The History of Audio Technology in Boston

A Look at Boston's Legacy of Audio Technology Development

Boston has been called the speaker capitol of the world. It’s a fair moniker given its rich history of innovative audio technology companies dating back to the 1950s. Acoustic firms emerged in Boston and surrounding areas throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, developing speakers that produced a warm, mellow sound that became known as "east coast sound." The innovation of audio in Greater Boston is often attributed to the city’s place as a hub of top-notch colleges and universities. The technology talent was there, and students created demand for better sound. A speaker mecca naturally emerged.

The Growth of Acoustic Firms

The audio technology boom in Boston started with companies like Acoustic Research in 1954 and KLH in 1957. Numerous others, including The Bose Corporation, Advent Corporation, and EPI, followed behind, and many capitalized on a high demand for hi-fi audio among Boston’s large college population, as well as the huge numbers of returning servicemen who became acquainted with quality audio components during their military service in Southeast Asia.

Many advances in speaker technology were born out of the Boston area as well.

During the hi-fi era in the 1960s, a former MIT student, Henry Kloss, who helped launch Acoustic Research in 1954 with the design of the initial acoustic suspension loudspeaker, also created a best-selling compact component system for KLH.

The Bose Corporation, founded by MIT Professor Dr. Amar Bose, innovated audio speakers that traded forward-radiated sound for direct and reflected sound, and utilized active equalization in the iconic 901 Speaker System.

Our own Vice President Allan Evelyn spent 16 years at Bose before joining ClearView® Audio. Over the many years other companies like Boston Acoustics, Snell and Cambridge SoundWorks sprouted from their predecessors.

Boston Acoustics patented a first-of-its-kind speaker with a removable voice coil, and Eastern Acoustics Works developed speakers for professional applications that are fine-tuned by software to produce consistent sound throughout a venue.

Great minds have converged along Boston’s Route 128 corridor to make it something of a speaker haven, with audio technology companies popping up in the city and surrounding suburbs, each offering something new and different.

Boston's Audio Technology Today

Today, the audio technology produced in Boston continues its long tradition of innovators advancing speaker design and functionality.

Formerly Emo Labs, ClearView® Audio is proud to be part of this rich history of sound innovation.

Emo Labs invented Edge Motion® technology, a revolutionary new way to produce beautiful sound. Instead of pushing from behind, like a traditional cone speaker, Edge Motion-driven speakers produce room-filling panoramic sound from an optically clear acrylic glass stereo transducer.

In 2006, Emo Labs created an LCD display with an invisible speaker system and was recognized for its clear, flat speakers. In 2010, it was predicted the company would “seriously rock the boat” in consumer electronics.

Now ClearView Audio has furthered Boston’s acoustic legacy with our recent unveiling of Clio™ - the first invisible speaker that will introduce Edge Motion technology to lovers of both audio and design.

ClearView Audio is an entrepreneurial company led by a team of innovative designers and engineers, deeply steeped in Boston's heritage of making acclaimed acoustic speakers. We believe good design, innovative engineering, and advanced acoustic technology are key to the enjoyment of audio in the home. And we intend to maintain Boston’s reputation for audio innovation.