replace it. Finally I was able to replace it with a Kenwood head unit and Infinity Reference speakers. The difference was like night and day.

    • My '84 Corvette had a Bose sound system. The tape player was made in Japan by someone else, and had the Bose name slapped on it. It was already dead of mechanical failure when I bought the car in 1990.
      • The head unit was built by GM Delco, at least it was in the 85s. That system was odd in that the speaker grills were co-branded Delco/BOSE. BOSE only made the amplifiers and the speakers in car OEM systems. The head unit was provided by the OEM's supplier of choice with balanced line level outputs (as opposed to amplified speaker terminals) to feed the speaker mounted amps. The speakers themselves were a weird 1ohm design that could only be properly driven with the BOSE amplifiers (which had non-defeatable
  • It's a cartoon video, but it sums up the situation pretty well IMO: "The High End Store" [youtube.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A fine man has passed away, a man who belived in research and sharing knowledge. Now look at what this community is able to produce at this very moment. It is sad reading, sad, sad reading.

    Imagine what the rest of the world would write if this crowd, the /. crowd closed down? Lets us hope the some would reflect of the wisdome and style of this crowd, on how the site and crowd brought us new knowledge, new ways to share a crowds knowledge in a way that made an impact on many technical branches of an emerging

  • by Anonymous Coward
    We have "Beats" now by Dre... The real mastermind in audio tech.
  • by Kaenneth (82978) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @08:27AM (#44269009) Homepage Journal

    So much for the lifetime warranty.

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