How Does Home Noise-Canceling System Work?

Noise can interfere with your peace. It may take a long time to get accustomed to noises, especially in the city center. For some, getting used to the nuisance is not an option; hence the move is to go for noise-canceling systems.

Soundproofing systems do an excellent job. However, with the population burst, noises will be a mainstay, and the soundproof material will be like a complementary solution.

Noise-canceling systems are more reliable, banking on the latest tech advancements for efficiency. We will look at these systems for a better understanding of their functionality.

A Look at Active Noise Canceling Technology

Active noise-canceling technology refers to noise reduction by adding a second sound to cancel the initial one. Devices relying on this tech have a microphone that picks the unwanted noises. The microphone connects to a computer that receives the sound and inverts it. The reversed sounds go to speakers that play the new sound and cancel the original one.

The concept came to be in the 1930s, with more work progressing into the 1950s. In the 1970s, there was a massive milestone in developing this technology. It was the work of Amar Bose, an American entrepreneur and inventor.

Years earlier, he experimented with speaker technology, laying his foundation in sound engineering. The invention of the active noise canceling technology came by because of the whirring sounds when flying. He tested the Bose aviation headsets on pilots. The results were excellent, as the pilots could communicate without any interruptions.

The Active Noise Canceling Concept

The concept works along with the principles of wave interference. Sound waves have distinct shapes. Merging of the sounds has three probable outcomes; the sound may be louder, of the same amplitude, or lower.

In active noise canceling, the merging of the sounds results in a lower amplitude, referred to as destructive interference. The sounds are the inverse of each other; thus, they cancel each other out.

The active noise control headphones apply this concept well. These accessories have a microphone that records sounds from the environment. The speaker plays the inverted version of the sounds, minimizing the external disturbance.

The conversion is almost simultaneous, leaving room for a slight delay in the delivery of the inverted sound. It means that this technology won’t cancel all forms of noise. It, nonetheless, shows excellent results when dealing with constant and continuous sounds, such as in aviation.

While the delay might seem like a disadvantage, it actually makes the system more efficient. When in traffic, it allows you to perceive some sounds, such as sirens and horns.

Active Noise Cancelation in Enclosed Places

The move was a success, as evident in vehicles using this technology. In the automotive scene, the system debuted in the early 90s in some vehicle models. While it was a significant achievement in sound engineering, customers were not keen on it.

Different car manufacturers continue to perfect the technology. Presently it is common in luxury vehicles.

Bose’s Noise Control System

The system is an excellent example of active sound control. This car accessory ensures you have no disturbance while driving. The unit measures tire rotation and records sounds from the wheels. It inverts the noise and plays the new version via the car speakers.

As a result, passengers do not experience noises, making for a relaxing moment on the road. It is the original design of the sound control concept.

Noise-Canceling for Houses

Looking at how noise-canceling works for small enclosed spaces, it should probably do amazing wonders for your house. Unfortunately, the technology is yet to pick up for homes fully. It may have something to do with house architecture.

Noise-Canceling and Home Automation

Home automation is a growing technological niche worth upwards of $10 billion. It refers to integrating home systems with technology, primarily the internet of things.

The integration of the two technologies is still in its infancy. The future, however, appears hopeful if you look at tech news, as many companies seek to do their best to develop efficient home sound management systems.

Home Noise-Canceling Solutions

With no active noise canceling systems for houses currently, you must rely on the existing solutions. The following are measures to deal with a noise problem at home.

1. Modify Doors

Front doors are the primary sound pathway in many homes due to their wide-open design. Some waves may still pass through the remaining open spaces even when shut. Modifying the doors will do you a huge favor in keeping off unwanted sounds.

Replace hollow doors with solidly built ones. However, the solid ones might be pricey. If replacement does not work for you, consider filling the hollow ones with expanding foam or soundproofing material. You will need an experienced carpenter to pull this successfully.

Soundproofing material to choose from include sand or insulation material.

With solid doors checked, you now focus on the remaining gaps around the door. Use weather stripping tape on the inner side of the door or soundproof rubber on the perimeter. A draft stopper works well on the lower part of the door.

Additionally, you may use a door gasket. While this accessory is costly, it effectively keeps out noises due to its strong seal. Its primary material is neoprene, which is durable; thus will serve you for a long time without breaking apart.

Related: How to Soundproof a Door Using a Sweep

If dealing with metallic doors, consider getting soundproof blankets, which are fiberglass builds. These sound absorbers are easy to install, with some models coming with suction cups for the purpose.

Other solutions for metallic doors include using mass-loaded vinyl panels and adding door thresholds. A thing to know is that sealing door gaps also improves air quality and provides heat insulation. For the best results, modify all doors in the house.

Further Reading: How to Seal a Garage Door from the Inside

2. Focus On the Windows

Windows presents another entry point for noise in your house. You can modify your windows to make them soundproof. The first thing to do is seal all gaps. Inspect the structure and see the areas which have a problem.

