Amar Bose, audio pioneer, dead at 83

“Amar Bose, the founder and chief executive of the audio company that bears his last name, died last Friday at his home in Massachusetts at the age of 83,” Sam Grobart reports for Businessweek.

“Prior to Mr. Bose — or, more specifically, the Bose 901 Direct/Reflecting Speaker, his first major product — high-end audio was something obsessed over by finicky audiophiles: men and women (but let’s be honest here — mostly men) who were on a never-ending quest to recreate the absolute sound,” Grobart reports. “Audiophilia, to that point, required deep technical knowledge, a monastic-like discipline in researching and assembling your rig, and lots of cash.”

Grobart reports, “Bose changed all that. It was high-quality, sure, but it wasn’t rarified. Other brands would continue to pursue the highest peaks of hi-fi (such companies as Mark Levinson, Madrigal Audio Labs, Meridian, and others, many of which don’t start with the letter “M”), but by the 1980s, Bose had become part of a club that included BMW, Ralph Lauren, and Opus One as talismans of yuppie affluence. This, of course, drove hard-core audiophiles mad, as they complained that Bose products really weren’t all that great and were more about marketing than technology. That debate still continues, but mostly in basement listening rooms only—Bose continued to sell speakers by the truckload, and more than a few Rolex-clad squash players were more than happy to drop a few hundred dollars on Bose’s reimagination of the lowly clock radio.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: R.I.P., Mr. Bose.


  1. Worked as eastern regional in the pro division and was able to vist with him many times I learned so much about sound and physicis from him. I codesigned a speaker that o was very proud of, as well as being on the team launching the acousc wave cannon yup, the 12 footer! We always disparaged the consumer product and were known for that so the consumer division would give us blind listening tests over speakers thought to be superior and 100% of us pros chose the Bose over so called high end stuff, as an audiophile this always freaked me out but proved to me Amar knew what he was doing. Adios professor.

  2. I’ve used some awesome Bose headsets over the years.

    They designed headsets for the Navy, specifically, submariners working sonar rooms. Their noise canceling, sonar cans are awesome!

    The most awesome thing I’ve done was hang out in the anechoic chamber in Framingham and scream at the tops of my lungs. All you can hear is yourself through the bone resonance inside your own body. Very weird.

  3. I remember walking through a Sharper image store around Christmas time in i believe 1989 or so. The sound was full with good base and all you could see were these two small cubes (subwoofer hidden in cabinet). The cubes were small enough that the wife would not mind vs. large speakers, and the sub woofer could be hidden in the room.

    In 2009 I contacted Bose inquiring if I could ship them one of the cubes as at certain frequencies there was some distortion. They informed me that they did not make or could repair that speaker. They told me if i returned my system they would give me a 50% discount on a new comparable one.

    Great deal and very good customer support on a system that was perhaps 20 years old.

    Thank you Bose.

  4. Back in the 80’s in a small college a group of us handled the entertainment for weekends. Found out setting up for movie night that they had a special set of twin 901s (4 actual speakers) made out of ABS plastic with rugged covers that snapped over the front. Looked like they were designed for rough handling and road work.

    Came with metal stands that wold put them at 6-8 foot hight. Sounded great for the movies.

    One of they guys and I also loved Carver amps. Not sure how we convinced the money holders but we got a Carver Phase Linear something. Can’t remember the model now, but I believe it was rated at 300 watts per channel. Something we could never afford.

    Borrowed the four speakers and that amp for occasional parties. Could be why my hearing is not so good now, but man was it nice.

  5. Though hardly considered high fidelity, Bose did mass-produce lots of tuned-tube speakers, which indeed kick out a higher SPL than sealed boxes and generally more precise than the wheezing ported boxes the competition offered. It did wake up the industry a little bit.

    Unlike mobile electronics, however, Bose proved that small plastic integrated designs have no place in a hi-fi system. Since the MP3 era, most manufacturers have halted progress on speaker performance, instead “price-engineering” their products and hiring more finish designers than acoustic engineers.

  6. I had the great pleasure to meet Bose in the late 70s. I remember him as a charming and intelligent man with a passion for audio.

    In my bass playing days, my rig was 4 802s and an 1800 power amp. Damn thing used to blow the doors off and sounded monstrous.

    RIP, Amar.


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