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.
They realized that by mounting a loudspeaker in a tube, the motion of the loudspeaker would act as 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.
The result of this revolutionary technology extended much further than any one Bose product. "Acoustic waveguide speaker technology created a whole new way of thinking and allowed us to look at every technology with a completely different approach," says Dr. Short.
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.
How we've continued to apply the learning »