Dr. Amar Bose, of the Bose speaker and noise-cancelling headphone fame has passed away at the age of 83. He was a great innovator and pioneer (and marketer, for that matter) of speakers which used room acoustics to “improve” sound via reflections, as well as using tons of digital processing to make small speakers sound like bigger ones. I use quotes in the previous sentence to highlight the fact that many audiophiles disliked his speakers and processing of the signals – which essentially degraded the sound quality in the ears of the audiophiles – while the general public loved the sound.
I never really thought the sound quality of his company’s speakers were any good, when compared to an equivalently priced set of separates, so I never understood the appeal. Their tiny satellite speakers did have the draw of being super small and unobtrusive but with the loss in sound quality I wouldn’t go with them. I’ve also never tried their noise-cancelling headphones but I’ve always wanted to see how good they were – when travelling I always see people on the plane wearing them. Personally, I prefer noise-isolating earbuds, passively blocking the noise.