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Old 08-10-2010, 08:14 PM   #1
EvanADV OP
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Noise Cancelling Helmet

So I've been thinking about this for a while now.

Bose has a display stand at Best Buy where you put on their noise cancelling headphones playing music while a speaker pushes air/wind noise (simulating an airplane) so you can *hear* the noise cancellation.



This kind of noise is pretty similar to in-helmet noise when touring.

My current set up is plug-style earbuds connected to my Motorola Droid which does my navigation and music. The earbuds get uncomfortable after several hours, and tend to gradually slide out over time, which gets annoying. I also have to max out the volume on my phone to be able to hear the music enough, and even then it isn't that loud.

So, my first idea was to buy some sort of headphone amp and just boost the volume.

Then, I remembered those Bose headphones, and wondered if it'd be possible to fit them into the padding of a helmet.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:20 PM   #2
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something like this could be an option as well
may have the same issues with hem gradually falling out

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...g%20headphones

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Old 08-10-2010, 08:35 PM   #3
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I've had just the same thought about two months ago while standing at the display at a local BestBuy. I think the problem is fitting the speaker assembly into the helmet without compromising the safety of the helmet. But I'm looking into it. I have the top of the line Autocom system, but the quality of the music is quite substandard. I've just purchased an adapter that allows earbuds to integrate with the Autocom system. Quality is much better. And with noise reducing buds, I do protect what little hearing I still have. But these Bose nois canceling headphones would be great.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:37 PM   #4
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I have thought of cutting the ends of the Scala Rider headset I have and putting on earbuds as well.

Still think the noise-cancelling would allow you to listen to everything at a lower volume and ultimately save hearing. Young ears here (i'm 21), but lots of loud music won't keep them that way!

Maybe just need to dissect a helmet...
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:48 AM   #5
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I had a Noise Cancelling headset when I used to fly a helicopter. It worked pretty good. Someone else may give a better explanation, but basically the way it works is there is a circuit which analyzes incoming noise, and if it's of a repetitive nature (like an engine) it generates a counterwave to cancel or reduce the sound wave. What's especially cool about it is that it allows you to hear non-repetitive noises quite well, like voices, music, or bad things happening to your helicopter engine.

With the headset I used if you lifted the ear piece away from your ear just a tiny bit it would make some funny warbling noises. If I wore sunglasses that had thick arms it would happen. Turning off the noise cancellation would stop it.

The issue may have been feedback from the microphone on the outside of the headset and the ear piece. I expect the engineering involved in getting the sound level and waveform to match is pretty tricky.

I think it's possible to design a system like this for a helmet but it would probably have to be done from the ground up. To try to jury-rig the Bose ones you would have to deal with getting a good fit on the ear pieces and not blocking whatever they use as a microphone.

I've thought for a long time that a noise cancelling helmet that was dependable and not too heavy would be the next step forward in motorcycle evolution. If you could electronically cancel out the road and engine noise you would be able to listen to music or outside noises and not suffer hearing damage at all.

In the meantime I'm contemplating a Schuberth C3, which are available in the US again. :)
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:46 AM   #6
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The key to active noise cancellation is isolation from the offending noise. Unless you can get a seal, either on the ear or over the ear, all you are going to get is double the sound pressure and no real lessing of the noise. Note that the active noise cancellation systems that are sold for high nose level environments all have full cup, high isolation/passive noise reducing ear muffs as part of the system. That is so you are not exposed to the doubling effect of the active wave on top of the background noise. The Bose system shown above is not designed for a high noise level environment.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:47 AM   #7
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There have been concerns that the cancellation frequencies actually cause as much damage to hearing as the incoming frequencies. I read a few studies last year...I'll see if I can find them.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggziff
There have been concerns that the cancellation frequencies actually cause as much damage to hearing as the incoming frequencies. I read a few studies last year...I'll see if I can find them.

I always wondered about that.

I wear a pair of the Bose several hundred hours a year.

I have been riding for 25+ years

& like to drive with the left window rolled down.

I thought my hearing was shot.

I'm dating an audiologist and she did the triple-throw-down hearing test on me. I was surprised to discover my hearing is good for my age group. She was too, apparently I hear, but do not listen.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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The active noise cancellation effectively doubles the sound pressure on your ears. I find active cancellation to be as irritating as the noise itself. Passive is all that I use anymore.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:04 AM   #10
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Rally helmet with intercom


I've been thinking about this for a while. I use a helmet similar to the one above for rallying. It has a built in intercom system with sound insulated speakers. The microphone boom has two pick ups. One facing forward to detect outside noise such as engine etc. and one facing back for speech. It is a great system as everthing you hear comes through the speakers and therefore can be controlled by the volume switch. If I could get something similar for my bike I'd be first in the queue.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:05 AM   #11
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Motosport.com is advertising a noise-canceling motorcycle helmet by Oneal with Bluetooth &FM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanMoe
The active noise cancellation effectively doubles the sound pressure on your ears. I find active cancellation to be as irritating as the noise itself. Passive is all that I use anymore.
Totally bogus. Noise cancellation produces frequencies which combine destructively with noise, lowering average SPL.

I worked for Bose until I left in October 09.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenngineer
Totally bogus. Noise cancellation produces frequencies which combine destructively with noise, lowering average SPL.

I worked for Bose until I left in October 09.
What was your job title there?
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCQTT
I'm dating an audiologist and she did the triple-throw-down hearing test on me.
You know now, that we will require pics.

Hey, I didn't bring her up, you did!
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:41 AM   #15
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You know now, that we will require pics.

Hey, I didn't bring her up, you did!
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