Replace broken and cracked windows. Go for the robust types that will serve you for a long time without breaking. Use acoustic caulk or weather-stripping sealers for gaps.

You may consider getting acoustic curtains, which deflect noise entering through the window. They work perfectly and are excellent interior décor accessories. Also, they are good light blockers.

Furthermore, you may create a physical barrier outside the window. You can erect a wall fence or plant trees as noise blockers. Finally, you may replace your single-paned windows with the double or triple glazed variety. This window consists of two glass panes sandwiching a pocket of air. It is an effective way of noise-canceling and house insulation, though it may be pricey.

Further Reading: Best Noise Reducing Curtains for Soundproof & Style

3. Soundproof Your Wall

You might modify the openings in your house but still have a noise problem. In this scenario, you check on the wall. Heavy-set walls do well in noise-blocking than the hollow ones.

Insulating the wall never disappoints. Pick the wall part where most of the noise passes through and make the fixtures. Fill up hollow spaces and bid goodbye to interruptive sounds.

Acoustic panels also work fine in such situations. They are easy to install, and you may handle the job as a DIY project. If you live in a storied apartment, you may want to soundproof the ceiling and floors. It does away with noises from neighbors living above or below you.

Does soundproofing paint work? Soundproof or acoustic paints are new entrants in the market. They feature vinyl acrylic, a polymer that lends to their sound-deadening properties. You should get these paints from legitimate stores, as some may sell you regular paint tagged as soundproof paint.

Optionally, you can use soundproof wallpapers. However, reviews do not paint them as highly effective solutions.

4. Using a White Noise Machine

It is the go-to accessory for many people who want a peaceful moment in enclosed spaces. You can find it in offices, bedrooms, and nurseries, helping with concentration or sleep.

This technology is a worthy solution if you stay in a noisy neighborhood. It produces a wide range of sounds that mask the noises and create a gentle atmosphere. You will appreciate its functionality if you have a baby in the house, as it helps them sleep, despite noisy surroundings.

When picking a white noise machine, there are several things to keep in mind. First of all, look at its customizability. This allows you to pick a preferable sound to mask the outside interference. Some support up to 30 sounds and have a fan for an organic essence.

The volume should also be comfortable. Not too loud to make the white noise overbearing or too low to be inefficient. If it works with your smartphone, the better, as you can remotely control it.

Connect the white noise machine to speakers in your house for uniform noise masking.

Further reading: Best Fans for White Noise – 2022

What Does the Future Hold for Home Noise Canceling?

As earlier mentioned, home noise canceling is still in its infancy. The future looks good, with many firms trying to create the next big thing. Several products are out, using the active noise cancelation concept.

Unfortunately, their performance is not up to market standard. With a bit of improvement in technology, noise pollution at home will no longer be a problem.

Below are some of the products.

Sono and Muzo

The two are excellent examples of active noise-canceling technology for homes. The problem is that they failed to deliver, at least as per expectations. Sono is an industrial concept that is yet to be unveiled.

Videos of Sono show how functional it is. It is a palm-sized device that records vibrations on the window. It plays the vibrations in reverse to counter the noises produced.

What’s more, you charge it via Wi-Fi signals, meaning its productivity does not decline due to low battery. Also, it isolates sounds, meaning you can hear the sounds you want while blocking the irritating ones.

Muzo works similarly to Sono. The difference is that it is an actual product. According to the manufacturer, it creates a personal sound field that blocks noises. Its three operating modes use vibrations, adding ambient sounds and the secret mode to secure your conversations.

Whisper

The technology has an interesting concept that gives a blueprint of how future noise-canceling systems should be. It consists of microphones to pick waves from outside and speakers that play inverted sound in the house. The two components connect via wireless technology.

Whisper is a self-charging device with a solar panel to power it. Moreover, the gadget can connect to your phone via Bluetooth and use it as a multimedia player.

Unfortunately, this project did not come to fruition, despite how amazing it would have been.

Smart Windows

It is a brainchild of a team of Singaporean researchers. According to the team’s published papers, you install this window in place of the traditional one. This invention can do away with up to ten decibels, roughly reducing noise interference by half.

The windows will have a microphone on the outside to catch any disturbance. A speaker on the inside plays the sounds in reverse to achieve the masking effect. Noticeable limitations include light blockage and the inability to mask sounds, such as those of fire crackers.

We are waiting for the unveiling of this product to see how good it is.

Closing Remark

Many people desire a calm environment for peace and productivity. Noise can get in the way and affect the quality of life. This piece introduces you to some solutions to implement to keep away the noise.

The measures are simple, and you can handle them as DIY projects with members of your household.

Several innovations are still coming up to deal with noise, with the active noise canceling idea being the main inspiration. The projects are promising, requiring our patience to see the results.

Presently, home modifications or getting a white noise machine will do.