Amar Bose: Acoustic pioneer and inventor
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Last Updated: Saturday, July 13, 2013, 13:02
  
Faizan Nizami

Amar Gopal Bose — the man who changed the way the world heard sound — has fallen silent today.

Amar Bose, an American academic and entrepreneur who died Friday at age 83, founded Framingham, Massachusetts-based Bose Corp. in 1964, known for the rich sound of its small tabletop radios and its noise-cancelling headphones popular among frequent fliers.

Bose`s death was announced by company`s president, Bob Maresca, and MIT, where Bose began his acoustics research and was on the faculty for more than 40 years.


Eight years before he founded Bose Corporation in 1964, Bose (then a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology), on finishing his doctorate in electrical engineering, purchased a stereo system and was soon disappointed with its performance. His frustration with the speaker system led him to research the importance of reverberant sound (reflected sound) and eventually led to the founding of one of the greatest companies in audio quality today.

An electrical engineer and sound engineer by profession, he was also a professor at MIT for most of his life.

Bose was born to Noni Gopal Bose and an American mother and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father was an Indian freedom revolutionary, who having been imprisoned for his political activities fled from Calcutta in the 1920s in order to avoid further prosecution by the British colonial police.

The younger Bose, who was thus raised in the US, as a teenager taught himself to build radios. Later, he found himself in demand as a radio repairman, helping to support the family during World War II.

He attended MIT, all the while staying on in Cambridge as a teacher and also a researcher.


Bose’s first contracts came with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for improving audio communications. His focus on psychoacoustics later became a hallmark of his company`s audio products.

Bose frayed into the commercial audio market with ground-breaking speaker designs which became immensely popular with audiophiles.

Bose had several patents to his name and his company`s technology can be found in noise-reduction headsets and car stereos. Bose systems can be found in stadiums and, interestingly, at the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican too.

The company`s products portfolio include elegant Wave system radios boasting "lifelike, room-filling sound," cushioned QuietComfort headphones for reducing background noises such as airplane engines, home theatre accessories and computer speakers.



First Published: Saturday, July 13, 2013, 13:02


(The views expressed by the author are personal)
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