How do you get room-filling sound without a room full of equipment?

Great sound made simple

Bose first set out to make a small, high-quality music system in the early 1970s, but found it impossible with the technology of the time. Big speakers and stacks of components could not easily be combined into a manageable solution.

But our engineers had an idea, and music was the inspiration. A flute, which is able to transform a small breath of air into room-filling sound, is a simple device known as an acoustic waveguide. That means it confines the movement of a sound wave over a desired path.

Applying this concept to a music system was complicated because a single waveguide can only produce a single frequency. (Musicians can change the length of the flute's waveguide to create a variety of notes by positioning their fingers over the holes.)

The challenge was to gain the efficiencies of the waveguide while retaining the ability to produce a range of frequencies.

Every note must be right

Bose engineers realized they could emulate the effect of air vibrating within a flute by mounting a speaker within a tube. This moved air more efficiently within the waveguide, resulting in more sound. By matching the electro-mechanical properties of the loudspeaker to the waveguide, they were able to efficiently produce a wide range of notes.

Additional analysis and measurements showed that the tube could be folded into intricate patterns with no ill effect on sound quality. This meant a waveguide measuring several feet in length could be woven into a small tabletop enclosure, delivering sound with more clarity, depth and lifelike quality than a conventional component stereo system.

Explore for yourself, the further details of this amazing technology

Early on, Bose engineers were challenged to deliver lifelike sound from a small package.

Learn more about another waveguide

Acoustic waveguide technology
Seven feet of waveguide is folded into this small enclosure. Take a closer look and see how it works.
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An engineer's insight

One driver. One tube. A symphony of sound.

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Fitting great sound in a small package.

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