CES 2019: Bose Has Made Noise-Cancelling For Cars

By Holly Brockwell on at

Most of us technophiles are aware of how good Bose's noise-cancelling is, so it's exciting to hear that the company's brought its QuietComfort tech to vehicles.

QuietComfort Road Noise Control (RNC) isn't the first noise-reduction effort in cars, but it uses the same technique found in headphones – digitally cancelling out the sound waves – rather than the usual vehicular methods, which are usually about thickening the tyres or filling the car with sound-dampening insulation.

Here's a very American video to explain how it all works:

Basically, there are accelerometers on the tyres and mics in the cabin. These constantly monitor the sound made by the tarmac, potholes, speed humps and so on. Then, within milliseconds, Bose's proprietary signal-processing algorithm generates an equal but opposite sound wave to cancel out the noise so you don't hear it.

Noise-cancelling works best with deep droning sounds rather than higher noises like voices, so we're confident this'll work pretty well with rumbly road noise.

John Feng, Manager of Active Sound Management Solutions at Bose, comments in a whisper:

"For years, we’ve been asked why we can’t simply adapt our noise cancelling headphone technology to vehicle cabins for a quieter driving experience.

But we know it’s much more difficult to control noise in a large space like a car cabin compared to the relatively small area around your ears. However, through research advances and our relentless efforts to solve tough problems, we’ve achieved a level of road noise reduction that sets Bose apart from competitive offerings."

Road Noise Control will apparently start appearing in production models in 2021. Bring on the peace.