Amar Bose, inventor of Bose speakers, dies

The inventor of Bose speakers, Amar Bose, on Friday.

Chitose Suzuki/AP/File
Amar Bose, founder and chairman of Bose Corp., the audio technology company, sits in his office in Framingham, Mass. The company announced Friday that Mr. Bose had died.

Amar Bose, a professor, inventor, and founder of the audio-equipment company that still bears his name, died on Friday at his home in Wayland, Mass.

Mr. Bose’s death was confirmed by his son, Vanu G. Bose, according to the New York Times.

Bose’s research in psychoacoustics, or sound perception, revolutionized the speaker industry. In contrast to his invention, the man who created these powerful sound projectors preferred to avoid, rather than seize, the spotlight. He was always more used to the halls of his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, than to a business boardroom.

Bose was born in 1929 in Philadelphia. His father was a Bengali freedom fighter and a professor at the University of Calcutta who fled to the United States to avoid political persecution.

Bose received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate – all in electrical engineering – from MIT and spent a year doing research in New Delhi, India on a Fulbright scholarship.

After receiving his doctorate, Bose began to teach at MIT, while conducting research on physical acoustics and psychoacoustics.

During Bose’s first year of teaching, the young professor purchased a pair of speakers, and became frustrated by their poor sound quality. Bose realized that the way in which the devices reflected sound off the walls produced a bad sound quality. Ever an engineer, Bose began tinkering with the speakers, and from his frustrations, Bose crafted high-quality speakers for a domestic setting.

In 1964, Bose founded the Bose Corporation and created one of the best-known audio equipment companies, while continuing to teach at MIT until 2001.

Bose donated a large portion of his company’s shares to the university that fostered, and inspired his innovations, and that gave him the opportunity to pass his wisdom and passion on to future generations.

“This proud MIT graduate, professor and innovator was a true giant who over decades enriched the Institute he loved with his energy, dedication, motivation, and wisdom. I have never known anyone like him. I will miss him. MIT will miss him. The world will miss him,” MIT president L. Rafael Reif said in a statement about Bose.

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