Acoustic waveguide technology

The solution

Innovation is not a single eureka moment, but a commitment to passionately explore and research a better way of doing things. When Drs. Bose and Short encountered the size and sound challenges of the acoustic waveguide, they continued down their path of research.

Seven feet of waveguide is folded into this small enclosure

They realized that by mounting a loudspeaker in a tube, the motion of the loudspeaker could excite a waveguide, effectively transforming a small amount of input (air) into a large amount of output (sound). Drs. Bose and Short discovered that a waveguide could match the mechanical properties of a loudspeaker for efficient operation over a wide range of notes.

That meant a small driver could produce clear sound without audible distortion, even at high volume levels in the low frequencies. This addressed the challenges of delivering full, rich sound, but the size of the waveguide was still an issue.

Additional analysis and measurements revealed that the tube could be folded into intricate patterns with no ill effect on sound quality. This discovery eliminated any concerns about the length of the waveguide and proved to be an extraordinary breakthrough.

A waveguide several feet long could now be woven into a briefcase-sized enclosure, delivering sound with more clarity, depth and lifelike quality than a conventional component stereo system. For example, the Bose® Acoustic Wave™ music system II, which is less than a foot high, contains a waveguide that's nearly seven feet long.

Nearly 20 years after introducing the first product with acoustic waveguide speaker technology, Bose engineers continue to test the boundaries of what's possible with this radical innovation.

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