Sound Battles: Bose Beats Apple


Bose hasn’t been very happy recently. First, they signed a very expensive deal with the NFL to make Bose the league’s exclusive brand, and pulled a row when players on the Beats playroll showed up wearing Dr. Dre’s headphones.


In July, Bose filed a patents infringement suit against Beats, claiming that Beats had stolen technology found in Bose’s QuietComfort line. That’s a pretty serious turn. By and large, Bose is known for their noise-cancelling headphones, a line they initiated in 1986 for pilots on long-distance voyages. Bose also filed to block the imports of Beats Studio and Beats Studio Wireless into the US.

Some note that this could be an ongoing shot in what appears to be a sideshow slugfest between Bose, Beats and Beats’ owner, Apple. We’ve seen reports, published almost simultaneously, that Apple is removing Bose products from their retail stores AND that Bose will be partnering with Deezer, a digital music streaming service making inroads into the US. It’s basically a competitor to Spotify and *drumroll* Beats Music (whatever that’s end up being called).

The battle has since been retracted from the courtrooms, but neither company is shying away from what’s happening. Certainly not Bose – a company with an extensive track records of suing people in the past. They’ve hit Consumer Reports (1981), Thiel Audio, Harman, QSC and Motorola in the past. Whether they’ve got what it takes to take on Apple remains to be seen, Or heard.


  1. Patent troll vs patent troll. The best outcome we can hope from this is that they both kill each other and the world is rid of two over-hyped audio brands.


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