Can you bring the experience of a live performance into your home?

What makes live music sound "live"?

That was the issue perplexing Bose® engineers in the early 1960s. Conventional stereo speakers had brought a greater sense of realism to home listening, but the experience still lacked the qualities of a live performance. Something was missing.

In an early attempt to understand how sound acts during a live performance, Bose engineers began using concert halls as their laboratory. The team soon realized the halls had certain spatial characteristics that had to be replicated to re-create the live music effect at home.

Thinking about sound in two parts:
Direct sound and reflected sound

Bose engineers made an important discovery. During a live concert, the vast majority of sound reaches the audience's ears after being reflected off the walls, ceiling and floor.

With conventional speakers, virtually all of the sound is radiated directly into the room with very little of it reflected before reaching the listener. Much of the live performance experience is lost because it's the ratio of reflected to direct sound that gives live music its spacious, open quality.

A solution that revolutionized the audio world

The result of that early research was the now-legendary 901® speaker system. It was designed to create a lifelike listening experience by directing most of the sound out the back of the speaker to reflect off walls.

The 901® speakers' concert-like blend of reflected and direct sound began revolutionizing the audio wor

ld in 1968. Today, our Direct/Reflecting® speaker technology is a defining principle in many of our speakers and audio systems, adding an extra note of realism to what you hear.


Explore for yourself, the further details of this amazing technology

In a concert hall, the majority of sound is reflected off the walls, floor and ceiling before reaching your ears.

Learn more

Sound throughout your room
Bose engineers realized the spatial characteristics of a concert hall gave music its live quality. Direct/Reflecting® speaker technology re-creates that effect by reflecting the majority of sound off the walls of your room.

Learn more

Sound throughout your room

This unique design — eight drivers pointed to the rear and only one to the front — was the breakthrough that led to our flagship 901® Direct/Reflecting® speaker system.

Learn more