Sound Cancellation Techology

Mark Verber verber at parc.xerox.com
Tue Jun 13 00:57:13 EST 1995


In article <D9zMH6.2tr at freenet.carleton.ca>, ac191 at FreeNet.Carleton.CA
(Peter Wray) wrote:

> I am not sure if this is an appropriate post, but I am truly desperate.
> 
> I have been trying to deal with loud stereo noise from my neighbour for
> the past six years (yup you read that right - SIX YEARS!).
> 
> I have heard that there is some technology available that measures an
> incoming sound and emits an equal and opposit sound.  this is intended to
> cancel each other out.
> 
> Is this possible and reasonable?
> 
> Can anyone provid me with a posible source?

Active sound cancelation has been around for awhile.  I believe the first
work was funded by the US Air Force (Bose did the work?) for fighter pilot
headset/helmets.  There are a variety of consumer products which look like
walkman stereos.  I have played with a couple, and while they do cutdown
general background noise, I found them ineffective at stopping really loud
sounds.

There have been a few attempts at larger scale deployment of this
technology.  The California Department of Transportation is funding
a study somewhere in the east bay (Oakland or Berkeley) of using active
sound rather than building huge concrete barriers betweeen freeways and
people's homes.  My guess is the cost is more than what you would be
interested in.  My *guess* is that these units are in the >$10K range.

--Mark



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