Direct/Reflecting™ speaker technology

The challenge

Think about why you like live music performances so much. You're surrounded by sound. You're not only listening, you're feeling the music and the emotional impact it conveys. You become immersed in the experience.

Because conventional speakers had traditionally fallen short of delivering on this experience, Bose engineers set out to fully understand how sound acts and reacts during a live performance. Their goal was to re-create, as closely as possible, the experience of a live performance through speakers in your home.

Early research using binaural recordings helped Bose engineers understand the behavior of live performance sound

The path to this solution ultimately led to what is still the Bose flagship speaker: our 901™ Direct/Reflecting™ speaker. This solution, however, didn't appear without preliminary discoveries along the way.

In an early attempt to understand the relationship of reflected to direct sound, Bose developed the 2201 speakers. This pair of wedge-shaped enclosures contained 22 five-inch drivers. They were designed to fit in the corners of a room, using wall and floor surfaces to reflect sound into the room.

"It worked, but there was a problem," John Wawrzonek, an engineer on the project noted. "Certain sound characteristics still didn't behave in the manner you'd expect from live music." Select instruments sounded harsh when played through the system.

So it was back to the lab. "We didn't really know what we were looking for," Wawrzonek stated, "but one of the big lessons you learn over the years is to pay attention to surprises."

Next: The solution »

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