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Noise Canceling

The Soundsight wireless headphones with video recording capabilities

Walk through just about any Hi-Fi retailer and before too long you're sure to come across a huge section bursting with personal audio gear. There seem to be headphones and earphones for every taste and budget, including wired and wireless units and models that offer just that little bit extra. So how does a newcomer to the headphones game make a splash in what would appear to be a very well stocked marketplace? Say hello to the Soundsight cans, which are billed as the world's first video recording smart headphones.  Read More

A prototype window design that lets air pass through, but attenuates outside sounds by 30-...

There are few things better than lazing around the house on a warm summer day, whose fragrant zephyrs speak of spicy isles and heaven-breathing groves.* At least, until the neighbors start their leaf-blowers and the city needs to tear up the sidewalks. Noise pollution is one of the scourges of urban and suburban life, which can drown out nature's melodies to cause annoyance, stress, and hearing loss. Now, however, a team of South Korean engineers has invented a remarkable window that lets air in while keeping a great deal of noise out.  Read More

Parrot's Zik wireless headphones feature a touch panel on the right earpiece

Parrot certainly has tried to pack as much technology as possible into its first pair of wireless headphones. Alongside the standard Bluetooth connectivity, the company’s new Zik headphones feature active noise cancellation technology, a touch panel on the right earpiece, a head detection sensor, bone conduction sensor, five microphones and, in a headphone first, integrated near field communication (NFC) technology.  Read More

PSB Speakers has launched its first headphones – the Music for You (M4U) 2 Active Noise Ca...

Canadian high-end loudspeaker manufacturer PSB Speakers has announced its first dip into the headphone market with the release of its Music for You (M4U) 2 Active Noise Canceling, over-the-ear headphones. Built for comfort as well as true-to-nature, hi-fidelity sound quality, the closed back, circumaural cans feature 40mm dynamic drivers, audio-enhancing amplifier technology, and an ergonomic four-point gyroscopic ear pad mount that's said to automatically adjust to the precise contours of the wearer's head.  Read More

The Tohoku University design would change shape during flight to adapt to supersonic speed...

A throwback to early 20th Century aviation may hold the key to eliminating the sonic boom - at least according to researchers at MIT and Stanford University. Strongly reminiscent of biplanes still in use today, the researcher's concept supersonic aircraft introduces a second wing which it is claimed cancels the shockwaves generated by objects near or beyond the sound barrier.  Read More

A Japanese team has invented a portable device that painlessly causes people to stop talki...

For those who don't suffer the talkative gladly, a pair of Japanese researchers may have come up with just the thing - a portable device that can painlessly jam a person's speech from up to 30 meters (98 ft) away. Ingeniously dubbed the "SpeechJammer," you aim it like a gun and, if it's anywhere near as effective as the Delayed Auditory Feedback exhibit I tried at my local science museum, it works like a charm.  Read More

The 2011 Chevy Equinox comes with active noise cancelation technology to combat the noise ...

Charged with the task of getting the fuel economy of the 2011 Chevy Equinox down to 32 mpg on the highway and beat out the 28 mpg-rated Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, GM engineers employed some rather unconventional fuel efficiency technology – active noise cancellation (ANC). By using the same technique used in noise cancelling headphones, the team was able to let the Equinox’s engine run at a more fuel efficient rpm without the associated low frequency noise and achieve what GM claims is segment-leading fuel economy.  Read More

Etymotic's HD-15 High-Definition electronic earplugs let users hear normally when things a...

If you work someplace where sudden loud noises frequently but intermittently occur, it can get kind of frustrating – you pretty much have to choose between protecting your hearing with ear plugs, or being able to hear what people are saying when it isn’t noisy. Your basic earplugs, unfortunately, don’t let you hear when things are quiet, but then activate when loud noises occur. Non-basic earplugs, however, do that very thing. Etymotic Research’s HD-15 High-Definition electronic earplugs contain tiny microphones, that instantaneously cause the plugs to block incoming sound waves when they detect noises over a given threshold. When the noise has ceased, the earplugs let the user hear normally again.  Read More

A RotoSub ANC-enabled fan inside an air flow distributor to demonstrate its noise-cancelli...

Silicon chips shuffling all those electrons around inside modern PCs, gaming consoles and home theater systems generate a lot of heat that needs to be dissipated to stop the machines going into meltdown and ruining your day. Fans are the most common form of cooling for modern electronic devices but they can generate a lot of noise that can leave your lounge room or study sounding like an airport runway. Sweden-based company RotoSub has developed an active noise control (ANC) system that is built into the fans themselves that promises to almost eliminate the fan’s mechanical noise and leave little more than the sound of the air blowing through the fan.  Read More

A schematic of an acoustic diode, showing how the elastic spheres are able to convert the ...

When it comes to the sound-proofing of buildings, most people likely think of using materials that simply absorb the sound waves in a noisy room, so they can't proceed into a neighboring quiet room. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), however, are taking a different approach. They have created something known as an acoustic diode, that only allows sound traveling through it to go in one direction. If incorporated into building materials, such diodes would let sound travel from the quiet room to the noisy one, but would simply block noise transmission in the opposite direction.  Read More

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