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Ultra-broadband active noise cancellation at the ears via optical microphones

by   Tong Xiao, et al.

High frequency noise has generally been difficult to be cancelled actively at a person's ears, particularly for active headrest systems aiming to free the listener from noise cancellation headphones. One of the main challenges is to measure the noise precisely at the ears. Here we demonstrate a new error sensing methodology with an optical microphone arrangement for active noise cancellation (ANC). It can measure the noise accurately for ANC without any obstructions at the listener's ears. The demonstrated system, or virtual ANC headphone as we call it, is shown to provide more than 10 dB attenuation for ultra-broadband noise - up to 6000 Hz - inside the ears in a complex sound field. The bandwidth of the controllable noise significantly exceeds the results from the state-of-the-art system, which is below 1000 Hz. The proposed method leads to the next generation of personal hearing protection system and can open up a whole new area of sound control research.


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